I recently attended a friends engagement or Umembeso in zulu. It was held in the rural area of Umzumbe in a place called Cabane.
The tent was decorated perfectly. I loved zulu traditional and how systematically comes about. First the family was greeted at the entrance to the house of Nombuso.
Here permission was granted to enter (after a few beers of course). A lot of singing and dancing took place and then the exchange of gifts between both families.
Nombuso and two other girls were then brought to Ruaan’s family. The girls were each covered with blankets and Ruaan’s mom had to choose who the correct Nombuo was. They chose the wrong one at first and they had to pay money over to Nombuso’s family. After choosing the correct Nombuso, she was dressed by her family (behind blankets) while we all waited.
After a short while, Nombuso was revealed dressed smartly. The ceremony then took place. After the ceremony, a traditional dance took place where money was pinned to Nomuso and her attire. Numbuso and Ruaan then had to do a traditional dance (with others). Once they had completed their dance, the school boys did a dance, followed by dancers dressed in blue. The final dance was done by 20-30 zulu Impi dancers. There were two highlights for me that I feel need mentioning. One was the speech by the master of ceremony – he said that 20 years ago, it was a crime for white and black people to have a relationship with one another and that a true democracy has taken place in South Africa. (the event took place on 27 April). The final highlight was the Impi Dancers – they are super fit and can lift their legs higher than I have seen any being do before. Congratulations Nombuso and Ruaan. Here are a few pictures from the day.