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© 2020 Dr Margaret Sheppard

ZCC Wedding Service

This wedding had started at the ZCC Church in Lobatse and had then continued over two days at the bride’s home Mmathethe. This was the final part of the wedding centred on the groom’s home in Lotlhakane.  At about 2.30pm the groom and his procession (his wedding choir and his attendants) processed out of his family’s kgotla to meet the bride and her similar procession “half way”. They were dressed in bridal clothes as for a Sekgoa (English) wedding, except that many of the Z.C.C. men attendants were wearing special Z.C.C. black blazers trimmed with green braid and with large Z.C.C. Badges on the breast pockets. The old women were ululating in the traditional manner to greet the bride and her family.

The bridegroom’s procession organising to meet and welcome the bride and her procession, as is traditional, “half way”.

Arrival of the bride and her procession with her choir. This part of the wedding is the same as Sekgoa (English) weddings. (See section on Weddings for fuller explanation and meaning of “white dress”.)

The bride is “given” to her husband, the processions then combine and the two choirs lead continuing to sing, back to the Groom’s home

On arrival, the bridal couple, Best man and bridesmaids are seated in an outdoor enclosure, the bride’s relatives are seated inside the specially decorated lolwapa (mud-walled sitting area around the house. A short ZCC service followed, welcoming the bride and her family and praying for the couple. The speeches and prayers of this are interesting as they are comparable to the words a traditional doctor is reputed to use whilst doctoring a couple - i.e. cursing those who might part the couple. Here it is not Badimo who will punish such people, but God.

Everyone wants to see the bride!

After the service the bridal couple and attendants are seated inside the house where they are served with the bridal feast. Her family are served in the lolwapa.

While they are eating, the two choirs take it in turns to sing and dance outside. They are in turn served with the wedding feast.

After eating, the bridal couple are led out in the traditional way - the woman at the front leads singing  and clapping the rhythm of “Ula-ley”

The bridal party then pose for their photographs, before being led out to listen to their choirs. They are then led back into the house where they change into their “change clothes” before being led out again to listen to the choirs. This part also has the function of showing the bride to her new home, stating they are married and no one should come between the couple - a sentiment  stressed by the Moruti (Church leader)  during the short service on her arrival

The bridal couple in their “change” outfits  listening to their choirs singing the wedding songs. The choir singing continued until about 8.30 p.m. by which time both choirs had been fed. Then the bride’s choir and her relatives  left with the bride.