The question should be, were our great grandparents rapists? Of course not! They were very hard-working and committed people. Their lives revolved around milking cattle, educating children and carrying out the noble activity of Guterura.
In short, for those of you who don’t know, Guterura, which means “to carry”, is a cultural practice where a man identifies a woman as his future wife.
Then, without her knowledge, whisks her to his home with the help of his friends and relatives. After a while, he goes back to her family and negotiates for her hand in marriage.
When you read through the above definition, you may start to wonder about the archaic culture Guterura is and whether it still occurs in this day and age.
To answer your questions, yes, it still happens and despite that, I proudly tell you that Guterura is not as evil as people want you to believe.
It may unfortunately have mutated into something not nice, whereby some twisted men simply carry it out to fulfill their sexual lusts, but the original Guterura was never about sex.
As a matter of fact, it was not allowed for a man to have sex with the woman he carried until he secured her hand in marriage.
Most of these marriages were intended to last forever; and since the boy’s parents were involved in the search for the girl, marriages were blessed with perfection, based on good conduct and hard work in the family.
Besides that, the girl may be kept in bliss till that fateful day, but the other members of her family knew what was going on. The only way a boy handled a successful Guterura, is when he allied with members of the girl’s family.
Therefore, there was the element of knowledge, which completely separates the practice from other forms of gender insensitivities like rape.
On top of that, girls were required to keep their virginity, knowing that one day; they would be carried to their secret hubbies who would fall in love with them even the more if they were virgins.
Look at the way things are now; sadly, people perform all these movie stunts of romantically proposing, cyber dating and so on hoping to find true love. When they get married, their relationships last only a few months.
We are a very unlucky generation I tell you! We are blessed with material things, but at the same time, our eyes are blinded and our hearts emptied.
People everywhere prefer riches to love. It is no longer like our ancient culture when the opposite was true. It is now easy to tell why relationships from Guterura lasted longer than today’s superficial ones.
Although I reluctantly admit that some people have mutated it into some bizarre practice, the original Guterura is something I proudly associate myself with.
Just like Gusaba should not equate to buying a wife, Guterura, in the same way must not be put in the same sentence as rape.