TYING THE KNOT, 21 CENTURY STYLE
By: Zandile Mahlobo
The moment catches us at random times. Sometimes while we’re minding our business, and then all of a sudden we hear loud hooting of cars, decorated in colourful ribbons and balloons, beautiful havoc and chaos. One can’t help but stare in admiration and joy. This is a wedding of course!
A wedding between two people deciding to take their relationship to the next level, needs to be prepared for, emotionally and spiritually by the couple. This is a step of bravery and something that no one can actually be completely prepared for. There’s a good number of estimated young people who are no longer empowered to be enthusiastic about marriage.
The big question remains: What is the fear surrounding commitment? There isn’t just one answer to this question, it varies according to different people’s experiences. We all have our own definitions to what love is, the same applies when it comes to marriage. Inevitably marriage is a decision taken by two individuals to unite as one. It’s a test that requires both individuals to have a well thought out plan. This commitment includes emotional, economical, physical and legal implications. As the times are changing, so do the implications, making it harder or easier for people to make the life changing decision. In turn, how well the couple plan and also their level of commitment will greatly determine the end results of this engagement. Usually there are two possible outcomes, either a successful marriage or a divorce, where the latter’s rate is growing rapidly compared to marriages.
“A full commitment whereby a person unites themselves with another person. There are those that like commitment and there are those that don’t. Marriage is a full commitment,” said S’fiso Ngcobo, the host of two gospel shows on Izwi Lomzansi FM.
Ngcobo has been married for more than nine months. He met his wife at a church where he served as guest a speaker.
“The decision to get married should be given a lot of thought and consideration. People should know why they are getting married and whether they are ready to commit themselves to one specific individual. Many marriages end up in divorce because people get into them without being informed about the whole concept around wedlock. It’s very important before you go into a marriage that you think about your vision and your goals then after that, you can think about going into a marriage,” he said.
“If you personally don’t know what you want out of life, you can’t force yourself into marriage. First accommodate yourself, know what type of person you are and then you can go into a marriage,” added Ngcobo.
According to Ngcobo the meaning and value of a wedding and marriage are different. He believes that a lot is to be considered before making that “I do” decision. Ngcobo feels that the secrete to making a great marriage is to have a fresh and clear mind prior to walking down that isle.
“Clean up your mind it’s very important and your mind must be sober. Get rid of every drug in your mind, a drug isn’t just anything smoked or drank but all excitement you had in your past and all the excitement you had walking into a marriage should be left outside because a wedding and a marriage are two different things. A marriage is like soccer, I pass the ball to you and you pass it back to me,” enthusiastically advised Ngcobo.
On the flip side, not everyone is as keen about marriage. Sabelo Mncube (56) wants nothing to do with marriage. After being married for 27 years he doesn’t regret walking out of the marriage.
“In a marriage each partner comes with their baggage and habits and both have to respect and be understanding at the same time. It is very important to respect your partner’s habits. If they have a drinking problem and you don’t like it, motivate why they should stop drinking and don’t just demand that they should stop. Society also plays its role when it comes to people deciding to marry, if you don’t have a wife most men are to make a judgement that you don’t have a brain,” Mncube asserted.
“I am currently divorced and I have no desire to marry again, my marriage life failed. Our children are all grown now and living their own lives. I am living alone and I don’t need a woman to take care of me. I do everything on my own and I love my life. It doesn’t mean that when a man decides to live alone it’s because he wants to be a ladies’ man. Even though I want nothing to do with marriage, I still think people should get married. Marriage is a beautiful thing between two people; toleration, trust and honesty will make it survive,” explained Mncube.
S’busiso Ndimande (21) whose life is guided by both religion and tradition said, “Marriage boils down to the type of person one is. If you are a traditional person who sticks by tradition you will get married and your relationship will be based and controlled by the tradition that you follow as a couple. But love, respect and honesty should be the drivers in the relationship before and after a couple is married,” he said.
“Life is better when you share it with somebody else,” said Slindile Sibiya Interior Design student who encourages that more people should look at marriage in a different positive manner. “No human is meant to be alone. Marriage is about companionship.”
As some may decide to take a turn into the marriage lane, doing a self-discovery before deciding to follow it is always important, as S’fiso advised. “You might meet couples that reflect a picture-perfect marriage but, don’t allow their smiles to fool you. Be open-minded to problems associated with marriage and be ready for the change that might be required.”