Weddings Bells at the Selinda Reserve

Every year on the Selinda Reserve we bring in the New Year, and the new season, with a fun day for all the staff. Each year is unique, and this year it included the Botswana Olympics (covered in another post). But it was also unique for another reason. There was a lot of excitement for 2013 as four of our colleagues were tying the knot in official ceremonies in February. Not everyone was able to attend their official weddings, so on the 29th January we decided to celebrate the special unions of Kay & Jabu and Pete & Sharon at Selinda Camp.


The Brides to be Kay and Sharon in traditional clothing


Gifts of food were presented to the bridal party wrapped and carried in a traditional way

Kay and Jabu are longstanding colleagues who are based at Selinda Camp. Kay is a chef, and Jabu (which means smile in Setswana) is the front of house supervisor. They met at the camp and have been together for three blissful years, when finally Jabu realized it was time to do the right thing.

Pete and Sharon, now Mr and Mrs Unwin, are our concession managers. They have been based at CSU, the Selinda Reserve’s Central Support Unit for nearly five years and together for, let;s say quite a few more than that!  After becoming engaged at Selinda Reserve in the previous year, they finally got married in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in February.

The wedding “blessing” commenced with a procession of singing, clapping and drumming into the main marquee area, which was set up very much like a chapel. As no family were present, a number of the staff stepped in to be substitute uncles, aunts, fathers and mothers. Willelm, from Holland, was Pete’s dad whilst KG acted as Jabu’s and Joyce acted as Kay’s mother. Gifts of local food were presented to the couples at the beginning of the ceremony before Mots, the Selinda guide, presided over the short ceremony with a prayer and sermon. It was then time for the uncles and parents to say their part and provide advice to the couples. Joyce very sternly informed Kay and Sharon that if ever Pete and Jabu are away late from home then they must never ever ask their husbands where they have come from. This would be a great insult. As this was a blessing there were no rings exchanged but just lots of cheers and some beautiful songs from the choirs of the camps. Mots brought the ceremony to a close by wishing the happy couples good health and prosperity. And then,  the festivities began.

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Both couples were blessed by Mots who presided over the ceremony 

The wedding celebrations also incorporated our annual contest between the camps . We had three categories for best choir, best talent and best conservation message act. Zarafa and Selinda Camps and the Central Support Unit (CSU), who were backed by the boys from Selinda Explorers Camp, all competed in each category. It was CSU’s first year  in the contest and they blew everyone away with the mens’ deep voices and ladies’ sweet melodies. They were undoubtedly the standout choir. Selinda Camp, led by Dollar, produced an incredible show telling the story of a young lady’s journey as she grows up in a local village. With fantastic costumes, the passion was clear, and it was an outstanding drama. They swept the best talent category. Zarafa Camp provided a more poignant message which won them the inaugural “best conservation message” category. They sang a very interesting song relating the tourism industry to the conservation of local wildlife. It was a very intelligent piece. Although not on the agenda, the day’s events concluded with a football game which ended with a perfect result, a draw.

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The festivities involved acts and singing from all the camps


Best wishes to Kay, Jabu, Pete and Sharon and thank you for sharing your celebrations with us, it was an incredible day.

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