An African couple from Benin decided to get married in Voronezh. Steves Cacpo, a musician, is not unknown in Voronezh. He often performs at various city’s events, open stages, and in the streets.
35-year-old Steves Cacpo came to Voronezh 10 years ago to study at Voronezh State University. He soon realised that he didn’t want to go back to Benin. Upon graduation he started to work as a musician.
A heroic woman
Living in Voronezh, Steves only visits his homeland to see his family. During one such visit, he met a girl called Priska. She was a restaurant receptionist. Since then, Priska’s life has changed completely. She never imagined that she would have to learn Russian, or move to another continent.
“In our country there is a tradition that all the family members should approve of a girl’s marriage, everyone, from her parents and brothers to her uncles, etc.”, – said Steves. – “It is very important that everybody agrees, as two families become one. According to another tradition, you’ve got to purchase the bride. So, you give her family expensive cloths, jewellery, and money”.
To purchase his future wife, Cacpo spent about $1500 on presents for her family, which is quite a considerable sum in Benin.
Having everything settled, the couple still had to decide whether they were going to stay in Benin, or move to Russia. Steves was determined to stay in Voronezh, so he insisted that his bride moved to Russia as well. Priska did a really heroic thing - she moved to a very distant and very different country, and started to learn a new language. In order for Priska to stay in Russia, Steves paid her university fees, so that she could study to get a profession.
All the city celebrated their wedding
The wedding took place in Voronezh not long ago. The official registration ceremony was held at the Central Registry Office, after which they also had a church wedding at a local protestant church. Steves and Priska followed all the wedding traditions of the city – they had a ride in a rented limousine, Steves carried Priska over the Stone Bridge – a traditional place of pilgrimage for the newly wed – after which they let out pigeons as a sign of good luck.
“We both were so bright and beautiful!”, – said Steves. – “People around us were so amazed, they couldn’t say a word! When we were walking through the city centre, total strangers kept congratulating us and asking for a photo.”
In their wedding album, there are a lot of photos with strangers they met in the streets, who wanted to wish them happiness and take a picture. The couple looked really exotic in their wedding outfits – Steves was wearing a navy uniform with a little Russian flag on it, and Priska – a puffy white dress.
Unfortunately, Steves’s and Priska’s families were not able to come to their wedding, because the flight from Benin to Russia is very expensive. Still, they had a chance to congratulate the newly wed via Skype. Steves and Priska sent home their wedding photos, and their relatives were very amused to see some of the Russian traditions.
“We are now living in two cities”, – said Steves. – “Priska is learning Russian in Kursk, and then she is going to study PR and advertising. I’d like her to be a model, to represent some brand. She is so beautiful!”
Steves himself is now preparing the documents necessary to obtain Russian citizenship. He is also looking for a flat, where they can settlestart their new home. Steves says they are going to stay in Voronezh, even though there are better career opportunities in Moscow. For him and Priska, Voronezh has become the second home. Steves is going to make a music video based on their wedding. He also wants to start a career as a TV reporter.
Further details can be found on http://www.moe-online.ru/news/view/354145.html.