The word Bona has its root in the Mandingo dialect. It literary means family residence, a house, or a dwelling place.
Traditional Meaning & Practice.
The title Bona symbolizes chastity or a virgin. Only female family members receive the Bona title. Fofana-Nyei families, or Muslim parents, consider it a pride, joy, and honor to raise a girl child properly, teach her to cook, take care of the home and husband, and future children, and most importantly, marry as a chaste or virgin. Fofana and Nyei families usually add Bona to the given name of female children. If the child’s given name is Fatu or Massey or Setmuteh, the family will call her Bona Fatu, Bona Setmuteh, Bona Massey, to name a few examples.
Religious Meaning & Practice.
Various religions, including Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, encourage chastity and discourage fornication by men and women. Islam, popularly practiced by the Fofana-Nyei families, considers sexual intercourse outside of marriage as sinful. And except the sinners repent and ask Allah for mercy and forgiveness, they may be punished by Allah here or on the day of judgment.
Advantages of Living Up to the Bona Title.
Many good things can come out of practicing chastity or living up to the expectation of holding the Bona title. Here are, however, three that stand out.
The first is that being chaste is an honor code of moral conduct and a magnate to other families, especially Islamic families who cherish, respect, and desire to marry a virgin woman. In other words, it’s easier to find a husband in most societies when a woman is a virgin than when she is not a virgin
The second is that abstaining from sexual activities before we marry makes us truthful and honest believers and followers of what the Quran or the Bible commands us to do. Only Allah, and not Satan, is our guide.
The third is not having children out of wedlock. While unchastity seems widely practiced in open and promiscuous societies, the social impact on our communities and the world is reaching a crisis point. And most families, especially religious-minded singles, who want to put God first in their relationship, are drawing closer to those who cherish and practice chastity and morality. The internet is replete with sites that focus on bringing religious singles together into matrimony.