If you think you know her better, just hold your breath, for those who happened to encounter her at close range, Zodwa Wabantu is one such character who does not cease to amaze.
Wabantu (34) recently pulled a shocker that left the nation speechless as she swam against the tide, when she paid lobola for her long time boyfriend Ntobeko Linda who is 10 years younger to her. Some could have considered it a taboo when she proposed marriage, but she wasn’t done yet, until she paid the R80 000, breaking the cultural norm, amid yet another surprise, of sending women only as her representatives to the deliberations with her in-laws.
Call her crazy or whatever, Zodwa (real name Zodwa Libram) doesn’t care, as she obeys the call of love to her sweetheart for years spanning half a dozen.
From zero to hero, Zodwa rose to stardom into a household name two years ago when she grabbed the limelight through her erotic and sexy moves on the dance floor becoming one of the most sought after celebs in South Africa, and charges between R25 000 and R40 0000 as appearance fee to grace an event.
The controversial personality, has since started her own reality TV show on DStv’s Moja Love called Zodwa Wabantu: Uncensored, it is through that show that watchers got to witness her all-women lobola representatives on the ground.
Zodwa who did not want to spend more than she was willing to pay told a local magazine; Move! that her in-laws wanted R120 000, but she was only prepared to pay R80 000, as she didn’t want to borrow money for lobola, so she rather chose to ‘cut her garment according to her cloth' by setting a limit as to how much she can comfortably pay.
In the show she bares her soul narrating how she was brought in a tough environment after the death of her parents, living and taking care of herself from a tender age of 16.
“I had to make a plan and find ways to survive. I would sleep with men. I knew I would get money to pay rent or support myself,” she recently told Move!
According to her, it is out of the challenges that she had to counter as a teen, the reason why she’s now focused on leading a comfortable life and making sure her 14 year old son, Vuyo, has everything he needs.
Unlike the dinosaur syndrome, which suffered extinction for failure to adapt, Zodwa had to develop a strong character since entering the showbiz, of not letting the past to determine her future, but chose a truthful life. Because of that she says; she has managed to cope up with critism of all sorts, like being labelled ugly or loose.
Her relationship was once said to be on ice for a two-week period, with the couple have had announced this past month that they would no longer be getting married, a fortnight later, the wedding bells start ringing.
Zodwa is reportedly financially comfortable that when she proposed at Eyadini Lounge in Durban, she bought him an engagement ring worth R4 600. Hers was R3 200. She also paid for their wedding rings, and hers cost R55 000.
She says her heart belongs to Ntobeko, who happens not like the celebrity life, is calm and knows how to put a smile on Zodwa's face.
According to Move! traditional expert Zulu Mathabo is of the notion that it is very dangerous for people to do things they don’t understand when it comes to culture.
He believes people have lost cultural knowledge and they end up doing things that are unheard of in African culture.
Lobola is a practice done to bring two families together in marriage, and the entire process is handled by men. “It is the man who pays. Different cultures in the South African context might have different way of doing things but the principle remains unchanged,” he told the magazine.
The Zulu culture is said to be sacred according to the expert; “There are always consequences in the spiritual realm when culture and tradition is misinterpreted like this,” he says.
Zodwa is not bothered by the sentiments, she maintains that no one should dictate the pace as to how she should run her life. She is of the notion that she should do as we she pleases with her life.