- Karabo Maboi* tells W24 that her partner, now ex, told her family that his family would be coming for lobola negotiations but he never showed up on the day.
- Initially she thought it would be a new beginning for their challenging relationship after multiple break-ups and make-ups.
- But it ended with her giving his family R2 000 so that they could at least show up at her house for lobola negotiations.
Nothing could have prepared Karabo Moloi* for the chaos on the day she was supposed to be traditionally called a 'wife'.
The lobola negotiations were a disaster, and went from her partner saying he didn't have money to pay lobola days before going AWOL to her getting a quick loan, and giving his family money to show up at her home where her family gathered, ready ululate in celebration.
It was a day that brought Karabo unimaginable pain. Retelling the story to W24, she says her partner told her family that his family would be coming for lobola negotiations. Her family was thrilled.
The two had been dating for nine years. They broke up after their first child was born until he called to tell her something "important".
"He said he had a family meeting and had told his family that he loves me, not the girlfriend he had at the time and wants to marry me," Karabo tells us.
"I didn't believe him and was still angry, so I said he must only do right by his child. The next day when I came home from work, my mother told me his mother had called. She told my family that they were coming to pay lobola for me. That's when I took it seriously."
He was ready to settle, she thought.
Before lobola day, Karabo asked him about the money for the lobola and he said he had saved it. The date was set and preparations in motion.
"Days before the lobola negotiations, he called me and said money from his bank was delayed, and he asked me to lend him money. I told him I was broke. Besides, I'd never give him money for lobola," Karabo says.
Days leading to the big day, Karabo was relieved to learn from him that "the money issue was sorted".
However, on the day of the negotiations he was not picking up her calls.
"His mother called me very early that morning to say they didn't have money for the lobola. I told them I also didn't have money.
"His family did not have money too so I rushed to his family home and tried to get an advance on a short term loan. I could only get R2 000," Karabo says. She then gave them the loaned money so they could just show up and not leave her family hanging.
After hours of panic, his family arrived at her home with the cash advance loan she had given them.
The 'groom-to-be' was nowhere to be found.
"I was just glad they at least showed up. When they got to my house, they made up a story and told my family that they had challenges, so they would pay R 2 000 to show their intention to marry and said they would be back soon to pay lobola.
"My family was glad to see them, yet it was a lie and a cover-up," Karabo explains.
She says this is the kind of embarrassment you don't get over. Her partner did not answer his phone for days, and his mother was the one who reimbursed her the R2 000 and eventually organised lobola money for him.
"Later his mom took her bonus and communicated with his father's family to go pay the lobola as they had promised. I accepted it because I wanted to take off the shame from my father. This time his mother took it upon herself to amend the situation," Karabo says.
"As you would imagine the hatred I had for him, the shock of the betrayal, therefore the marriage didn't last. I called it quits after few years. People think it's due to normal relationships challenges. But the foundation was rocky build on betrayal and lies. Yes we faced even bigger challenges in the union like multiple children outside from cheating, more deceit and lies, and more lie."
It has been three years since they officially called it quits. But for Karabo it still hurts. "I am praying for healing," she says.
* Not her real name