My baby sis sent me a whatsapp with a ring on her hand. I screamed. haha!! That is what big sisters are supposed to do right? I had to call to confirm that my screaming was valid. IT WAS!!! Boyfriend at that time had proposed.
I tell you, We went into planning mode. How was this going to happen? Where was it going to be? Oh my goodness, daddy is in heaven. He would have been so happy. But this was going down. It was going to be a somewhat not traditional wedding.
“A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.”Dave Meurer
My sis is the planner in our family. She is the finance guru of the family. She manages us. haha!! If you do not want to spend your money, give it to her. I am serious. It took me 6 months of begging for her to give me back my money which I had given to her for safekeeping. I had to give a valid reason as to why I wanted it and the only reason she allowed was that I was putting it in my savings account. Then and only, did she send my money-but nop,it was not to me. It was to the savings account that I could not access for awhile. Sigh! Thanks Pam.
She planned her wedding to the T with us just chipping in here and there. She and my other sis are definitely planning mine. They know me. They know what I want. Girls, no there will be no heels!! Kapisce!
Then we hit a snag. The snag was called Lango culture. In our culture, the boy writes a letter to the girls dad stating his intention. Since daddy was in heaven, he wrote it to my uncle Nick. Thank you Uncle. Once that was done, we received it. Haha! We are three girls and one boy. Then Mummy and Then Aunt Semmy. Let’s just say we are a family of very powerful and independent women. Our parents raised us so.
We started planning so where was the introduction going to be-it kept shifting between the Kampala home and the Agwata home. Agwata is my upcountry home. Mummy wanted it upcountry and well, mummy gets what she wants. Now how are we doing the dowry? Daddy had already said He did not want any dowry paid since he is not selling his daughters but ooohhh wwwooo!! the hullabaloo that come up.
Relatives were so not amused and demanded that dowry be paid. I mean this was an Engineer with a Masters degree,international at that. Did the boy know what people went through to have this girl educated? It is is funny people come and say that. The last I checked it was daddy and mummy who paid all school fees, who looked after us and they did not want dowry soooo..eeeehh…mmmhhh
They therefore unleashed the cultural demands
- A cock that was meant to bless the umblical cord from where she was. Wwhhaatt??!! I forbid. And yes, I forbid it. I put on my first born rights and refused such
- Three goats and they had better be healthy for the grandmothers. That was ok,right?
- A hoe and a lamp. Apparently the girl who would have been providing labour for the farm was going so she had to be replaced. The lamp was for light at night
- Paraffin- five litres for the lamp
- 12 cows or was it bulls? Because she is educated. Apparently the more educated, the more cows
- Gomesis- traditional wear for the aunties. You do not want to know how many aunties
- Suits- full suits for the uncles
- A Nywalber- Nywalber means giving birth is good. This is those hhhuuugggeee saucepans. You know those ones..
- The list went on……..
These were the non-negotiables. The others was whatever he wanted to appreciate the family with. Haha! Marriage is not cheap in my culture. The boy gotta have dime!!
Anyway, daddy had said no so that was all wiped out. The uproar!!! so we compromised: The grandmothers would get their goats, we would choose three aunties to bless and one uncle for a full suit. No cows. A hoe and Lamp- My mum had no need for it but she loves entertaining so she was like I would prefer serving dishes. Nywalber also got tossed out because she has many. And that was that!! It was simple and to the point.
We first had what is called Arango. It is supposed to be the boys family meeting the girls family. It was very simple. No hassle! Yikes,I lie. This is my family we are talking about. We do not do simple. We had a tent,decoration,cake, amazing food. I mean like really but it was such a non-formal and casual way of meeting Philip’s family. I really loved that. I think it is from there that I fell in love with his family.
His dad became our Uncle Daddy. Hi, Uncle Daddy!!! It is also at this meeting that my mum and aunt and sister discussed with the Philips dad and Uncle the terms. You are wondering where the men are. Well, my daddy was in heaven but we were here so we had to make clear the stance of the family and it was that no dowry but since relatives were adamant on a few things, we allowed them. They were simple things. We ofcourse had a cousin brother represent the elders and another cousin acted as a go-between. No wahala!!
A somewhat not traditional wedding
Before we knew it, traditional wedding day was upon us. It was exciting. There was so much going on. Decorations, food. My mum was on top of everything. She is a fantastic planner. Then it was time. We had a beautiful day blessed by the Bishop of Lango Diocese starting us off with a prayer and sermon. Before we knew it was time, for the girls to come out and show themselves. Pamela outdid herself. she had three different outfits: One was representative of the Baganda culture:where Philip is from, another was a showcasing the Ugandan,actually East African Fabric: Kikoy and last was the an all round style.
We later welcomed Philip into the family and he was presented with a handmade chair and their marriage was prayed over.Then the gifts came. Philip and family outdid themselves. let’s just say that they appreciated our family so very well. I even got a victoria secret’s body splash set amongst other things. My mum- bambi webale nnyo Philip, you made my mum very very happy.
Next it was now our turn to gift his family. In our culture, the girls family gifts the boys family some things usually food items so that they are well fed and the girl can cook for her new family. So we gave our Uncle Daddy a goat, sacks of peanuts and rice, a bucket of peanut butter- he loves peanut butter and ofcourse a chair. We then gave them clay pots from the ground of Lango and shea butter made by our family to the entire entourage. It was such a happening time. The day was done and now the dancing and bbq could start. Pamela and Philip were traditionally married. Now time to plan the church wedding.
Marriage is a beautiful thing. I wish everyone who desires it to receive it. In the bible, Proverbs 18:22,” He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Men, may you find your good thing and Women, may you be found.
In the name of Jesus, I decree and declare that this generation is going to see kingdom marriages. Marriages that will change the mindset of this generation, marriages that are founded on God and based on true and unconditional agape love.
I pray that each person will come to know their purpose so that when they meet their one, their purposes are aligned impacting themselves, their family and the communities.
I come against the plans of the enemy to keep these couples apart and destroy their marriages. I cover their marriages in the precious blood of Jesus. I speak joy, love, gentleness, kindness, companionship, best friends forever, romance, hot fiery passionate and creative lovemaking. Hallelujah! Amen
It is Day 4 of the Afrobloggers digital storytelling Festival. We are in the week of Fashion and Culture. Tell us- How is the marriage proceedings in your culture?