The eight-year-old boy who married a 61-year-old woman on Valentine’s Day last year in a bid to placate his ancestors repeated the ceremony in the bride’s home town at the weekend.
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.
Early yesterday, there were busy preparations for the traditional ceremony as curious onlookers gathered at Shabangu’s home.
The house was abuzz with women from the village preparing umqombothi (beer), pap and chakalaka. A cow was slaughtered to feed the guests.
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.
According to the boy’s mom: “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,” she said.
Shabangu did not show any signs of age as she danced with her bridesmaids, girls of between four and 10 years.
Masogana A Bapedi dancers provided entertainment and the guests drank soft drinks.
Sanele and his bride shared a bottle of Fanta Grape.
See Photos below….
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