Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba will marry his long-time partner Noma Mngoma in a high-society wedding at the Durban Botanical Gardens on August 30. Photo: Supplied

Durban - The invites have been sent out, the final dress fittings have been completed and the venue is ready for the 550 guests invited to witness the nuptials of IT executive Nomachule Mngoma and Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.

Mngoma, 33, will wed the minister at the picturesque Durban Botanical Gardens on August 30.

She will be wearing a dress designed by David Tlale.

Speaking to the Sunday Tribune, Mngoma said that preparations were going smoothly and she was both excited and nervous for the big day.

Affectionately known as Noma, Mngoma is counting down the days until she says “I do” to her “honey bee”, her pet name for Gigaba.

Gigaba will celebrate his 43rd birthday on the same day.

The wedding is expected to be attended by the cream of South African politicians and celebrities, including President Jacob Zuma, cabinet ministers and some of the country’s top business bigwigs.

Gigaba will be walking down the aisle for the second time. He was married to Nokuthaba Nxumalo but started divorce proceedings against her in 2010. The divorce was finalised only last month.

The couple have commissioned renowned Cape Town fashion designer Gavin Rajah to organise their garden wedding.

“I love nature, the green grass, fresh air and beautiful flowers as well as the natural lighting. I didn’t want to go to a game reserve because me and animals don’t mix,” said Mngoma. “Initially we wanted to get married on my birthday, April 10, but he (Gigaba) was too busy with the election campaign and we figured that the guests would be busy too so we then chose his birthday,” she said.

“He’s never going to forget our anniversary too,” she quipped.

On Thursday, Mngoma’s three bridesmaids went for the last fitting at David Tlale’s studio in Johannesburg.

“He also designed my wedding dress. It is a very simple contemporary design,” is all she would say.

So how did this business executive at one of the country’s biggest IT companies meet her Prince Charming? She laughs and says: “Let me ask Malusi if I can tell you the story.”

She returns and reveals: “We met in one of the restaurants in Johannesburg in 2009. He had a business meeting with someone else and I was meeting someone as well. But we kept eyeing each other and when he was leaving he asked me for my number.” That same afternoon the minister sent her a message saying, ‘Wazewamuhle nkosazana, (You are so beautiful princess), Can we have lunch or dinner?’ And I agreed,” said Mngoma.

During the dinner, the pair hit it off but Mngoma admits she had no idea that Gigaba was a minister.

“He had a familiar face. I remembered that he was the president of the ANC Youth League. I did not know that he was the minister of Home Affairs but after the dinner I started following his career and politics in general,” said Mngoma, who said she taught the minister all he knows about the world of social media.

“He used to call me his IT guru because I taught him about Twitter and Facebook and all this social media. I told him that he needs to lock his accounts. But that is how we fell in love,” she said.

The couple share a love for sports. “We love watching soccer together. We are huge Pirates and Sharks fans. I love cricket and we don’t go to clubs, we prefer spending quality time at home,” she said.

When asked about what she loves about her “honey-bee”, she said: “I love that he doesn’t talk too much, he is also very clean and neat and a health freak. He does not drink, he only drinks water and green tea.”.

The couple have two sons, Nkanyezi, 3, and nineteen-month-old Mvelo, who was born last Christmas. “I am grateful that his family love me so much. His father always encourages me to be a better person. His father is a priest so he also encouraged us to make it official,” said Mngoma. She said was looking forward to being Mrs Gigaba.

“We had our children out of wedlock so I am looking forward to being his wife and spending time with the family because family is important.”

Sunday Tribune