A Zambian Kitchen Party
Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD. Proverbs 19:14
Getting married is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. Not only does she get to bring her long time vision to life, but she gets to share that vision with her family and friends. In many cultures, there are so many different events that have to occur prior to the wedding day. If you are from Africa, you know weddings are a big deal and the level of planning involved is ridiculous.
In Zambia, the official engagement involves the groom’s family going over to the bride’s family where they would bring ‘kambale’ which translates to a plate. Inside the plate would be some money that they would offer to the bride’s family to show their interest in having the daughter in marriage. As the day of the wedding draws closer, then comes ‘matebeto’ – this is where the bride’s family prepares over ten different types of dishes and takes them over to the groom’s family for tasting – this is to show that they can cook. The bride is not allowed to attend this event.
Next up before the big day is the kitchen party – this is a traditional Zambian bridal shower. At the kitchen party, the bride is usually led in by an aunt and the ‘Nachimbusa,’ this is the person that the bride spends most of her time with before the wedding, learning everything she needs to know about being a good wife from cooking, cleaning, gardening, etc. The bride-to-be is covered up in a chitenge (long Ankara fabric) and remains covered while seated with her head down and both hands on her lap. Each relative on the groom’s side takes turns going under the chitenge, lighting a candle and giving the bride money. After every relative has had his/her turn, the groom’s family unveils the bride by removing the chitenge so everyone can see her.
Kitchen parties are quite entertaining. I wanted to share some pictures with you guys from my friend, Nchimunya’s bridal shower. She added a bit of twist to the traditional Zambian Kitchen Party and it was simply gorgeous. She is from Zambia and her hubby is from Trinidad (both live in New York). Instead of a typical Zambian traditional kitchen party, they spiced it up to incorporate other cultures, which the couple has been exposed to.
Nchimunya loves to cook, and so, for her Kitchen Party, she asked the ladies to bring a dish to share, along with a printed recipe from their kitchen so that when she cooks it, she will definitely think of them. Her outfit was an inspiration from the Zulu tribe in South Africa. She chose an outfit that a typical Zulu bride would wear and it was flawless. It's exactly what the bride-to-be had dreamed to have, a pretty yet decent outfit to wear in front of her Trinidadian King. Her best friend Nissy had the outfit made all the way from South Africa.
The bride entered with her bridesmaids and other ladies dancing to some traditional Zambian beats as they led her to her seat where she was to be unveiled by her groom. She sat under the gazebo with her mother and aunt. The groom was ushered in the premises with his groomsmen and the bride’s sisters and they all danced their way to the bride when she respectfully went on her knees to receive a bouquet of roses from her groom who was also on his knees. He then unveiled the bride and they both shared that priceless look that said 'I love you'.
The ceremony continued with a lot of dancing, games, gifts presentations, eating and mingling. Every guest had to present a special dance 'amasha' as they presented their gifts to the bride. What a joy and blessing it was spending this day with all of her favorite people, from whom she was able to draw wisdom as they shared their teachings and life lessons. Check out the pictures below!
"Mwaiseni' means welcome in Bemba. The décor for this event was done by Caroline Mutono, Nchimunya's favorite cousin-in-law who also happens to be a Wedding Planner. She was assisted by Esther Sanberg, Nchimunya's eldest sister and they did a phenomenon job. The groom bringing flowers to his bride with the bridesmaids dancing behind him!The groom unveiling his bride for everyone to see. Look at the details on this outfit! There are a lot of things that I love about African fashion (I'm not just saying that because I'm African), from the vibrant colors, endless patterns, the intricate beading, the accessories, etc. There’s no one word that can used to describe African fashion (well maybe exotic – I don’t like the terms ethnic or tribal for some reason). In the past few years, a lot of designers have started to tap into the African heritage for inspiration and I hope they continue to do so. Thank you Nchimunya for letting me share your beautiful photos from your beautiful day!! I hope you guys enjoyed this post in my wedding inspiration series!
Until next time, stay blessed!