Saturday, January 22, 2011

Our Wedding Films!

In case you haven't had a chance to catch them here are our two wedding films. The first is from our Traditional Wedding in Soweto and the second is from the White Wedding. They were both filmed by Clifford Derrick (with the help of Gugu Radebe and some shots from Luke Winsbury and Aulrich Market). They were edited by me. I hope you enjoy them as they were both truly magical days for Kutlwano and I.

Lenyalo: Part 1, Our Traditional Sowetan Wedding from Christian Parkinson on Vimeo.

Lenyalo: Part 2, The White Wedding from Christian Parkinson on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mokoya Lodge full . . .

Hi guys, Mokoya Lodge our venue for the White wedding is now fully booked for anyone wanting to overnight on the Friday and Saturday. There is though alternatives. We were given these details by the guys at Mokoya.

Pine and Baloo - 1km away. Call Samantha on 0829798270

Little Swift - 7km away. Call Elreen on 0832775349

Ties for the Groomsmen!

It wasn't easy to find a yellow tie to fit our wedding colour scheme. . . But after weeks of searching Kutlwano and I have finally found one for myself and the Groomsmen to wear at our wedding. Here's a pic - Hope you like it!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Still at home with the Parkinsons. . .

Finally we have created the much anticipated sequel to "At home with the Parkinsons". After the huge response to the complexity and revelations that came from the first film we have followed that up with a film even more gripping and entertaining. Ladies and Gentlemen I present: "Still at home with the Parkinsons":

Still at home with the Parkinsons from Imagejunkies on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

At home with the Parkinsons. . .

We wanted to give friends and family a glimpse of life at the Parkinson household and also have a practice with my new 5d mark 2 camera :-) Enjoy my short film "At home with the Parkinsons". . .

At home with the parkinsons from Imagejunkies on Vimeo.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hotel Booked!

We have finally found a place for most of my family to stay when they come over for the Wedding. I was given a list of attributes by my Mum that it must have: Pool, Garden, proximity to Bars and Restaurants and of course a reasonable price. I am pleased to announce that Kwa Nandi ticks all of those boxes and is ran by a very friendly Brit. It doesn't have a website yet but Rod the owner has sent me those photos to give you an idea what to expect. . .

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Romantic Night away!

In need of a short romantic break, after months of non-stop work and wedding planning Kutlwano and I recently headed to Magaliesberg for a lovely overnight stay at Quiet Mountain Country House. It's a fantastic spot that by sheer coincidence is almost next door to Mokoya Lodge where we will be hosting the White Wedding on the 4th December. We thought that we would post a couple of pictures of our stay just to get you all very jealous :-)

The Lodge is ran by a lovely couple who make you feel very welcome and lay on a fantastic meal in the evening. below I've posted the Lodge's promotional video for you to check out. . .

Sunday, August 22, 2010

We have completed the Lobola!

It's been a long, drawn out process but I have finally finished paying for Kutlwano! For those who still don't know, Lobola is the dowry that the groom pays to the brides family throughout much of Africa. See my earlier post for a more in depth explanation.

I am now considered to be part of the Malimabe family. It's a great honour to be so welcomed and I can't wait to keep learning and to really get under the skin of Sotho culture. We now consider ourselves a married couple and can't wait to celebrate with both the Parkinson and Malimabe families later in the year.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mokoya Lodge - Photos and info

As most of you will know we have a Wedding venue confirmed for our White Wedding on the 4th December. We have booked and paid for accommodation for thirty people at a price of 400 Rand per person for the Saturday night. If you want to stay then please let us know. Kutlwano and I will also be staying on Friday 3rd December - if you would like to join us then we will give you the details of Mokoya Lodge so that you can book it yourself. We are very excited and can't wait to see you all!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Champion cameraman!

Although completely unrelated to the wedding we thought you might enjoy this short film of Ghana fans singing a song about Chris at the World Cup. . . What great fans!

Friday, June 25, 2010

A quick update

So with the World Cup going on the wedding planning has had to be put on hold for a few weeks. I did though spy this funny link of very amusing wedding day photos that I hope you might enjoy.

On a practical note we are also planning a short trip to Sun City after the Traditional wedding and before the white wedding. We thought it would be a nice place to take Chris's nephews and niece. If you are interested in joining us then let us know and I'll pass on the details.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wedding Music Video - Love it!

Brian & Eileen's Wedding Music Video. from LOCKDOWN projects on Vimeo.

I love the idea of a Wedding Music video. It just shows you that Wedding films can be fun. I really hope that our video captures some of the energy and spirit of this film.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Rock: Kutlwano finally gets a diamond ring. . .

So after months of procrastinating I have finally gotten Kutlwano a diamond engagement ring. Although our stand-in ring had been a great success it was starting to fall apart. We had been discussing the ring for sometime and I had a good idea of what she wanted. I made sure that I did my research on the net before going shopping and that I knew what I could expect in my price range. For a few days I became an expert on the cut,colour and clarity of diamonds and the different type of settings.

As we were already engaged I decided that I would make the giving of the ring a fun event. I invited over our friends Mpho and Danny and hid the ring in the fridge with a bottle of Champagne and a love letter. When they arrived I asked Kutlwano to get the drinks. As soon as she opened the fridge door she began to shake, torn between laughter and tears of happiness. She finally took it out of the box and slipped it on. It fitted perfectly and looks great on her.

I've posted a few pictures below to give you a taste of the moment I gave her the ring and how it looks on her. . .


It fits!

And looks good!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

How a wedding video should look. . .

Neda + Sati "A Marriage of Two Cultures" from Cherish Films on Vimeo.

This beautifully shot video is a real inspiration. Unfortunately we don't expect ours to look quite as polished as this but I hope I can still make it a nice and entertaining film. Watch this space!

Monday, April 26, 2010

What to expect: A traditional wedding in Soweto

This weekend I was lucky enough to attend a traditional wedding in Soweto. It was a good opportunity to see how they work and what will happen. The wedding was that of Kutlwano's Cousin Kgomotso and her partner Neo. It took place on the street in front of the family home with the most of the guest seated at tables under a large white tent.

Kutlwano and I arrived slightly late and missed the initial dancing as the Grooms family arrived. We were though just in time for the speeches, prayers and an excellent performance by a small choir.

After a dinner of chicken, lamb and rice the Bride and Groom went to greet their guests and danced in the street. It was a great spectacle and I look forward to showing you all my own dance moves at our traditional wedding at the end of November.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Venue Booked, Date set! Book your flights now!

Today I paid the deposit on a wedding venue that we visited on Saturday. It's called Mokoya Lodge and is a lovely, small and unpretentious place about an hour from Johannesburg, close to Hartbeespoort Dam. They have accommodation for thirty available on site and extra beds can be arranged at neighbouring guest houses. It would be great if most of our guests can spend the whole night with us. Here's a couple of photos of the venue that I hurriedly shot on my i-phone:

The view from the wedding chapel:

The outdoor wedding chapel where the ceremony will take place:

The function room where we will eat and party:

If you didn't already know, the date for the White wedding is Saturday the fourth of December. We will also be having a traditional ceremony the weekend before in Soweto. If you are wandering what to do during the week in between then don't panic there are thousands of excellent options and we will help you to organize. Hope to hear from you soon.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The negotiations

“It’s sorted” – the SMS from Bra Gugu suddenly made the nerves begin to kick in. The Lobola negotiations had only been going for two hours, was this a good sign? I, as is the custom with the Groom, wasn’t allowed to join in so had been sitting outside with my friend Mpho and his girlfriend Danny. I’d been warned that the Lobola talks could last all day so I was ready for a long wait.

(Mpho keeping me entertained as we wait for the outcome)

I’d put together a good team to negotiate my Lobola on behalf of the Parkinson family. They were all people I had worked with at the BBC and trusted. Bra Gugu is a fellow Cameraman, Bra Ezra is a freelance Producer and Bra Dan and Aus Connie both work in the Office. They represent a number of different South African tribes and brought with them a wealth of knowledge and experience.

(Bra Ezra - My Xhoza Connection)

After a short wait Bra Gugu appeared from the gate of the Malimabe house – “Do you have the bottle?” he asked. I popped the boot and took out the whiskey I’d been told to bring. An agreement had been reached and now the two teams would share the bottle. Gugu didn’t have time to expain but hurriedly told me that things had gone well and that he would call me after lunch when I might be allowed to come in. I was perturbed that I might miss lunch and began to wish I’d stolen more of Mpho’s chips when he’d been eating earlier on.

I needn’t have worried as five minutes later Kutlwano came out to greet me. She was wearing a flowery dress with a pink cardigan and a huge smile. Her head was covered by a heavily patterned red bandana or Tuku as they say in Sesotho – it’s considered a sign of respect for a lady to cover her head at these type of gatherings – she looked beautiful. I hugged her, “so can I call you my wife now?” Her smile broadened, “I guess so, Im not sure.”

(Kutlwano outside her home, just after the negotiations)

We went into her families home, it was crowded with all the Uncles and a smattering of the Malimabe ladies. I greeted them in Sotho: “Dumelang, Le kae?” The uncles and her Father were stony faced and I began to worry that something had gone wrong. I joined my negotiating team who sat on the couch opposite the Plasma TV, the sound of Norah Jones duetting with Willie Nelson filling the small space. Bra Dan poured me a shot of whiskey and quietly whispered the price they had agreed on. He explained it had been tough but in the end they had been able to bring the amount down a little. The final price was a little more than I had expected but I was still happy, Kutlwano is worth it.

Now that a price has been agreed and my team have left the first installment with the Malimabe family Kutlwano and I can finally feel that we have taken the first big step toward confirming our future together. I’m excited and glad that we have chosen to do things the African way, a way that I hope will convince her family that we are serious and respectful towards Africa and its traditions - Even if it does mean I don't have much money left for an engagement ring :-)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

To pay or not to pay?

Last night I handed a letter to Kutlwano. The letter announced my intention of visiting her parents home on the 27th March. This may sound odd to my English friends and family but as my African friends will understand this is the first step towards paying my Lobola (Mahadi in Sesotho) and being able to claim Kuts as my wife. It's an old tradition that is practiced across much of the continent. It's often translated as "Bride price" and sees the man pay the brides family for the right to take their daughter as his own.

When I first came to Africa I considered it an outdated and pointless tradition and figured that I would never have to pay. But now I realize that it is an important aspect of Sotho culture and that if I want to be respected by my future in-laws and raise my kids to understand their Sotho heritage then I must be willing to open my mind and show my willingness to embrace all aspects of Kutlwano's life. Historically the price was paid in cattle but most urban families now negotiate in hard cash. I have put together my "team" who will go to Kutlwano's parents house and negotiate on my behalf, they are all African friends who understand the traditions and will hopefully help me to get a good bargain :-) I'm told that the arguments over price can be long and complicated so I'll be sure to write a detailed description for you once it's finished.

I hope the negotiations go better than the prank call on the video below:

Here's a clip from the film Shaka Zulu where he negotiates his own lobola, not sure how accurate the depiction is but it gives a sense of the atmosphere

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Popping the question

So after years of playing the field and enjoying my "wild" twenties I've finally met the girl I want to settle down with. A lot of people who have known me over the years perhaps suspected it would never happen, lets face it I don't exactly lead a "normal" life. But I guess there comes a time in every mans existence when he finally meets someone worth making a commitment too. Kutlwano and I met through mutual friends (thanks Lla and Dee!) well over a year ago - the truth is I cant remember exactly when as she had a boyfriend at the time and so I put her in the "nice but taken" category. It was only months later with both of us newly single that we started dating. She quickly made an impression on me and I realized I was prepared to fight to keep this one. The clincher for me was our trip to England over Christmas and New Year 2009. Having been swept away by her charm in Mzansi I saw that she was equally as relaxed and happy in my homeland, it was time to get a ring on her finger.

Kuts with Dave and my Mum, Christmas 2009

On our return to South Africa I decided that I would propose on her birthday (21st Feb), so I booked us a weekend away at Malealea lodge in Lesotho. The problem I had was finding the time to organize and buy an engagement ring. I hadn't realized what a mine-field it is. Cut, clarity, colour, setting, size - all of a sudden I had to start learning about diamonds. I procrastinated due to my fear of being ripped off by unscrupulous diamond merchants and rapidly began to back track from my proposal plans. It was a tough few days leading up to the trip as I fought with myself about what to do. Eventually I had a flash of inspiration. I still wanted to propose and figured that if kutlwano was as keen as I was (and I knew she was due to all the hints :-)) then the type of ring she received wouldn't matter. I rushed to the local shops and found exactly what I was looking for. It was a cheap and cheerful ring from an arts store in Parkview. It was made from sort of fabric and was about as far from a diamond ring as it's possible to get. I brought a box and put the ring in with a note saying: "I owe you one diamond engagement ring."

The stand-in ring

On Friday the 19th February 2010 we drove the seven hours to the Lodge, deep in the Lesotho hills. At this point I was still planning on holding off on the proposal until her actual birthday. As we neared Malealea and crested the brow of a hill we were greeted by a breathtaking view, a view that inspired me. The time was right, it was about five pm and the colours in the sky and across the mountains were amazing . I pulled over the car and walked with Kutlwano to a spot overlooking the valley. I had the box with the ring and the note in my back pocket. The truth is I can't remember exactly what I said. I'd planned to ask her in Sesotho but in the excitement I forgot and stuck with English (probably a sensible choice as I may have completely messed it up and left her wandering what the hell I was talking about). I dropped to one knee at which point Kuts began to shake uncontrollably. She didn't hear my proposal as she was already crying. As the tears streamed down her face in this beautiful and remote location a local mini bus taxi randomly passed along the dirt road besides us with a local man calling in Sesotho to ask why she was crying. I smiled and he waved and carried on. It was an amazing moment and the first step along the long road toward our wedding and the rest of our lives together.

Just after she said "Yes"!