The Young Man who Yearns to Leave His Wife

Here is a story:

There once was a great village where many people lived. Among them was a young man who decided to marry a girl. The next day, he informed his parents. When he told his parents this they agreed and said: It’s O.K. The young man received goods from his father for a dowry and went off in the direction of other villages to find himself a wife. When he got to a village called Teya in the late afternoon, he called on three girls, and the girl named Nakazwe agreed to marry the young man.

Within the following month, he brought everything that had been agreed to for the marriage. There was a customary marriage. The young man named Sikafunda and the girl named Nakazwe began to live together very happily. One day, however, the young man went to a bar to buy himself some beer. There in the bar, conversations about leaving women were commonplace.

They say: Talking in a public hut makes you stupid. The young man, on hearing all of this, was determined to leave his wife but could not find a way to leave her. Hence he began looking for a way to break up with his wife.

He decided to buy a ring and give it to her, saying: If you lose this ring, our marriage will be at an end. And this is what he did. He bought a ring, gave it to his wife on the condition that if she lost it, he would divorce her.

A few days passed. During the night, when they were sleeping, the young man stole the ring from his wife. In the morning, on his way to work lopping trees, he threw the ring in the river. The wife, as she was washing the dishes, noticed that her ring was gone from her finger. Because of this she broke down and started crying, worrying immensely. Luckily, because God is powerful, it happened that in the moment the husband threw the ring in the river there were people fishing, using poison, down the river.

One of the men that was fishing in the river caught a fish that had swallowed the ring and sold it to the woman, the young man’s wife, who had lost it. She took the fish home and started to clean the fish for she was going to cook it in time for her husband’s return from lopping trees. As she was cleaning the fish, she found the ring in the fish and thanked God that her marriage was not finished.

The young man, upon his return from lopping trees, frowned because he knew he was about to divorce his wife. When he sat down on a stool, his wife gave him some water to drink. When he noticed that she was wearing the ring, at that moment he was dumbfounded and wondered how it was that the ring was back with his wife.

And that is the end of our story.

The moral of the story: we have to persevere in marriage as it is a gift from God and though natural it may pass through problems, it is for life. What God has put together we must not put asunder. An advice given in the public hut should not always be followed, especially when it encourages revenge, because in future the people will only deny that they had advised it to you.

The Mambwe proverbs say: (Idle) talk in the public hut does not beat your wife (Ilyasi lya pa nsaka, lisiumisya mwanaci).

Subjects: perseverance – marriage – God’s gift – public hut – advice – revenge – prudence


Written by Abraham Cisawawa, 07th of September 1994.