Should I marry a woman from the South?

Dear BMW,

First, let me apologise for bringing tribal issues on this forum, where you only deal with sex-related issues. But I am bothered and I need your help.

I am a 24-year-old college graduate based here in South Africa. I have a girlfriend of three years whom I intend to marry. However, my problem is that she comes from the South and I, from the North.

My folks do not approve of my girlfriend as they claim she has ‘evil’ eyes and a ‘loose’ tongue. They say I need to sleep with ‘one eye open’ as she is after my money. Her folks also do not approve of me. Behind my back, they call me all sorts of names, including insinuating that my tribe is full of witches.

In fact, one day I overheard my mother-in-law saying ‘my daughter will need prayers when she marries this man’. She also claims that we from the North can go to Blantyre for a job leaving our families behind and disappear only to return to a bushy home after retirement.

Biggy, I love my girlfriend but I am hurt. It’s really devastating that in this day and age, folks still do not approve of intermarriage.

What do I do?

Mzara, via WhatsApp, South Africa


Dearest Mzara,

Do not take lightly what your folks are saying. They have a point.

Listen, in the past, some communities never allowed their daughters to get married to a man whose clan was known to have issues that would later rock the marital boat.

Those who abandoned families, were wife barterers, lazy bones or had a history of being jinxed way back to the great-grandfather were given a wide courtship berth.

Take the Chewa’s. Their women were cautioned against men from Thyolo or Chiladzulu who were feared ‘thieves’ as their land borders Limbe Town where they are said to have adopted their ‘stealing nature’ from town mongers.

Men from Mulanje and Phalombe are said to be vulgar and witchdoctors.  While those from Mchinji and Ntcheu love liquor and womanising, making them undesirable spouses.

Women in Dowa are not cautioned about clans, but their men are feared due to their hot tempers, male chauvinism and stinginess. I hope you will remember a case of one Marrieta, who had both her hands chopped off by a jealousy Dowa husband. Besides that, Dowa men abandon their wives and run back to their mothers. Some even run away with their sister-in-law. Saakula!

Older Mangochi men are said to have no manners. It’s because they are used to life on the beach—where people are always half nude.

While men from Kasungu are daft (atulo, osinza) they are typical village boys. You can take them out of the village, but you cannot take a village out of them. For that matter, they strongly believe in chambu, that magical concoction jealous men use to lock infidel men who pounce on their wives.

That’s why elders would warn, that if you marry women or men from these districts you will do so at own risk.

But today, life has changed. Even in our cities where there are only two clans the rich and the poor, young women and men in certain estates are cautious of getting married to men or girls from seedy hoods.

So my dear, it’s better to marry a woman with a loose tongue than remain single all your life.

Take a gamble. Ufulira pa nursery!

Big Man Wamkulu


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