Durban - Six decades of unconditional love and a forgiving heart have been the secret to a Chatsworth couple's marriage longevity.
“Marriage is not a bed of roses but you should never go to bed with an angry heart. Forgive each other. Say sorry,” advised 85-year-old Kissoonduth "Zack" Sumesur, who added that many couples found this difficult to say.
“There must also be kindness and you must understand your partner's feelings."
"Appreciate what they do for you, no matter how big or small it may be. Love should be the foundation to your marriage as it will create a solid bond for years to come.”
His 78-year-old wife Soorsathie, who was seated beside him, nodded in agreement: “There should also be good communication and understanding between a husband and wife.”
The Sumesurs were introduced by a mutual family friend in 1957 and today Kissoonduth and Soorsathie, of Umhlatuzana, are inseparable and show their affection by holding hands.
“When I saw Soorsathie at her home after being introduced by a close friend of both our parents, I instantly took a liking to her."
"She was quiet, well-mannered and beautiful,” gushed Kissoonduth.
“As we became better acquainted, we found that we shared similar personality traits and values, which made our bond strong.”
Soorsathie, who was raised in Umhlatuzana, said she agreed to an arranged marriage.
“It was very important back then that we respected our parents and their wishes."
"If they liked the boy and agreed to the marriage we did not argue."
"But I am thankful I was blessed with a wonderful husband, who has loved and taken care of me since day one.”
A few months after courting, the couple tied the knot in a traditional Hindu ceremony on April 13, 1958, at Jewel Hall in Clairwood.
About 500 guests attended and dined on vegetable breyani, dhall, salad and soji for dessert.
Kissoonduth, then 25, wore a beige suit and Soorsathie, 17, a peach sari. “It was a beautiful wedding and I was happy all our family members and friends witnessed us make an unbreakable commitment to one another,” said Soorsathie.
They then moved to his parents' home in Northdene.
Kissoonduth worked as a supervisor at a shoe factory for 20 years until he was medically boarded in 1964, while Soorsathie remained a housewife.
They purchased land in Umhlatuzana Township and built the home that they have been living in for 50 years.
“It was a great to have our own home to raise our children."
"However, it took a lot of hard work, sacrifice and money to build the house. It was a proud achievement,” said Kissoonduth.
The couple went on to have five children - Asha Devi Govender, Derrick, Nadhera Maharajh, Nireen Kissoonduth and Synthie Enoch.
They have six grandchildren and a great-grandson.
“There are no words to purely describe the amount of love and happiness our children and grandchildren have brought into our lives."
"They are always there when we need them and will go the extra mile to ensure we are comfortable as we grow older."
"They have also made us proud as they progress in their respective career paths,” said Kissoonduth.
He enjoys gardening, watching sport and faith shows, and attending church service with his wife.
His better half said she loved taking leisurely walks but her ill health now prevented this. She still enjoys cooking and listening to music.
The couple, who have holidayed in Cape Town, Mauritius and India, celebrated their anniversary at a luncheon with their family.