For the Ndebele, part of the Nguni tribes who reside around the greater Pretoria area in South Africa, marriage rites involve three stages, taking several years and concluding only after the first child is birthed.
Before a woman is married a “bukhazi” is performed; the bride to-be goes into a smaller room/hut for a week before the wedding and the elder women in the community coach her about her role as a wife and her duties as a married woman within the village.
The third stage is completed when the bride has her first child.
The groom’s parents then visit the bride’s parents and pay the Labola, after this they take the girl to the man’s family for familiarization.”
This special garment is worn by all the married women during the wedding ceremony, as it represents a mother being surrounded by children.