What it means being a wedding guest in Tanzania

….”what do you mean it’s today?”

“I haven’t had my makeup done…Jesus, I haven’t even booked for an appointment…”

Panic attack on a hundred…oooh that was just a bad dream…


Gets up…

Calls DivaGlam, sets an appointment. Phew I can finally breathe.

Confirmed, I will be looking like some take away on this wedding! The wedding is two weeks away by the way.


Things we ladies go through when a friend, sister, cousin, friend of a friend (who’s a slayer) is getting married.

First feeling is “aaaawww am soooo happy for her/you” then “so when’s the wedding?”

Whilst going through a mental math of your calendar because a wedding means:-

  • Engagement party
  • Bachelorette / Kibao Kata (naughty naughty)
  • Kitchen Party
  • Send off
  • Wedding reception (for the few bride’s chosen friends and family)

As Tanzanians, we looooove the endless events but not just that but its tradition. 

In my mind all these events are set for people who are more likely to not attend the wedding since yeah, majority shareholder of the wedding reception inviter is the groom (bummer)! Tradition! Now let’s say, all the above events would take place, and you my dear are expected to be there for all of them…your bank account is fully involved.

Ushoga ni gharama/kazi! Click To Tweet

Pledges would definitely not be below $50 for each event.

Quick math:-

  • Engagement party? – Tshs 57,000/= ($25)
  • Bachelorette / Kibao Kata (naughty naughty) – Tshs 57,000/= ($25)
  • Kitchen Party – Tshs 115,000/= ($50)
  • Send-off – Tshs 170,000/= ($75)
  • Wedding reception (for the chosen few bride’s friends) – Tshs 230,000/= ($50/$100)
  • Hair & Make up – Tshs 115,000/= ($50) 
  • Fuel/transport -$10 (indirect cost that we surely ignore)
  • Attires for all events (slayage) – Tshs 230,000/= ($100) 
  • Presents –  Tshs 57,000/= ($25)
  • Splash moments – the chop my money part would probably be a band of 10ers amount to 50,000tzs – $25
  • After party – Tshs 57,000/= ($25)

Roughly for a good friend/close friend you are bound to spend about TSHS 1.2M. Someone’s months salary ey!


We love weddings but let’s be honest, they do go deeeeep in our pockets. Mind you this is just one wedding, imagine have 4 weddings in a year! Here’s where the Swahili phrase “ushoga gharama/kazi” meaning “its expensive/extra work to be someone’s friend”…

The little we can contribute for our dears ones, kindly understand that this comes from our deepest part of our hearts and pockets. The same way it’s a crazy roller coaster with all the wedding preparations for the bride and groom, it’s the same/close enough crazy drive for us attendees as well.

On that note, gotta head down to my tailor for that bomb ass reception dress.




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