There are some errors we have to correct so we can re-define what “husband material” is.
Probably for the first time in human history, a man is now being defined by how he looks. This definition is now making men focus more on the mirror: clothes and make-up, when in actual fact, men are supposed to be focusing on how they can provide for their families.
For one to be called a husband, he must be able to provide for himself, then for his family. Any man who depends on his parents for “basic things” like food, clothes and shelter doesn’t qualify to be called “husband material”. It simply means he hasn’t gotten there yet.
Every man must be restless until he finds something to do with his own hands. I hear a lot of men saying “I now need to get married”. The worry should be on the provision side not on the marrying side.
I am not saying one should be a millionaire first. A man must have enough to pay for his rent and the basics that his wife might need before he thinks of wanting to get married. If this means selling airtime or selling tomatoes, so let it be.
One of the reasons why the bride price was introduced by our ancestors was to see if a man was able to take care of their girl-child.
The grocery list was introduced to see if he could provide food for their daughter, cattle were demanded to see if he can acquire wealth and money was introduced to see if he has the capacity to trade for necessities on a regular basis.
They never wanted a man who didn’t have any skill or ability to make money to marry. So lobola was a litmus test to see if a man was going to take care of their daughter. It wasn’t introduced to punish men.
A woman must never allow a situation where she is taken to a friend’s house or where she is taken to a maize field. That is where everything goes wrong.
When one starts asking for a sexual relationship, it simply means he can now afford being a father. That demand must correspond with his ability to pay rent, his ability to provide food and make sure his family is secure.
Every woman must always think, “if I become pregnant, where will I go? Does my boyfriend have a place of his own? Can he take care of me?”
This may sound simple but many girls focus on looks to the extent that they forget about these basics. If a man cannot afford to pay for his own rent, he will bring trouble to his own wife.
There are cases abound of women who have been forced to abort because they were impregnated by someone who could not take care of them. There are also cases of parents who are forced to dig into their retirement packages as they take care of their son, who would have impregnated someone – and the child born out of that union.
Female lions will never mate with a male lion that doesn’t have its own territory. Female lions focus on security, not looks. Any male lion which has ambitions must first defeat a male lion that has a territory and a pride of his own.
If this doesn’t happen, female lions will never allow mating to happen. What can we learn from this? Security is the most important thing, not looks. Female lions want a male lion that can defend them from attacks so they want a fighting male lion that can guarantee them that security. They also know that they can hunt from his territory. So having a male with a territory gives them a hunting ground.
I respect a man who has a place of his own, irrespective of location. What is important is that a man must have the capacity to pay for his own rent before he qualifies to have marital ambitions.
There is nothing as humiliating as a woman who is married to a man that is being taken care of by his parents or brothers. Every woman would want to have her own house and make her own laws.
The issue is not about who should earn more. These days some women are earning more than men. What is important, a man must have enough to cover the basics before he thinks of getting married.
If he can afford that he then qualifies to be husband material. Having a wife and children comes with responsibility. Being a husband is the ability to raise children whilst taking care of the wife.
Brian Matsaira is a love and relationships coach and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org