Man to marry four brides at once

Wedding nerves are bad enough with just one bride - but imagine having four.
CALL them crazy but four KwaZulu-Natal women are madly in love with one man and will all walk down the aisle with him on Sunday.

Businessman Milton Mbele, 44, will be flanked by his beautiful women who will be waiting to say their “I dos” at Ntlane village, between Escort and Ladysmith.

Thobile Vilakazi, Zanele Langa, Baqinisile Mdlolo and Smangele Cele are unfazed.

The beautiful quartet have vowed to marry their Ndaka municipal manager husband come rain or shine. The women are aged between 22 and 35 years.

Though he married all traditionally on Sunday, Mbele did not pay ilobolo for them at the same time. He first paid 10 cows for Vilakazi, then seven for Langa and eight each for Mdlolo and Cele.

Speaking on behalf of the women, Cele said: “We don’t see anything unusual about our marriage. We agreed to marry him at the same time because we love him. It does not matter if we have marriage certificates or not, what is important is that he loves us.”

Mbele said his marriage extravaganza starts on Sunday with a white wedding and ends on Monday September 27 with a traditional ceremony.
Asked why he was marrying all four at the same time, Mbele said: “Marrying many wives is our culture. However, what is different is to marry all of them at once. I am doing this because I love all these women.”

Mbele said the response he got about his wedding plans was amazing. “Many people are looking forward to see me making history.”

Mbele owns about 100 cows and 250 goats.

In South Africa, a Zulu wedding takes on many forms.

The bride may change her clothes three times during the day, in order to show off to her in-laws just how beautiful she is in different colours.

For the wedding ceremony she will change into a traditional outfit (see picture, right). Her flaring red headdress is reminiscent of the hairstyle of her ancestors. Traditionally, this headdress was made of her mother's hair.

During the ceremony the parties from both the bride and the groom's side compete through Zulu dance and songs. After the ceremony everybody tootles off to the groom's home for the traditional slaughtering of a cow by his family, to show their acceptance of the bride.

She then places money inside the stomach of the cow while the wedding guests watch. This symbolises that she is now part of the family.

The wedding ceremony ends with the bride giving gifts in the form of blankets to her new family. This tradition is called ukwaba. Even the long-deceased family members receive gifts and are represented by the living ones. The family cover themselves with the blankets in an open area where everybody will see. The spectators ululate, sing, and dance for the family.



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