South African App Helps Calculate Price Of A Bride

lobola-calc-1By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

If you have wondered how many cows your hand in marriage is worth, a new app may provide you with some important information–and more importantly, can you command More Cow (wedding) Bell.

Robert Matsaneng, a 26-year-old South African software developer, developed an app to measure how much Lobola the bride may expect from her potential suitor. Lobola is a custom in the Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele and Swazi cultures where the bridegroom pays the family of the bride for her hand in marriage. Payment is made in the form of currency and live cows. The family of the bride sets the initial price.

Lobola is a significant aspect in these societies. In fact, the nephew of South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, Khulubuse Zuma, for example, paid 100 cows to the family of the Swazi princess, Fikisiwe Dlamini.

In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Robert said that “right now it’s still for fun but if people feel that it can replace it [traditional haggling] then they can give it a crack,” the app’s maker told DW. The culture is too important to be replaced by the software, Matsaneng insisted, but perhaps it could complement it.

Among other elements the software uses to calculate a price, items include education, perceived beauty, and former marital statuses, with Robert adding: “You are presented with physical questions such as your height, your age, your weight and your waist size. From there it will ask you some personal questions including whether have you been married before, do you have children.”

lobola-calc-2The app reveals that a twenty five year old working woman who wears size thirty two pants, is five foot four inches tall and weighs one hundred twenty one pounds, has children, considers herself beautiful, but only possesses a high school diploma can ask for a lobola of five hundred dollars and no cows. But, the same characteristics with instead a higher education, no children and not previously married would be $4,000 and five cows.

Women’s rights activist Nomalanga Dlamini had what might be considered an unusual take on the app than what might be expected in the Western World. She believes the negotiations between the families would serve better than what can be derived using the app.

I think the traditional method is the best because, honestly, the app cannot predict what kind of a person you are or what kind of a wife you would make, whether you would be an honest wife, or would you be a cheat or stubborn or what, so the traditional way is the best. We are now living in a modern world we have to embrace it. It shows now that we are not going to be cheated since there will be a scientific way of calculating these bride price.”

It is at the very least an interesting melding of technology with tradition.

By Darren Smith

Source: Deutsche Welle

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

27 thoughts on “South African App Helps Calculate Price Of A Bride”

  1. “We are now living in a modern world we have to embrace it.”
    Not me!
    I might have to accept it, as in “accept reality,” but embrace it? Never.
    “Embrace” is part of Leftspeak.

  2. Well I guess having an app to calculate cows beats having to calculate millihellas by hand to answer the question ‘Was this the face that launch’d a thousand ships’.

    Anybody got the conversion factor to convert cows to ships?

    Anybody know when they will integrate the camera so we can automate the entire process?

      1. Paul C. Schulte
        I am not even going to share with you the images that conjured up immediately. in my sick mind

        1. happypappies – I am sure I speak for most of us when I thank you for not sharing. πŸ™‚

        1. annabelletroy – I was thinking a middle price bride would be worth a 60″ LCD with Surround Sound and lifetime Netflix. We could work up and down from there. πŸ˜‰

            1. annabelletroy – well you are losing a daughter, you have to make it up somehow. All of that electronic equipment could be a great solace. You’re not losing a daughter, your gaining an entertainment center.

              1. which is a lot more important than a son in law, haha…really, I think we’re on to something, we need to contact Google immediately to have them make the American Bride Trading App!

                1. annabelletroy – Google is always looking for new projects. If we set some beginning parameters, they will have something to start with. πŸ˜‰

                  1. I agree–it’s time for arranged marriages to make a come-back in the US, and high tech would definitely make it fly! of course, there’s nothing to say that mothers couldn’t also trade their sons so that would make it more equal–Google could do a special Pink Tech line for them! πŸ˜‰

                    1. annabelletroy – I agree. Fair is fair. What would a mid-range son-in-law be worth?

                    2. I think women would respond to a package deal–trade your son for a laptop, an iphone, an Android watch, a tv that would fit into an armoire (as women like their technology hidden, not displayed) and a pair of now-defunct but touchingly retro google glass

                    3. annabelletroy – the Android watch needs an Android phone. What about some kitchen appliances?

                    4. annabelletroy

                      Google offers a free 1000 dollar guarantee now on products from some reputable manufacturers πŸ˜‰

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