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‘Our ancestors are not homophobic’ – a traditional Xhosa wedding surrounded by family, lifted in prayer

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Sangiwe and Nolo Pandliwe on their traditional wedding in Komani, Eastern Cape.
Sangiwe and Nolo Pandliwe on their traditional wedding in Komani, Eastern Cape.

Her new name is Nakhane.

It means “build each other”, an apt name for the Xhosa bride who was received with love by her in-laws when they were welcoming her into the family as a new bride in Komani last month.

But as she sits on the reed mat, clad in traditional Xhosa makoti attire, eyes cast downwards and eating utsiki, she is not simply playing into some patriarchal stereotype. Nolo Phera (21) is marrying the love of her life in the way she wants to – by celebrating her Xhosa heritage.

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