Traditional “damages”: should AKA pay inhlawulo?

On the weekend, a Sunday newspaper reported that some of DJ Zinhle’s family seem to be having trouble accepting her pregnancy by AKA. Some family members are allegedly expecting the South African rapper to pay “damages” for impregnating their daughter. FIRDAUS KHAN takes a look at this cultural practice.

While the request for “damages” may surprise people, it is not an uncommon practice in Zulu culture. Inhlawulo refers to a fine which must be paid to a Zulu family if their daughter is impregnated out of wedlock.

AKA and Zinhle appeared unfazed by the rumours of family discord – with the couple not publicly commenting on the matter of damages. AKA has not discussed the pregnancy on social media at all; DJ Zinhle, however, has opened up about her pregnancy, and and shared pics with her fans on her recently started “mommy blog”, MOMents.

In a post about telling baby-daddy AKA the news, Zinhle details the moment she found out she was pregnant, noting her best friend, Nomndeni’s, reaction. She says Nomndeni knew she was pregnant because she had spilt milk some days before.

“The spilling of milk,” writes Zinhle, “is considered to be a sign that someone in your family or someone close to you is pregnant.” She adds that her best friend knew how much the couple wanted to conceive.

With Zinhle publicly asserting that she and boyfriend AKA were hoping for a baby, does the concept of “damages” still apply? Well, whether or not the couple had planned the pregnancy, according to Zulu culture, AKA must still pay inhlawulo – otherwise the baby cannot bear his surname.

Should AKA pay the inhlawulo or should him and DJ Zinhle create their own traditions for their new family? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

– Featured image: via DJ Zinhle’s blog.