The month of Ah-ghast is upon us! For my Zimbabwean compatriots, this means wedding season for two reasons:
(1) it is warm enough to wear a wedding dress without having to wear a jacket on top
(2) all the kids are on holiday meaning that you will have flower girls and other such young accessories in your wedding party.
Here are various tips to get you through the month whether you are getting married or not:
1 Attend as many weddings as possible
This is an opportunity for you to meet as many of your relatives, and to copy as many decorations and “steps” as possible but mostly it is so that people can one day attend your wedding. Your parents may not admit to it but they subscribe to a strange type of karma, “he who doesn’t attend the weddings of others doesn’t deserve to have their wedding attended.”
2 Don’t try to be fancy with your menu
As Zimbabweans it is normal to have rice and chicken and sadza and beef stew (all in one plate) as the main course and mabhodhoro eko-kora as the official drink. Some of you children of today have decided that it is beneath you and have decided to prepare things like salmon and other Western things. Relatives and friends (hama neshamwari) let us remember that our uncles from kumusha have come all the way to Harare to attend our special days, how dare we begrudge them of sadza, do you not know that there is no other food that is sufficiently filling? However, these same people eat sadza all the time so you must at least add the rice and chicken, they did come all the way…
3 Accept that your wedding day is not really “your day”
We have all lied to ourselves by watching Western tv and telling ourselves that our wedding days are our day to shine. That is a lie. If you are a cynic like me you will know that weddings cost money and most newlyweds don’t have a lot of money 😦 The great financial responsibility therefore weighs on either the bride or groom’s family. It is time to accept that your mother in law will be paying for your wedding dress and therefore she will be the one who gets to decide whether you walk down the aisle in a strapless dress or a princess style dress, remember that her mom in law probably did the same and she is using this opportunity to either exact vengeance or live vicariously through you. If you want things to go well for you, submit to the process!
If you are an usher/food server/ MC, remember that there will be at least one person who wants wants to be served first because they are the bride’s uncle’s cousin’s cousin’s brother (I don’t get it either). For the sake of your own sanity, this person is probably not related to the bride at all, or the groom for that matter. A simple test is to look at the sitting plan – the bride and groom’s immediate families are usually located next to “the high table” and the madzisekuru will also be sitting close by.
5 Know the difference between a wedding and a muchato
According to my dear father, a wedding consists of enough food, a smooth running “program” and general comfort, whilst a muchato is characterised by the opposite. Please be sure which event you’ll be attending before you go. For instance, at a muchato there might not be enough seats, therefore take your zambia with you as you might be asked to give up your seat to an adult. I know that this is confusing as you think you’re already an
adult, never worry, I will explain this to you – you are only an adult once you are married, no matter how old you are.
6 Don’t hit on a girl at a wedding
Again, I say, some of you have been ruined by Western TV, this business of meeting girls at a wedding is not your portion. You’ve spotted the girl and you make eye contact – she’s pretty and she’s smiling at you and so you think, what the hell, time to turn my swag on. What you haven’t remembered is that Zimbo weddings are usually family affairs, therefore the guy sitting beside her is not her friend, he is her father, brother, cousin or
uncle. Are you sure you want to start that drama? The poor girl will probably feel embarrassed at best or get grounded at worst. Please (I beg) keep your affections to yourself.
Other than these few suggestions, I encourage you to attend as many weddings as possible, who knows, you might even enjoy the rice/chicken/sadza/beef and dance to some Tongai Moyo with your long lost cousins!