Mudzimba with Mai Chisamba

Family putting me in financial strain
Mai Chisamba, I am happily married and a father of two, a daughter and a son. The boy is 10 and the girl is 8. I come from a family of three sons and I am the eldest. I am so tight with my brothers, even our wives are like siblings, they get on so well. Our kids have a very strong bond. The Lord has blessed us so much and our parents are still alive, although retired. They keep themselves busy at their plot, which is very productive. I love my family and would never want to hurt anyone or to be misunderstood, which is why I have written for advice. My two brothers have three kids each, in all we have eight children. It has become a practice, I do not remember how it started but as soon as schools close all the children come to my house for holidays.
My wife and I have no problem with this arrangement but vana vamai vangu vandiregerera. They do not even help with the children’s upkeep. This previous holiday was heavy because of Christmas and New Year. They came to celebrate with us but that was that.
I have always wanted to talk to my brothers about this but my wife says siya vakadaro they are not kids vari kutsvaga muromo. This time my mother sensed it and brought extra groceries and blankets, all she said was batsirikanai nemhuri. I was relieved because we were working on a very tight budget. My request is how do I put this across to my family without offending anyone? I do not mind doing what I am doing but the truth is its putting a big strain on my pocket.
Response
Thank you for your beautiful letter, you have made my day. You are a wonderful family that is well brought up and it is good that you are passing this on to your children. That bond means a lot. You really have been blessed, other families are always at each other’s throat and this type of hatred is also passed on to the kids. Your parents are wonderful, instead of waiting to be given by their children they instead come to your aid kuti batsirikanai nemhuri, that’s amazing.
This is a family and a half. Yes it is good to keep the fire burning but please always call a spade a spade. Kana zvaoma zvinoreva kuti zvaoma. The best you can do is to talk about this openly and let each member give their input.
You are a functional family, this is straight forward. Invite them to a meal or a cup of tea.
You are the big brother and your wife is maiguru there is nothing wrong with approaching your younger brothers to talk about making contributions. Be open tell them you want the best for the kids during the holidays and you cannot do it on your own, they have to play their part too.
Hear their views, you may even come up with a holiday budget. Point out that you want this to continue hence the need for the meeting.
There are three holidays during the year, you can each host the kids per holiday.
Let the other siblings get a feel of this too. If you really want to do it in style you can invite your parents votaurawo. Gogo and sekuru could take them for exit holidays or whatever you want. The idea here is for parents to continue to contribute to the upkeep of their kids even if they are away from home.
Actually that is how it should be if you are a parent, you remain one whether your kids are home or away. To our young parents out there mukaendesa vana kuholiday endesaiwo nezvinovabatsira.
This is life and we need to be realistic musadyire uroyi kunyara. You are a wonderful family you can handle it. Last but not least, I want to salute your parents for bringing you up this way. Always pray for your family, there is immense power in prayer. I wish you all the best, enjoy your family meeting.
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Best friend ripping me off
I hope I find you well. I am a 40-year old married woman with four kids. I am not going to dwell on my family, my issue has nothing to do with them. I feel blessed that I am able to make new friends and still manage to keep old ones.
The one I have a problem with is my childhood friend who has become almost family. She is a very good friend but ane kachitsotsi kakahwanda zvekuti if you do not take a close look you will never know. She is the type of person who plays innocent when she knows she is wrong. If she borrows money she pretends to have forgotten. For you to convince her to pay back you have to go to great lengths proving that she indeed borrowed from you. When we go out camping with family we usually do the “bring and share” method but she brings less even for her own family but chitarisa kudya nekunwa kwavanoita. At times she packs stuff she did not bring into her car. This we noticed but I told my husband that it was too trivial for us to make an issue out of that. She owes me US$200 and for so many months she never said a word about this. Last Christmas I deliberately borrowed $100 from her and she gave me after matsururu chaiwo.
Now my problem is she has been sending texts, emails, etcetera asking me to pay back because she is desperate because of back to school.
My point is has she genuinely forgotten that she owes me more? How do I handle this? I had thought of just ignoring her because she is now getting on my nerves. This time I am determined even if it means the end of our friendship. My husband fully supports me.
Can I tell her husband what is going on? I am tired of being taken advantage of, please help.
Response
I am very well thank you for asking. I agree you are blessed it is not as easy as it sounds to keep childhood friends because so many things change in life for better or for worse. You have done well it would be good to maintain that. I hear your story and it is a very common one. Mind you some people are pennywise and pound foolish. This is another type of greed and selfishness.
People who are self centered and mean should be exposed so that they work on their character. Nyaya ye “bring and share” sounds uptown but yachemedza vakawanda.
Let me say it is not a fair arrangement unless you are dealing with people of integrity. I have had communication where some do not remove all the food stuff from their car boots. This is done on purpose when food and drink is enough then they take theirs back home. If I were in your shoes the best would be to either budget and make equal contributions or bring different things, which will amount to the same value. I think this is a fair deal, it is also important to see the number of children and adults one brings.
When you deal with such people keep them under observation. The other major problem with you and many other people out there is you go in circles when you can simply tell it as it is. Please take the bull by its horns and tell your friend to subtract $100 from what she owes you and then she will only owe you $100. You are both affected by the back to school season so she must act now.
There is no need to tell her husband about this marongerwo enyaya, nemataurirwo adzo mudzimba umu zvinosiyana. Please let sleeping dogs lie.
We encourage couples to be transparent with each other so that they are on the same page all the way. Now that you know her character why not draft a small binding agreement that she signs each time she borrows from you. Do not throw her out in the cold she is still your friend despite her weaknesses. Ingokiya tuma tricks twake she will reform. Remember to also pray for her she needs deliverance from such undesirable character traits. Enjoy your marriages, families and friendships. I wish you all the best.
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My marriage is sinking
MAKADII Mai Chisamba? I follow your column religiously and I hope you will pick my letter this week. I have been married for the past five years, this happened after a two-year courtship. During courtship because of love I used to see some negative aspects my partner had like excessive nagging and mood swings but thought zvichapera.
I headed into my white wedding still hoping for the best. The best never came, but instead she has become worse. I have known no peace since I entered the marriage and I do not know kunakidza kwe marriage. I have tried to correct her but she is adamant and she behaves like the husband in the home and questions everything I suggest.
I am not perfect but she is worse. She does not care about my health, diet or well-being. Whether I eat or not depends solely on me. She does not prioritise us sharing meals as should be the case between man and wife. She does not care about my parents, neither does she listen to her own parents when they try to correct her because of her wayward and stubborn behaviour. I have no plan going forward because I never expected to live such a life once I got married. Her behaviour has really pushed me to the wall. What can be done for my sake? I have learnt that the whole family from her side now call her “musoja” because of her behaviour so for how long can I stay with this person even though she is the mother of my child whom I love dearly.
Response
Thank you so much for reading my column. Courtship is the backbone of a marriage relationship. This is the time where you get to know your would-be spouse before you commit yourself. This is the best time because there are no special responsibilities attached to this that can make you lose focus.
I know at times some of the adages that we have can be misleading, for instance, rinonyenga rinohwarara rinozosimudza musoro rawana. Research shows that if you take your unfinished business from this stage into your marriage it will remain a burden.
Courtship should be a polishing stage not time for pretence. You should have known that the leopard does not change its spots.
You should have worked on those weaknesses back then. It is very sad to hear you say that you have never known the joy of marriage. People get into this lifelong union so that they enjoy true companionship, love and respect; otherwise without this everything comes to naught. Your wife is foolish because she does not listen to anyone from both her side and yours. This is most unfortunate, she is selfish and stubborn. I do not understand how she earned a good nickname like musoja. She is actually the opposite of what a musoja does.
Musoja defends and serves his/her country to the best of their ability and is prepared to die for others. I hear you when you say you love your child but please note that children are not the reason for marriages, although they are part of it. The reasons for staying married are love, respect and sincerity. Children are extras, precious gifts from God. The best for you is to go for professional counselling, it works wonders. She will be helped to turn over a new leaf. She should care for other people, especially the family.
Health and diet are part and parcel of life and special attention should be paid to this. I would be very happy to hear from you, especially after a few sessions. A home like yours is not a good environment for the upbringing of your child. You should do something to better this situation. I wish you all the best.

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