Dowry And Bushibukombe

by Moses Kaluba
(Solwezi, Zambia)

Paying dowry is a an African custom that cannot be substituted by anything else. Traditions must be preserved for our future generations. Bashibukombe plays a big role in every marriage arrangement. However, I don't think it's logical for any person to engage his grandfather as Shibukombe because he's an interested party. A shibukombe is a neutral person who relays information between the family of a man and that of a woman. In some cases between the families and bana Chimbusa (Marriage Counselors).

Shibukombe's role as his name "Shibukombe", derived from "Inkombe", meaning "Messenger", states, is just there to relay information from one party to the other. Bembas have a saying about Inkombe. A messenger does not alter the meaning and content of the message. He relays information objectively without taking personal interest. This is difficulty for a grandfather to do because of the existing relationship with the grandson.

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