‘God gave watches to white people, and gave time to black people’


I had to officiate over a marriage ceremony on SAT 28 May. This was my first experience. According to the invites, the wedding was going to start at 9am. The traditional belief in Zulu context is that it’s never the groom who’s late but the bride. I called the bride on FRID to ascertain what time she wants me to be at the Dam. She said, latest by 11am. So I accepted and off we went to the Dam. We waited from 10:50…11:30…12:30…and only at 13:20 that the bride and groom’s convoy showed-up. So I was once again reminded of the saying blacks use to justify their lack of punctuality. They say ‘God gave watches to white people, and gave time to black  people‘. The first time I heard the saying was at college in 2013. I was among a group of students who were very late for a preaching appointment at an evening service. The white Lecturer who’s travelling with apologized, saying: ‘I can now understand why Africans never say the preacher is late. Instead they say he’s delayed…for this very fact that they only have the time. Lord, help us!