Is there a connection between a country’s economic status and romantic relations? A funny question right. It was after listening to a Twitter Space held by 263Chat titled ‘Too broke to date‘ early this week when I realized, the Zimbabwean economy has led to relationship problems.
What does it mean to be broke? By the book, being broke means ‘having completely run out of money’ like zilch. In the streets, being broke means the inability to provide the nice things your woman wants. It is common knowledge that for one not to be ‘broke’, there is need for a means of generating income. This points to either a employment or hustling . In this current Zimbabwean setup, those who have degrees are roaming around the streets buying and selling whatever they get their hands on. The newly termed ‘NgwaVendor’ (hustling and vending). On the flip side, those in offices cry foul as they spend 8 hours a day cracking their heads only to get peanuts. Do not get me started on the rate and the constant price hikes. I then have an ask, are Zimbabwean young men broke, stingy or the environment is so stiff not allowing them to grow financially?
Dating is a stage of romantic relationships in which two individuals engage in activity together, most often with the intention of evaluating each other’s suitability as a partner in a future intimate relationship. Specifically, dating is all about getting to know someone romantically, while being in a relationship means that dating partners have already committed to one another and intend to (hopefully) cultivate their connection at least for the time being. However in my country dating means being in an exclusive relationship with someone. Not seeing any other individual.
‘Dating’ in Zimbabwe
So can we say that the 90s generation is ‘too broke to date’? Well we see ‘majava’ being posted almost every weekend meaning people are making money out there. This also has created a certain pressure as this has become more of a competition on social media. Who posts the most prettiest pictures? Who is the best dressed? Who paid more lobola? Who was valued the most by their lover? Not to be ageist, but we have kids parading as wives and husbands before they are ready. No wonder the high rate of divorce. It is after 3-6 month one realizes ‘what a mistake the marriage was’. In this ‘sleepover’ generation, things are done so quick that having principles and standards might have you termed ‘uncool’. I once saw a meme that was saying the 90s kids are still sane and normal because they started with sherbet and freezits whereas the ‘ama200’ went straight to shisha and ciders. Funny but true.
So how does one date when they earn less? How does one date when their salary barely enables them to transport back to work? How do we date when the rate keeps changing? How does one date when the demands from the partner are so unrealistic and hard to reach. Do we even date at all. Well let me tell you this, ‘mjolo’ becomes the order of the day. The lying, the cheating which is sadly resulting in death both literally and figuratively. Literally, case study ‘Boss Pango’ and Samantha. Figuratively, the economic hardships in Zimbabwe have created a generation so broken. Damaged. Shuttered. A generation with happy pictures but sad realities.