Father's Surname

I am an unmarried mother of one, my son is now at an age where he can apply for an ID card and he’s brought up the topic of wanting to use his father’s last name. I don’t know why this feels like rejection but I got emotional about it and still don’t quite know how to handle it.

Just the other day he was a baby, I was changing his nappies and have been with him for every single day of his life yet today he’s this tall man who’s telling me he wants to take on his dad’s surname. My first thought was why? What’s wrong with my surname?! Did his father tell him to say this?! It brought down a rush of sadness.

I know I should be mature about this, look at this from his perspective (which I just can’t do right now), whatever it is but I am honestly struggling to bring myself to this level of calm and maturity. The reason he gave is that he wants to have the same surname as his siblings.

And yes I know our culture (or is it tradition? I get confused) says – if a father has paid damages then the child may take on his surname kodwa isn’t it more normal when it happens when he’s a baby rather than now? Is there a traditionalists who can explain the importance of doing this? I know a few people who have changed surnames in their 30s but I never asked, though I assumed, it had to do with connecting with their fathers or mothers.

I don’t know how to handle this…and am not sure who to ask so if your guidance would assist.

Nameless.

 

Therapy

Beginning of July I shared with you the journey I was embarking on, seeking professional help in the form of therapy.

In the article, I shared about how I was raped and molested by my oldest half-brother whom I met for the first time between the ages of 6-10 years and he was between 14-16 years.

I shared that you can forgive but can’t forget because you can’t erase experiences, even after burying them very deep inside, thus the title of my article.

I started therapy and did 5 sessions; my therapist was a white lady who seemed to be in her 40s and really looked like a spinster, and seemed quite fragile with a soft voice…
This was my first encounter ever with this form of help, so I didn’t know what to expect, other than what I’ve seen on TV. Therapy is not a very popular notion in the black community still, especially for those of us who come from the townships, perhaps the black middle class is/has gotten receptive to it. In actual fact, venting/seeking advice/solace from another in itself is not a foreign concept to us, it’s the professional aspect of it, particularly from a stranger that still seems odd.

The first session started with introductions naturally, her just getting to know who I am and what I’m about and thus the reason I’m sitting on her couch, then what I hoped to achieve with this journey.
I’ve always felt that if I were to become an actress, I would totally kill and thrive in the emotional scenes, because I am one person who is not short of tears. In most instances it’s not that deep but clearly my river is over flowing and always ready to flow out into little streams, so yes the first session was quite teary, just telling the story alone was enough to get me sobbing.

I think more than anything, I was overwhelmed because, other than my immediate family, and my then childhood best friend who was there when I confided in my older sister, then current best friend whom I also confided in about 3 years ago, no one else in my life knew.
These however, are people in my immediate circle thus I did not consider this as necessarily letting go, thus I was only doing it then in that session for the first time and it was a lot!
She’d actually sit there quietly whilst I gathered my thoughts to articulate myself properly, it also felt like she knew when I was holding back and would quietly wait for me to speak up.. it used to annoy me LOL.

A few things I’ve picked up in therapy are that, therapists are not God/ly thus not ready to give you solutions to your life problems, theirs is for you to find a comfortable space to HONESTLY share your feelings with no judgment (supposedly) whatsoever, they observe you closely; to see and understand you and your inclinations so they can coach you into figuring out the answers you need or at least the path to finding them by yourself, for yourself.

This understanding came later on though, at first I thought she’d just tell me what to do and how to do it and thus I’d be done with this whole ordeal. I’d never have to carry it with me again; I’d be completely relieved of its burden and adverse contributions in my life.

Therapy was just a start, it was a start of me letting go and not allowing that experience to have a hold on my life anymore. It was a start for self-love, accepting that, that horrid, cringe worthy and very unfortunate situation happened, to stop blaming and to forgive myself.
Most importantly I learned/realized that self-love is a verb, conscious and active.

My last session was about a month ago and I had started feeling a form of relief as soon as I started because I got to offload and have been taking it a day at a time. My life did not immediately and automatically change but I can feel the ripples of change in me and I’m ready to take charge.

By Noluthando

Unattractive

Hey Beautiful Women,

I have a bit of an issue that I was hoping maybe you’d help me tackle.
I’m a 22 year old tertiary student and in my 22 years of life, I’ve never had a boyfriend. To be more precise, I’ve never had a guy approach me or ask me out or anything that shows ukuthi the guy is interested.
I have girl friends who tell me that there’s nothing to rush for and also have some people saying this is abnormal.

I’ve even lost all my self confidence and am no longer even in a position where I can say I’m ready to date. I don’t know if I’m too ugly, too fat, just uninteresting or everything combined. I even started working out last year to lose a bit of weight, but self confidence still dololo.

I have male friends but I’m not entirely comfortable around them except two, because we’re at the same res as of this year. My friends however are mainly girls (I went to an ALL-GIRLS boarding high school and then stayed at an ALL-GIRLS res for 3 years) so I’m uncomfortable around guys.

Is anything wrong? I mean what can I do to be attractive to guys? Or must I not worry at all?

Anonymous

Life Balance

Life is tricky. Perhaps a more nuanced version of that is that adult life is tricky. As I have come into adulthood, I have learnt that there is a lot to think about. There are feelings to protect, one’s self to interrogate and relationships to preserve. The part about preserving relationships is a real art. I don’t mean the romantic relationships in the story books; I mean the real ones with friends, colleagues, and family. Remember when friendships were strengthened from a place of convenience (playing together at break time = BFF), when you were incredibly close to your aunts and cousins because you spent school holidays at your grans place, when your relationship with your parents was glorious because all it took to make you happy was a trip to the Rand Easter Show or that gift you’d been begging for? In those days, convenience was the commodity of happiness. It didn’t take much then because if it was all there, it was easy.

Oh but now.

People often say they’re happy with small friendship groups and limited human interactions overall. It’s not because they’re terrible people. It’s because managing people dynamics is difficult. The societal focus on relationships is towards romantic relationships but the truth is that there is a fragile relational element to everyone we factor into our lives. Every friend, every relative and every colleague. This reality isn’t overwhelming for everyone, but it certainly is for some of us.

I’ve struggled to juggle my life’s relationships. I’ve often had to ask myself how to ration my time to make everyone in my life feel valued, which has left me with little time for self. As I sat to journal about a month ago, I realised how much I’d been doing yet I couldn’t articulate most of it. It had been work, volunteering, birthdays, bridal showers and everything in between. So much had happened but my reflections of each of these events were at surface level to say the most. Thinking back at all of it, it was all NICE. Not life-changing, or eye-opening. Nope. It was nice.

NICE is not how my life should be. I don’t want to be the kind of person that is constantly busy and tired as a result yet left with an incredibly average description of my life’s experiences. So in that journaling session, I decided to think more deeply about what I want my life to look like.

I’ve baked over these thoughts for over a month now and the realisation is astounding. I’ve decided to split my life into two distinct sections:

  1. Life for marks
  2. Life not for marks

Back when I was in school, the teachers would give us assignments to work on at home or during breaks. With every assignment that came, the teacher would have to disclose if it would be “for marks” or not. “For marks” meant that the particular task would count towards one’s overall term mark and “not-for-marks” meant it was beneficial to complete the task but it was unlikely to be graded. As such, students typically worked diligently to excel at the task that would be graded and relaxed on those that would not. We knew how to prioritise then.

So it follows that this elementary learning has informed my adult approach. I will apply myself fully to the things in my life that I consider to be for marks and unapologetically excuse myself from those that aren’t.

My mental health is for marks. I need to be mentally strong to make it through my days at work and as such I have decided to take the time to read and rest, even if that means missing a birthday party or bridal shower.

My friends and family are for marks. Supporting them through their achievements and shortcomings is important to me so I will be there when I feel I need to, even if that translates negatively into other departments of my life.

God is for marks. I need him to survive so I will prioritise my faith over a deadline because that is what is important to me.

Partners that require more than I’m able to give are not for marks. Family politics with origins that I was never party to are not for marks. Racists & misogynists are not for marks so I refuse to engage.

Splitting my life this way has saved me plenty of tears and time. I haven’t mastered the full art of these principles as I often learn when I have to stop myself midway through an engagement only to find that “it’s not for marks”. But I encourage you to stop and think about this question as you go along.

By Nozipho

Therapy

You Don’t Grow Out Of Your Childhood, You Grow With It.

Hi Chicas

So I’m about to start therapy..

I’d like to think I’m a typical girl with typical problems, like they say, life happens to all of us, it is in the way we respond to it that sets each one of us apart from each other.

Life happened to me between the ages of 6-10 and throughout my teenage hood, I’ve tried so hard to bury it that I can’t even remember the exact age, or maybe I don’t want to.

It took a number of failed/odd/distant relationships between lovers, friends and family for unexplainable reasons to realize that I needed to have “the talk” with myself, that I am in my head a little too much that I fail to be in the relationships, that I am so comfortable in my head that nothing outside of it could ever be good enough.

I am 20 odd something years old, my 30s are creeping up. I grew up in a Christian (don’t touch, don’t say, don’t even think) and traditional (typical black parents) home. A full, warm and fun house, we did everything together, had favorite TV shows and loved gambling with cards together, my mom is the biggest mafia I’ve ever known when it comes to playing cards, tricks for days. One day however, over the years, I realized that all this had ended, it just stopped. I noticed as well that I was also pulling away, the older I got the more my childhood creeped up on me, at first I didn’t realize that’s what it was but over time I started to notice my behaviors and wondered how and why and answers to that made me resent my family. I started feeling like I was owed protection and caring of thereafter. It took me realizing that my parents didn’t know any better either and how they’ve tried overall to be anything and everything to us wherever else they could, even though they perhaps failed me here.

So my mom had my oldest brother at a young age and trusted extended family to take care of him in the rurals whilst she hustled in the big bad Jozi. Extended family however was not too kind to my brother and he ran from home quite a few times to find solace in the streets, I don’t know what happened in the streets, I just know the person he eventually came back as, came back and moved in with the rest of the family after our mother married my dad and started building a home in Jozi.

He was probably between the ages of 14-16 and raging with sex hormones, and I was at the receiving end. Maybe if I was born and grew up in front of him things would have been different, I don’t know. I told my sister who told my parents and they did what they thought would be best at the time, which was physically punishing my brother and me lightly for not speaking up immediately..

Years later, we’re older and I’ve forgiven and thought I could forget but see, you don’t forget, you can’t erase experiences. It’s the trying to forget that has actually harmed me, because thing is, we are products of our past, present and future ambitions, I believe, all of those shape how we look at and tackle life. Between 6-10 it was the molestation, not more than 3 times though, I think.. During my teenage hood it was my parents’ marriage, when my mom grew tired of the abuse she was receiving from her in laws and how my dad was a spectator during the whole time instead of fighting for her, it was the age old, “my family doesn’t like my wife” tale and my mom had had it, so they bickered every night for what felt like forever, that I deliberately went to varsity in another province to escape their toxic relationship.

What I’m getting at is that, all of this happened and not once did I ever confront this and how it affected me, I just kept it moving and little did I know that the manner in which I was moving was heavily influenced by all this. I became sexually active at an older age compared to most of my peers, I would easily claim it was because of church and the fear of my parents but honestly.. It was because I wasn’t going to bleed at the first encounter like the other girls do because it wouldn’t have been my first time, yet I can’t share my first time.

I felt like I would have to explain myself when I eventually do it, that it would be obvious how it wasn’t my first time and I just wasn’t ready. Felt like I’ll never be ready and when I did find the courage at 24 years, I needed to get the dreadful second first time over and done with quickly, and I basically went through a period of no strings attached after that, they were very distant with very little if any feeling.

Growing up I was warned that every girl gets very attached to the first guy they sleep with because it is such a sacred event that he takes a piece of your soul along with your virginity, I didn’t experience this attachment and not one guy from the few I’ve had sexual encounters with do I feel any deeper connection with.

The thing about caring something you consider a deep dark secret is that, you are always very careful not to draw attention to yourself, lest somebody observes closely and pick it up. There’s this shame and stigma around molestation/rape that somehow gets carried by the victims, I can’t explain why or how this was my shame, as aware as I am that it shouldn’t, it wasn’t my fault, I did not entice my brother (who was a stranger at the time) in any way but somehow, I was so scared. I felt so guilty and it seemed easier to tell my sister eventually instead of my parents and it has been my shame since and completely affected how I approach relationships of all kind.

So I’m tired of carrying some else’s shame and instinctively responding in a manner that is contrary to how I actually want to respond because I can’t it. So I’m about start therapy and I look forward to it.

 

By Noluthando

Make Friends

I received an email from a CHICA reader who reminded me of one of the reasons we started this platform. In my welcome post, I mentioned that I often experience moments of loneliness & had hoped that Chica would fill the gap for many of us who go through those moments so her email hit a nerve because I felt like somehow I’d abandoned, or haven’t yet fulfilled the promise of Chica’s purpose. To solve for what she raises.

I’m going to post her mail, we’ll call her ‘Tshidi’ and hopefully you will be able to answer the questions, both for Tshidi and me. And I know there will be at least one or two other Chicas who’d want to know, but also more who will have answers 🙂

via GIPHY

The Email:

Hello Chicas, lovely blog, thank you for allowing us a space to be ourselves.

Would one of you ladies please write an article about finding friends.

I am turning 25 and I have no friends. I’m talking friends that I can regularly hang out with and trust, like true sisters.

All my life I’ve sort of had a best friend. I had one in high school and one in varsity however people move on, meet other people, move to different places and suddenly the friendship just ends.
Does this just happen to me?? Please say it doesn’t!

I am quite an introvert which I suppose is not helping my situation.

I have no one to hang out with, no girlfriend to halla at or do any “friendshippy ” things with.

Is this normal? Do any your readers have this issue?
Please tell me, how do I make friends and where do I find them?

_______________________

What would your response be and how did you meet your friends?

Thinking about my current friends, I realize just what a big role social media played in meeting them.

Lookong forward to hearing what advice you have for Tshidi. And me.

 

LeloB

 

Happy

I am feeling so happy right now.

At first I attributed it to the excitement of having finished writing exams but man, this sudden happiness is accompanied by creativity, unprecedented motivation to work hard, to do more with my life and a feeling of just wanting to be great. So it can’t just be exams then, right?

Pic by @VictorDlamini

I tried thinking deeply and looking back to see what could have happened in my life recently to trigger this feeling and literally, nothing has changed. No promotion, no new money, no new trip planned. Life is normal yet I’m feeling so so happy.

My reaction to feeling happy had me thinking about why I was so concerned about the reason for my happiness. I asked myself why that wasn’t how I feel every single day.

So why do I need to think so hard about why I’m happy for no reason?

And why is it even a question that we ask ourselves when we are happy and don’t know why?

Why have we not accepted that as the default setting? Or rather why do I not have being happy as a default setting and only seek reasons for being unhappy?

via GIPHY

Happy

While googling what illness my happiness could be a symptom of, I came across this book, and the penny dropped.

happy

Happy

 

[

Tweet “”Outside factors don’t determine happiness, happiness determines outside factors.” “]

WOW! Think about it, babies don’t have cars, big houses, girlfriends nor money but they are happy, yet we always feel like we need things to feel happy.

Sjoe.

Well, now that I know for sure that I’m not sick, I fully embrace this feeling as my new default state of mind and may unhappiness be a foreign and rare feeling.

Are you happy?

 

By LeloB

Miscarriage

I always heard stories about it from friends. In fact to be exact about 4 of them had similar experiences in 2016 / early 2017. I could only imagine how they felt as I had never experienced it before.

I’m a mother of 2 boys and it was always my dream to have 3 kids. Of course I would have loved to have a girl in between, Minnie ME! So my husband and I tried for our “last born” and we were blessed to be carrying another boy. Yes! I was to have 3 boys at home. At first I was a bit disappointed however I later embraced what God has given me. I truly fell in love with the idea of having a boys’ only home which meant I would be the only Queen in the house.

On the 15th February 2017 I had gone to Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist at Morningside Medi-Clinic, where they do a full ANOMALY SCAN to check everything about the pregnancy and the baby. I had to wait about 2 months for the appointment. Everything came out clear, meaning everything was normal. There were no abnormalities about the baby and no concerns about my pregnancy. My risk was 1:1331.

So I was happy and content with my pregnancy knowing that everything is fine as confirmed by the Specialist. At this point I was 25 weeks pregnant.

On the 4th of March 2017 on a Saturday afternoon I had come back from my Saturday routine of taking the little ones to swimming classes. While I was resting at home, I noticed a vaginal watering discharge (not smelly) coming out to a point that I needed panty liners and I changed them constantly on the day. Not feeling any pains yet. I contacted my Gynae; his phone was on voice mail. I then contacted a friend of mine who was pregnant to ask if she has experienced anything like this, she told me she has and that her Gynae told her it is normal. I then contacted another friend of mine who is a Pharmacist and googled on the side and she told me if it is not smelly, it is fine. Google also told me that this fluid is normal.

My helper, whom I am very grateful of, encouraged that I should go the hospital and not stay longer at home with something I was not sure of. My husband was away on travel. Luckily my younger sister had come for a visit so I went with her to the hospital. At this point I was feeling some pains but only for short moments and not that intense. I also got hold of my Gynae who also encouraged that I should go to the hospital.

As I walked into the hospital to check myself in an emergency, I remember joking to my sister saying, these people will laugh at me because there’s really nothing wrong with me as I thought the minor pains were probably from the fact that I needed some rest. I was immediately transferred to the Maternity Ward.

I remember I still called my husband and told him that I’m at hospital and that he should not worry, in fact there’s not even a need for him to come back as I still thought nothing was of major concern.

I met a very lovely sister/nurse who took care of me before my Gynae arrived and the first thing they checked were the contractions, so I went in a monitor for about 30 minutes or so. To my surprise I had regular contractions meaning I was in labour. “I’m 25 weeks pregnant, this baby is very tiny and premature labour is a risk” Those were the words running through my head. The nurse assured me that even though they have noticed the contractions, however she was still determined that the baby will not be out any time soon. I got an injection which they told me will stop the contractions. An hour later while I was laying on the bed my water broke. I screamed and called the nurse. Mind you I was to have a C-Section with the baby I was carrying. That’s when I called my husband and told him “Kushubile” you need to be here urgently. When the sister came I could see the look in her eyes being shocked for the fact that my water broke and upon checking me she told me I’m diluted and the baby is coming out.

I was then rushed into the delivery room. The time between my water breaking and delivery was about 10 minutes. At around 19h00 I delivered a tiny beautiful baby boy. He only survived for about 40 minutes and he was no more.

micarriage

I cannot begin to express how that felt and I now know and understand how other women who went through the same/similar experience felt. I can never explain the pain of losing your own flesh. Thank you to my husband, family and friends who supported me through such a traumatic experience. Everyone that knows me knows how much I love kids. I truly did not see it coming. However I have accepted that everything happens for a reason and that God was with me every step of the way.

Now my dilemma is, I don’t know what to call my experience whether it was a still born or a miscarriage. The baby was very small weighed 550g and hence he could not make it. His lungs were underdeveloped so he only lived for few minutes. When people ask what happened, I cannot explain it in better terms. I do not think it was a still born as they baby was born alive, at the same time it was not a miscarriage. Whatever it was, IT WAS PAINFUL!

To all the women that went through a similar experience, know that you are not alone. However, we never talk about it publicly; but I decided to break this chain as so many women revealed they had gone through a similar experience after I hearing me share mine.

Do not feel ashamed and I hope you have found comfort in God and healed. It takes time. I’m still dealing with it, but feeling better than before.

On a lighter note… I can fortunately still try again and hopefully it will be a girl the next time.

If you’ve had a similar experience, please share with us and let us know how you handled people asking, how is the baby?

 

By Theo

life lessons

In the wee hours of Good Friday I was on my way back to my place after attending my girl’s 27th birthday  dinner at Mash Braai House. I didn’t drive there because I was too tired and being far-sighted is a big problem when driving at night. Total nightmare. So I opted to Uber there and back and my drive back turned out to be on of the best Uber  rides I’ve had. My driver and I were just having a conversation about his life and everything he’s done: from working for Disney to travelling parts of the world and just being in love with his wife, whom he’s been married to for 22 years now. Cute, right? I melted.

I told him that I’ve been through a lot in the  past 4 years romantically and I’m steady turning away from the aspect of love or marriage because of my experiences and the burns they left on my soul. As we got to my place, this man switched off the car, turned around and unleashed some much needed advice. “You are a beautiful young woman, and by what I see, you’ve got a good heart. Whoever ends up with you will be lucky and I’m not just saying this to make to feel better- it’s to make you realise that you deserve everything you want in a man or whoever you like, doesn’t matter. Do not live your life in regret about what happened because no one will give you back that moment to relive it. It happened and unfortunately you got burned by no one wants someone who can’t love themselves enough to walk away from that pain” is what he said.

Life lessons

I was on the verge of tears because how could this total stranger get into my head so early in the morning?  I need to get to bed so I can wake up and travel home for Good Friday service! I sat there wide-eyed, listening to this man, trying not to cry. He continued to ask what it is I enjoy doing and I listed everything, including my desire to travel the world and experience different things, and that’s when he said: “So o re o emetse eng? the world won’t wait for you to fix yourself and live your dreams, it’s going to carry on whether you’re present in it or not. Your happiness is yours and yours alone.”

That drive really got to me and in a good way. We hurt ourselves by holding onto pain; doesn’t matter whether it was inflicted by a lover or family member or friend. Hurt people hurt people but we need to save ourselves from the effects that linger on after they’re gone. I’m thankful for that AM pow-wow, even though this is something I already knew, I think I needed a total stranger to slap me with the truth so I can actually push myself away from the internal mess.

We try too hard not to mourn what once was because we always want to run away from the pain that comes with dealing with loss- whether romantic or on a friendship level. We lie to ourselves often and utter the words “I’m really good man” when someone wants to know how we are holding up, so that we don’t have to dig deep and pull out the problem from its root. Because that’s also painful. You’re forced to relive events and memories that once made you happy, then continue to deal with what’s in front of you.

In this life we need to learn to take care of ourselves; this world isn’t friendly at all. It won’t stop for you. Rest if you need to, take some time out if you need to and enjoy rebuilding yourself. Be your own hero- give yourself the world without feeling guilty about it.

Pain does demand to be felt, but pain shouldn’t be given a home in our hearts for too long either.

By Masedi

Cohabiting

Relationships go through fazes; be it friendships, family as well as romantic relationships. Over the years, the ways in which we treat our relationships and go about experiencing them has also changed. For a South African, living in a country that has 11 official languages as well as a vast number of cultures, one is guaranteed to have an experience that is totally different to that of the next person.

When it comes to romantic relationships, the basic “steps” that have always been followed are: Courtship, start a relationship, get married and have children. That has been the fairy-tale vision and desire for most people, right? It’s what we were all raised to believe is the correct and only way to live. Culturally and religiously, a man and a woman living together before getting married is a BIG NO NO!

What I find most interesting about these ideas of families is how most of the current family structures in SA do not necessarily represent or support the idea that these are the best steps to follow; for one, a lot of families in South Africa, that may have started out in marriage followed by having children, have somewhat ended in divorce or separation. The divorce rate in South Africa has seen a huge increase while there has been a decrease in the number of people choosing to get married. But the latter has not necessarily stopped people from starting their own families together without getting married, right?

Other burning questions for me are: how many of these couples who have chosen to live together and live happily ever after are doing it without the knowledge and approval of their families? Does this nullify what they have or trying to achieve together? As much as everything remains about the couple, in the end, you are bringing two families together.

More than “I love you’s” and “Regular great Sex”, the living together thing is quite a big step if you ask me? What questions do you and your partner start asking each other before taking the big step? After how many months/years of dating do you decide to move in together? What happens should you break up? I still stay at home so to get a better understanding, I figured I would chat to people who have taken that step.

cohabiting

Nana & Morena

I had a chat with Nana & Morena. The bubbly pair started out by “Kicking it” during SA’s festive season, Dizzt tyd. But unlike many “Kicking it” situations one may come across, this one became pretty solid as the pair decided to make it official on the 26th of March 2016. P.S – Nana jumped into Morena’s Twitter DM by the way *wink wink*.

Them living together seems to have been a part of their “destiny”, considering how it happened. She had an agreement to move in with a friend, which fell through. This is when bhut’bae came to the rescue and decided to move in with her. For him, this was the perfect decision he could make.

“I didn’t want to live alone and the place she’d already found was convenient for me – but more than anything, it felt right to move in with my partner and cut out the unnecessary admin of having to visit each other.” – Morena

Society has embedded the idea that a man is expected to take care of his partner? He is known as the provider. I think we all aware that adulting can be tricky enough on your own and not everyone has it all figured it early on in their building stages. How this couple tackles it, is by going 50/50 on everything. Or at least trying to go 50/50 where finances are concerned. As for the house chores though, Nana is happy to take on most of the activities and Morena helps out where he can. They do not seem to put pressure on each other, by living up to society’s expectations except their own and I like that.

Something I found interesting though was that Nana’s family was content with the couple living together but Morena could not say the same about his family. He does acknowledge that his culture and his family’s strong beliefs in following tradition has played a role in them not knowing that they live together. It will remain this way until they can finally say “I do”, which is in their life plans.

Even though this may be the case, they do maintain that getting a marriage certificate should not limit them from living their best lives as a couple. The best way they know how.

“I see a solid future but more than ever Morena and I want to build together; attain our goals & achieve our dreams. Be happy. For us, marriage is more than a piece of paper – it’s a lifetime commitment and you don’t ever want to just settle. If it’s not crazy love then I wouldn’t want it. Right now, I am glad I have found it.” – Nana

Cohabiting

Sasha- Lee & Bae

Sasha-Lee & bae met at work and started dating in 2014. Being a part of the coloured community, they do not necessarily have the same challenges that Morena & Nana may have with parents knowing of them living together purely because they do not practice the tradition of “lobola”. But they do admit that Bae’s father was quite hesitant about the idea until they sat him down and explained what journey they intend taking by preparing for marriage this way.

Having been together for 2 years and both wanting to move out, this was the best financial decision for them which also helped them take their relationship to the next level of “seriousness”.

For them joking around about what personalities and habits that they each have would possibly annoy the other was what the led the couple to deciding to move in together. More than making financial sense, the couple felt it made more sense to get to know each other better before going down aisle.

“We decided to move in together, before marriage, to get to know each other better. We feel married. They say the first year of marriage is the toughest and we assume this is because people haven’t experienced each other while living together. It is a very different dynamic. We wanted to get this “first year of marriage” over, before being married. We felt that if the relationship did not survive the move, at least we wouldn’t have the headache of getting a divorce.” The couple said.

Sasha & Bae have also clubbed their finances together and work through them as a couple along with their house chores. More than finances and chores though, they have gone a step further and added each other to one another’s wills and policies because for them, at this point, marriage is merely making their commitment to one another official before God and the law.

From the other side

Ofentse Mogoshane from Soweto says:

“I personally wouldn’t live with a guy before we get married. This is mostly because of how I was raised and I believe in doing things the “right” way, so to speak. Also, if most girls lived with every guy they were in love with or thought they were in love with, how many guys would they have lived with?

I also don’t believe the “testing if we can live together before we commit” is a viable reason either. It’s hard living with someone you never lived with before no matter how much you love them and it’s easy to quit if there is no ultimate commitment. Marriage forces one to stay and make it work (the traditional marriage I aspire to have). I cannot see why I have to have and give the privileges of married life before I’m married. Maybe I’m just old school but that’s just me.”

Chica, did you move in with your partner and are now married? Or are you strictly against moving in with your partner till marriage?

Leave a comment on our Facebook Page or send us a tweet. Let’s chat!