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UNDERSTANDING THE TRADITIONS

We will not lie - we don’t know everything and we are working on understanding the rich traditions represented in South Africa. We will add as we respectfully understand and appreciate the intricacies involved. Please feel free to share with us!

There are a few stages in a typical traditional wedding:

1)    Dowry payment, often termed Lobola.
2)    Gift sharing between the two families (this includes ceremonies such as Izibizo/Membeso, Umbondo) prior to the actual wedding.
3)    Finally, the official ceremony wedding where the bride is officially welcomed into her new family – ceremonies such as uMabo/ukuMbathisa are performed as part of the celebrations.

 

Lobola (loh-boh-lah) – this is the bride dowry/price in southern African culture. It is traditionally paid with cattle or equivalent monetary value. The average price can range from 11 cows up to 15, and more, for royal blood. It is considered a token of appreciation to the bride’s family for raising her and allowing her to help build the man’s home.

This tradition comes after “ukucela” - asking for her hand in marriage – the first introduction of the man to the woman’s family. This is where he announces his intentions and is advised on the requirements for the bride price.

Read further: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobolo

Following lobola and deemed reciprocation by the bride, Umbondo (oohm-bo-ndor) is when Koti gives the visiting party, tasked with asking for her hand, gifts in the form of a basket of goodies and groceries such as maize, rice, cooking oil, etc. or she takes them herself to her in-laws. She is accompanied by girls and one of them will stay behind as her maid. The maid’s role is to help Koti and run errands for her, because there are places that she cannot access in the homestead prior to official marriage. Umbondo can and is often combined with umabo instead of being a standalone event.

Ingqibamasondo is a part of umbondo. This is a ‘public announcement’ by the bride that she will be married soon, a "thank you" to the bridegroom’s family and so a transitionary custom. This can only happen when lobola is fully paid up. It involves Koti being taken to the kraal where a goat is slaughtered to symbolise and allow Koti to become a member of the house, having permission to act as a child of the house. Koti takes with her goodies such as a tray and tea set for the chief negotiator and his wife as well as a basket for her mother-in-law.

Umembeso (ooh-meh-mbheh-soh) involves the bridegroom gifting Koti’s family, specifically her mother, as a "thank you" for raising his fiancée well. He receives a list of gifts to buy a few family members, including the late, such as blankets, mats, pinafores, doeks, livestock etc. There is much celebration in the form of song and dance during this ceremony as two families become one. A goat and food are prepared by Koti’s family as a way of welcoming the groom’s family to their home and, in some instances, small gifts will also be given to the groom’s family.

Often known and recognised by customary law as the official traditional wedding ceremony, umabo (ooh-mah-boh) is the official welcoming of Koti into her bridegroom’s home. This often takes place after the white wedding but can be done as a standalone, post lobola and membeso.

In its simplest form, Koti is adorned in traditional gear and proceeds to give gifts to her new family, as per list received from the bridegroom - which usually includes blankets, pinafores, cookware, groceries, furniture etc. The recipients receive their blankets/gifts and celebrate the new bride with dancing and singing, all in the name of two families becoming one.

PURCHASING FAQ’s

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You will get an option to register and create an account when you complete your first checkout.

Absolutely not. While perhaps most pertinent and helpful to those preparing for their wedding, anyone is most welcome to purchase what they like, no matter which stage of life they are in.

Not at all.

PAYMENT FAQ’s

Yes, it is. Koti is registered with Payfast which is a registered and secure 3rd party payment gateway.

Yes you can! Select "Electronic Funds Transfer" as your payment option during the checkout process and follow the payment instructions displayed below.

Receipt of your payment will be verified and your order completed.You will be notified of successful payments and completion of your order via email/sms.

Yes! While we do not encourage this method for orders > R2000 from a safety point of view, we understand that cash is often King in the gift ceremonies, so:

  • Select the cash on delivery option at checkout then proceed to pay 50% via EFT/bank deposit
  • Upon delivery make sure you have the exact amount available for the delivery team

Of course, you great planner! At checkout one option for payment is layby with 3 or 6 month payment options. You will receive your items once the total is settled at the end of the selected period. Terms and Conditions do apply.

Not yet but watch this space!

Your credit card will be charged upon order placement and approval of card. Your EFT payment will be cleared within 1-3 days. The description for the transaction will be "Payfast*Koti Traditional Wedding Specialists".Please note that non-clearance will delay delivery of your goods.

DELIVERY FAQ’s

Yes we do.

Before placing your order: Yes you can.

After placing your order and prior delivery: Yes, but not on the website and not after we have shipped your order. Give us a shout via website contact form/call/email and we will manage.

Yes you can. You may select to collect your items from:

1)  Our office. This is free of charge. Collections are at the following address: 407 Lilian Ngoyi Road, Windermere, Durban

2)  Our warehouses. This is at a fee of R20. Collections are at the following address:

Our standing promise is delivery between 7-14 days.

However, in special circumstances e.g. you forgot or are missing something and need it speedily or you have specified a later date via email/contact form/call, we make exceptions and deliver earlier/later.

If you received an incomplete delivery you can notify us here and we will respond with 2 working days and sort ASAP.

Cha. Not yet. Watch this space.

CANCELLATIONS, EXCHANGES AND RETURNS FAQ’s

View our Returns Policy here

Should you receive an item that is damaged, not what you ordered or perhaps you change your mind, log a return via the website contact form/call/email and we will collect from you at a R150 courier charge or free if we are at fault. Terms and conditions apply, please read our Returns Policy carefully to ensure ease and success of the process.

Within 10 days of validated return. Should this not be possible for reasons out of our control you will be notified in advance.

Should you wish to exchange your item for a different colour, model or size for any reason. Return the item within 14 days of delivery for a courier fee of R150. Post this a charge will apply as per Returns Policy. Write us a note on the Contact form or send us an email stating reasons. We will call you within 2 working days to confirm whether the exchange item is available and then provide next steps.