By Solomon Mujakachi
DEAR The Patriot reader, indulge me patiently as I tell this mind-blowing tale.
This is a true tale from a certain village in Buhera.
The actors in this bizarre tale are real people of flesh and blood.
However, to protect the dignity of this community — not that it needs protecting anymore — I will use fictitious names.
Now, once upon a time… dzepfunde!
In a certain village far, far away in Buhera, there live (to this day) an uncle (sekuru) and his nephew (muzukuru mwana wehanzvadzi chaiye chaiye).
The two were very close…as they ought to be.
We will call sekuru Mudhara Bvaru and muzukuru Tobaiwa!
Mudhara Bvaru, being of age, is married and has a family.
Tobaiwa, seeing the marital bliss in his uncle’s home, decides to marry from the same family where his uncle got his bride.
Nothing wrong with that if you ask me… if anything, it helps cement the relationship and presents fewer hustles with the in-laws since dziri dzemudanga.
And lest you forget, Tobaiwa, semuzukuru, ndiye akandogara parukukwe and was a general dog’s body when his uncle got married.
It was also on this sojourn he saw ambuya vake muramu waMudhara Bvaru and fell in love.
Again, nothing wrong with that, after all muzukuru, mugari wenhaka!
But Mudhara Bvaru’s sister-in-law had one eye, apart, of course, from being very well-endowed in other areas.
This did not worry Tobaiwa at that material time.
He went ahead and got married.
And the marriage was blessed with three children.
With time, as with many marriages, the union got stale.
Tobaiwa deserted his family and went to work on the farms.
His reason for deserting — he could no longer stand a one-eyed wife!
On the farms, Tobaiwa met another woman and started another family.
Did Tobaiwa follow the traditional procedure of divorce — No!
He just upped and went to the farms and never came back to visit or check on his family.
Tobaiwa’s wife, on the other hand, decided that since no token of divorce (gupuro) was presented to her, she would just stay put and raise her children on the homestead.
Two months ago, Mudhara Bvaru’s wife passed on.
Well, nothing we can do about that; kufa mutongo waMwari!
The wife was given a decent send-off anyway.
But before the month was out, Mudhara Bvaru had taken his deserted sister-in-law for a wife, into his home — leaving Tobaiwa’s children to fend for themselves!
This has left the whole village, and beyond, flabbergasted!
The village head is at sixes-and-sevens over this abomination as I write this story — he hasn’t yet recovered enough to give his ruling as the village elder.
Dear reader, I bring this story into the court of public opinion in the sure hope that you will interrogate serious questions that beg for answers in the letter and spirit of the philosophy of unhu/ubuntu.
Pachivanhu chedu, Mudhara Bvaru akagona here nokutora muramu wake/mukadzi wemuzukuru kuisa mumba make semukadzi wake (Did Mudhara Bvaru do the moral thing by taking his deserted sister-in-law for a wife)?
What is the prescribed mourning period for a deceased spouse or the bounds of decency before taking on another wife?
Apa nyaradzo yange isati yaitwa, ichakwanisika here?
What had become the relational matrix concerning Mudhara Bvaru, his wife and children vis-a-vis Tobaiwa, his wife and family?
Since certain relational obligations and benefits only flow in one direction (muzukuru anogona kugara nhaka yasekuru asi sekuru havagari nhaka yemuzukuru; munin’na anogona kugara nhaka yemukoma asi mukoma ndibaba haagari nhaka yemunin’ina), is Mudhara Bvaru justified in taking ‘muramu’ wake for a wife?
What becomes the situation should Tobaiwa so decide to come back to the village — with or without his new wife from the farms?
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