Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Monday, 24 June 2013

Divorce in African culture

Divorce in African culture is not unheard of but was highly discouraged. It was the parents who arranged marriages and they enforced the marriage for as long as necessary.

Within the Zanaki ethnic group divorce was permitted under certain circumstances. In cases of persistent physical abuse against the wife her relatives could arrange to return the dowry paid for her marriage to the husband's parents and this action would release the wife from the marriage and she would return to her parents.

If at the time of the divorce the wife did not have children from the marriage all the dowry would be paid back to the husband/husband's parents. If she had children some cows would be deducted from the original number.
A recent ceremony in Butiama for handing over dowry cows to a bride's parents.
Adelaida Nyangeta Nyerere and Sophia Magori Nyerere, two of Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere's (1922 - 1999) sisters, were divorced from their marriages under these circumstances.

Sophia Magori Nyerere was later remarried to Dr. Lawrence Gama who died in December 2009. Both of Mwalimu's sisters are now deceased.

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