Is it okay to marry someone with same surname?

Dear BMW,

A few months ago, I fell in love with a beautiful girl. I asked her out and, fortunately, she accepted and we have gone out on several occasions and in no time I met her mother, who happened to like me so much that she started calling me ‘son-in-law’, inviting me over for lunch and supper. So far it has been great and our plans of getting married are right on track.

Now, during the entire time of taking her out and getting to know her, I never bothered to ask her surname, I only knew her by her first and middle name. It was after two months that I realised that we shared the same surname, Munthali, even though all this while she knew and she also assumed that I knew. Mind you Biggy, I don’t really mind us having the same surname.

I have heard of couples sharing the same surname tying the knot. Now, the problem that I am facing is that of my family; it seems they are having a difficult time to accept that I should be with her (reasons best known to themselves), but they think we are related, somehow. To the best of my knowledge, I am sure that we are not related in any way—only if we can trace back to a hundred years maybe.

Biggy, a few members of my family are really against all this, but my girlfriend and I are really in love and we want to go ahead with marriage plans. Help me Biggy, what should I do in this dilemma?

Munthali via WhatsApp, Lilongwe.


Hey bwana Munthali,

At first glance, yours seems like a complicated case, but it is not. ‘What is in a name,’ so said our dear Bard of Avon, Shakespeare. That which we fondly call a rose, he continued would by any other name remain sweet. I mean just that dear friend: a sweet and beloved lady, would by any other name remain sweet and beloved.

It becomes complicated when the names mean that you are related. Then, the long arm of the law will be on you for incest. But as you put it, you are not related then why not follow the passion of your heart?

I know you may be seeing how queer it may be on your wedding cards. The family of Mr and Mrs Munthali of Village A and the family of Mr and Mrs Munthali of Village B would like to invite…. Queer it would be. But, isn’t love a queer thing? If it were not, you would not find a lady so light-skinned being in love with a man dark in complexion as a blackout! Love is very queer.

Or maybe you are worried about your future kids. You may be thinking that their teachers will think you married your sister? You are imagining their teacher asking them their father and mother’s names, only to get Munthali.

Then, maybe your worry is that your wife, supposing she is Grace, will have to tag herself as Grace Munthali-Munthali. Again, your fears are not worth the trouble.

Marriage is not about names. I know of people who have been married in spite of sharing surnames. Love conquers all things.

Follow your heart akulu, and forget the detractors. Enjoy.


BMW Feedback:

Dear BMW,

I read one of your articles where a lady complained that her husband was not working and instead of looking for job he just stays at home watching TV up to midnight and his performance also has dwindled on bed.

I read your comments which you criticised the husband and that you asked the lady to come back to you if there will be no change. I have diffident views if you may welcomes’ them.

I know Biggie women are very interesting people, if a woman doesn’t work and the man is the one supporting the family, you never hear the husband complaining.

A big number of women in Malawi don’t work, their families are supported by their husbands, and there are no complaints from men; their families move on smoothly, but when it is a woman’s turn to look after the family, there are so many stories, this I feel is not fair.

Women must understand the fact that their husbands ‘Do not want’ to be in that situation it just happens and it can happen to anyone the good thing is it doesn’t last forever. Tomorrow the husband will find a good job after she has already dumped him what is she going to do? Persuade him? Is she going to tell him sorry I didn’t know what I was doing anthu anandinamiza and is the husband going to understand that?

The lady said she will leave her husband if the situation continues. This, on its own means she already might have found a spare-wheel somewhere. Can ladies not have the spirit of tolerance in families? The word of God says a man will leave his father and mother so will a woman these two will unite and become one body therefore this body is inseparable. Anyone separating it is committing a sin. Thank you for taking your taking time.

Kamuchimba via WhatsApp, Mzuzu City


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