Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 26th 2016 Contents AKIELA HOPE
The official engagement for the Jones' was actually on
Valentine's Day 2016. In fact, the couple spoke about get-
ting married over the years, had set their wedding date
and purchased their wedding bands, but never once was
there a proposal. So to Karlene's surprise when her flow-
ers bringing, gift and chocolate toting, ring bearing
boyfriend appeared in their room with knees bent to pro-
pose, she was left speechless and in tears, but this is
what set the tone for their wedding.
Though fate had played silly tricks on them by losing con-
tact a few times, it did not stop the Jones from becoming
one. Karlene and Kwame's journey actually started off as
secondary school sweethearts, having lived in the same
area for quite sometime. Things were perfect for them, but
then Mr. Jones and his family moved away. With time the
couple became distant and the years, 20 to be exact, gently
and swiftly passed by.
When they reconnected it was an instant connection, one
that felt even stronger. From then on they were inseparable
and their courting period got better and better with each
date. From movies to beach dates the couple fell deeper and
deeper in love. However, what hit it off for them, was the
long walks from Port of Spain to the Avenue and back, in
order to purchase food and talk while spending more time
connecting with each other.
Feeling that change in where her future was heading, Kar-
lene began a journey of self-reflection and discernment,
which inevitably factored into the 'how's and why's' of their
wedding day. After doing much research and discovering the
history of her ancestors, Karlene decided to take the bride
plunge under Yoruba rights. "From the beginning of our mar-
riage conversation, I told my husband-to-be that I wanted
something that was meaningful and something that em-
braced my African history", Karlene explained. "If I were to
practice any rituals, it would have to come from my ances-
Now if you are thinking that this couple only just had an
African themed wedding, they did not. Actually, they did the
whole shebang. Her first step was finding a priest, and to
her surprise, the perfect priest, Priest Baba Erin Folami, was
living very close to her. It was he who gently guided them
through the other processes.
Due to her research, Karlene now understood that mar-
riage was not only a social connection, rather it was deemed
one of the most spiritual events in their life and in order for
the bride and the groom to connect spiritually, they had to
carry out a divination. "We did a Yoruba Tribe divination be-
fore the actual wedding day. In this ritual, we were told if we
were right for each other, whether the union was a blessing,
and during which we're given our African names;Ifakemy
(Karlene) and Ifasola (Kwame), among other things." This
being done, it was then on to the wedding day.
"On the wedding day, Chief Alagbaa, and a masquerader
who represents our ancestors, greeted everyone at the
door. During the ceremony I was placed on the left of my
husband, while we continued the rites. Another important
ritual in which the priest officiated was the tasting of the el-
ements", she explained. This is one of the many practices
that is meant for bonding. In this ritual couples, followed by
the family, taste items such as salt, honey, rum, saltfish,
guinea pepper, Ob and palm oil, just to name a few. Subse-
quent to these customs was the traditional signing of pa-
pers; however it did not end there.
"The families were asked to join the couple on stage
where the males would wrap cloth and tie them to the fe-
males," said Karlene. "This is seen as the binding of the fami-
lies procedure. The males all stood outside the females
while holding the cloth and making protective vows or
prayers. The priest then asked the two eldest males (the fa-
thers) to stand outside of the entire group with swords also
making vows that they will be leaders", Karlene revealed.
There were also a range of entertainment at the recep-
tion, including dance and drumming, which brought jubila-
tion and complemented the overall ambience of Karlene's
Yoruba-inspired wedding. In hindsight, if Karlene aka
Ifakemy, had to do it all over again she indicated that she
would do it the same way. Tracing her roots, finding herself
marrying her soul mate, and doing it the Yoruba way, was
nothing short of fulfilling for the Jones.
• Bride and bridegroom attire,
and bridesmaids' head pieces
by Carol Prince Mandela of Prindela Fashions.
• African décor by Chezelle Maynard.
• African dance and make up by Jewel Holder.
• Photos: David Brown and Dwayne Johnson.
June 26, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
WOW MAGAZINE --- WEDDINGS - THE AFRICAN WAY | 5
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