Durban - Two young men tied the knot in a rare South African gay wedding in KwaDukuza (Stanger) on Saturday.
In what was described as the town’s first gay marriage, Tshepo Modisane and Thoba Sithole, both 27, walked down the aisle in front of 200 guests at the Stanger Siva Sungam community hall.
The wedding was a jubilant, exciting affair, attracting even uninvited members of the local community.
Thoba, a Joburg-based IT specialist, is from Shakaville, KwaDukuza and Tshepo an audit manager at PwC. They have known each other for years and dated on and off, before stabilising their relationship.
Now that they are wedded, they will take on the double-barrelled surname of Sithole-Modisane.
The couple appeared to enjoy the support from the community, family and friends.
“Thoba is a really nice guy, very fun and outgoing,” said Loyiso Xaba, a family friend.
Another wedding guest, Bongani Sibisi, said: “They are an inspiration and step in the right direction.”
“This is my first wedding of this kind,” said Pastor Tankiso Mokwena, who married the couple.
In an interview on gay lifestyle website mambaonline.com, Thoba said about the relationship: “Since we are both men we have decided that neither of us will pay lobolo. The most we will do is to buy gifts for our parents as a sign of appreciation for raising us.”
The couple are reportedly planning to have children through a surrogate.
“Family is important to us and that is the number one reason why we want to have children,” said Thoba.
“We also want our children to grow up in an environment where they are loved greatly by both parents who appreciate them.”
Tshepo said one of the reasons they chose to be so open was that they “hope to inspire people out there who are still struggling to come to terms with their sexuality”.
“We see no reason to hide in darkness as if there is something to be ashamed about.
“Our marriage is largely symbolic and a sign that black gay men can commit and build a family through a happy and loving marriage,” he said.