The expectation and arrival of a baby has always played a significant role in many societies across the globe. For simple reasons, babies are perceived as blessings from God. Hence, there is the need to shower the mother-to-be and her unborn baby with gifts and advice in preparation for welcoming, not only the bundle of joy, but also the new additional member into the family. The article is based on data that were collected from baby showers in greater Gaborone over a period of twelve months. The concept of Botho/Ubuntu cuts across as one of the major initiatives that drive baby showers. The goal of this paper is to establish what baby showers entail, how these initiatives started and how they are conducted. But most importantly, the paper will argue that baby showers are a community building initiative in the urban space. The paper seeks to establish the extent to which baby showers are gendered, using analytical insights from the theory of the “good mother”.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
A Long Term Vision for Botswana 2016. [Online]. Available: http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/cpsi/unpan033260.pdf. [Accessed 2018 February 2].
Amanze James. 2002. African Traditional Religions and Cultures in Botswana: A Comprehensive Textbook. Gaborone: Pula Press.
“Baby Shower”. [Online]. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/baby-shower. [Accessed: 2016 February 24].
Biko Steve. 1978. Towards True Humanity in South Africa. London: Bowerdean Press.
Cheal David. 1988. The Gift Economy. London: Routledge.
Deszcz-Tryhubczak J. and Marecki M. 2015. “Understanding Motherhood as Maturation: Maternity Scripts in Lois Lowry’s Son.” Child Lit Educ 46:190ff.
Dube Musa W. Kgalemang M. Kebaneilwe M.D. Motswapong E.P. Mmolai S.K. Gabaitse R Kuswani-Ntloedibe S. Setume Senzokuhle D. Sesiro Doreen. Modie-Moroka Tirelo. 2016. “Botho/Ubuntu and Community Building in the Urban Space: An Exploration of Naomi Laban Bridal and Baby Showers in Gaborone/Botho/Ubuntu Project” Proposal Submitted to Nagel Institute. USA.
Dube Musa. W. 2006. “On Becoming Healing-Teachers of African Indigenous Religion/s in HIV&AIDS Prevention” in I.A. Phiri and S. Nadar (Eds.). African Women Religion and Health: Essays in Honor Mercy Amba Ewudziwa Oduyoye. Maryknoll NY: Orbis pp131–156.
Dube Musa W. 2008. A Theology of Compassion in the HIV&AIDS Era. Geneva: WCC.
Dundes Alan. 1999. International Folkloristic Lanham. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc.
Fischer Eileen and Gainer Brenda. 1993. “Baby Showers: A Rite of Passage in Transition” in Leigh McAllister and Michael L. Rothschild (Eds.). NA - Advances in Consumer Research Provo UT: Association for Consumer Research. 20:320-324.
Fischer Eileen and Stephen J. Arnold 1990. “More Than a Labor of Love: Gender Roles and Christmas Gift Shopping.” Journal of Consumer Research 17:333-345.
Friedan Betty. 2013 (1963). The Feminine Mystique. 3rd Edition. New York: W. W. Norton Company.
Hays Sharon.1996. The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood. New Haven CT: Yale.
Krane Julie and Davies Linda. 2007. “Mothering under Difficult and Unusual Circumstances: Challenges to Working with Battered Women.” Affilia Journal of Women and Social Work 22 (1):23-38.
Magesa Larenti. 1997. African Religion: The Moral Traditions of Abundant Life. New York: Orbis Books.
Mbiti John. S. 1969. African Religions and Philosophy. London: Heinemann.
Miller Tina. 2005. From Motherhood to Mothering: The Legacy of Adrienne Rich’s Of Woman Born. New York: SUNY Press.
Moloi Lesedi. 2006. Celebrating Womanhood through Baby Showers in Botswana: The Case of Gaborone. University of Botswana. Unpublished Dissertation.
Montemurro Beth. 2006. Origins of Bridal Showers and Bachelorette Parties Something Old. Something Bold. New Brunswick NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Neyer K. 2006. “What Happens at a Baby Shower?” [Online]. Available: https://www.families.com/blog/what-happens-at-a-baby-shower [Accessed 2016 February 24].
Porter Michael and Kelso Julie (Eds.). 2006. Theorising and Representing Maternal Realities. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholar Publishing.
Robinson Janice. 2000. Pride and Joy: African American Baby Celebrations. New York: Diane Pub Co.
Ruddick Sue.2001. “Making Connections between Parenting and Peace.” Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering 3(2):7–20.
Setiloane Gabriel. 1975. The Image of God among the Sotho-Tswana. Rotterdam: A. A. Balkema.
Sherry John 1983. “Gift Giving in Anthropological Perspective.” Journal of Consumer Research. 10(2): 157-168.
“Significance of Baby-Shower” in India Parenting [Online]. Available: http://www.indiaparenting.com/occassions/345-4880/significance-of-baby-shower.html [Accessed 2016 February 24].
Van Gennep Arnold. 1960. The Rites of Passage. Trans. M.B. Vizedom and G.L. Caffee. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.