Before I get to the whole wedding thing, I just want to mention one or two things about the caliber of people I met and worked with. Nontokozo is a stunning, successful woman you can expect to meet anywhere in the world: London, Johannesburg, New York…..and you would not say that she is from a rural village in Kwazulu-Natal. She has really distinguished herself in the modern world of business.
She could have been anyone. From any backround. From any culture in South Africa. Speaking any language. I couldn’t tell. And just like that, without any effort or preconcieved ideas, it was as if the racial barrier was just not there, or never even existed, before I even lay eyes on her. If you think I am being too political now, it is exactly what I am trying not to be. What I found in Nontokozo was a person like any other, dreaming big, with big ambitions, with a passion for this country, and serving the people of this country. Meeting people like her, and working with them is transforming the way I think and feel about South Africa. Thanks for that Nonthokozo.
Now, back to the wedding. With this being a traditional Zulu wedding (or the first part thereof), things were done a bit different. The whole point of this part is to accept the bridegroom into the bride’s family, with gifts being exchanged and a whole lot of song and dance. It is almost like a ‘standoff’ between the two families, and in Zulu culture, song and dance play a huge role in these proceedings, so much so that it completely dominates the wedding, and as a result the photography concerned with the whole event.
You can’t follow the traditional approach to wedding photography, and I had to improvise a bit to try and get the whole essence of the day captured, which meant photographing plenty of……..that’s right, song and dance. There is also an element of unpredictability. Although there are certain things that will happen during the proceedings, you don’t know when they will happen. Will the bride be presented at the start of the ceremony? Will they present the gifts to the family first? When is the groom coming in? And I suppose with a fairly limited understanding of Zulu it was even more of a challenge. Nontokozo briefed me well though, and I hope that you will be able to get the ‘essence’ of the day in the images I have captured.