Wedding bells ringing the loudest these days helps
Re-A-Nyalana rise in marriages
BY NEO KOLANTSHO
There was a steady increase in the number of Batswana tying the knot from the year 2018 to 2021, according to the 2021 marriage statistical brief.
2021 recorded the highest number of marriages in the past 10 years (20122021) with the numbers increasing from 6 518 to 7 631, an increase of 17.1 percent from the year 2020 to 2021 and 90.3 percent of these marriages, were first time marriages for both bride and groom.
Most marriages were registered in the Kweneng East District followed by Serowe and Gaborone. The years 20202021 was a period when the Covid-19 pandemic was causing havoc worldwide; however, through observation, it was evident that many people were getting married.
During that time, newlyweds were mocked by those who believed that people were taking advantage of the restricted movements during the pandemic to tie the knot and avoid wedding expenses.
At the time government was restricting gatherings to only 16 people and, in some instances, even prohibiting consumption of cooked food being served to prevent transmission of the virus as eating meant taking off face masks.
The 2021 Botswana statistics marriage report reveals that age wise, more women than men married at younger ages of under 35 years and more men than women, married at older ages of 35 years and over. About 70 percent of brides were aged below 40 years.
More men were getting married for the first time at an older age because of the “Re a nyalana programme,” which is aimed at reducing cohabitation, by encouraging partners who have been living together without any formal documentation to formalise their union through common law marriage.
Most of these partners are elderly people who decided to live together and not bother about marriage largely because they did not have enough funds to pay Magadi and other wedding expenses.
The Re a Nyalana initiative which was conceptualised in 2010 has seen over 7 000 marriages solemnised, an indication that the programme contributes significantly to the increasing numbers of people getting married in the country.