Tangled Jewel

My mother loves buying me jewellery.  She loves jewellery and of course as her only daughter, it’s only normal that she expects me to love jewellery. I don’t love it but i don’t hate it either. I just like a simple, hassle-free life. On an ordinary day the most jewellery i have on is my wedding band  (but of course), a pair of earings (mind you sometimes it’s the same pair throughout the week) and a simple braclet that I’ve had for years with zirconia stones running around it (some of which have fallen off). So no, jewellery is really not my number one priority.

My mum loves buying me jewellery. She bought me 2 pairs of earings for my wedding (i only wore one), 2 bracelets (i only wore one) and two neckalces (i think i wore both (at seperate times of course) so at least i made an effort). I think my mum couldn’t decide which earings/bracelet/necklace to get me because each piece was beautiful. Or maybe it was because she knows how fussy i am so she needed to provide me with options- i dont know. All i know is that i love my mum and i want her to keep buying me jewellery.

Okay so now that i have established my indifference to jewellery i can continue…

On Tuesday i decided to wear a necklace to work. I dont know why but i did. I was going to wear a ‘salmon pink’ cardigan and I remembered i had a matching necklace. Now, as a person who is indifferent to jewellery you can imagine that i do not store my jewellery well so when i found the necklace i wanted to wear, it was tangled up with a bunch of other necklaces.

For some mysterious reason, i must have been very determined to wear this necklace because my normal reaction to the tangled mess would have been “Ah, forget this!”. However, despite the fact that i was running late for work i decided to sit on the bed and detangle the mess of about six or so necklaces just so that i could get wear that particular necklace. (maybe i was missing my mum).

If you have ever tried detangling a bunch of tangled necklaces you will know that it is not something you can rush through (lest you get them even more tangled). You have to work slowly and carefully, ensuring that you do not destroy the necklaces. You have to be patient.

So as i sat there slowly and carefully seperating my necklaces, it occured to me that this is exactly what God does with our lives. Each of us has a specific God-given purpose to fulfil, which He has placed inside of us. We are to discover what this purpose is but most times in our journey of life, as we are trying to discover what this purpose is we get tangled up. We get tangled up with looking for love in all the wrong places – with all the wrong people, getting hurt along the way, when all along the One who loved us first has always been there. We get tangled up living a life of lies, piling up debt and tossing away our self-esteem, trying to be people we are not because of the ‘perfect lives’ we see on the media (traditional and social media).

When we reach that place of being a tangled mess and the mess finally breaks us down to the realisation that all we really needed was God (duh!), what does He do? He gently picks us up and slowly and oh-so carefully begins to detangle us from the mess. He untangles us from self-loathing and frees us from low self-esteem. He untangles us from our fake lives and the people that are not meant to grow with us by showing us what we truly need to live a fulfilled life.  He untangles us from unrighteousness and sickness and pain and fills us wth love, joy and peace. He does not stop working on us and in us.

Its not an easy job and it’s not a job that can be rushed. Sometimes even during this process it looks like the tangled mess is worse than when He first began but worry not – He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. Nothing is impossible for God- there is no mess He cannot fix.

A tangled jewel is still a jewel after all.

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Love,

MrsD

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Getting Married in Zambia | Step 4 | Get Me to the Church on Time!

It is is now 10 days to our 1st anniversary and i really, honestly can’t believe it has been a year already?!!. People say the first year (or couple of years) are the hardest because all the pretense  of dating and the excitement of planning a wedding have passed; its now just the two of you and there is no more pretending that you roll the toothpaste from the bottom when in fact you don’t.

Our first year was not easy, we laughed, we cried, we argued, we made up – nothing out of the ordinary (i think). It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it ( sorry, i couldn’t  resist that cliché).

As we celebrate our 1st year together, I’d  like to talk a walk down memory lane and wrap up my series on Getting Married in Zambia.

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The morning of the wedding day for the Bride and Groom in Zambia is filled with last minute to-do’s and phone calls (unless your bridesmaids confiscate your phone)- mostly because it is not yet common to hire a Wedding Planner or the Bride,  if they are anything like me think that only we can get things done PER-FEC-TLY

You are the first one to wake up,  and you make sure you have your bath first before waking up the entire household. Of course you are coming down with the flu after spending the night before decorating the church with your fiance (you are an event planner and decorator after all). So lemon and honey tea, Strepsils and a dry piece of bread is sufficient for your breakfast.

You are just in time for your hair appointment but the stylist cant seem to get it just like the one in the picture you got off Pinterest…you are happy with the end result because you know you were just being fussy but of course you are late for your make-up appointment  (and now you look back and wonder why you didnt ask the stylist to come home like you did the make-up artist *duh*). But its okay, your make-up turned out perfect. So did your mum’s,  even though she thinks it’s  too much; but that’s mum for you.

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The "it's too much make-up" face

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Its time to get your dress on- wait! Where are the bridesmaids?? (i think I should write romance comedy at the rate I’m going with this post- but i promise, it was that dramatic). The brisldesmaids are late (no electricity at the salon perhaps?) but they are finally here to help the bride get ready- oh and they look fabulous thanks to the brides being dictatorial on their entire look.

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Through out the ‘organised chaos’, dad is calm, reading the newspapers, having already done the seating arrangementsfor the reception.

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Lawyer's scribble

The moment of truth……does the dress fit???? Yes! It does. It’s perfect (please note that this is not always the case for Zambian brides) but its got tooo many darn buttons!!

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At this point, you say forget these 101 buttons, I’m  late! And off you go, to you handsome groom with half your buttons undone.

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Service should have started at 10.00am

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Vendor Information
Hair: Yami’s Collection Arcades Mall
Make-up: Embeauti Hair and Makeup Studio
Wedding Dress: Custom-made, LaceMarry Etsy Shop (Yes, i bought my dress online! I couldn’t  find any plus-size wedding dresses that suited my shape in Lusaka)
Bride’s  Shoes: Ebay
Hair Band: Brass Lotus Etsy Shop
Mother-of-the-Bride’s Dress: Online
Mother-of-the-Bride’s Shoes: Ebay

Getting Married in Zambia | Step 3: Kitchen Party – The Fashion

In Zambia, being invited to a KP is the perfect excuse to look good- its like a fashion show with models of all ages and sizes.
My day  was filled with so much colour and culture- starting with the decor, my outfit, the uniform chitenge worn in different patterns by the bride’s committee,  to the colourful outfits worn by the guests. 

Here are some looks from the KP:

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My look, designed by Esnoko

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Bride and Groom matching outfits by Esnoko

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Some patterns by my ladies

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I loved Nosizwe's bright pink heels

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Jane's (LeSizzleCafe) unique top paired with a black skirt

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Guests: My King's sisters

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MOB (centre) stole the show!

That’s all folks!

Getting Married in Zambia | Step 3: Kitchen Party ( Part 2)

Traditionally, the groom is not meant to come to the KP (something to do with him only unveiling the Bride once, on the wedding day….i think, i could be wrong, its complicated). However, i silently insisted that my groom made an appearance. The role of the groom (or his representatives if he is not allowed to make an appearance) is to unveil the bride, who enters the event veiled in a chitenge (traditional wrapper/material) after the guests have arrived. It all gets a bit blurry here…so i won’t get myself in trouble by getting too much into it. The bride is unveiled, the bride and groom exchange gifts, then present gifts to their mothers and the groom leaves.
Did i mention that this event is strictly for women?  NO MEN ALLOWED!

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Bride's entrance- escorted by family and friends

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Waiting to be unveiled (it was sooo hot under there!)

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The Unveiling

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Presenting my gift to my King

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Appreciating my Mother in Law (and Love)

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Appreciating my Mother (yes, we cried)

Next on the agenda is the opening of gifts and each guest (in the case of gifts) is called up to explain to the bride their gift; what it is ànd how to use it; whilst monetary gifts are collected at the entrance (and guarded by the most trusted relative/friend)

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Ready to receive wisdom (and gifts)

Example of gift presentation:
Wise Guest: Mwenya, this is a tea set. When your husband gets home from work, make him some tea to relax him and serve it in this nice set to show your appreciation for his hard work to provide for the family.
Bride: *nods and gentlty claps hands* (as a sign of gratitude for the wisdom)
NB. Bride does not speak,  her job is to soak in all the wisdom.

Finally, your favorite Aunt (or Aunt closest to you), shows the bride around the gift display put together by the MOB’s committee, explaining what each item is for and how to use it to care for your King, the head of your house.

I have to say, although i initially did not want  to  have this event, i am eternally glad i did. Despite the fact that i knew i had no choice but to have it; being my mum’s only daughter, i knew i couldn’t deprive her of the joy; it was a humbling experience and it taught me to appreciate my beautiful mother for all that she has done
for me and sacrificed for me not to lack anything, and more importantly, to become the woman and the wife i am today.

Love,
MrsD

Getting Married in Zambia | Step 2 (Ichilangamulilo)

Your dad and uncles have done their part and now it’s mum and your aunts time to shine at the ‘showing of the fire’.

This part of the getting married process is fun for the aunties but can be the source of nightmares for you for days to come. They gather around camp like fires (mbaulas or braziers; portable cooking stoves that use charcoal) the night before this event prepping vegetables and telling stories late in the night. You are taught a few things but retire early for a long sleepless night.  The aunties are up very early the next morning and the cooking begins. You on the other hand; wake up with a running tummy, having had nightmares about the “Big Pot”.

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Mother of the Bride

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The Drummers and the Aunties

Its time for you to come out of the room you have been sitting in for hours. Your hour of reckoning is upon you, its time to face the BIG POT. You are led by the aunties, hidden underneath a chitenge (traditional cloth of about 6m long) crawling to the BIG POT (this is where the scraped knees come in). There are drums playing and the aunties are happy, singing their traditional songs, money exchanges hands and you, the bride, are unveiled.

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About to be unveiled

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"Uku Kunkula" - a sign of respect/humility

The BIG POT isn’t as bad as you thought…its actually quite fun once you get the hang of it. Plus, seeing your friends having a go at it after you is entertaining. (The BIG POT is where the Nshima (Zambian staple dish made from maizemeal) is cooked, to go with all the other yummy traditional dishes that have been prepared).

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The Bride and THE BIG POT

The food has been cooked, the uncles have blessed it and off it goes, escorted by the drummers and singing aunties and friends, to be delivered to hunk of a man and his family.

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A multitude of pots

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Praying of the food. Prayer is everything

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Food being taken to the grooms family


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Food

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The friends that helped you get through it

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The uncles

The purpose of the Ichilanga Mulilo- Your hunk of a man hubby-to-be and his family have been introduced to the foods from your family; a gesture that they are now welcome to dine with your family during your courtship and into your marriage.

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Washing of the Grooms hands

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The groom being treated to a traditional drink

Events such as this, though perhaps intimidating, are quite valuable in moulding you into you future husbands help- mate.

Stay tuned for more ….

Photocredit: Maynarj

Getting Married in Zambia | Step 1 (Meetings)

Apparently i had committed myself to writing  a ‘How-to’ guide to getting married in Zambia…then proceeded to leave you hanging. Ooops! I guess life got in the way.

Let’s get right into today’s lesson.

Step 1 (a, b and c…oh and d)
a) Hunk of a man asks you to marry him and you say yes. Thats simple enough.

It should be noted that said hunk of a man has been your friend for at least 5 years before  you finally agreed to be the lady whose hand he holds in public. It takes you this long to agree because you knew you would one day be married to him but just the thought of marriage was enough to send you running faster than Usain Bolt in the other direction…and head first into…lets call them… “not your Boaz”.

b)You now have to inform your family. (yes, it’s a pretty formal process that sees you making several trips to an uncle who then tells your parents- it would have been easier to tell your mum, who would then break your dads heart…but no, it just doesn’t happen that way. Don’t ask me why. That’s just the way it is.)

c) Hunk of a man then has to undergo a series of interviews from previously mentioned uncle, (who also happens to be his dads best friend, so he has known him even longer than you have…) and heart broken dad who grills him for countless hours in end.

d) Hunk of a man who, bless his heart, has managed to get out of the interview round alive (and surprisingly  still wanting to marry you) now has to look for a team of uncles to meet your uncles on a pre-determined date and time, at your head uncles house (let’s call him ‘the informant’) They meet, they talk, they conclude. And VIOLA! You are officially engaged. Everyone goes their seperate ways and you have no idea what just happened. But you are engaged.

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Phew! We are engaged!!

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Its official

To be contcontinued……

Photo credit: Oliver

How to Get Married in Zambia (A Country in a Continent called Africa)

If you thought getting married was as easy as (1) your guy getting down on one knee, (2) proposing to you with a decent sized bling ring and (3) planning the wedding of your dreams, then you are probably not Zambian.

A very good friend sent me a song that as i listened to, brought back a rush of emotions as i thought back on the year that was. A year of tears, a few smiles, regular fasting, a lot of prayer…and more tears. Oh, not forgetting the occasional running stomach and scraped knees (i kid you not).

Title of the song: Storm is Over by D’atra Hicks and T.D Jakes Potter House Praise Team.
I know what you’re thinking…Storm is Over??? Really?

Now don’t get me wrong, getting married is a beautiful thing. It is however not a journey for the faint hearted- especially if you are;

1) Christian – the Devil hates it when a Christian couple decides to get married. Must be something to do with obtaining favour from the Lord and the fact that God ordained marriage as something good and when God says something is good, then it’s goood. You know the Devil and his pesky habit of stealing, killing and destroying.

This is where the Prayer and Fasting comes in. And some of the tears.

2) Zambian – there’s nothing wrong with being Zambian, i love that I’m Zambian, God made me Zambian for a reason (He is still revealing that to me). Zambian weddings are not a 1 day affair. In fact, the getting married process can start months in advance. For me, it started in January of 2014. My actual wedding date, as in ‘I-Do date‘ was the 22nd of November, 2014. Yep.

And this is where the tears come in – and the rest of it -scraped knees and all.

So, being the nice person that i am, i have decided to write a How-to guide on getting married in Zambia (HTGMZ).

Stay tuned.

Love,
Mrs D.

Disclaimer.
Due to the sacredness of marriage and aspects of tradition, the guide will in fact just be a few tidbits of my journey to the altar; challenges faced and things that helped me get through.
No actual secrets will be revealed. If you really want to know, get married. In Zambia.