NKT! Even with many people embracing scientific weddings, there are people still stressing others with wedding meetings.
It is funny how single people always feel the bite of the weddings. The threat is always the same: “If you don’t contribute towards other people’s weddings, there will be none to contribute to yours.” That’s how one by one, they all get blackmailed into making pledges. Perhaps this is the same reason people show up at funerals. Mbu, just in case you die, and no one shows up at your funeral.
When Covid-19 knocked on our doors, scientific weddings were launched. Suddenly everyone in need of some minimalism was celebrating. But there was a section of people who couldn’t fathom the changes. Weddings in Uganda are about making a point. At your wedding, you get to prove to all your ‘haters’ that you finally made it. It’s only in Uganda where weddings are correlated with success. No wonder, many prefer to hold them in the countryside, to prove to all those village neighbours that your clan has been blessed beyond comparison.
In Uganda, a couple must always prepare themselves for a long journey ahead. It’s written in the book of Rema, that anything worth celebrating along this journey, should be celebrated. It starts with the pre-kukyala party. When the man makes that initial visit to a girl’s family. So, there must be a party before that home-coming ceremony.
Then Kukyala happens. These days, it is no longer just a family affair. One must identify the cool person to play the aunt role. It is no longer obvious that your father’s sister will be the aunt, aka Ssenga. There are Ssengas for hire. Then you must have photography, then the outfits. And the tag: “Ben visits Sharon.” It seems like the end goal of these ceremonies is the dreamlike photography, a moment to prove to all haters on social media that you did it.
Finally, it is time to prepare for the big ceremonies, first the introduction. The prime minister of Buganda expressed disappointment over the current ways at these ceremonies. He picked issue with the money splashing gestures, the dancers, aka Katumwas, name it all. Unfortunately, that is all the trend.
Previously everything about an introduction ceremony was all simple. Now, it is a shopping ceremony for the girl’s family. This is the time to get a water tank, new sofa sets, some laundry machines, all in a bid to ‘dirten’ the compound. The dirtier the compound, the richer the man, the happier the bride. Don’t forget Katumwa and his queen dancers. Now more than ever, it’s normal to shake that ‘booty’ for the in-laws.
Everyone will be looking out for the performing artiste. Some music stars have specialised in ‘Kwanjula’ songs. It’s preferable that the artiste comes around the time when the girl exits the house. The artiste must lead her out of the house. The songs are usually directed to the female competitors, the songs are the nail in the coffin. Luckily, one survives the traditional wedding.
Then comes the actual church wedding. And that’s where all hell fully breaks loose. There must be an engagement ceremony. Whatever the case, you must find an exotic location to go down on your knees and request for her hand in marriage. Get that drone to drop the ring, organise a boat cruise and let the photographer take Disney-like photos of that moment. The goal is for her to caption her moment with the words, “My best friend surprised me, didn’t see this coming #Engagementgoals”.
With the engagement done, it is time to do those wedding WhatsApp groups. Remember that O.B, that dude called Ian? Anyway, you don’t have to remember him, just add him to the group, and he will be forced to pledge some money. Organise that wedding meeting launch and you can pull out even more money. Now, it’s almost suicidal to mention a word on a wedding WhatsApp group, because that too counts as a pledge. Keep sending those reminders on the phone and let people honour their pledges.
The day finally comes around. It is church time. And once the priest pronounces the two as husband and wife, soon we realize, “what was the point of all this?” The wedding is done. The marriage has started. Anything before or after the church ceremony is purely a figment of our imagination. It’s self-inflicted stress.
Why would people go in debt in a bid to throw the most memorable wedding reception? Why would you get annoyed simply because someone couldn’t contribute towards your wedding? Weddings are nothing beyond two people falling in love and choosing to make it official. And why make it official if your pockets are not yet official? Anyway, let me rant small small, lest you people refuse to support the wedding of the King of Yoruba!