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This week's Culture Series is dedicated to the African Bride. The African woman has a unique character and stands out from the rest.The African woman is strong , good-looking and is a loyal partner. 
One common thing in the African Culture is that weddings are ALWAYS a big deal in all parts of the Continent. The marriage between man and woman is a special celebration of the natural continuity of life in every part of Africa. In all the communities all over Africa the bride plays a very special role and is treated with maximum respect.
  1. An Efik Bride from Nigeria:

    The joyous traditional ceremony, which usually coincides with the graduation ceremony of releasing the bride from the fattening room takes place the whole day with friends and families celebrating the new union.
    The newly married couple is usually accompanied home by traditional dancers to signify the success of the occasion.
    I must say Efik women have one of the best traditional outfits, and they always look colorful.
  2.  A Bride from the Zulu tribe of South Africa: 
    The Zulu traditional wedding ceremony , or Umabo, usually takes place after a white wedding. This follows the dowry ceremony called lobola, the bringing of gifts for the bride’s mother and close family, or Izibizo and Umbondo, where the bride brings different household groceries for her soon-to-be family. On the big day, a Zulu bride will change her outfit at least three different times to convey to her in-laws her beauty in different styles and colors.
  3. A Swazi Bride from Swaziland : 
    A traditional Swazi wedding ceremony is called umtsimba, where the bride commits herself to her new family for the rest of her life. The ceremony is a celebration that includes members of both the bride’s - and the groom’s - natal village. There are stages to the wedding that stretch over a few days.
  4. A Djibouti Bride: 
    One day before the wedding party, the bride will apply henna on her feet and hands. Polygamy is legal in Djibouti. ... A popular Somali music style in Djibouti is called balwo. Contrastingly, traditional Afar music resembles Ethiopian folk music, as well as contains elements of Arabic music.
  5. A Yoruba Bride From Nigeria: 
    The Yorubas are widely recognized as a people with a love for fun, good times, bustling parties and nothing but positive vibes. Undeniably, the special way they approach and celebrate weddings has helped in earning them this status of the ultimate Nigerian party people. Very important character at the Yoruba wedding is the Alaga Iduro ("Standing Chairperson"). She is a professional, hired and paid by the bride's and groom's family. She has all sorts of duties. She is a combination of singer, poet, comedian, spokesperson and priest.
  6. A Bride from Mozambique:
    Lobolo is a ceremony practiced in most parts of Mozambique before marriage. Before the marriage is agreed upon the bride's family name's a "price" that they want to receive for the marriage of their daughter. The father of the bride and the father of the groom decide upon this "price" before the lobolo ceremony. This payment of sorts can be in the form of money, clothing, shoes, alcohol, soda, goats, pigs, chickens, cows, or a combination of any of the above (and more). At the beginning of the ceremony the two fathers take off their shoes and sit on a grass mat with their legs straight and opened and the bottom of the feet touching the bottom of the other's feet. They then pull out a list of the agreed upon items and they are presented very slowly and carefully. The money is diligently counted out for everyone to see and the bride's father must approve of every item before moving on. 
  7. a Jamaican Bride:
     A traditional wedding in Jamaica typically involved the whole village or community where the couple lived. Relatives of the couple and members of the community all had roles in preparing for the ceremony. Today, modern couples seek help from wedding consultants or planners, but in the past, planning responsibilities were taken on by those who lived near the couple and knew them well.
    Traditional weddings required elaborate preparations, including the cooking of vast amounts of food and several cakes. Cakes were carried to the wedding location by a procession of married women clothed in white dresses and head-ties. 
  8. A Congolese bride: 
    Traditionally, family members arranged marriages in Congo. Today, this is less common, especially in the cities. A practice that dates back to ancient times is the dot (bride price). Once price has been set between the two families, the groom must pay it to the wife's family. The dot is often very high.
    After the marriage, a ritual is performed to demonstrate the virginity of the bride. The morning after the wedding night, women from both sides of the family go to the couple's bed. Questions are asked about the wedding night, and the presence of blood provides evidence of virginity. If virginity is not proved, the marriage can be annulled and the groom can ask for the return of the bride price.

  9. A Hausa Bride From Nigeria:
     The Hausa tribe mainly reside in the northern part of Nigeria, and are predominantly Muslims, while a few are Christians.
    Though a great number of people in this region speak the Hausa language, different tribes among them have their own individual unique dialects. The Hausa traditional marriage is mostly based on Islamic rites, and not as time consuming or expensive like the Igbo and Yoruba traditional marriage ceremonies. When a man sees the woman he wants to marry, he has to first of all seek permission from her parents. The family of the bride-to-be will then conduct an investigation on the background of the man to determine his religious beliefs, ethics, moral and family customs, as well as every important details concerning his upbringing.
    The groom-to-be if approved by the woman's family, is allowed to see her briefly but any form of physical contact, romance or courting before marriage is highly discouraged.
  10. A Nubian Bride from Egypt: 
    Egyptian weddings are often arranged. At the engagement part a groom-to-be gives his bride-to-be a money known as Mahr. This money is used to buy jewelry called Shabka and furniture. The groom gives her a ring which she wears on her right hand. Before the wedding henna tattoos are applied on bride's feet and hands.
  11. A Ghanaian Bride:

    To start, important spokesmen from both families will stage a playful, symbolic negotiation at the wedding. From the bride’s side, the head of her clan or tribe who is often the eldest relative on her father’s side and the spokesman from her family will sit on one side of the room, along with her family. On the other side, the groom’s family will sit with their family spokesperson. The two spokesmen are the only people to speak during the negotiation, which includes officially asking for the bride’s hand in marriage. This is not a formal meeting and both sides will have a lot of fun jokingly bantering with each other during this part of the ceremony.
    Next, gifts are presented to the bride and her family from the groom and his family. Akonta Sikan are gifts to the bride’s siblings while an additional set of gifts are given to her parents in appreciation for taking care of her up until this point. The bride receives a dowry, which is a little like a wedding registry in that her family curates the wish list of things she needs to start married life. The dowry typically includes kitchen utensils, jewelry, makeup and clothes. These items are brought to the wedding ceremony in a decorative trunk and presented to the bride.
  12. An Ethiopian Bride:

     The Ethiopian culture is one of the richest in the African continent and has mostly remained unspoiled over the years. As such, the Ethiopian cultural wedding ceremony is a sight to behold! Arranged marriages are still common in parts of Ethiopia like Amhara and Tigray. Virginity of the bride is very much appreciated especially in rural communities. Family approval of the marriage is still important.It is also important that a bride and groom are not blood related in five generations.
    "Telosh" is a traditional Ethiopian event held two days before the wedding. A groom and his family members bring various presents to a bride. These presents include a wedding dress and/or jewellery. Others gathered there can also give some presents.
  13. An Ivorian Bride: 
    Ivoirian marriages center on the combining of two families. The creation of a new household is significant to wedding rituals. The government abolished polygamy in 1964, and set the legal marriage age at eighteen for boys and sixteen for girls, although polygamy is a widely accepted lifestyle among many native ethnic groups. Additionally, the government does not recognize forced marriage or dowries ("bride prices") paid to the mother's family to legitimize the marriage. Although marriage customs are changing and becoming more Westernized, a large majority engage in traditional native wedding rituals. Divorce, although not common, is socially acceptable among most ethnic groups.
  14. A Cameroonian Bride:
    It can take up to four big events to complete a wedding in Cameroon. The traditional, civil and church ceremonies are preceded by a ‘knock door’, which is a visit to the family of the bride to ask for permission to marry their daughter. In the traditional setting, weddings are seen as a coming together of families, which leaves most of the responsibility with the heads of the two clans. Usually the parents of the bride and groom will play a secondary role, while the recognised family heads engage in the bride-price negotiations.
  15. An Igbo Bride from Nigeria: 
    The Igbo (Ibo) people live in the southeast and south of Nigeria. At local weddings there is a tradition where an elder person gives an "ofo" to the couple. The ofo is a wooden stick which symbolizes unity, truth and indestructibility.
  16. A Rwandan Bride:
    In Rwanda, it is believed that incorporating traditional wedding customs into modern weddings gives honor to the ancestors. Most brides prefer to wear the Mushanana for the traditional ceremonies, specifically the Gusaba ceremony. The Mushanana is made of a combination of light and heavy silk. It consists of a wrapped skirt gathered at the hips, and a sash draped over one shoulder. The majority of the female guests also wear similar outfits, in bold colors.
  17. A Gabonese Bride: 
    To legalize a marriage it must be done at the mayor's office in a city, and this is rare. Women choose men who will be able to provide for them, while men choose women who will bear children and keep their home. Polygyny is practiced in Gabon, but having more than one woman becomes expensive and has become a sign of wealth as much as it is an indulgence. Divorce is uncommon but not unheard of. Marriages can be business arrangements, at times, though some couples marry for love. It is expected for women to have several children before wedlock. These children will then belong to the mother. In a marriage, however, the children are the father's. If the couple splits up, the husband takes the children. Without premarital offspring, the wife would have nothing.

  18. A Mosotho Bride: 
    In Lesotho, the groom will usually present the bride's father with a herd of cattle, as a form of payment for marrying his daughter.
    It is tradition for the women of the bride's family to chase the cattle, the day of the ceremony, by throwing rocks and waving sticks! 
    The groom must somehow round them up and bring them back to the family!
  19. An Ijaw Kalabari Bride From Nigeria: 

    The Kalabari are people inhabiting the Akuku-Toru, Asari-Toru and Degema local government areas of Rivers State. Early Kalabari people believed in Creation (ogina temebĂ´ teme). God creates, man procreates, all other creatures too.
    The marriage ceremony, which is not just the coming together of two people but also both families are performed in a unique way, which is quite different from the regular way other ethnic groups perform theirs as  far as the bridal list is concerned.
    Tradition­ally, however, there are three (3) forms of mar­riages in the kalabari culture which are the Iya marriage, Igwa marriage and the Waribiobesime
  20. A Moroccan Bride:
     According to tradition the groom's parents choose the bride. In cities it is not so anymore. Young people choose their spouse on their own.
    One of pre-wedding ceremonies is sending presents to the bride. Depending on the wealth of family such presents may include golden jewelry, clothes and perfumes. The whole courtship process can last from six months up to two years.
    The second of pre-wedding ceremonies is so called "furnishing" party. It is organized five days before the wedding. It is mainly women's party. It includes delivery and decoration of the bride's future home. Different household objects are delivered – handmade blankets, mattresses, bedding, carpets and Moroccan bed. If the groom's family is wealthy enough they are paying for all the objects.
I hope you loved this piece. Tell us how traditional weddings are done where you're from in the comment section.

See you next week 
Adaeze Opene



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9jafrikfashion: Can we meet you?
Jack Deinbo:  I’m Jack Deinbo, a cloth #manufacturer and fashion entrepreneur; I am the owner of Jack Deinbo street wear brand

9jafrikfashion:  How long have you been in the business?
Jack Deinbo: Over 5 years        

9jafrikfashion: How did you start?
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9jafrikfashion: In your own terms what is fashion and design?
Jack Deinbo: well in my own terms, fashion and design is designing fashion, that’s on a lighter mood. Fashion design is art as it entails creating a piece from an empty canvas.

9jafrikfashion: What does being a fashion designer entail?
Jack Deinbo:  well it involves the whole process of
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