Negotiating marital challenges through classic wedding songs: a case of the Ndebele in Zimbabwe

  • Lickel Ndebele


In African cultures, the Ndebele included, a strong society is one that is made up of healthy and robust family relationships, with the family institution serving as a foundation for the survival and continuity of society. However, the frequency of divorce nowadays suggests that the foundations of marriages are not as strong as they ought to be. Thus, this article seeks to examine how traditional Ndebele society has always sought to help couples to prevent or to manage marital challenges that could destabilise marital bonds and trigger marital failure. The article also attempts to find out if there are lessons that could help with marital distress and failure, single parenthood and many more issues on the increase in the embattled marriage institution. This examination is mainly done through a philosophical analysis of traditional wedding songs. Wedding songs are structured cultural expressions that reflect society’s marriage values and its efforts in the promotion of marital stability and success. The article adopts the theory of Africana womanism. The theory is critical here because of its commitment towards the stability of the family. The data was collected in Tsholotsho District in Zimbabwe from 2016 to 2019 through interviews, group discussions and participant observation.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2305-1159
print ISSN: 0257-2117