• Sunday, December 21, 2014

Freedom in the air

Groom aged 9, bride 62

Mail Online

A nine-year-old schoolboy has become one of the world's youngest grooms for the second time -- marrying his 62-year-old wife again.

Looking a little taller in last year's silver tuxedo, baby faced Saneie Masilela clutched the hand of Helen Shabangu as they repeated their vows one year on. The second marriage ceremony was this time held at the home of the blushing bride in Ximhungwe in Mpumalanga, South Africa, in front of around 100 guests.

Wide-eyed residents looked on as the married mother-of-five shared a piece of cake, a toast and even a kiss with her young groom Sanele - and long-term husband Alfred Shabangu, 66.

Last year the boy, from nearby Tshwane, tied the knot with bride Helen after claiming he had been told by his dead ancestors to wed.

Shockingly his family took the message from the heavens seriously and hurriedly forked out £500 for the bride and a further £1,000 for the big day.

But little Sanele -- the youngest of five children -- wouldn't rest until the couple followed through with South African traditions insisting they have the second ceremony to make their marriage official.

Despite stunned villagers branding the act 'sickening' the boy's family defended the union saying it was just a ritual and not legally binding.

Sanele's 47-year-old mum, Patience Masilela said: “Sanele was fine and he was happy about the ceremony last year and it what he wanted - he was not shy.”

“He was just happy to get married, very excited and was not embarrassed about it. So much so he wanted to do it again.

“After the wedding last year people keep asking them question like will they live together, sleep together, have babies but I keep telling them that after the wedding everything went back to normal nothing changed.

“Sanele moved to Venda not long after the wedding because he wanted to learn a new language, but they are very close.

Our families are very close. It was nice celebrate with a wedding once more, it was after all a calling from the ancestors.

“By doing this we made the ancestors happy. If we hadn't done what my son had asked then something bad would have happened in the family.”

The widow, who works at a recycling centre, added: “I didn't have a problem with it because I know it's what the ancestors wanted and it would make them happy.”

Young groom Sanele said he hoped he would have a proper wedding to a woman his own age when he was older.

“I told my mother that I wanted to get married because I really did want to,' he said.

“I'm happy that I married Helen - but I will go to school and study hard. When I'm older I will marry a lady my own age.

 

Published: 12:00 am Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Last modified: 9:53 pm Tuesday, July 22, 2014

TAGS: Groom aged 9 nine-year-old marrying second marriage ceremony Saneie Masilela

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