The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Simba Quits Singlehood Lane

Tafadzwa Zimoyo — It had to be a high profile event as prominent personalities graced Simba Chikore's bachelors' party on Wednesday at the Jacaranda functions room at Rainbow Towers in preparation for his nuptials today.

It was definitely the place to be for any man who is anyone in the city and country. From renowned musicians, comedians, ministers, diplomats, ambassadors, socialites, pilots to fashionistas, all were there.

"I think this is the biggest bachelor party ever," noted one waitress.

The theme was black, silver and white with red accents and it goes without saying that entrance was strictly by invite only. And it also hardly needs stating that security was tight.

The invitation cards unequivocally set the tone by making it clear that this would be a very formal and classy event. However the jury is still out on whether Zimbabweans have created their own interpretation of the expression 'black tie'.

Typical of Hollywood style, the bachelor arrived at the venue in a Rolls Royce tagged VVIP supplied by Phillip Chiyangwa. His entourage arrived in less posh but highly impressive cars while the guests themselves were a more than a match for the occasion.

As soon as he got down, Simba was garlanded with a chain of flowers - Hawaiian style to mark him out as the star of the day, just in case anyone was in doubt.

Although it was not in any way a traditional event the way we view such parties, the organizers could not resist a customary touch by making sure that the groom got to see some of the most beautiful women in the country.

As soon as he disembarked from his car he was ushered into the venue through a passage created by more than 10 women standing in two lines.

He went through them without a second glance showing that he has no doubts about the choice he has made. After he had passed through the bevy of beauties melted away.

Inside the Jacaranda, Simba was escorted to a white chair -resembling the august thrones of the Nigerian kings as shown in the movies, as befitting the king of the day. He was flanked by close relatives including an uncle and a brother.

His groomsmen and his brother-in-law Chatunga also got sits in the front facing the myriad of VIP guests.

Forget about strippers or groupies dressed in mono-kinis and skimpy bum shorts, at bachelor parties. The style has changed to reflect tastes developed by the thirst for spiritual revival and it must be said that the new trend is a much better.

In a direct reflection of the modern kitchen party where all talk is about bible verses and spiritual rather than bawdy advice, the bachelor's party has become a platform to sermonize and evangelicize.

No more are the would-be grooms treated to all sorts of depravities like all night binges which would end up with the man not sure if he should head to the confessional rather than the pulpit.

In this case we are sure that this groom will have no such conflictions. Everything had a strong gospel flavour to reflect Simba's ZAOGA upbringing.

The keynote speech was delivered by the secretary-general of ZAOGA World Dr W. Rupapa. He urged the groom to care about his bride and his family. He also emphasized that Simba be cognizant of the real meaning of marriage which goes way beyond the wedding.

But it was not all serious stuff as yet another ZAOGA leader took the groom and all the gathered men through the risqué but necessary advice that pertains to bedroom matters.

Apostle Kapandura hogged the limelight with his juicy anecdotes as he warned Simba of the importance of his conjugal duties.

This party was not quite a full surprise as the groom was told about it three days before the event. I suppose the organizers had to make sure that his diary would have space for the function.

"God is amazing he has done amazing things in my life. I don't say that I come from a family of pastors but all I can tell you is that God is good. I thank you all for gracing the event," he said in his emotional speech.

Unlike the other run-of-the-mill parties where music is canned, this bachelor's do had live music from Sulumani Chimbetu and Sabastian Magacha with the Police Band also doing their cover versions.

The Manyame Air Base Traditional Dance Group added a native touch with their jerusarema and other dances.

At one point the groom got onto the stage and shook his leg along with Sulumani to the delight of the crowd.

Food was all self-service with a wide variety of everything to suit any palate. Chicken, beef and fish done every which way were placed side by side with all manner of starches and salads made up of everything that comes from the garden and more.

Drinks were freely available on request from the attentive waiters but this is where a few of the guests may have felt a bit piqued as they were forced to teetotal for the night.

But everyone lucky enough to have been a guest will cherish memories of the event.

"It was a night of style and class. I haven't seen such a well choreographed party like that. Wow! Seeing Simba being ushered down stairs with a bevy of models as he made the crossover from bachelor to marriage, I could not hide my tears of joy. He married the President's daughter and he deserves that," said Pritchard Mhako -one of the attendees.

After the formal proceedings it was time for guests to then party the night away with a cash bar allowing everyone to take their own particular poison.

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