Home, Swati wedding, Traditional Weddings

A Swati Bride For A Perfect Mhlambiso Ceremony

It’s not often a Swati Bride gets in touch for a feature. Therefore, you can only imagine my excitement when Nolwazi first tagged me on Instagram. It felt as if I had won the lottery. For those of you that are photography addicts please pardon me on this one. From her writing, one can tell Nolwazi is such a genuine person and it would have been a travesty for me to refuse this feature based on photography alone. Plus I’ve never featured a Swati Bride before so this one had to make it to the pages of Bontle Bride.


“Our wedding was a cultural event. We incorporated modern style into our traditional Swati event (mhlambiso). When the makoti first comes to her in-laws, by Swati tradition she should be dressed in ‘imvunulo’ which is the yellow top fabric(lihiya),the black skirt (sidvwaba) and the hat (siqholo).”

“We met back in 2007, I was best friends with his youngest sister. He asked his sister (my then best friend )for my phone number and mxit handle (if I can call it that 😂), his sister then asked me if I was ok with her giving her brother my contact details. I told her I had no problem. When he called our calls would go on for hours on end, as would our mxit chats. We started dating then, our relationship was more of a cyber relationship than anything else because throughout the year of 2007 we only met once. In 2008 he was a 19-year-old, 2nd-year student at the University of Pretoria and I was in grade 9, still keeping in touch, our conversations were the best lullabies 😍.


We got along like a house on fire.🔥 As time went by, the phone calls started getting shorter and shorter and eventually stopped. I figured he had moved on and apparently he felt the same way about me. Years passed and in the year 2013, I moved to Pretoria, where he was based to start my training at Transnet School of Engineering. He found out that I was in Pretoria and invited me for dinner as old friends, that evening, one thing lead to another before we knew it we were back in each other’s lives. We both broke up with our then partners to be with each other and the rest is history.”

A Swati Bride For A Perfect Mhlambiso Ceremony

“I come from a very conservative family after I had told them about my relationship with Ken. They made it clear that I shouldn’t move in or fall pregnant by him. This meant that we’d often see each other on weekends and I’d often do all the house chores over my weekend visits. He told me that he really enjoys having me around. He loved it actually and can’t stay another year alone. He then asked me to tell my family that he will send his uncles for lobola negotiations in 2016 December. As for the western proposal, Hunny!I’m still waiting for that one 💁🏾💍”
BONTLE BRIDE: lol same here lovely. I’m sure there’s a whole lot of us still waiting for the bended knee proposal, oh well …

“Choosing my dress was a mission and a half. I literally sent my designer quite a number of designs, changing my mind every morning. She took the 2 dresses I liked most and incorporate each of their details into one dress so after taking my measurements, she told me not to change my mind again. I was so worried and sceptical since I ultimately had not chosen a winning dress, but my designer just blew me away when I went for fittings🤗 I loved what she had for me.”Swati Bride

“Ken and I went on about the wedding as if it was not gonna be that expensive since it was not really your conventional wedding. It was what they call ‘Mhlambiso’ in siSwati, where after the groom is done giving lobola, the bride’s family bring gifts for the groom’s family as a sign of gratitude and joining of the two families. We wanted to modernize this ceremony a tad bit and that came at a price.

However, the reality of things is that weddings are expensive and this is not much spoken about. Things got so stressful. We lost a caterer and had to get one quick a couple of weeks before the event. On the day, my decorator forgot one carpet, but at the end of it all everything worked out beautifully. A lot of damage control had to be done and it turned out to be a successful event.”

“I wouldn’t change anything about our day, all our loved ones, friends and family were there to support us. We were both overjoyed, it even felt like a proper white wedding.We would not change a thing about that day.”

Memorable Moment
“When my aunt (my mom’s sister) spoke words of encouragement to us. She reminded me of my late mother.
Bontle bride: sorry sisi, may your mother rest in God’s perfect peace.”

I’m looking forward to happiness, love, spending the rest of my life with the one person I can’t go a day without. Being the best makoti to my new parents, starting a family and seeking Christ with my partner.


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About Author

Hi! I'm Ika. Thank you for visiting Bontle Bride, a gorgeous space where I share exquisite weddings with a flava of culture.

(8) Comments

  1. noxy says:

    Nice. I am a Swati and planning umhlambiso which should be in the next 4 months. The challenge is that I do not like the formal decorations for one reason our community enjoy food, drinks, dance and chill. I also do not like this speech that goes on for hours. I do not want to spend too much on it. We have been married for 8 years now. So yesterday I was sitting and researching of more casual set ups. I liked the idea of “I DO and BBQ” . The thing here is that we are not planning to buy the rings and say the vows. We already done this in 2014 even though it was a private thing at church with the pastor. Umhlambiso normally takes less than an hour or 2 hours. So I want to do Umabo and BBQ. Do you know of someone who has done this before? I also do not want guest or families to now go and get the nowadays traditional wear which is expensive. I want them to wear casual as the BBQ will be the main thing. Also Do you have any decorators that you can refer me to I am in Brakpan.

    1. Ika says:

      Hi Noxy

      Umabo and BBQ sound nice. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone who has done Umabo and BBq(Braai) before.
      However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. You have already stated that you want the whole thing to be casual.
      You also mentioned that you don’t want formal decorations and want the focus more on the BBQ.

      Therefore I would suggest you do away with the decorations. Hire a few benches ( if the budget allows https://www.tenofcups.co.za/p/757549/bench-table-18-x-600-table-only) and collect glass jars of any shape or size and fill them with flowers/greenery. You can get wholesale flowers and greenery here http://www.multiflora.co.za or http://www.flowerworldwholesalers.com Put one on each bench. That shouldn’t cost a lot.

      And then concentrate on “food, drinks, dance and chill.” Oh and then hire a good photographer.

      Ps: I’m not sure if you plan to send invites, but if you do, make it clear to your guests that
      you’d like them to turn up wearing casual. Others when you say Umabo, you know it’s a good excuse for aunties and uncles to go get a new traditional outfit made lol.

      1. Nosipho Nkosi says:

        Thank you very much especially on the glass jars. I had not thought about that. Thank you I will also try to convey the message on the invites hope they will read lol.

  2. Katlego says:

    Your posts are so inspiring. I recently stumbled across a pic that led me to your Instagram page n then this blog. I absolutely love this. Planning my own traditional wedding and your posts really give me direction. Thank you, continue the great work. ❤️

    ps:I’m also still waiting for the western proposal 😂😂😂

    1. Ika says:

      Ahhh! Thank you Katlego. It such a joy to know that Bontle can be of help. Best of luck with your plans.

  3. Good read! This looks really fun! Love the images so much.On point indeed!

  4. Sthabisile Mhlanga says:

    lovely love story…..everything is on point nje…first time seeing a Swati wedding on your blog

    1. Ika says:

      Hopefully, I’ll receive more. Thanks for reading Sthabisile

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