I wanted to marry him

      Year of Birth: 1986

      Mqanduli, Eastern Cape


      “I was 18 when I was thwalad, my husband was 23.

      I was a willing participant. His family knew and was expecting me, my family had no idea.

      My boyfriend said he wanted to marry me, and I agreed. He took me to his home where his mother dressed me in makoti gear. I knew my family would consent to the union. The following day my family was informed and they came to negotiate lobola. They said if I agreed to marry him then they consented. I loved him and wanted to marry him.

      We talk about ukuthwala. People are generally in agreement that ukuthwala is not the way to go anymore. Ukuthwala is wrong because people get convicted for it now. Even if it was not against the law, I would still think it’s wrong because people are forced to marry people they don’t know. People should be allowed to choose their own partners.

      I stopped school after passing Grade 10. My husband initially said I would go back to school but he later changed his mind. He said if I went back to school I would stop behaving like a wife and I would be distracted by other learners.

      Before marriage I thought I was going to get as far as matric but I didn’t expect to go further than that because my family didn’t have the money. If money had not been an issue I would have liked to study to be a nurse. My husband got as far as Grade 5.”

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