May 29th, the groom so nice they named him twice Chabala Chabala
We awoke early in the morning after a heavy night with Uncle Joe full of excitement for the day ahead. Today was not only my little brothers 18th, but the day that we were due to attend a traditional Zambian wedding. In all honesty we had no idea what to expect but the events that ensued did not disappoint. We had been given two invitations, both plus one, by Chabala which stated that the wedding service was due to start at 10.30am. However during the previous nights festivities with the wedding crew we had been informed that we had to be at the church for 10am due to other events at the church that day. So we began getting ready dressing up as smart as it is possible to look smart when you are living out of a backpack managing smart shoes, shirts and some sported ties and off we went to the church. Makasa told us to delay our departure from the farm so that we would arrive at 10.30am as she insisted if we turned up at 10am we would be left waiting.We arrived outside UCZ Catholic Church just after 10.30am and true to form we were the first people to arrive by quite some distance. So after a little cooking in the sun in our smart attire the guests started to roll in, eventually followed by the male lineup members and the groom. Almost all the male lineup consisted of Silver's school friends we had met on two separate occasions namely; Emmanuelle, Saviour, Chris, Dominic, best man Jude, and of course Chabala. They were all immaculately dressed and standing next to them we felt anything but. Their ties and waistcoat were an emerald green colour with white shirts and black suits - very smart. Chabala had the same laid back manner I had encountered on my two previous meetings with him. He was just quietly stood gathering his thoughts outside the church expectantly rubbing his left ring finger awaiting the arrival of his bride. After being introduced to a few more school friends Abraham, Chofya, and the fireman the latter named so due to his love for marihuana we were ushered into the church where the ceremony was due to begin.
We were yet to meet Chabala's bride and when asking about her we got the same response from all the guys "she is nice, the boys done good!" The bride name was Lina, and when she stepped into the church we soon realized what the guys meant she looked stunning everyone agreed. The ceremony was a catholic, but the newlyweds were from two different tribes. Chabala is from the Bemba tribe the same as Silver, whilst Lina is from the Namwanga tribe. This meant there were a few disparities between the wedding traditions leading up to the big day and Chabala told us that this meant more work for the two of them to keep everyone happy. The church proceedings were pretty much the same as in the UK with the exception of a few jubilant females on the female side getting up near the alter and letting out what I can only describe as tribal high pitched shrieks at regular intervals. Prayers were said, vows were exchanged and before we knew it the couple were official. After an elongated exit from the church, a few photos were taken before the lineup and the newlyweds were whisked off in a procession of cars to the song of car horns from passing motorists.Apparently they went to go have pictures taken in nice locations all over Lusaka. We were then left free for the rest of the afternoon to recover from our hangovers before returning the wedding festivities in the evening at the reception.
The reception took place at New Mulungushi Hall part of a grand complex which regularly hosted big events in the city. As it happens there was actually a massive female boxing match that night between a Zambian fighter named Esther Piri and a rather butch looking Brazilian fighter so the place was jam packed meaning parking was a nightmare. The invite stated that the reception was due to start at 6pm so we arrived around 7pm and again we were the first ones there so we filtered in, bringing our present of a photo album with us, and found a table to sit at. Whilst we waited for the rest of the guests to arrive as well as the bride, groom and lineup we decided to indulge in more than a few drinks whilst getting acquainted with Abe, fireman, and Chofya. Eventually the guests arrived and we were entertained by a comedian/host of the event who made various jokes including a good skit about Michael Jackson that went down well. After his routine he announced we were ready to begin and cued the DJ who began to play a song. All of a sudden the lineup emerged from an entrance in the corner of the hall not walking but dancing. This was the first of three or four pre rehearsed dance routines which they performed during the night. These guys were practiced and could definitely get down; personally I think all UK weddings should introduce this although whether we would have the necessary rhythm is a debatable matter. (JUST A NOTE FOR ALL PHOTOS AND VIDEOS O THE TRIP SO FAR VISIT http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ ). The bride and groom entered after the lineup dancing but in a much more laid back manner. After the lineup had finished their rehearsed steps they addressed each other in two parallel lines where they paired off one by one male and female and performed a freestyle dance solo up the line and towards their seats where they then introduced themselves to all the guests.
After everyone was seated a few speeches were given by respective parents and family members, before the host came back on and took the piss out of the lineup members individually and then dinner was served. Afterwards the DJ started back up and the lineup began dragging people into the dance floor to join them starting with the elders and working their way round. At this point with the help of Maybin, who we had met previously, we proceeded to get numerous drinks in before plucking up the courage to join the others on the dance floor, and I'm glad the four of us did. Similar to our time at Chimfunshi the guests made circles with pairs or groups of pairs entering the middle at various occasions to strut their stuff. My first attempt at looking in the least bit rhythmical occurred when the bride's mother grabbed my hand and led me into the middle. Thankfully Silver was on hand with the camera to capture the ordeal which I am less than grateful for. The more we drank the more we danced and before we knew it we were closing the place down. The wedding was due to finish around 11pm and people were starting to clear up around us on the dance floor. We made our exit from the wedding the same time as the lineup did, little did we know this was just the beginning of the night!
We left New Mulungushi Hall and crossed the roads over to the arcades our Lusaka hang out from the previous night to meet up with Mwape and Chansa Silver's sister who had put us up in Chingola. She had travelled down to go out with us and see some of her Lusaka friends. We joined her at the Rhapsody bar a more up market version of Times bar where we had been the previous night - I think Chansa is too classy for Times ;). So we had more drinks a few shots including tequila, and a strawberry kiss which were equally disgusting before Silver left us to try and find his friend Julius who we would meet up with later. We moved on from Rhapsody and tried to enter club 101 where we were refused entry for not looking over 25- pretty ridiculous! No problem though as afterwards we met up with Silifa the party animal from a few nights ago who brought along two females friends and one male friend and we moved on into town centre and to a mega busy club named the lounge. From this point on we met up with Silver and Julius and moved a lot of people some Silver knew a lot that he didn't. Quite drunk and in the mood for dancing we enjoyed the lounge for a while before deciding to move on again to a place called Hollywood. Julius was Silver's childhood buddy so they had a lot of catching up to do so we left the two of them along with Chansa at the lounge, meaning Scott, Chris, Myself, Mwape, Silifa, and three friends moved on. Hollywood was a blur too much Mosi and lots of dancing went down. All I know is that I had an amazing time. It was good to blow off some steam and have a good dance with the new friends we had made, and I think it was nice for Silver to have some time away from his tour party! At first we were being a little shy but as the drinks flowed so did the dance moves and before we knew it we were giving the locals a run for their money some having more success than others. The DJ brought out the migraine skank which was my personal highlight of the night, with Silifa a paid choreographer by trade joining me in the dance. We returned to the lounge at around 3am, courtesy of a lift from Silifa, where we exchanged details with some of our new acquaintances before setting off back for the farm. We crept in around 5am waking Makasa in the process to let us in and went to bed to sleep off the booze before church the next day at 10am!
DC, Scott, Silver, Chris xxx