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Sensible solutions to milestones on life's path

By unknown | Nov 06, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

There was a snippet on the evening news last week about a church in Australia that holds its services in a pub.

When the hungover congregants can't take any more of the fire and brimstone, they run up to the bar for a restorative beer.

I was faintly shocked by this, but also a bit envious. Many people do not go to church on Sunday because they are paying for the excesses of Saturday night.

I mentioned this to Auntie Emma last Monday in the taxi on our way to work. We were both trying to stay awake by recounting our weekend exploits.

Auntie Emma told me her grandchildren had been dumped on her by her daughter-in-law who left for a weekend of fun with her husband.

Auntie Emma loves her son and daughter-in-law dearly but if the couple displeases her, she blames her daughter-in-law. She then tries to be impartial by calling her darling son, "that woman's husband".

I commented that this was unfair to her makoti because both were to blame.

Auntie Emma told me that women bring up the next generation and have to be above criticism. She said this was ordained in the heavens and every woman had to do right by her children so that her family would flourish.

"It may be unfair but that is the way it is," Auntie said.

She said at the tail-end of every generation, the men would be dead but the family would be sustained by the doekie brigade.

They would all be makotis who had come into the family through marriage and not by blood. They were the ones who enforce and explain the values and norms of their husbands' tribes.

I accused her of being a feminist, but she denied this saying that she still liked to indulge her man from time to time.

When I mentioned the Australian pub service as the highlight of my weekend, Auntie Emma shocked me to the core by telling me that this type of setup was common here in our own country.

She told me about a church in Lesley in Mpumalanga which was very popular with those who take a dop now and then.

The church is in Lahlamlenze near Extension 17. It is book- ended by a mortuary and a tavern. At the back is a tiny hair salon.

"The ladies titivate themselves at the salon then visit the tavern. People pair up in the pub, go home by taxi and make babies," she said.

"They marry in the church, and go back to the tavern to drown their sorrows. The mortuary is right next door to take care of the final chapter. It is a practical solution."

The taxi members were in stitches by then. The taxi driver had to switch off the radio right in the middle of Siphokazi's wail about marriage. The singer was complaining about being scolded and punished for her unladylike behaviour.

But then, as I have already found out, Auntie Emma knows about these things.


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