Thursday, 15 November 2012


“Who invited him? If you are the one who invited him just make sure by the time I get home he is gone. He can’t just come without our consent,” furiously charged a young woman while talking to her husband over the phone.

The idea of arriving home and finding her husband’s younger brother from Mberengwa galled her. As far as she was concerned, her family was complete with her husband and their two-year-old daughter. She considered other relatives a burden she was not prepared to carry.

This picture portrays how the long-cherished concept of the extended family has been under increasing pressure in the modern world where the immediate family has become more important.

Children were cared for by parents and the extended family until they grew to become independent and as parents grew older, their offspring and other family members made arrangements on how to care for them. Orphans were never left without care in our society as they would fit into their immediate relatives’ families.
In this era, not many aged people in our communities enjoy the benefit of having quality care from their offspring in their twilight years, with many of them now crowded in old people’s institutions and nursing homes.

There are diverse opinions about signing up parents and the aged for care in old people’s homes. The few old people’s homes in Zimbabwe used to be more like homes for destitute and homeless senior citizens and many people don’t like having their loved ones live in such places.

People who spoke to NewsDay attributed the dearth of extended families to mordenisation and harsh economic conditions.

“Life nowadays is very difficult and a person cannot afford to look after a bigger family because of financial constraints,” said Tafara Mambo of Budiriro, Harare.

Theresa Nhamburo, from Borrowdale, said: “Life is changing every day and people are just moving according to times. There is no longer collectivity, but rather a person is comfortable with his nuclear family.”
Harare sociologist Darling Nyabiko echoed these sentiments and observed that cultural diffusion had also contributed to the dearth of the extended family.

“There are a lot of reasons why we no longer have extended families in our society. Economically, people are facing tough times in taking care of their little families, let alone other people. As a result, a person tries to limit the number of people he or she can take care of,” he said.

He said the Zimbabwean dispersion, which has seen many people settle in the Diaspora, was also a contributory factor.

“People are now scattered all over the world because of many factors and this has led to families disintegrating. We also need to put into consideration cultural diffusion. People in the 21st century claim they are moving along with the times, which is basically giving in to consumerism and the Western lifestyle.”
He added that the Western world revered individualism and private space, while in many African countries, including Zimbabwe, the concept of individualism was frowned upon.

In some cases, circumstances where men have been accused of engaging in extra-marital affairs with their wives’ younger sisters living with them have seen married women resisting the idea of staying with female relatives. Most married women are now reluctant to accommodate their sisters and have their husbands care for them to avoid such temptations.

“I can’t stay with my younger sister anymore. I have been reading stories in the newspapers of women who lose their husbands to their sisters,” said Lucy of Mabvuku, Harare.

“Temptations are there. My sister comes and goes back home and whenever she is here, I monitor her closely.”

Tradition is no longer considered in this modern society. The current generation of young couples is concerned with the nuclear family. Budgetary constraints have seen people ordering relatives to notify them if they want to visit so that they would be factored into the budget.

An 80-year-old traditionalist in Wedza Tapfumanei Nyakauru bemoaned the collapse of the extended family which had, since time immemorial, been known to provide a social safety net to orphans and other extended family members in need.

“Modernity has affected our culture indeed. Gone are the days when young boys and girls were raised in their married sisters’ homes,” he said.


Can u say u are a family u and yourwife and kids if only usina kuberekwa kana kuti wakadonha kubva kudenga. Its only for greedness of tha money that makes people not to be intouch with extended family. Chikafu chinopera. Mukadzi anoenda. Hama haukutize

one of The very reasons why africans are poor its because of dependencies too much..zvekunyanya kuita tek tek nehama...the wife and kids family syndrome is the way to success ofcourse it hurts now but in decades to come it will solve a lot of our problems, munhu ita vana vaunokwanisa kuchengeta and nature them zviri right not to depend kuti blaz wangu ane mabhazi saka ndozomupawo one of my sons to work there...yes there are circumstances like death of a parent in which the younger ones need to be adopted.....

What culture? these cultures lead us to can you cherish being raised in married sisters/brothers home? thats a clear sign of parental failure...gara kumba kwenyu udzidziswe ikoko and build your future from there.....As a parent also dont just have kids whom you can not look after well....its a painfull idea i know but decades to come we will realise the benefits....i

What I gather is that in extended family we have those that help, those that afford but choose not to help and recipients. My inference based on real life story is that those that afford to help but choose not to are a threat to the extended family than any of the factors stated in the article. Trouble comes especially when help is in form of school fees when the "helped" children finish and pass. Ever heard of compensatory lies. This is the epicentre of the quake that destroys the family.

It not culture, it's humanitarianism, even animals sometimes adopt orphans. Izvozvi ndinotochengetawo mwana wababamukuru, baba vake vakafa. izvi zvinonzwika. But iyi nyaya yekuti ini ndaita vangu vairi, maiguru varikuita gore mwana, gore mwana hanzi imba yavo ihombe chaizvo, muya mavanotandarira nekubikira munotorara hamo musina munhu! Kubva kumateneti, ndini, akarwara ndini, chikoro, zvese. Ko kuitawo vaunogona. Kozoita vamwe vabereki (middle aged) vanoita competition nevana kubara. Vamwe vana vavo vadiki kune vazukuru! Zvekare zvinoregererwa asi tingabudirire sei kana tisingade kushandura our approach to life and development? Kana ukaronga zvinhu zvako chero ukafa, kana uine hama dziri secure in their own life, vanokuchengetera vana vako, hazvirwadzi because vana vanenge vaine zvinhu zvavo.

They say blood is thicker than water but i have seen it only works only if the solution/help does not involve finance...kana iri jambanja parikuda zvibhakera yes hama inomira newe, oro matare oro panoda witness hama inomira mira...but ngazvinzi pakuda 1000 for operation....unoita kunge usina hama looooooooool..

The traditional extended family concept was very good and provided a robust social support system. Now we are consumed with selfishness, greed and materialism. We have also been quick to adopt foreign concepts and lifestyles which promote individualism and social decay. Yes, there are those relatives who are lazy and overdependent on others, loafers and spongers. There are those that are just careless, those that need to be reminded to plan their families so as not to burden others. All these do not take away the fact that our extended family system was good.

Maybe vanenge vasinawo mari, asi dzimwe nguva its just selfishness chete. Ngatikurudzire hama dzeduwo kuita ma medical aid, ma funeral policy kana kujoina ma burial society chaiwo

hahaha define how the system was good? maybe you came from a disadvantaged family where visiting relatives excited you not only because of seeing them but because of material things you were going to be exposed to...ini i had hama kwandaiziva kuti uko tichanochovha bhaskoro, uko kunodyiwa good food, then also kune team dzaiti dzikashanyawo i ended up with missing toys etc....Have you ever wondered how a social support system of independent families work??? i dont see any greedness or selfishness in wanting my son/daughter going to an A school.....only that dream shattered becoz i have vamwe to look after and end up sending both ku avg school..

the solution starts with you...have kids that you can well look after....problem is when everything is failing we tend to think that to be respected in the society i should be a father/mother.....

The culture does not lead to poverty. Only those who can afford to help are the ones who should. There is nothing wrong with being raised by any relative. BTW it was not for financial reasons only that people lived with other relatives,

my friend as long as both parents are alive..everything is wrong in being raised with a relative....most problematic children come from these sort of arrangments....its even worse when the child is related to the breadwinner...the other partner bcomes a stooge

You are looking at the financial\wealth angle chete. Wandispaka ne mapersonal ako ayo lol. The system was good e.g it encouraged relatives to bond, cooperate and work together for their collective development. Our elderly were not thrown into care homes, they were looked after in our homes, by family.
You need only help when and with what you can afford so that question about sending your kid to an average school is out. Greed and selfishness comes in when you have the means but do not assist..

You seem to be focusing on situations where children are taken care of by relatives because their own parents cannot afford to. My dad's elder brother lives kumaAPA Zowa, We lived in town with his son- our brother- he was attending a good school paid for by his dad.

that angle ine 80%, the remaining hazvina effect..collective development yauri kusasa ukatozoita survey unogona kuona kuti 1 in every 1000 families were able to rise collectively otherwise vazhinji kupedzana nekuroyana...The way we view elderly is diffrent and in most cases very few sons//daughters will be doing the daily routine care of the old folks..i.e kutoilet, bathing...shuwa shuwa iwewe as an educated fella which option do you prefare kugezeswa neku pisikwa nemwana wako oro just be in an old home with fellow chembizaz and taken care with proffesionals in that?....Mapersonal angu ayo yaitotambika shamwari..bhasikoro takaridzidzira kwana babamukuru...but manje hatizozive kuti how they felt vakutenga new tyres etc....

such rare cases 1 in 1000, but mwana iyeye anga asiri ma 1 here? be honest..does his character resemble yours?

haunonoke kubika stats lol. Blaz vangu ava was bhoo mface he just naturally became like the first born mumba even now tikati nyaya yakora yakuda blaz ndiye anenge aripo.

then we need more people like your parents...pluz kazhinji if one of the partners(vakadzi kunyanya) is forced into it ndopanowanzoita dambudziko...kana mari iri tiii uye mwana wacho achi problems at all.....pane yekuti unochengeteswa 1. dofo, 2 simbe, 3. finance = 0 .....ayas that combination is deadly

Taura hako wena, vanhu ngavafarire kuita vana vavanogona kuchengeta, kwete kuda kuchengeterwa nemumwe munhu. It is high time people started learning that it is selfish to bring children into a life of poverty

Pindikiti dhii muGabs Botswana ndini uyo ndochiti let me fone my brother from another mother, ndiwane pekutangira ndichitsvaga basa. And he answered back saying Oh shame sis! nditori muFrancistown, I am doing a research, wont be back anytime soon, ndikatika chindipa room no lol, the fone went off. Then he sent me zimessage hanzi NDIYO BOTSWANA YACHO IYOYO MOTO KIYA KIYA MAI Mwana, ahhh ahhhhhhhhhhhh extended family manje soooooo!!!! tinogarisana seyi.

Then again, Ruby wrote more in Shona.

Mandisparka!!! Zvinonetsa zvimwe aisada kutimuone kutiresearch yacho handiyo yaangaakataura kuti arikuita back in zim

Haaaa you are so GRAPHIC hope bhuku rava kupera lol.....zvino hamuna kuzopedzisazve kuti makazotamba ipi mai Mwana.....u left us in suspence...mabva mandifungisa programme yeColgate Palmolive yaaiitwa panhepfenyuro yevanhu na quater to seven every day...hanzi ' zvakazoitika teererai zvakare muzvirongwa zvinotevera......hameno pamwe makanga musati

hey hey hey ,taurira vanhu kuti wakatamba ipi vamwe vane pfungwa dzino mhanya

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