By Donsy Kunene

Uniq Magazine SA has all reasons to dub September as an awesome three-some month in celebration of African Heritage, Spring and Tourism. All these celebrations are associated with change of mind set, change of behaviour, personal development, new life, introduction of new things, setting new trends, enjoying life… the list is endless.

UniQ Team was one of the luckiest group to receive a special invitation to witness a spectacular white wedding for our very own Mapule and Thandeka (to be addressed as M&T on this article), Founders of UniQ Magazine SA and respected Media and Communications gurus.

The fairy-tale white wedding of these two love-birds started off with traditional festivities weeks before the big day; demonstrating diversity of the LGBTI world. In the world of homosexuality, there is always a fear of the unknown and an absence of direction concerning the route to take, involvement of families before the white wedding. With M&T this was not an issue because they took proper precautions by involving families from the day they took the big leap to get married. This has made things easier for them – every important individual in their lives within both families was mentally and physically prepared.

Mapule and Thandeka are the only openly gay people known within their respective families, which easily translated to a first time experience of all the expected formalities. Even though their relationship was open and known by their families, the full support by the families came as a surprise to the couple. They were aware they have support and blessings from elders but not to the level it took. Both families committed into taking over the processes and activities just to show their support to the couple which left them in awe.

The couple believes in a unique way of doing things without copying from others or following trends. The way they handled traditional formalities served as a lesson to many lesbians that are forecasting marriage in their futures. The lesson learnt is that be yourself; satisfy yourself not others whilst demonstrating morals in a dignified manner, respect your elders and understand where they come from culturally and generationally. Ensure that they understand your sexuality before bombarding them with your homosexuality. Instead of following the ordinary traditional suite where there are lobola negotiations between families, they opted for their own way of honouring the elders.

The exclusive traditional ceremonies were celebrated over two consecutive weekends. The families thanked each other by exchanging gifts, which included blankets, dresses, etc., over a feast of gob-smacking food and magnificent decor that resembled cultural diversity and beauty of celebrating our heritage. The Ngobese and Msani family (Thandeka’s) were the first to receive gifts from The Zungu Family (Mapule’s). The event was made cheerful and beautiful with African attire adorned with warm earth colours and spring colours at their home in Chesterville while the following weekend the Zungu’s were the receivers of the gifts. The couple chose to celebrate their love with Xhosa attire to pay respect to Mapule’s Father, Bab Wilfred Kolase from Matatiele where Mapule’s clan originates from his Father’s side.

The Zungu’s showed off their acceptance of a new family member by giving their bride a new name ‘Sivusumuzi’. Sivu was not only given a name as a welcome gesture but also given a status of being uNdlunkulu of the Zungu tribe. Mapule has won the hearts of the Ngobese’s and Msani’s by being true to herself; giving love and support to the family as an added and new member of the family. Both of Thandeka’s families took turns grooming Thandeka to be the woman she is today.

Ahead of the couple’s celebrations, they have been exposed to brutal and vicious condemnation by widespread media coverage leading to both public disapproval and tremendous support from close friends and families. Because they both have strong willpower they were not disheartened by the negative publicity.

It is vital to mention that the significant support of the families was born by the fact that the Zungu’s are the part of Zulu revolution as abantwana baseNdlunkulu, they truly believe in Zulu culture. To them the union of the two people loving each other regardless of the sexuality should be respected and accepted accordingly. On the other hand the Ngosebe’s are known for their contribution in the struggle to democracy and freedom.

“It will be an insult to the country’s constitution if we can go against it where same-sex marriages are legal” said Bab Ngobese in addition to his unhidden excitement to see the couple committing to each other for love.

Halala!! Lilili!  Kikiki!!