In-laws acting like outlaws?

Kagelelo Kentse on his wedding day in Gaborone, Botswana in November last year. With him is his wife Katlego Kentse and her aunt Kally Nyathi. The picture is used for illustration purposes only.
Kagelelo Kentse on his wedding day in Gaborone, Botswana in November last year. With him is his wife Katlego Kentse and her aunt Kally Nyathi. The picture is used for illustration purposes only.
Image: Supplied

Summer holidays are joyous for many people but for some married women, or simply abomakoti, it is a depressing time.

So desperate to be heard, a conglomerate of abomakoti have now taken to Facebook through the Wise Makoti group page, to find solace in each other on how to tackle the stress that comes with spending time with in-laws during summer holidays.

This festive season, young makotis flocked to the group to get tips and advice on how to deal with demanding mamazalas, loud-mouthed uncles and petty sisters-in-law.

Sunday World polled some of the members in the group about their reasons for being part of the Wise Makoti family.

Their problems, they say, start from being expected to be at the beck and call of in-laws to serve masses of uncles, care for sisters' children as well as other extended family members and manage financial expectations during the holidays.

Ntombi Mahlangu from Ermelo in Mpumalanga said she has been married for two years but visiting the in-laws during summer holidays has never been a trip she always looked forward to.

Kagelelo Kentse on his wedding day in Gaborone, Botswana in November last year. With him  is his wife Katlego Kentse and her aunt Kally Nyathi. The picture is used for illustration purposes only. /  Supplied
Kagelelo Kentse on his wedding day in Gaborone, Botswana in November last year. With him is his wife Katlego Kentse and her aunt Kally Nyathi. The picture is used for illustration purposes only. / Supplied

"Going to visit the in-laws in Standerton [also in Mpumalanga] any time is not a problem. The problem is in December, when everyone is at the house," said Mahlangu. "You are treated like a slave. In the group, we are able to advise each other on such matters. I obviously learned about the group when I was fed up but trust me, what I was going through was nothing compared to the other makotis' problems."

Lesego Maako agrees: "The group encourages empowerment. No one would advise you to leave your husband or ill-treat the in-laws unless the situation is dire and your happiness is compromised. For me the group has become a sisterhood."

Maako from Cullinan in Gauteng, who was married in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, said she joined the group after Easter holidays last year.

"I was so frustrated with my in-laws and feeling depressed. I wrote a post about how I was treated and the other makotis were able to advise me on how I should react [to the situation].

"Of course there are those who would tell you to pack your bags and go, but the majority of us in the group believe in building and respecting our marriages."

Wendy Makwala, who has been married for four years, said the group helps her with venting.

Makwala is from Mamelodi in Gauteng while her husband is from Namakgale in Limpopo.

"You cannot vent to your sisters in-law because they would think you are hostile. There are reasons why some of us end up not going to the villages during holidays. There is never time to rest there," she said.

"We are overworked and expected to be superwomen. The group helps us offload our hurt and the struggles."

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