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© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard


Zion weddings are no different from those described in the sections on Traditional Life Cycle events. They are either Setswana or Sekgoa (English) weddings. The female Secretary for Kanana was married in 1981 to a Moruti from her church and she had a Setswana Wedding - her mother's Bogadi had not yet been cooked for (lomipi) so they could not have a Sekgoa wedding.

The sister-in-law of the B.U.C.Z. Moruti  married a Kanana Moruti in 1980, and they had a Sekgoa wedding. The Evangelist of Africa married an Episcopal girl that same year and they too had a Sekgoa wedding.

These weddings showed that Zionists are still subject to the same traditional practices and customs in weddings. Bogadi (bridewealth) is given and received, traditional beer is brewed and presented and drunk (though not by Zionists) etc. However Zionist church Zionist Holy Water, instead of traditional medicine, is used by a Zionist family to protect the cooking pots and it should be noted that Holy Water could be used to "help a person to be married". One of my informants from B.U.C.Z. borrowed an empty bottle from me to collect Holy Water that she needed to use to protect her from the sorcery that she had been told during prophecy was preventing her from being married. She had to "wash" with a little bit every day, sprinkling some onto her hands and then rubbing it over her face. This was in September 1978. The following year, 1979 she did not return to school as she was pregnant and had moved to the home of the father of the child-to-be from where the baby was born that year. In 1981 she became pregnant again but unfortunately had a miscarriage at 8 months due to sorcery. By now she lived with her future in-laws and by the end of 1982 the marriage had still not taken place. (To live with in-laws whilst being  unmarried is most unusual but in this case it was to “escape” the danger from sorcery to which she was subject within her kgotla.)

In October 1982 one of the Evangelists at B.U.C.Z. married a church member by a Sekgoa wedding, the wedding celebration commenced at the bride's home on a Friday. The previous night a special Ditapelo (prayers) service was held at the groom's home, where the couple were put in the centre and prophesied This can perhaps be compared with the way in which a traditional doctor is called to divine when a couple first show they would like to marry.


Married women from groom’ kgotla go to bride’s kgotla to“Ask for a wife”

Bogadi(bridewealth) being brought by groom’s male relatives to bride’s kgotla

Couple may only have a Sekgoa (English) wedding if both their parent’s wedding customs have been completed i.e. their respective Malome’s(maternal uncles) have slaughtered a cow and the respective couples have worn the lomipi or wedding veil (see section on Weddings for details)

New bride is brought with her possessions, to her husband’s home by her female married relatives.

(For further details on traditional marriage/wedding customs and practices, see section on Traditional Weddings)