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Ugandan traditional wedding and my first Kwanjula
As a creative videographer I always looking for new challenges and opportunities to film something unique and new. I love to get to know different traditions and cultures. Not only during my trips abroad but thanks to the job that I do, I had the opportunity to experience something new and film it.
That is why I will always remember 22nd of August 2021 as on that day I was lucky enough to film my first traditional Kwanjula wedding.
Chloe and Katlego’s wedding took place at the Normandy hotel, located in the Renfrewshire area only nine miles from central Glasgow. The day was split into two parts with the Kwanjula kicking off the celebrations before the wedding ceremony was conducted by the pastor. The day had an extremely vibrant atmosphere with lots of colourful wedding attire, delicious food and of course plenty of dancing.
What is kwanjula and how did i managed
As I had not experienced a Kwanjula wedding before I was keen to thoroughly research the different elements of the day so that I was aware of how the day would run. Kwanjula is a Buganda term which is generally used across the country and means “to introduce”. This introductory ceremony is for the bride-to-be to introduce her soon to be husband. Chloe advised me that she wanted her wedding video to capture the traditional, colourful, and lively nature of a Ugandan traditional wedding. Trusted with this information in mind I was excited to film this magical wedding.
I arrived at the venue early in the morning and started to set up my equipment as the Kwanjula was due to start at around 10 am. Each family had their own designated speaker who was responsible for explaining to guests how the ceremony would be conducted.
The families had their own official entry to the room starting with the mother of the bride who came into the room dancing along to Ugandan traditional music and wearing a beautiful colourful dress. The groom and his family were next to enter, and I ensured that I captured the dancing choreography and excitement on Katlego’s face. Once Chloe’s family had made their unique entrance, they identified the groom by pining a small flower to his jacket and allocating him to a specific seat to wait for his bride’s entry.
Following the entry of the young women and then the bride’s brothers, Chloe made her well-anticipated arrival along with her wedding party. Chloe was wearing a beautiful traditional gomesi which is a very heavy, highly detailed dress. The atmosphere in the room was bursting with love and pride as the exchange of gifts from either side of the family started to take place. Katlego’s family gifted Chloe’s family many different presents, a traditional act which grants the groom permission to marry their daughter. After the acceptance of gifts and many discussions it was agreed that Chloe should marry Katlego!
Church ceremony and reception time!
For the church ceremony, Chloe changed into an exquisite white wedding dress. After the Christian marriage ceremony, I took the couple for some video shots, and we all enjoyed a breather from the exciting events. This also gave Chloe and Katlego a chance to absorb the fact that they were now a married couple!
The wedding party had another vibrant entry into the wedding reception before the speeches got under way and the delicious meal was served. Everyone got up onto the dance floor before Botswana dancers descended into an amazing traditional dance. During this time Chloe changed again into a less restrictive printed dress to enjoy the celebrations and dancing.
My thoughts and wonderful music band - MusicTravelLove
I absolutely loved experiencing a Ugandan traditional wedding, it almost didn’t feel like work because everyone was so friendly and made me feel like I was an integral part of Chloe and Katlego’s big day. There were so many amazing shots to film, and I used 3 camera set ups specifically to capture the entries with one camera mostly on a gimbal and my second shooter filmed everything with tripods.
Chloe had requested if her wedding video could be put alongside to the beautiful track, ‘Forever and Ever, Amen’ and it was through the kindest of MusicTravelLove, a band from the USA, that made this request a possibility by granting permission to use the music.
It was a real privilege to be Chloe and Katlego’s videographer, they are a truly special couple and I wish them all the best in their married life together and look forward to when we meet up again one day when they visit Scotland again.
Blog Posted Assisted by: Clare Johnston
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