Although the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a threat to the human race, with its potential to render human settlements ghost towns, in Botswana it is spurring many to tie the knot.
Most importantly, It is proving to be cheaper! Marriage a union of two people who intend on building a family together, is in the air all over the country, be it in Gaborone, Molepolole, Kanye, Francistown, Letlhakane, infact every direction you may want to look.
With the advent of Coronavirus, due to it's protocols and regulations, couples would stick together more, hence forming very strong relationship. should they incur debts, they would be manageable, unlike those before the disease spread to Botswana.
Recently, many couples both young and old have been getting married in high numbers. Wedding statistics hiked after COVID-19 protocols restricted large wedding and therefore allowing 50 people to partake in weddings.
The guidelines further restricted catering at weddings and also allowed patlo, magadi and pholoso, which are cheaper than the normal weddings where proceedings end up being delayed unnecessarily. This time around, families make sure that wedding procedures are completed in time. This has made things easier and cheaper for many couples.
Many couples have taken advantage of COVID-19 weddings as many call them. Some couples have opted to take the cheapest route ever where parents go through the whole discussions then pay magadi (Lobola or bride price) sign and everything ends. On the other hand, some opt to cater for a few close family members and friends. The good thing with these weddings apart from not spending a lot on catering for the whole village is that couples do not spend much on clothes. In the past years, tying a knot has being difficult if not impossible for many
This is because traditional weddings are expensive. Couples are expected to contribute a lot of money for their weddings. This has resulted in many newly weds not enjoying their marriage lives due to debts accumulated during wedding preparation. The love spark between the couple sometime dies out and the marriage doesn’t even last a year. This has been worse for families who depend on sole breadwinners who in most cases are men. Traditionally, a couple is expected to buy many clothes for themselves, dress uncles, aunts and parents, buy groceries for both families, pay lobola and in other cultures a man is expected to build a house or renovate at his in-laws whilst or at his parents home before the big day. These expectations have caused a lot of rift for the couples more especially men who end up failing to provide for their families because they would be drowned in debts. Whatever decision they take post wedding challenges also affect their children and loved ones in a negative way. This attributes to a broken society.
However, with COVID-19 weddings, it is hoped that many couples will stay happy and grow old together without having to worry about debts. Even though this year seems to have many marriages compared to previous years, some people fear that many of the weddings won't work because they are "inconvenience weddings." Some people are afraid that some couples meet for a short time and get married without knowing their partners well enough.
That is the side of Coronavirus for you!