Every weekend baby shops around the city are always crowded with ladies buying gifts not forgetting liquor shops for beverages to keep the vibe at the showers. The suitable name for these showers could be social profitable gatherings as they always benefit from them tremendously. These are done in favor of the honored person who in most cases is done to top up what she already has. They range from a baby shower, bridal shower, bedroom top up, and the new emerging ones; grocery top up and toiletry top up.
One most common social gathering is called baby shower, which is done for the first time mother who doesn’t know about motherhood. This is normally done by family and friends of the honored mother. They contribute money for presents, invites and food at the shower. A baby shower is basically a party people have for expecting mothers. Initially it was made for the first time mother who was given advice on how to take care of a baby and showered with gifts.
In an interview with a couple of ladies who once organized and attended these showers, Oratile Monthe, a student at limkokwing said that bridal shower and bedroom top up still have a meaning as compared to a baby shower. “As for the baby shower, honestly it no longer has value. People do not attend it to shower the baby or the mother with presents, but rather go there to have fun which does not favor the honored mother”, said Monthe.
She further said, “Batho ga ba tlhabiwe ke ditlhong go attenda baby shower ba sa tshola present mme ba tshotse six pack ya biri or cider”. (People are not ashamed of attending a baby shower without a present but rather come with a six pack of beer or cider).
This shows how baby showers have lost meaning and how a few people are still loyal to them. The whole purpose is to shower the mother and a baby with gifts, other fun fillers will follow. Nowadays even a mother of three can be made a baby shower which really is more into motshelo (fund raising) as she already knows how to raise a child.
Zandile Dube, a fourth year student at ub said that the ideology and the theory behind these showers were actually good. She said that, “if there were only meant for their initial purpose to help and socialize, and not what people use them for, for example to abuse use by instructing things they want, they would still be tolerable”.
In a case of other new showers, that is grocery top up and toiletry top up, people seem to be confused and some are reluctant to attend as they believe they are being exploited.
“I can do with a baby shower and a bridal shower only”, said Tshepiso Kgwaadira, an accountant at Debswana Shared Services.
However, Katlego Tlhagwane an employee at Ministry of Finance said despite all the other new showers and many others who are still yet to come they tend to go with the flow but it kills them financially. “I tolerate a baby shower and a bridal shower but these others have become costly. Imagine you know many people and you have little or no income at all, it becomes a burden rather than enjoyment,” said Tlhagwane.
The hostess usually invites who the honored mother wants invited, and it’s fine to have multiple showers, say, one for co-workers, one for friends, one for church. Phone calls or invites are becoming more accepted ways of announcing a shower, but the printed or hand-written invitation is still the norm.
Even though these showers have gained popularity some people still view it as being selfish especially when it involves a working person. Also the choice that is involved in these showers draws some people away, for example the honored person choosing a shop or certain products she wants people to buy for her, unlike people choosing and buying what they can afford. Every lady has different kinds of products she uses; to get someone a gift for a toiletry party is going to inconvenience both the honored person and invited person, its either she gets what she affords which might not be the products you are using or she spends more to honor the invite.
The question still rises to whether grocery top ups and toiletry parties are necessary?