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Fortune Mguni as socially known by the pseudonym Fofo is an entrepreneur who ventured into events planning, artist management and promotion. He’s the founder and C.E.O of Imicimbi Ka Fofo Management (IKF Management).

Recently he paid lobola for his fiancée Nomvelo Ndlovu in Cowdray Park and what got the attention of the community was the traditional wedding setup. Lobola day celebrations are now common through the whole of Zimbabwe and these two love birds took the whole thing to new level with their unique setup and attires.

“Traditional weddings are tops these days…I’m sure a lot of people will be interested.”

Fortune Mguni aka Fofo

You are not the only one who might be asking himself/herself – What exactly is a traditional wedding ? Well, In a traditional wedding, the bride and groom invite all of their family and friends. … During the ceremony, the bride and groom vow their love and commitment for one another with traditional-provided vows. These traditional vows include wearing of traditional attires and not limited to the paying of Lobola.

What is lobola?

Lobola is a word used in Silozi, Zulu, Xhosa, Swazi, Northern and Southern Ndebele to either mean bride price or bride wealth. It has to do with the property or cash that a prospective husband gives the head of a potential wife’s family when considering a customary marriage.

What is the origin of lobola?

The tradition of lobolo is said to have been in practice since 300 BC, and it was seen as a token of honor paid to a chosen woman who would build the home. Based on the history of lobola, part of the reasons why it was practiced was to form an alliance with the other family. Then, lobola can also be seen as a token of appreciation of the efforts of the parents of a bride for raising a woman for the groom.

The generally accepted payment in a lobola, as said earlier, is cows. It was only recently that the monetary equivalent of it is now being considered. How many cows are in a lobola? In determining the number of cows that would be considered as the worth of the new bride, there are some factors that are put into consideration. In those days, if a bride-to-be is still a virgin, the prospective groom would pay more, but if she has a child out of wedlock, the payment automatically reduces.

Besides, a few other factors include the financial means of the prospective spouses, the education level of the prospective bride, and the social status of the bride’s family. But then, irrespective of the number of cows or amount that are demanded, there is room for lobola negotiations. This means that the negotiation prowess of the representatives has a lot to do with how many cows or an equivalent cash value that would be paid eventually.

What is the significance of lobola?

The main reason for which lobola is practiced is hinged on building relationships between the families of the prospective bride and groom since marriage is beyond a union between two individuals. And the good thing about it all is that the relationship is considered to be a life-long one, which is why in some cases, even after the groom had died, somehow, the widow remains bound to the family of the groom. This is obtainable, especially when children have been born into the marriage.

Lobola procedures

There is an organized process that lobola ceremony follows, and that begins with scheduling a meeting by the groom family with the bride’s family. If the groom is to be is accepted, the groom, together with his uncles, would visit the family of the bride. Once there, an entrance price or gift would be presented, and in the absence of the groom, the negotiation would begin. This negotiation may take months before it is finalized, and it is usually between the uncles of both families.

Once the number of cows demanded is named, the bride’s family would also state the price of each cow and multiply it by the number of cows in demand (if they are considering money). After that, the groom’s representatives would convey the information to the groom that he either has to agree to or beg his uncles to negotiate on his behalf.

What happens after lobola negotiations?

The moment the final lobola price is agreed upon, the uncles of the groom would meet with the family of the bride and arrange for the payment. After that is done, the groom becomes a part of the bride’s family, and a party would be thrown. Also, the bride would be presented to the family of the groom when they are having the ‘hand-over’ ceremony, and lastly, they would then arrange for the marriage.

What to wear on your lobola day

In those days, the occasion was not a big style affair as the couple sees the white wedding to be the real deal, which makes everyone to reserve his or best until then. But today, it is no longer like that as the trend has changed. People want to give the day its best shot and make it as glamorous as possible. Some even go to the extent of having a uniform at lobola ceremonies. Everyone is embracing traditional attires, at least, to showcase who they are. So, to give your day a special touch and make the memory resonate in the minds of people, opting for a traditional outfit will definitely not be a bad idea.

Fofo (Left) & Nomvelo (Right)

Well-done to IKF for organizing the traditional wedding together with Royal Sensation, their classy touch went un noticed. From the look of things we waiting for the big day and they are promising one of the biggest and classy white weddings there is to see.

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