Riaan Bleedt and Simphiwe Khumalo. Picture: Twitter

Between the many reported crimes that befall the LGBTQI+ community and the stares and gasps that interracial couples endure, these situations are proof of how much more still needs to be done to accept these communities. 

But now imagine being in an interracial relationship, being gay and y'all are about to get married? Things are bound to be interesting. 

With over 16k tweets, trending number three in SA and a lot of shook moments, OPW this week, introduced us to 26-year-old Simphiwe Khumalo from Mpumalanga and 43-year-old Riaan Bleedt from KwaZulu-Natal who found love via social media. 

The couple started their chats on Facebook and after a while, Riaan had to meet this mystery guy. 

"One day I just decided to meet this guy. So I drove all the way to Witbank and just then he grabbed my attention immediately. I knew there was more behind this person that I wanted to know," said Riaan.

And that's when the couple started dating.

Simphiwe's family accepted their relationship while Riaan's had an issue with him dating a black guy. That reason, and more explanations known to their son, was the reason why the family chose not to attend the wedding.  A sad and emotional time for Riaan as he wished his parents would have been around on his special day. 

To top it all up, the couple had to fight off people's opinions on their 17 year age gap and their race differences and that caused the couple to quit their jobs in Machadodorp and move to Joburg, "to start our lives afresh together," said Simphiwe.

Riaan proposed in March 2017, saying (Simphiwe) was the one. And with African customs observed before most wedding, Simphiwe's uncles inquired about  ilobola.

"Then I said: 'oh that means you guys must help me go and pay lobola for Riaan since I'm also a man. So we'll go to his home and pay lobola," said Simphiwe. But since white people don't often practice lobola, "I got away with it," he said laughing.

Riaan said it wasn't much of a gay wedding that is a problem with the community but the issue was that it was an interracial gay wedding.

On their special day the couple wore white suits with gold detailing and short capes, designed by the pair. 

They paired their matrimonial outfits with brown shoes, and were accompanied by groomsmen who wore black and navy suits with gold detailing. They later changed into navy blue and black outfits. 

Before the ceremony, the bubbly host Nomsa Buthelezi did a young spiritual summoning of the leaders of the SA gay community including Somizi, and dubbed them ancestors. So hilarious . 

And just when you think you have seen it all, the officiating pastor is in a polygamous bisexual marriage and brought with him his wife and partner. Twitter went crazy.

During the ceremony, the pastor kept on saying 'bride and groom' while addressing the couple. Riaan took it on the chin saying, "I think it was just for generalisation so that the congregation can understand what he was talking about," while annoyed Simphiwe said "I wasn't happy. There is no wife here. We are men, so I was like okay.

Emotions quickly ran up during their vow exchange, expressing their love and commitment to each other. The couple kissed and the guests made their way to their reception area. 

And watching our white brothers, including Riaan, do the vosho was extremely entertaining.

The embracing of cultures is always a beautiful thing. In between the celebrations there was an entertainment dancer that shook Twitter, and Riaan showed off the love of his life saying "Hu'muntu wami lo. Usha dile. Ubophile (that's my man and he is taken)."  Yaaasssss brothers Yaaaassss. 

In the end the Khumalo-Bleedt's said in between tears and all that took place, the day was perfect, as it had all they could have asked for. 
Kudos to South Africa for making such strides.

AmandaMaliba