Tuesday, June 09, 2015

I love this photo. It costs me seven years and a $150,000, but it was worth it. This was our wedding day, September 1, 1997, the day after Princess Diana died in a car accident.

Precious changed into this red dress for the reception after the ceremony. She loaned her flowery print dress to her cousin Tanti on the left.

Tanti was a free spirit -- notice she is not wearing shoes. Tanti had six children, "She likes men too much," Precious explained. And she was always happy and smiling -- I mean Tanti.

Precious was more reserved. The only time I ever saw her cry was at Aunt Janet's funeral when she threw herself on the grave and wept.

I said why do you never cry, and Precious told me about the time when she was ten-years-old and the soldiers came to Entumbani and made it a killing field. Precious took her younger brothers into the bushes and they hid for several days. She can't remember how long, but there was no water or food, and if they cried they would be found and killed.  So she never cried, and not since then never cried.

But our wedding day was happy for everyone.

You can't get a photo like this, of an African woman and her cousins on her wedding day. This natural, simple beauty. So relaxed, yet so proud. So sweet, yet so intelligent. Just as they are. You can't get this photo unless you truly belong there. So that's why I said it took me seven years and $150,000. You can't just get on a plane and fly to Africa and get this photo. You have to fully be there, as I was, for a time, 18 years ago.

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