The bride and the Groom Solomon and Likengkeng (pronounced Dikengkeng!) Jonasi
A friend of mine, lecturer of photography at TUT was commissioned to shoot a wedding in Lesotho. When he told me about it I offered to be his assistant. This meant carrying tripods and providing lenses when required. It also meant that I would get to visit another country all expenses paid while learning from a pro! Lesotho was a bit less than I expected. It looks like a very small south African town because all the shops there are just branches from South African shops.
The traditional hats of are a common feature and they are evident everywhere as part of the architecture, on the number plate and on many companies logos! At the wedding I noticed that the ladies there really treasured their hats and it was a start contrast to the generally rural setting.
We set off on a friday afternoon and arrived at Maseru border post at about 430pm. The border was jam packed with Lesotho residents coming back from work and bringing in stock. We cleared the border quite quickly but what I found odd was that they needed to know where I will be staying and they were writing all these details in a big book. I just thought if this had to happen at Beitbridge it would take days to cross!
The bridal troop doing their thing
Econet wireless also has a presence in Lesotho. I saw a couple of horses in the front yard of a couple of houses and I was told that this was quite common for regular people to own horses! Unfortunately we couldn’t go to the snow capped mountains because they were 3 – 4 hours away. There were some really strange dust storms that would go on for a bout 5 mins with visibility cut down to a few hundred metres, then just as quickly as it started it would go away.
Lesotho currency is called the Maloti which is equivalent to the Rand.
At the wedding was Cheif Seeiso Bereng Seeiso, Principal Cheif of Matsueng.
After the wedding we went to the after party at the home of the bride where after all the traditional ceremonies are done a truck would come and collect all her belongings and she would leave. Whilst there we were served the most amazing home made ginger beer, without the fizz! After enquiring about it I was informed that it was a recipe passed down through the family and the young lady who served us was not about to let us in on the secret!
I was surprised to also meet Kenneth “Mr Bell ” Jonasi, who I had done two CDs sleeve designs for in the past.
Through out the ceremony whenever the males were introduced it was a full introduction which included the clan name, totem and village of origin, to make it clear who exactly that person was. Also present was the Chief Justice of Maseru.
I had the pleasure of meeting up with aerospace graduate Victor Mukungunugwa, who was named best aircraft engineering student at a Ukraine University
The Church Anglican church where the wedding ceremony was held
The hand brooms (I dont know the English word for mutsvairo) were aesthetically pleasing and I was impressed with the craftsmanship.
All in all it was a pleasant trip to Lesotho and the people were very friendly. One thing that reminded of home which is in stark contrast with Johannesburg is that people were flagging down cars for a lift, which a sure sign of a safe place.