After the woman died due to complications during childbirth, her relatives forced her young partner to pay the “lobolo”, warning that she would not be buried otherwise.
The relatives accused the young man of failing to fulfil his obligations, including being introduced to the woman’s relatives, before the tragedy occurred.
To ensure that the funeral took place, the young man says he had to buy clothes and shoes for his dead wife, agree to pay more than $800 (£630), and hold a symbolic wedding ceremony on 15 December.
A brother to the young man, Irmao do Jovem, explained their dilemma:
We tried to raise the money they demanded, but we could only put together about $178. So we had to sign a pledge promising to pay the remaining amount on wedding day, December 15th.”
While the man’s family has conceded to the demands, they condemned the behaviour of the dead woman’s relatives.
However, this is a common practice among some ethnic groups in Mozambique, especially if a man decides to live with a woman, without going through all the marriage formalities.