Connect with us


On cohabitation and “marking territory”

Keletso Thobega



Vat-en-sit, as cohabitation is sometimes referred to, is a common but controversial living arrangement among couples. But it is a necessary evil.

Some people enter relationships with delusions, fantasies and false perceptions, so they need a dash of reality. It helps to figure out if you and your partner share similar values and goals, and whether you are emotionally, financially and sexually compatible. Spending time together actively in the same space also helps you understand your partner, their lifestyle, habits, moods and small things like what makes them happy or sad, their favourite food, TV program, to their morning breath and fart smells.

Relationships are wonderful and magical the first few weeks and months during the “honeymoon phase.” After that… go a ngakallwa. And when a couple decides to shack up, they realise that it is a huge transition from visiting each other when you are dating. Akere when you are still dating you act, pretend and keep up appearances. The house is kept spanking clean for when bae visits and starch water and frozen dinners take a back seat, go rekiwa mopako, di yoghurt-nyana le di vienna-nyana. Fa gongwe e bile o a apeelwa. As the lady you buy expensive lingerie and the man is at your beck and call. And you are even given free reign over the TV remote.

But things change when you move in together. You begin to fight for the remote because someone wants to watch UEFA or EPL while the other wants Isibaya or The Queen. The reality of bills, chores and errands also kicks in. And you deal with each other’s habits, some which drive you crazy, like how your partner never wants to throw out the trash, leaves the toilet seat up or doesn’t close the tap tightly, or that they finish the cool drink and return the bottle into the fridge ka thothinyana.

Khi! People co-habit for different reasons. For companionship, as a prelude to marriage, convenience or to cut living expenses. Co-habitation has become common and it is evident that laws should be in place. Some institutions even recognise co-habitation although there is still no general consensus and views on the arrangement r. Essentially, co-habiting couples are no different from married couples. The only difference is that there is no marriage certificate, no rings, cows were not exchanged and there was no wedding. Yet, in the same breathe, the reality is that relationships/partnerships that are not official are difficult to manage because there is no accountability and commitment. Each party can do as they please even bow out abruptly without any consultation.

That is why most of the time passion killings involve co-habiting couples. They don’t have structures to seek help or intervention in their relationships so the aggrieved party ends up “taking matters into their own hands” which is often an undesirable course of action. Anyways, at the end of the day the kind of relationships and living arrangements we wind up depend on choice (hopefully). After all there is only so much smashing and “freedom” one can take. And any home needs order and structure because it is a sacred space.

It often takes a discplined or strict person to keep the homefront in order because some “third parties,” that is: friends, family, relatives and other randoms, bo Nchadinyana le bo Kulenyana, tend to meddle and spoil things. This is one reason every couple must have that one party who is strict and has a stronger “backbone,” to avoid nonsense. It is Ok for one to mark their territory, so that everyone knows that ‘No, no, no, no…ga go tshamekelwe fa, go tshamekelwa kwaaa!”

Continue Reading


Ladies, go ahead and spoil your kings

Yvonne Mooka



FEBRUARY is the month of love and the hopeless romantics must be looking forward to nothing but love, romance and a little chocolate indulgence and all the good things.

On Valentine’s Day, observed on February 14 each year, lovers spoil each other and express just how much they love and appreciate their better half. Often times, as women we are the ones that get pampered. It’s as if the day belongs to us. Let me challenge my sisters to put their men first this Valentine’s. There is so much pressure on our men to make us happy. Why not spoil him this year? I will assist you with a few ideas.

Simplicity goes a long way with men. Women like diamonds, and sparkles, but men like kindness and thoughtfulness. When out with your friends and his coke and cup come, open it up for him and pour his drink, put some napkins next to him, add the sugar to his tea. The man’s sole job is to take care of you in life, why not take care of them in whatever way you can?  The most important thing a woman can be to a man, is that bright ray of sunshine in his life. After a long’s day work, men want to come home, or meet someone smiling with a positive attitude to lift his spirits.

He most definitely doesn’t want to meet a nag. Spoil your man and make him feel adored and be the smile in his life. The moment he sees you he puts that work worry behind him for a few hours and focuses on you. That way both of you gain out of the relationship, as opposed to coming home to a heated argument and sleeping mad at each other. You will just wake up more frustrated and the awful cycle will begin.

Men love soccer, basketball, or whatever sport seems to be trending nowadays. A super easy way to spoil your man is to pay attention to his favourite player and team, because that way you can personalise something meaningful to him. Opt for his favorite player’s jersey, instead of a perfume or a regular shirt, and print his name and lucky number on it. Just like we like jewellery, they like jerseys. When two people meet, there is a period in which he meets your friends, you meet his friends and the little acquaintances begin.

Why don’t you exert the extra effort and spoil your man by building a relationship with his close friends? Before you came along, these people were very important to him, and if they are important to him, they should be extremely important to you. Men love to see that their women care and appreciate. If he is picking on weight, go to the gym together. Be his motivation. Use words of affirmation to show him you’re his girl. Speak about progress and results.

Tell him you are thankful for the way he executes his fatherly duties, his providing for you, his efforts to make you happy and assure him of your support. Be his number one cheerleader.
Facebook/Instagram: Yvonne Tshepang Mooka

Continue Reading


It’s a shame: Death has been commercialised

Matshediso Fologang



This past weekend there were five funerals in the village part that I live.

Men, women and youth thronged the homesteads and the graveyard where funeral rites were conducted. As I sat amongst men old and young, I could not help but recall the phobia that I had of death and all the funeral rites that followed. Through the ceremonies I watched the mannerisms and the accompanying conduct of everybody around. I recalled how revered these ceremonies were in my youthful days. The adult men sitting near me expressed concern over the current generation’s funerals and associated rituals.

In the days when I was brought up certain things that are done were unheard of. The way people behaved was far different from that of the current generation. In the early days death (loso) was observed and conducted with much order and respect. The rituals associated with the burial ceremony were conducted with awe. These days things have changed. This time it would be unfair to blame the young people for the change in our practices. When I grew up then there were no mortuaries and funerals were done immediately. The ceremony was simple and conducted with less costs. Those of the family who were outside the village would always find the funeral done and completed.

In the current era funerals have to be carried out after all the relatives and the entire extended have been informed. As they wait for the arrival of far-off relatives, there is a feeding and catering to the entire village. This is an extra burden on the family. In the days past, whatever catering and food preparations if any, were minimal and cheap. Whatever was prepared for the people was given to the deceased family. The whole village shared the processes leading to the burial.

Death was a communal activity. This time things have changed. The funeral preparations and associated ceremonies have become very costly. The costs associated with death are far exhorbitant than those incurred by our parents. As families wait for a week or so before the actual burial it means they alone have to bear the burden. What has changed is the expense relating to the coffins and the use of marquees.

The families have begun a culture of hiring all the other things that were not known as I grew up. Death has been commercialized. As the families want to do what the “Jones” do next door, people have been lured by insurance companies and mortuary operators to join schemes that will provide for all the necessities for a well-funded funeral. This has the tendency to stretch people’s budgets. There are no longer simple funeral ceremonies.

What is even worse is that these modern funerals have also in a way become fashion shows. People come to the funerals dressed to kill and therefore unlike in the past many come there to show off their “labels” and the latest gadgets. The attendant burial activities at the graveyard are now a thing for the less privileged. The fashion mongers just look on from a distance while their heads are dipped into their phones. Yet these guys are the first to disregard protocol at feeding points once the burial has been concluded. Shame on us!

Continue Reading