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Love knows no boundaries: Meet the Nondos

By Tinashe Nondo

On 19 March 2015, Tinashe and Victoria met on Facebook through the hand of God, mutual friends and a case of mistaken identity. Victoria who was in Grahamstown, sent Tinashe who was in Swattruggens, South Africa a Facebook friend request believing that they had met each other previously. When Victoria realised that she did not actually know Him, she apologised for having sent the request to which Tinashe graciously responded, “Well in that case, let’s just get to know each other then.” That was the beginning of their story. Unconventional we know but God’s fingerprint was all over it.

Their friendship developed over many long chats back and forth on all social media platforms until they eventually decided to meet in person. It was a cold winter’s morning at the Neighbourgoods market in Johannesburg, but this did not deter them. They braved the cold and made it out to meet each other. Their first date was magical and to onlookers, it seemed as if they had known each other for years. They enjoyed each other’s company and did not want the day to end. The rest as they say is history.

On 3 October 2016, in a surprise picnic and photo shoot at the Simon’s Deli, Groot Constantia in Cape Town, Tinashe proposed. It was a beautiful intimate proposal with photos to prove it.

After the proposal came the realities of planning and executing a tri multi-cultural wedding ceremony. Tinashe is Zimbabwean (Shona) and Victoria is half Nigerian (Yoruba) and Half Namibian (Herero). All three cultures are rich in presence and practice and all have very specific ways in which weddings are planned and celebrated. Being from different backgrounds, it was very important that all aspects of their rich cultures were incorporated in their wedding day ceremonies. Though all the cultures were to be represented, for the couple, the most important thingwas that they honoured God, each other and their families (in that order).

They had a door knocking ceremony in December2016. Traditionally the groom requests permission from the bride’s family through the custom of “knocking on the door”, while bearing gifts, he visits his potential in-laws accompanied by his family. If the door knocking is accepted the families celebrate by feasting, dancing and a potential date is set, planning can officially begin.At the “door knocking ceremony” Tinashe’s family was given a list of bridal items which included Lobola (Shona & Herero Practice); Clothing items for the bride’s family, Nigerian food items such as yams, palm oil, pepper, kola nut etc. (Yoruba).  The list also included materials called aso eke to dress the bride, a bible as well as the engagement ring. There was a bride price included on the list, all of which was to be presented on the traditional wedding day.

The couple had 8 months to plan their wedding. The wedding date of 5 August 2017 was set in January after many discussions between the two families. The ceremony and reception venue were secured promptly. The next stage of the wedding planning process was asking the bridal party; looking for vendors, and finally considering the finer details of the wedding day and receptions.

On the3rd of August 2017, there was a Herero ceremony. The groom’s family brought the Lobola, in the form of cows, to the bride’s family kraal. The bride’s family welcomed the groom’s family and blessed the couple. This was followed by festivities late into the night.

The following day, the traditional wedding celebrations continued. This included the groom’s family and friends returning to the bride’s family home with the items specified on the list. The program was directed by an aunty from each side of the families known as an alaga (Yoruba) and Tete (Shona). The bride was dressed in a Herero dress to welcome the guests and then later changed into the Yoruba aso eke to match her groom. There was prayer, singing, dancing and feasting once more.

The wedding day was beautiful with family and friends from all over the world gracing the event with their presence. The day started with the bridal party getting ready and going to the St George’s Cathedral, Windhoek, where the church ceremony was held. After the ceremony, photos were taken and finally the reception was held in the evening at The Windhoek Country Club.

Tinashe and Victoria were very intent on saving as they knew that debt after the wedding day was not an option. All through the process they attended Christian pre-marital counselling with their marriage mentors as they wanted to invest in their marriage even more than the wedding day.

After all the proceedings, Victoria was very grateful to her husband Tinashe who prioritised and paid for their honeymoon to Phuket Thailand first. It was good for them to go away after all the stress of planning and slowly transition into life as a married couple. After twenty-eight months of living in different countries, they were totally against having a long-distance marriage and so Victoria moved to join her husband in South Africa. Five months in and they wouldn’t trade their journey for anything. It is only the beginning and they are so grateful to God for their lives as a family. Marriage truly is a covenant between God, a man and a woman and they have seen and know, that a three-stranded cord is not easily broken.

“Marriage is a lifetime journey; there is no pressure to have it altogether at the start of this voyage. As far as possible communicate to understand and not to be right. Always remember the basis of the relationship is love and God is love, so love each other whole-heartedly, passionately, deliberately and have fun along the way.”- Tinashe Nondo.