HOME       VOLUNTEER OVERSEAS       BLOGS
Developing a just society based on equity and equal opportunities for all with respect for diversity.

Friday, November 8, 2013

One wedding, two wives

Last weekend we were lucky enough to be invited to a wedding, thanks to Inusa, the leader of Danani cultural group which we’re working with for our girls’ project. His sister was getting married and as honorary members of Danani, we were also invited to get the Danani fabric. Despite having to get our clothes made express and almost not getting them at all thanks to some tro-tro adventures, we had our matching dresses ready for Sunday morning.

We met at Victory Cinema at 8am, where we considered whether we looked more like a girl band (The Salamingas!) or airhostesses (Africa Airways!), and took the first of many pictures of the day. On Ghana time as usual, 8am meant 9.30am but soon we were in taxis headed to a mysterious location for the wedding.


When we got there to a mass of marquees and chairs, we were greeted by Anusa, and then instructed to go around meeting everyone and shaking their hands, led by the man of our group, Matt.
Soon however it was time to head off to the mosque. We all climbed in the back of a truck which wasn’t the most comfortable journey, but was pretty exciting. We were in the first car and looking back down the road was just a sea of cars and motorbikes as a great wedding procession.

The mosque service was nothing like Christian weddings, especially as the bride wasn’t even present! According to someone who was being a helpful translator for us, it began with proceedings between families and the formalities, rather than celebrating the couple. We didn’t really understand what was going on, but there was praying, well-wishes and a number of ‘best man’ speeches from family. Mostly we just copied everyone else’s hand movements and tried to fit in!

The journey back was just as exciting, as this time a few of Danani began singing and we joined in where we could. This was something that would continue for a while!

The mosque service was fairly small compared to the number of people that were around later, especially as there were no women invited. We were lucky to be invited and see the service as special guests/salamingas, as all the other women were busy cooking all morning.

The afternoon was spent hanging around in the marquees, talking and singing with some of Danani, eating lunch, dancing and taking so many photos! We met the first wife who was lovely, but still no bride, or groom for that matter!


Elaine and I ended up with a makeshift crèche surrounded by lots and lots of children, who all wanted to sit on our laps or play with our hair or take photos. It was fun for a while, but very exhausting!


The afternoon ended with the performance we’d been promised all day, with a number of traditional bands getting lots of people up to dance. Many more people turned up including a few chiefs, and finally the bride! We were encouraged to sit in prime positions, which turned out to be right next to the two wives.


It was finally getting dark so we said goodbye to Inusa and after only a handful more photos managed to leave. I was glad to get home to leftover pizza from Tacorabama and sleep! It was a long day and very intense, but a great experience and I’m glad we went.