20 January 2013

Zimbabwe: One Cow, Two Chickens for Kirsty's Lobola

Photo: Kirsty Coventry/Facebook
Zimbabwe swimming star Kirsty Coventry

Kirsty Coventry's fiancé Tyrone Seward has been charged one cow and two chickens as lobola by the Olympic swimming gold medalist's father Rob.

Seward is expected to deliver the bride price, which does not include cash, next month.

Rob told Standardsport that he was compelled to ask for only one beast because he does not have a place to keep many cows.

Seward can, however, up the bride prize in the coming years if he wishes to do so.

"There was no point in me charging more than one beast because I do not have a farm where I can keep them. I live in Harare. All my friends no longer have their farms and they are now based outside the country. I am hoping to find a place to put it though," said Rob.

"For them [Coventry and Seward] to follow the African tradition is their choice and that is fine with me. They are Africans so why should they be different."

Kirsty's younger sister Lauren (26) married four years ago in the United Kingdom but no bride price was paid for her.

Seward has described lobola negotiations with the swimming sensation's family as "fun" and "cool".

The four-people round table negotiations comprised Rob, Kirsty, her mother Lyn and Seward, who represented himself since most of his family members stay overseas.

Discussions began late last year but an agreement was only reached on New Year's Eve.

Talks were adjourned in November, which is considered a sacred month in Shona culture.

"I did not send any emissaries since most of my family members are outside the country. I was a little bit nervous all the way but everything was fun though. It was never strict or formal but all cool," said Seward.

"I was charged a fair price of just mombe [cow]. We tried all our best to make it an African customary marriage. We are Zimbabweans and we saw it good to follow our culture. Kirsty and I have always been respectful of African tradition," Seward said.

How Kirsty Coventry met Seward

Kirsty met Chinhoyi born and bred Seward through a mutual friend in November 2009 in Johannesburg where the latter was working.

They got engaged on August 10 last year in London during the Olympic Games and have slated their wedding for August 10 this year.

"We are yet to choose the wedding venue. Zimbabwe has many beautiful places so we are still considering the best. We are also yet to decide when we can have our first child. It all depends on Kirsty's swimming career. She is still to make her mind if she wants to participate at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro," said 32-year-old Seward.

The lovebirds flew out to Switzerland for a business trip last Thursday and are expected back in the country this week.

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