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Disappointed couple forced to postpone wedding due to Covid-19 lockdown

Zonke Njokweni and her fiance Buntu Matiwana have had to postpone their wedding because of the lockdown. /Supplied
Zonke Njokweni and her fiance Buntu Matiwana have had to postpone their wedding because of the lockdown. /Supplied

Zonke Njokweni was supposed to marry the love of her life at the weekend, but the couple had to postpone their wedding due to the coronavirus outbreak.

SA will be under lockdown from midnight today for 21 days, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday.

The announcement came as the couple was finalising plans for their wedding which was meant to take place in Cape Town.

This put the brakes on nearly three years of planning for the wedding for Njokweni, 34, and Buntu Matiwana, 35.

The couple have been together for 11 years.

"We had planned to have both the white and traditional wedding. We planned the wedding for almost three years because I wanted us to save enough money to afford our dream wedding.

"I did not want us to start our journey together as a married couple with debts," Njokweni said. She said everything had been going according to plan and they had already made all payments.

"I don't want to lie, we are hurt and disappointed. We had already invited about 150 people for our traditional wedding which was going to take place on Saturday.

"On Friday [tomorrow], we were going to have an intimate white wedding by the beach with family and close friends, but now we have to wait," she said.

Njokweni said they decided not to cancel the wedding as that meant they had to lose 10% of everything that they had already paid for.

"We have spoken with everyone who was involved in our wedding and asked them to keep the money as the wedding will still take place at a later stage. We understand the situation and there is absolutely nothing that we can do. I can't wait to walk down the aisle, as a result if the lockdown can be cancelled tomorrow, we will go ahead with the wedding," Njokweni said.

Njokweni said if the lockdown continued as planned, their wedding will take place in September or December.

"I can't have a winter wedding, that was not the plan. For now, I will just pray that none of the people involved in our wedding dies of coronavirus," she said.

Their photographer Zukisa Jikajika of JikaJika Media said the postponement also affected his company.

"We are losing a lot because we had already outsourced equipment from our suppliers. We had a few weddings that we were supposed to shoot, but unfortunately others were postponed, while others were cancelled. We had no choice, but to return the money," Jikajika said.

Nkonjeni said they did not believe that postponing their wedding would bring them bad luck.

However, leader of African Cultural Heritage Trust Qhuzulini Sithole said a wedding can never be cancelled or postponed once the date has been set.

"The saying that a wedding is not postponed was not just a theory, especially when you believe in African spirituality. Firstly, a wedding is a spiritual process that involves both the living and the dead. The wedding proceedings go ahead whether there is a death in the family or not," Sithole said.

"If you dare postpone it, you are inviting problems from ancestors because you are upsetting them. If the wedding happens when there is death in the family, the family compromise where there will be no singing and ululations.

"The wedding continues because elders are afraid that one of the family members will experience an unfortunate situation as a punishment from ancestors."

But traditional healer and expert and national coordinator of the Traditional Healers Organisation (THO) of SA Phephisile Maseko believes that a wedding can be postponed under certain circumstances and that will not bring bad luck.

"A wedding is something that involves both living and dead people of both families when we speak of spirituality. All these people are aware of the wedding and are ready for that. When you just postponed without a valid reason, ancestors will quarrel and retaliate. So, they coined that term because people were afraid of the consequences where one of the family members get injured," Maseko said.

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