|Sanele Masilela, 9, was introduced to the family of Helen Shabangu, 62, at a do-over of last year's wedding ceremony (Image: Raymond Preston)|
Sanele Masilela is now nine and his wife, Helen Shabangu, is 62 years old. Yesterday’s wedding was held to introduce the groom to the bride’s family in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga. According to an agreement between the two families, much of last year’s formal wedding needed to be repeated before the couple changed into traditional gear for the second part of the ceremony.
The traditional marriage took place in Mkhuhlu township, where Shabangu has a home. Last year, their white wedding was held in Mamelodi, Pretoria, where they live separately. Last year’s Valentine’s Day wedding had all the elements of a real one: R7000 lobolo was paid for Shabangu, who wore a white wedding gown, and they kissed before exchanging rings and vows. The ceremony, it was said at the time, was not binding but merely a ritual to appease the ancestors.
Since that white wedding, the couple have returned to their normal lives – Sanele being just a schoolboy and his spouse a working woman who lives separately from him with her real husband and her children. The husband was also at this latest ceremony and helped set up a tent and gazebos.
Although many have not understood the intentions behind the ceremony, Sanele’s mother has taken time to explain the ritual as just symbolic and a way to appease their ancestors. The boy’s grandfather apparently “visited” him in dreams, asking for a wedding as he himself had not got married when he was alive. “I did whatever I could to protect him from the ancestors. If we didn’t do this, he would have been sick or gone crazy,” his mother said.
Link source: http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2014/07/14/boy-nine-62-year-old-woman-repeat-wedding-to-please-ancestors