Smitten Zuma takes wife no 4

2012-04-21 18:53

President Jacob Zuma and his fourth wife, Gloria Bongi Ngema, yesterday performed the second leg of their wedding at his family home at Nxamalala in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

Ngema’s family brought gifts for the Zuma family, a ritual known as umabo, to signify the completion of their vows.

On Friday the fourth first lady was officially ushered into the presidential family, with the local community at Nxamalala joining in the celebration.

The two-day celebration kicked off with a traditional wedding on Friday afternoon. Upon arrival, the elderly women who formed part of the bridal party went to announce their presence to the Zuma family. The new bride, who has a seven-year-old son with Zuma, and her entourage sat under a small tent outside the Zuma homestead.

The young maidens who accompanied her danced to song, whistles and drums. Food was readily available to the bridal party and members of the community alike.

The ceremony later moved into the helipad above the Zuma homestead, where the two families performed a traditional song and dance.

While the community of Nkandla had easy access to the festivities, journalists were kept at bay by Zuma’s eldest son Edward, who enforced the family decision that no media would be admitted by removing them one by one.

Friday’s festivities ended with a dinner for 1 500 people held in a lilac and white marquee close to the homestead, with VIP guests arriving from 8pm.

The wedding couple took centre stage as they sat on ivory and silver thrones surrounded by their closest friends and relatives.

For the rest of the guests, 150 10-seater tables were beautifully laid with glittering silver tablecloths, with square or round mirrors holding tall clear vases with lilac-tinted water. The table settings were glass and crystal.

Zwi Dumisani of Zwi’s Florist and Deco, who was responsible for the decorations, said she was aiming for simplicity.

The VIPs and the masses all ate from the same menu.

Guests were treated to vegetable spring rolls, cocktail samoosas, cocktail sausage rolls and chicken nuggets for starters. The main course included roast leg of lamb crusted with garlic, olive oil and rosemary and roast barbeque and herbed chicken.

VIPs had the added luxury of lemon and herb hake slices served with tartare sauce as well as braised oxtail with carrots and green beans. There was boneless beef curry for the ordinary guests. Traditional food like samp and beans was also served.

Ngema was described by speakers, including her beaming groom, as “a Christian woman’’.

She thanked God for keeping the relationship going for 11 years and described their marriage as “God’s timing’.’

She wore a lilac dress and a long sleeved, short-cut coat with diamond earrings.

Zuma thanked his children for coming and showing their support. His daughters Duduzile and Gugu officially welcomed the guests. The father of 21 said he valued family, and thanked his children for loving all his wives.

During the ceremony, the couple frequently exchanged smiles and sweet words.

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