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African Totems! Do They Have Any Significance On Choosing Marriage Partners?

A few years back; a friend of mine I shall call by the pseudo name ‘David AN'; made an emotional decision to terminate his relationshi...

A few years back; a friend of mine I shall call by the pseudo name ‘David AN'; made an emotional decision to terminate his relationship with his then girlfriend; I shall call her ‘Stella AB’.

The termination letter to Stella AB cited the ‘reason’ as the similarity of the totem (mutupo) between David’s mother and his girlfriend Stella. Below I reproduce a copy of the original letter that was sent to Stella by David to communicate and explain the grounds for the impending separation. Let’s hear your comments after reading this letter:

Tapiwa Zuze

17 Heaven Street
Dear Stella AB

It is with great pleasure that I write you this letter which I hope finds you healthy and unexpected.

I undertake to express my deepest worries and concerns over the future of our relationship. As I write this letter, I find myself in a Catch-22 situation in which I know not whether to step forward or backwards. It is all because we are kind of related in a very close sense. Ironically, the relationship even goes beyond merely having the same totem. To this end, I therefore see myself heavily infringing our cultural and societal values and virtues.

Won’t it raise eyebrows to our friends, relatives and most especially our parents? I however don’t mean that much of what I do is determined by my social surroundings because this would demean my autonomy and integrity. Nevertheless, I permanently remain a social animal and I need not be divergent of what my society takes cognizant of. I’m kind of haunted by guilty conscience every time I will be with you and try to think how related we are.

Tapiwa Zuze

Inasmuch as I love you from underneath and as I appreciate the love you have for me, I still feel like the whole love scenario becomes weird or wanton when it is between closely related people. I feel very pity for you but most especially myself given the plans, ambitions and provisions I had in stock for a highly prosperous and rewarding future with you only for such ambitions to die a natural death. A death catalyzed by an inseparable natural relationship upon which we all have no say on its existence.

For now, yes, I’m sick with love for you but my heart is always failing me every time I think about this situation. However, time always heals wounds and it is never too late to mend hence “we” may discontinue this relationship. But one fortunate thing is that we got to know it whilst the relationship is not yet head over heals. As is obvious the Almighty Lord will certainly guide us next time in all our separate endeavors in finding new souls of our lives.

I will forever cherish the love you had for me.

Kindest regards

David AN

Tapiwa Zuze

Let’s get your feedback. Was the termination justified? If you were Stella, or David; how would have approached this situation?

Let's hear your views.

Tapiwa Zuze -