10 Things that Happen During Lobola Negotiations

1. After a date has been set, the groom and his family must make sure they arrive early at the bride’s house. Late coming can attract a fine, depending on who you’re dealing with.

2. The groom and his family should wait at the gate of the bride’s family home and request to be let in by a member of the bride’s family. Some tribes can fine you for “bursting in”.

3. After being let in the groom and his team introduce themselves.

4. The spokesperson for the girl’s family then requests them to state their mission.

5. The bride’s family then informs the groom’s family that lobola negotiations cannot take place without the girl’s parents so they need to be fetched from wherever they are. Some may say the are at the market or in the farm, but we all know better. The groom’s family now has to pay for the transportation of the parents. It’s not about the money, it’s just the drama and the fun.

6. After the parents have come in the story about “the lovely flower that was seen…” continues.

7. Then the girl’s family responds with the number of cows required. In some cases the family may first complain they have nowhere to keep the cows, and the man’s family responds by spreading a blanket on the floor.

8. Then the negotiations begin. During this time drinks may be presented to the bride’s family (as a form of refreshment during the negotiations).

9. Depending on the tribe or family, the groom’s family will then present gifts, such as clothing and shoes to the girl’s mother and father.

10. The groom’s family then pays some part of the lobola (depending on how prepared they were). Then they let the bride’s family know the date they will make the remaining payment.


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