One of the most misleading truisms - popular among our people - is the saying mosadi ke pelo. Loosely translated it means a woman's (read wife) heart is more important than any other of her attributes.
So if you brought home a woman with the face of Joe Ngidi, the family elders would comfort you: "It's the heart that matters."
Many a man has fallen into irreversible travesty by shacking up with scary scarecrows because they allowed themselves to be convinced that it's all about the heart.
Now, tragedy is when the Almighty, in His wisdom, decides to deprive her of even the legendary "heart".
Here I was, minding my own business in a supermarket in the Vaal last week, when I chanced on a fellow who must have heeded the advice about hearts and wives.
He was a snip of a man with a soft face - small chin and tiny little lips.
You could safely call him Prettyboy.
Next to him, pushing a loaded supermarket trolley, was a behemoth of a woman who looked like a sumo wrestler - twice the size of her man. She looked menacing as she chewed violently on her gum. The only reason I surmised they were husband and wife was because the two little boys accompanying them kept referring to them as mme and ntate.
She growled in a gravelly tenor when she spoke, and he whimpered his responses in a high-pitched soprano. Poor bugger. And to show who wore the pants in the relationship, she pushed the loaded trolley while he trotted behind with the kids.
I wondered what could have possessed this man to get himself into such odds, or did she look, at least, feminine once?
The real drama happened when the family reached the male clothing aisle. Ma Joe stuck out a cucumber forefinger, pointed it at a pair of shoes, and like a well-trained chihuahua, the man took the shoes and tried them on.
I could not hear what they were saying, but it was clear from where I was standing that he did not like them - or he was just too embarrassed to be seen to be buying shoes from a food supermarket.
He removed the shoes, shook his head and placed them back on the rack. Big Mama, clearly irritated, grabbed the shoes and almost threw them into the trolley.
Wow, this was interesting.
Ntate and the kids mumbled something among themselves, and as I got closer, the wife, now huffing and puffing, head bent to the side, demanded of him, loud enough for the whole supermarket to hear: "What are you saying?"
He said nothing.
"Wa ny**la (unprintable obscenity). You will wear them!"
Standing a safe few metres from her he mustered enough courage to throw in a response: "I am not refusing. But s'ka lwana (don't fight)."
She ignored him and proceeded to the cashiers to pay.
That day I knew the elders are wrong on that score: there's more to a woman than a heart.