Last week Saturday I had the absolute pleasure of being asked to cover a ‘couples evening’ at the World of Praise Church International in Madadeni just outside Newcastle. That’s Newcastle in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa for any international readers that might be following. It was an interesting evening where the borders between event and portrait photography were slightly blurred. So, Saturday morning I start getting together my kit, and realise I would probably have to take a backdrop with me if I am going to be doing portraits of couples. Out comes the queen size, white bed sheet from mother dearest’s linen closet. After one or two experimental shots of Ouma and Oupa with the grandchildren in the garage, I’m all set.
I was mostly dealing with a chap called Hiram Kariuki. Now, for those of you native to South Africa, you will probably immediately recognise that it isn’t a name native to the RS of A, so it was like……hmmmmm? Not being able to find the church on any Google map, GPS or any sort of direction giving service only added to the hmmmmmm?! factor. Was this bloke for real? I soon realised why I couldn’t find it anywhere…….G4753, Section 4 , Madadeni, KZN. Yup, that is the address on their official website, and I reckon if you don’t live in Madadeni or go to the church, you’re stuffed. In steps or Hiram again. He gives me directions Google maps or any sort of GPS device would be envious of. Made me wonder…..do we really need all those gadgets and gismos? What did our ancestors on horseback do? Used old Spike during the day and the stars during the night most like. Those were the days!
Suzanne and I speculated what sort of a ‘couples’ evening this was going to be, and our initial thoughts on the evening was that it is couples that were going to be married coming to an ‘introduction’ evening. Some churches do have a philosophy of going through a whole courting process and so on……we couldn’t be further from the truth. It was a couples evening for all the married couples in the church, as a celebration of the institution of marriage. Being a Christian myself, I have to say I was really quite moved by this, and it once again broke down pre-concieved ideas I might have had based on cultural differences. It was really cool.
With anything Zulu, the whole event had its fair share of song and dance. This time it was more the dance aspect that took centre stage so to speak. A dance competition was staged, and I saw some young Zulu girls tap out a jig of note. Finally, just a massive thank you to the people of World of Praise Church International for all their warmth and hospitality. Also, check out more shots in the Events and Portraits Galleries.