I won US$8,000 in soccer betting – Should I buy a car or pay lobola for my girlfriend?


Dear Aunty Lisa,

I find myself in a bit of a dilemma and I was hoping you could offer me some guidance. Recently, I came into a nice sum of money – $8,000 USD to be exact – from some successful soccer betting. Now I’m trying to decide the best way to use this windfall.

On one hand, I’ve been thinking about buying a car. My current mode of transportation is pretty unreliable, and having a dependable vehicle would make my life a lot easier. Plus, it would give me a bit more freedom and independence.

On the other hand, my girlfriend and I have been talking about taking the next step in our relationship. I know that paying lobola (the traditional bridal price) is important to her and her family. Using this money to fulfil that cultural obligation would mean a lot to her, and it would show her how serious I am about our future together.

I’m truly torn on what to do. The responsible part of me says I should invest in transportation, but the romantic in me wants to honour the cultural traditions that are so meaningful to my partner. What do you think I should do, Aunty? Your wisdom and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance,

Conflicted in Harare


Aunty Lisa responds:

Dear Conflicted,

Firstly, let me congratulate you on your recent winnings! US$8,000 is no small sum, and you’re right to thoughtfully consider how best to utilize it.

In my view, the decision ultimately comes down to your priorities and what will bring you the greatest long-term fulfilment. On one hand, a reliable vehicle would provide you with practical benefits that could improve your quality of life. Having dependable transportation opens up more opportunities and makes day-to-day living smoother.

However, I believe there is immense value in honouring cultural traditions, especially when it comes to your relationship. Paying lobola is a meaningful gesture that demonstrates your commitment to your girlfriend and her family. This investment in your future together could pay dividends that transcend the material.

My advice would be to have an open and honest discussion with your partner. Understand what paying lobola means to her and her family, and gauge how important it is. If it is a top priority, then I would encourage you to seriously consider using the majority of your winnings for that purpose. You can always save up and get a car later.

On the other hand, if a reliable vehicle is truly essential for your well-being and independence, then you may want to lean more heavily in that direction. Just be sure to communicate with your girlfriend about your reasoning and ensure she feels valued and respected.

Ultimately, you know your situation and priorities best. Weigh the pros and cons carefully, and don’t be afraid to compromise if possible. With open communication and consideration for each other, I believe you can find the right path forward.

Wishing you all the best,

Aunty Lisa

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