Zimbabwean and Czech cultures collide in this traditional African celebration.
Rumbi & Tom were about to give up on love. Then, one day, they fatefully swiped right and matched on Tinder. They haven’t looked back since! Their cross-cultural romance ultimately culminated in a beautiful display of family, love, and laughter at their traditional African celebration in April 2022.
Set in Rumbi’s family’s home in Zimbabwe, the traditional celebration, called roora (in Shona) or Lobola (in Ndebele), is a ceremony where a dowry is paid and where families have the opportunity to meet. Their official wedding will take place in September in Tom’s country, The Czech Republic.
Reflecting on their special day, Rumbi shares, “What made it so special was the meeting of cultures. I am Zimbabwean and Tom, my partner, is Czech. I was humbled by how warmly my family embraced my partner and his family. It was his mother’s first time flying such a long distance and she was a trooper. The language barrier did not matter, love prevailed.”
The couple was so grateful to celebrate with their close friends and family. Bringing everyone together for the first time, they couldn’t imagine a more magical day. More sweet details from their traditional African celebration below!
- Couple: Rumbidzayi Dube & Tomas Zezula
- Occupations: Rumbi is a Teacher & Tom is a Software Developer
- Date of Celebration: April 17, 2022
- Location of celebration: Dube Family Residence in Harare, Zimbabwe
- Wedding date: September 4, 2022
- Wedding location: Czech Republic
- Bridesmaids and groomsmen gifts: Bridesmaids got personalised robes and slippers. The groomsmen got personalised whisky flasks.
How they met…
We met online on Tinder when we were both about to throw in the towel on dating.
Tom wanted to meet my family. We were thinking of going to Zimbabwe in the Summer of 2021 so he could meet my folks. Unfortunately, due to COVID, there were restrictions on travelling home for me.
We decided to meet the family ‘half-way’ in Dubai where my parents and sister were able to fly. We spent 7 days together, with Tom getting to know my parents and vice versa.
Two days before leaving Dubai, Tom and I went to get COVID tests done. With Tom’s insistence, we went to view the Burj Al Arab. His plan was initially for us to go on a boat ride, but me being me, I was happy with their viewpoint and not too keen on missioning to find a boat in the heat. Whilst preoccupied with capturing the perfect shot, Tom said he had something important to ask me, got on one knee and proposed to my utter surprise. I said yes, and here we are today!
We were thrilled that we got to celebrate with my parents and sister who were there with us on our trip in Dubai. It made it that much sweeter for us!
Celebration style & attire…
Traditional African attire (dress) and a two-piece set. Both custom made.
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you?: The great thing about getting my outfits custom made, I could come up with suggestions. I wanted something traditional but not typical. I’ve always been drawn to 70’s style and spoke to Midi of Moshe Krafts who then took some inspiration from me and created the dress which fit perfectly on my first try. We made some minor adjustments to finish it off.
For my 2nd look, I worked closely with Danayi Madondo of Haus of Stone. I’ve been a fan of her work for a while. She took me through a process of selecting style and colour and material and we landed on the 2 piece. We had a fitting when I was home and she finalised my outfit in just 2 days.
Both ladies were a treat to work with given this was all happening remotely. The final outcome was so beautiful and I felt so gorgeous in both fits.
This being our African traditional celebration, it was definitely about culture. We call it Roora (in Shona) or Lobola (in Ndebele). Tom paid a dowry which required a family meeting and representatives who were present on his behalf. This was his commitment to building relationships with my family. After the roora / lobola negotations, we had a blessing and then had a celebration where we ate and danced the night away.
Mr. & Mrs…
The love and light that filled the atmosphere. My dad cried when saying his speech and that was incredibly touching.
We’d also settled on a colour theme for the event – not too sure if guests would adhere to the theme. Walking out for the blessing ceremony, I was so humbled to see everyone dressed to the theme. The mustard brought a level of brightness and joy. People were genuinely happy for us which was so humbling.
There were so many beautiful moments – from Tom’s mom dancing with my family; to the kind words shared; the decor which was stunning; to the great vibes and DJ who had folks dancing all night. It was so special.
Advice for other engaged couples…
Communication with the relevant people is key. Try to surround yourself with people you trust who will give you perspective and help you to process any frustrations constructively. These people are also key to stand in on your behalf where need be. Keep the main thing the main thing and at some point, you just have to trust that things will come together as they should. Then let go and ENJOY. Soak it all in because it goes by way too fast.
Looking for more traditional African celebration inspiration?
- Photography Studio: Waloko Studios
- Photographer: William Karimatsenga of Waloko Studios
- Make-up: Make-up By Patience
- Stylist: Amanda ‘Am’ Mudege of I Am Whom I Am
- Bride Dress; Groom & Groomsmen Shirts: Moshe Krafts
- Bride 2-piece: Haus of Stone
- Bridesmaids Headwraps & Palazzo Pants: Tanya Nefertari
- Hair: Loc Refresh of Simba Cutter (AKA Simbarashe Nyamhandu)
- Hair Stylist: Angela Maravanyika
- Decor: Upway Events
- Event Stationery: Tique Design
- Event Concept: Suvania Naidoo
- Event Coordinator: Sonia Dube
- Drinks: The Mixologist
- Catering: Nana’s Gourmet Kitchen
- Canapes: Joe Tsoka Catering
- Cake & Treats: Sophy’s Creations
- Bride: Rumbidzayi Dube
- Groom: Tomas Zezula