Traditional & Cultural Blend
Getting married to the one that you love is a special and memorable day, but for some comes great responsibility.
I had the privilege to interview Lungisa Cabanga to find out more about their beliefs and traditions when it comes to the engagement, Labola and the wedding.
“I am Tsonga and my fiancé is Xhosa. We both are Christian and we would like to follow the biblical way of doing things, and also build our own type of culture for our own family. In saying that, we do respect and honour our culture as it brought us up. ”
“Well for me, the process started by, calling my side of the family and letting them know that I have seen a flower (my fiancé) and I would like her hand in marriage. The process then was to make contact with the lady’s side of the family (which was done virtually due to the pandemic). So my uncles made contact via a video call to her dad. Noticing him that, my family has seen a flower in their garden. The lady had to also feature in the video, to let her parents know what they were talking about, asking her hand in marriage. She admitted she knew my family. Thereafter, talks of the lobola date were started.”
“Lobola is an African custom that is practised throughout, depending on cultural observations, or what is deemed important by that certain tribe.”
“The payment of bridewealth is most often a matter of social, symbolic and economic reciprocity, being part of a long series of exchanges between the two intermarrying families. It consolidates friendly relations between them, provides a material pledge that the woman and her children will be well treated, symbolizes her worth to the community, and provides a level of compensation to her natal family, for the loss of her labour and company.”
“The price differs from household to household. As the groom, I can only honour what is asked for the bride. And if it is hefty then I would ask my uncles to negotiate it down to what I can afford. In my case, my fiancé’s family was more accommodating. They even wanted to know how much I can afford so as to meet me halfway.”
“There is a special ceremony held by the two families once the lobola negotiations are done and both families are happy. On the day of the final negotiation, both families are invited for a feast by the bride’s family as a sign of celebration and getting to know each other.”
“Besides the lobola, there are other gifts that are shared amongst the two families like blankets, which will go to the mom, dad and uncle of both families. Most cultures welcome or incorporate the bride (makoti) into the new family through song and dance, slaughter a sheep and exchange gifts, blankets and knives.”
“We will be having 2 ceremonies in 1. The matrimonial will be a white wedding and then for the second part of the event we will be wearing Xhosa traditional clothes.”