Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wedding Dresses & Million Dollar Dowries

Mbali, center, at her traditional Zulu Wedding to DJ BlackCoffee. Photo Courtesy: Zaronline.

Traditional Sotho Seshweshwe meets Ivory Dreams. 
Photo Courtesy of Designer, Matome Seshoka. As below.
Wedding bells are almost sounding this side of the Atlantic--the summer is famously a busy time for wedding planners. Most western weddings follow the standard bride+groom on wedding cake at rented hall reception formula, but show up at an African wedding and you will definitely leave blown away. A descent hitch by South African standards is at least two days long--at his and her digs. Throw in a western style white reception and you could be looking at a third phat-price tagged day. A cow or something beastly must be slaughtered to give thanks to ancestors and ask for blessings--of course this in addition to the lobola--dowry dude's gotta cough up for his bride. (I've heard figures upward of a million. Em, US Dollars!)

And did I leave out the ever-famous township procession through the streets--white dress and all--bridal party in tow singing "Makoki ke dinako/Well it's time little miss Bride"? If you don't know what I'm talking about these pictures speak for themselves, especially DJ BlackCoffee's Soweto wedding with so much family sharing the limelight. African weddings above all else are about families becoming one. According to our book, you're signing up for the fancy dress and the tipsy uncle who almost painted it afresh with red wine and of-course the nosy mother, ever-dropping in at dinnertime brother, his sweet seven baby sisters and that fresh crop of just-discovered cousins waiting under every success with money you'll encounter. So cheers, Little Ms. Bride. It's All Love!

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