A wedding ceremony is as important as ever and it has to be beautifully handled and with a touch of excellence. The bride, bridegroom, in-laws and the invited guests always look forward for the day to be as graceful as a wedding day can be. Invitations are always sent in advance and in some of these invitations the host can be very articulate and thorough. A guest list of a targeted figure is endorsed purposefully to meet their budget and those who attend should be formally invited, and submit your card at the time of request. In cases like this gatecrashers are prohibited. The general concept of African weddings based on African culture everybody should be allowed to attend the wedding ceremony regardless whether you are formally or informally invited. The host would make sure there is surplus food and space to accommodate the uninvited ones. It would be considered as rude if the host do not welcome the gatecrashers. Many of these gatecrashers are decent people who come to witness the wedding and the joy it gives just to be present. They always come in harmony and leave in harmony and it’s very rare to hear stories of commotion brought by the gatecrashers. Majority of gatecrashers always offer some gifts in form of money especially after you fed them well. It’s always been a blessing in disguise in many cases.
However, lifestyle and economic hard situations force most people to be very decisive and to be economically in as much as possible hence eliminating other people from attending their weddings. I found myself in a similar situation on a wedding I attended in Liverpool over the weekend. How did I happen to be there? Who invited me? These are questions hang on in your mind as a reader. As a narrator of this story I shall narrate to you the event that led me to be at the wedding.
It all happened two months ago I met a friend from Zimbabwe at Asda, Hazel Grove, in Stockport. We became fast friends and exchanged numbers. It was to our own interest that we are few Zimbabweans or people from black community within the area. In the following days and weeks we phoned each other and talked for a length of time over the phone. My new friend who has introduced herself as Dee, invited me to her son’s birthday on the last minute dot com, and I wished she had informed me earlier I would have made a lovely birthday cake for her son. Despite her last minute call I managed to be there and it was my first visit to her house since we met.
It was on this day, when one of Dee’s relative from Liverpool came to celebrate the day for her son. The visitor from Liverpool was happy to see me. We all learnt that we went to the same boarding high school in Zimbabwe. He was a senior by far and he was in the same class with some of my few relatives and I also happened to be the same class with his young charismatic brother. It brought fresh memories and we talked of our school, our former teachers, friends and relatives and almost every subject of that we could think of. It was from there that the visitor from Liverpool invited me for the last weekend’s wedding and he asked his family to come with me to the wedding. His name Neil (not his real name)
On Saturday morning, Dee and her family came and picked me up for the wedding. We drove and in three quarters of an hour we had arrived our destination. Neil welcomed us in his house and five minutes later we vacated his house for wedding matrimony. He was in charge as he drove us to the reception venue. On arrival we all ushered into church building. We waited for the bride for a while and she arrived in style by the limousine. Inside, we all ululated as all people gave the passageway for the bride and her father. Her father elegantly handed over her to her handsomely Cameroonian bridegroom. The priest in charge blessed their wedding and after they made their wedding vows and the priest announced them as a man and wife. The church was fully packed with all people of different walks of life who applauded and congratulated the two newly weds. After the church ceremony they dashed out for the photos.
My new friends and I headed back at Neil’s house and after half an hour we went to the ceremony venue a different place from the church. The venue was at the centre of Liverpool town. We saw people trickling in but at the gate, standing, as securities were the elegantly dressed females from two nations, Zimbabwe and Cameron. They stood there purposely and asking people to show up their invitation cards and that their names were concurring with names written in their guest book.
Finally it was my turn, Dee, her husband and children had passed their test easily for they had their own invitation card in their names. “Hi,” one of the female securities greeted me with a broad smile revealing white milky teeth. “Hi”, I greeted her back and slipped an invitation card not in my name in her hands. She flipped it and inside she saw the card was addressed to Mr Neil and she started to check on her guest book to look for Mrs Neil and unfortunately as I expected there was no name addressed as Mrs Neil but only Mr Neil. She asked me the most question I dreaded. “Are you Mrs Neil?” I took a deep breath wondering whether I should say yes or no. I eventually said yes and refused to look into her eyes afraid that she may discover the truth written in my eyes. “Could you stand aside and while we ask someone in authority to verify this invitation?” she asked. “It ‘s a aright and Mr Neil will be here shortly to verify of this invitation”, I said as I bit my lips with my upper teeth. We had left Neil for parking the car as we made our way to the venue. He had said he would catch up with us soon and he had given me his invitation card thinking it will be easy for me to get through, he didn’t mind for himself for he thought he would find a loop hole to get inside the venue.
The moment I stepped aside inside the building, the guys who were responsible for tying reception belts came for me straight and sealed a belt on my left arm without questioning me whether I was officially allowed in. I only smiled and thanked as I saw the belt slipped through and hanging elegantly on my palm. I noticed that the belt had the bride and the bridegroom’s names which were written beautifully.
Whilst I was standing, the man in authority came and he asked whether it was me who was in a problem. I explained to him and he knew his friend had invited me. As he was about to say something to me, Neil arrived and he was surprised to see me still standing at the main entrance and probably he half expected it. Immediately I went to the security lady and told him that he was Mr Neil. The woman was laughing as Neil explained that the hoist forget to put my name forward. She realised we were friends and the security lady told Neil to say: “Please Mahobho”, allow me in or else your “Mrs” would not get in. Mahobho is a slang name commonly used in Zimbabwe for the bouncers. If someone is not officially allowed in or to exit before the time people would lament for the security guy, saying, please, please Mahobho as they asked for favours. In the end Neil ended up saying, please Mahobho, to please the security lady. We all laughed and giggled but I was happy as I was reunited with Neil inside the building. We met up with Dee and her family who were waiting anxiously inside and we explained to them what had happened. They laughed at the episode but mostly they were happy that it was successful and we were together. The wedding ceremony went pretty well and there was surplus food for every body. It lasted till four in the morning. On departing the bridegroom came and gave me a bottle of Champagne. My friends and I thanked him. We left with the spirit of triumphant. On reflecting on this story do you think or see me as a gatecrasher? Pour out your thoughts on my blog.