Adjusting my large, red traditional Zulu wedding head-gear, I was feeling incredibly nervous. I was getting ready for my wedding day.
I was to be King Shaka Zulu’s fourth wife.
I couldn’t believe this day had come. Shaka’s first three wives were also Zulu but I was to be the first white wife.
I stood there anxiously adjusting and re-adjusting my handmade beaded colar necklace. I caught a glance of my reflection in the full-length mirror and stared back at the woman about to step into the unknown and try to traverse races for love. It made me apprehensive, yet proud. I was following my heart and not my head for once.
Would I be able to share him with three others? Would I be able to submit and obey?
Shaka was such a beautiful man, tall, athletic, dark and incredibly handsome. How did I get so lucky? I was so deeply in love with this proud Zulu Warrior.
It was so remote from the image of a white meringue wedding gown my parents expected I’d wear one day, when I finally decided to get married. I didn’t want to disappoint them but I was adamant to follow my heart against all the odds.
It was time to meet all King Shaka’s children.
The children were all smartly lined up from oldest to youngest, thirteen of them in all. I approached slowly observing each one. They all looked so serious like mini warriors in their Zulu loin cloth skins. I never imagined I’d be instant step-mother to thirteen children! It was all so surreal. I shook each tiny hand, gave them a wide friendly smile and greeted them by their name. I was praying and hoping that I wouldn’t forget all their names from the photographs!
I had prepared for this moment. I had studied the photographs the nanny had provided me with. I knew each one of them by name and their age. I didn’t want my first impression with the children to be a negative one. I wanted to impress them; to leave a mark. However, it was going to take a lot longer to get to know their personalities and traits.
I bid them all farewell and left to make the finishing touches to my outfit before I had to attend the wedding ceremony.
The time came to walk down the isle and there were hundreds of people standing gazing at me. All dressed up in all their Zulu finery. I felt so self-conscious and was concentrating not to trip and plaster a smile on my face. When I finally got to the front where the minister was waiting, I took one look at his face, perused the room and saw King Shaka was nowhere to be found. I instantly went cold and suddenly my worst nightmare came true. There was not going to be a wedding. I was not going to be married.
Shaka Zulu had left me at the alter!
I was humiliated.
I turned, picked my dress up and ran out of there, mortified and sobbing. I’d never felt so betrayed in my life.
I should've known better that a ruthless Zulu Warrior would have second thoughts about a marriage with me.
Yip, another one of my epic dream adventures!