The Sunday Times has just published a story about an East London matric pupil whose parents spent R25 000 on a designer dress, personalised number plates for ‘his-and-hers’ luxury cars, clothing and accessories branded with her name, a photoshoot and a pre-event party for family and friends … just for her matric dance

And she’s not the only one caught up in the matric dance frenzy that takes SA by storm every year

Her mom believes it was worth every cent to make her daughter’s dream night perfect and it seems that other parents feel the same.

The Sunday Times reported that photo shoots, with make-up artists and hair stylists booked months in advance and coming to the house are the norm for some matric pupils.

Just like a wedding

This all seems like the arrangements (and costs) for a wedding. These parents had better be prepared to cough up a lot more when their precious darling gets married, if this is what they are demanding at 17 or 18.

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And of course it all gets shared on social media

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and even Snapchat are used to capture the moments and share them with all your friends – virtual and real – so that everyone can see how much effort (and expense) your parents went to for your matric dance. Because as we all know, for this generation, if it’s not on social media, it hasn’t happened…

I lived on a boarding school campus for seven years and witnessed matric dance fever every year

My daughter’s babysitter spent R7 000 on her dress and all her friends booked their hair and make-up appointments for the day. Parents arrived from Jo’burg and Durban and booked hotel rooms for their daughters to get dressed in, and offered their cars or hired luxury cars for the night.

Watching the matrics arrive in hired stretch limos, Maseratis, BMW and Mercedes convertibles and other cool cars, was a highlight of the night and locals from the small midlands town lined the red carpet to watch them alight from their cars and pose for pics.

But often the most beautiful dresses – floaty beaded gowns that made the girls look like princesses – were those made with love and pride by Mum or Gran, and those teens with a sense of humour, who arrived on a tractor or horseback, drew the laughs and cheers from the crowd who had gathered to watch. Just my observation…

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