The self-professed “founder of NuMoney Entertainment, African socialite, hustler and PR genius”, Kunene this weekend married his girlfriend of four years, 22-year-old Nonkululeko Whitney Mhlanga, who is from Galeshewe.
The couple held their umembeso in Galeshewe on Saturday.
In Zulu culture, umembeso, or in Sesotho, Ho hlabisa mahadi, is when the groom’s family takes gifts to the bride’s family to say thank you for the gift of their new daughter-in-law. On this day, the groom’s family is welcomed by the father of the bride to the sounds of singing and ululating as one family loses a daughter and another gains a daughter. It is a day when the bride’s family accepts the groom as their son and the groom’s family accepts the bride as their daughter.
Hundreds of guests gathered in Galeshewe on Saturday morning for the Umabo ceremony as Kunene, dressed in Zulu traditional attire called imvunulo, was welcomed inside the bride’s house for the final negotiations before he went to the tent where he waited for his wife-to-be.
Outside, the streets of Galeshewe were lined with luxury cars, including a fleet of shiny Maserati’s, carrying Kunene and his “crew”.
Even in his traditional attire, Kunene could not resist his voracious appetite for expensive and exclusive brands, as he was seen sporting snake skin Billionaire sneakers, while Mhlanga was seen pairing her traditional outfit with a pair of Louis Vuitton sneakers.
Kunene reportedly met Mhlanga after seeing her at the Maloof Skateboarding Cup in Kimberley four years ago, when she was only 18 years old, and “immediately knew she was the one”.
They are expecting a baby, due in may.
After the traditional affair, an after-party was held at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre, where, according to insiders, Kunene spent in excess of R1-million on food, decor, liquor and entertainment.
Mhlanga arrived in “spectacular style” at the event, in a pitch black helicopter and walked a 30-metre-long red carpet to the double-story tent where the event was held, while wearing a white meringue-like, scalloped skirt with traditional, beaded chest-piece and jewellery, as well as a traditional feathered head-piece. Kunene was wearing a Dolce & Gabbana suit.
While Kunene is known for his affinity for sushi, even earning him the title of “Sushi King”, there was no raw fish in sight at the event, with the more than 500 guests being treated to traditional fair that included dumplings, stew, pap and morogo.
However, an open bar, sporting “only the best quality champagne and liquors”, assured that celebrity guests, who included socialite and radio and TV personality Khanyi Mbau, her musician boyfriend Teboho of Kwela Tebza and Kunene’s long-time comrade Gayton McKenzie, danced the night away in high style.
According to event organizer responsible for the decor at the wedding, Antonella Florio-Poone from Party and More, the venue was decorated around a traditional Swazi and Sotho theme, in colours of blue, red and yellow, featuring traditional fabric and flower arrangements in black pots and calabashes.
“This was the wedding to top all weddings, and unlike anything ever seen in Kimberley, with only the crème de la crème in attendance, wearing the most exclusive, international fashion brands,” Florio-Poone said.
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