Khulubuse Zuma's king-size wedding

2014-09-14 15:00

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Happiness radiated from Princess Fikisiwe Dlamini’s face as she danced and paraded for hours for her husband Khulubuse Zuma during their traditional wedding in kwaNxamalala Village in Nkandla yesterday.

Barefoot and clad in a black hide skirt and a goat’s-hair ruff over her bare breasts, the dried seeds around her ankles rattled as she moved.

She was accompanied by bare-breasted Swazi maidens, as well as older women.

Her husband-to-be was wearing ibheshu, a traditional Zulu garment of cow skin, which exposed his sizeable belly.

Who could blame her for being happy?

She’d waited for nine years to be called Mrs Zuma and probably had to fend off a number of women who wanted to share in her fiancé’s wealth.

The wedding festivities began in Nkandla on Friday night with the slaughter of four cows.

They will continue until today, when the Zuma and Dlamini families will exchange gifts.

President Jacob Zuma’s larger-than-life nephew proposed to the Swazi princess in 2005.

Every year in waiting, the princess’ new husband presented her with a new engagement ring to symbolise his love and his intention to make an honourable bride out of her.

The locals were just as happy. They came out in numbers to the event of the year.

Khula, as Khulubuse is affectionately known in this remote rural village, is a generous man who likes to “show-off and throw money around”, said a resident who asked not to be named. Yesterday was no different.

Everything was in abundance – from food to drinks.

The masses were fed before the traditional ceremony began on a patch of land between Khulubuse’s 50-room Nxamalala mansion and the vast home of his uncle, the president.

“This doesn’t happen often here,” said another local. “Most likely it’s the president

getting married.”

Unlike President Zuma’s weddings that have taken place here, there were few celebrities.

But some of the axed Generations cast were present, and KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu also arrived just after the wedding started.

Tenderpreneurs, as expected, were present, and so were plenty of women, dressed to the nines and looking to land a rich husband.

Range Rovers seemed to be the car of the day but, other than luxury cars, there was a marked absence of bling, as many opted to wear traditional attire.

All the first ladies were there. President Zuma’s second wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli, arrived later than the others, halfway through the colourful ceremony. They sat in black and cream wing-back chairs behind the regiment accompanying the groom.

The president’s first wife, MaKhumalo, sat on the first chair followed by second wife, MaNtuli, third wife, Thobeka Madiba, and his latest wife Bongi Ngema Zuma.

MaKhumalo sat quietly admiring the parade of the maidens and the regiment, while KaMadiba and MaNgema seemed to be enjoying themselves, occasionally chatting and laughing.

MaNtuli, on the other hand, was silent, rarely turning to speak to KaMadiba or MaKhumalo.

Princess Fikisiwe, who owns a number of boutiques in Swaziland, is the daughter of King Mswati III’s late brother, Prince Phiwokwakhe Dlamini.

King Mswati III was missing on the day. He also didn’t arrive to attend Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini’s recent wedding to another Swazi princess, Zola Mafu.

But the Swazis came out in their numbers, arriving at kwaNxamalala on Friday in six buses and more than 10 taxis, along with numerous private cars.

Several Durban musicians were expected to perform last night at the wedding’s after party.

Popular kwaito artist Lvovo Derango, who was Khulubuse’s groomsman, was also expected to take to the stage. And this time he would not be wearing ibheshu.

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