In arranged marriage the groom family will send word to close relatives and friends to search a bride for their sons. The search includes religion background tribe, where they live, and brief history of the family. Once all the information is gathered the groom family will then send a word to the chosen family (KUCHUMBIA)
The groom family will visit the bride family in a surprise in their first visit usually it is between 2pm – 4pm to propose. On arrival the groom family will pronounce their intention of visit “TUMEKUJA NA JAMBO LA KHEIR KUTAKA JIKO” (jiko here mean a woman). In arranged marriage the groom families knows and have information on the bride to be. Here it depends if the bride to be families have more than one girl in the house or the family lives with extended family the bride to be family will want a description of the girl in detail. The detail description includes; complexion, height, weight, etc. Usually the description is done in detailed manner.
The bride mother will then based on the description given will call the girl and ask her to serve the visitors tea and snacks the move is aimed at identify the bride to be (a mother guess is always right) and approval from the groom family. The groom family leaves the bride family house promising to come back soon but not without leaving a groom photograph behind for the bride to be.
Despite the fact that in arranged marriage the bride parents decision is considered to be final but the bride to be mother will explain in details to her daughter about visit and intention of the visitors, she will also give her the photograph of the groom to be.
Maulidi ceremony is performed immediately by both parents.The slaughter of cow as a “SADAKA” to the villagers and a thank giving to ALLAW (SW). Dua and Fatihais performed.
Kupelekapete will be a second visit to the bride to be family. The bride family will be informed early in advance in order to inform their close relatives about the occasion. On this particular day the purpose of visit is to discuss on the:
The groom family will bring the engagement ring together with other gift for the bride e.g. Kanga, cloths, hijab, buibui etc.
MAHARI OR DOWRY : this belongs to the bride to be and she is the one to decide on what she wants her Mahari to be. Mahari can be given in a form of:
Mahari is bargainable and also depends on financial ability and stature in society.
Maziwaya mama is usually shared among the mama family (uncles and unties) same with kilembaya baba the cash is divide among the baba families (Shangazi and Ami)
During the four months indoors somo will help the bride to be with body beautification so that by the time she gets marriage she will be in a fair complexion and smooth this is made possible applying the following to the body; Liwa, Manjano, BintiDhahabu waxing and shaving is done also. Five days to the wedding the bride hair will be relaxed using the cream relaxer died to her color of choice, dried and styled by the beautician (somo) the day of the wedding.
KUNGWI: An old woman chosen to give guidance to the bride on the cleanness of the body, bedroom matters, and how to handle a husband during the wedding day and after the wedding day duties and responsibilities.
MKE NI LESO:
Ni la zima mke kuvaa leso mbili wakati wakulala na mumewe Mume ni avae leso kiunoni Kikaii na upambaji wa milazakishellasikuyanikkah tuna
songanyelemviringoamamkilinahukuzimetatiliwanamuyasmininausoni tuna wekamapambozayasmininamapamboyamkufuusoni.
Muyasmini, vilua, udi, manukato, mafutamazurinausafizaidiyamkekimwili, kinyumbanahatainjeyanyumbanimuhimu.
Mwanamkewa Kiswahili nipambonalazimatuendelezemilanadesturiyetukatikaelimuasiliatuliofundishwanawazeewetu. Na vituhivikuvitumiakwamwanamkewa Kiswahili nikamalazimakumfurahishamumewako
GROOMS FAMILY HOME:
The groom and bride will go to bed while both relatives wait for the answer from the groom. It the bride turns out to be a virgin the bed sheet is send to the bride family and a celebration for both the family.
“KUOLEWA NA KUOA SI RAHA NI KARAHA YATAKA USTAMILIVU” a saying from Munira Yusuf to remind the couples on the wedding vows.
Manukatoyawaswahili – vilua, muasumini, roses.
By Munira Yusuf.
Facilitated by Fatma Mansoor.