ULULATIONS echoed throughout President Jacob Zuma’s home in Nkandla this weekend as his eldest son Edward and his bride Phumelele Shange celebrated their traditional wedding.
The newlyweds formally tied the knot in a private white wedding ceremony attended by close family and friends only at the popular Tala Game Reserve on Friday.
On Saturday the couple kicked off the first part of their traditional wedding. The bride and her supporters braved the scorching heat outside the homestead as they waited for permission to enter the home, which was only granted at 3 pm.
President Zuma entered the court with his brother Mike dressed in full traditional attire complete with a stick and shield, which he used to tease the locals to challenge him.
The bride’s uncle Thamsanqa Dlamini got the proceedings under way by formally handing the bride over to the Zuma family.
“We release our child to wed into the Nxamalala family. They have paid all the lobola we required and we are satisfied,” said Dlamini.
The bride, accompanied by her bridesmaids who included her cousin, businessman Khulubuse Zuma’s fiancée Fikisiwe Dlamini, and Khule Mbatha, who is engaged to one of the Gcaba brothers, shyly presented the groom with a lantern as a sign of their union.
President Zuma also received a beaded necklace as a gift from the bride. Glaringly obvious was the absence of the president’s fourth wife Nompumelelo Ntuli from the event.
Khulubuse made his presence known as he arrived in a black BMW with dark-tinted windows while daughter Duduzile and Lonwabo Sambuda kept a low profile.
Also there to show their support were ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu, Zimbabwe ambassador Phelekezela Mphoko and prominent businessman Sydney Pandarum.
The festivities drew to a close yesterday with the umabo (gift handing ceremony).