Four Weddings and Counting
I love my wife. This is not a scientific fact, but an emotional reality. I love her so much that I’ve been married to her four times and I have three more wedding ceremonies.
Here is the story of my love story: There are two versions of how I met my current wife. Let’s call it Professor D. The first, possibly more revolutionary, version is that we met in the late 1990s in the underground of the African National Congress (ANC). The second version, perhaps closer to the truth, is that we met in 2001 after the brutal attack on my deceased brother. Both versions have some elements of truth. Yes, she was an ANC activist and served in the same ANC structures as me. We participated in similar events and shared similar networks, but in truth we have never recognized each other in all these encounters. Here is the thing; I was so overwhelmed with white comrades that my eyes were probably on someone else.
Our second encounter was more dramatic. She came to deliver the worst news that my brother, who had been missing for three days, actually died in a hospital. He had woken up from the coma and remembered a phone number from his then Magister – yes, my current wife is a nerd. So she sought me at Durban University of Technology to deliver news. Unfortunately, my brother did not make it. He died on March 31, 2001.
However, something happened on the day we wrote the obituary message to my brother. I told and Professor D. wrote. The more I told her the story of my brother, the more I mentioned tidbits about myself. When the obituary was finished, we had firmly established that we already knew each other in the trenches of the ANC Underground.
After the funeral, I met her to share the gratefulness of the family for the work she had done in mourning for our beloved brother and family. This should be the last meeting, but something happened. I remember her sitting in her car completely enchanted by this woman. I was attracted by their dignified beauty, their obliging nature, and their abundance of friendliness. I knew that I would have to keep talking to her, otherwise my only chance of saving something would disappear in seconds. At some point we hugged each other to say goodbye and then something extraordinary happened: we kissed each other. We kissed again and again. I was so overwhelmed by this historic moment that a tear fell. I intuitively knew then that I was in love. At that moment, she literally “took away my grief and pain and buried her away.” To this day, of course, the melody of Brandi Carlile’s song “Hiding My Heart Away” sounds like a twist in my head. It goes like this: “It was in the darkest time of my life when you suddenly blew me away.” We went out for a few drinks later that day and parted ways. This was the beginning of a whirlwind romance that lasted sixteen years and counts. Barely three months after our first kiss, I moved in with her as a tenant. The story of how this tenant became a landlord is a legend that needs to be told another day.
Our first marriage was restrained. We were married in the post office. Yes, you can marry someone at the post office without knowing anything about it. This despite the fact that we were both badly prepared for our first marriage. Our plan was simpler – to get an affidavit confirming that I lived with her. This was a requirement for me to be included in their medical help. To be honest, we just needed an official stamp from the commissioner for Eide. Our Commissar of Oath, who is clearly a respected man, studied the forms and an affidavit with a fine comb. He did not count his words: “Do you understand what you’re getting involved in? Are you ready to marry in the law? First we giggled, then we got hit, we were not ready for the legal consequences. We sat down and confirmed, that we really understood the consequences, he stamped the affidavit and signed it, we soon went as a couple a kiss.
Our second marriage was very serious and formal. We appeared before the Mauritian Supreme Court in Port Louis to swear to a judge that we actually knew the legal consequences of our marriage. We also had to swear that our wedding was not hindered. We were married according to both Mauritian and international law.
Our third marriage was more fun in the Mauritius beach hotel in the open air. The marriage officer explained the reasoning as follows: “It is therefore appropriate that this wedding of Bhekisisa and Professor D takes place in the open air, where we are close to the earth and the unity of life, whose totality is the living beings we are.”
We then did the radical thing of taking our own vows: “I, Bhekisisa, take you, Professor D, as my friend and my love, beside me and apart from me, in laughter and tears, in conflicts and serenity, and ask that you are no other than yourself, love what I know of you, trust in what I do not yet know in all ways that life can find us. “There was no usual line:” You may now kiss the bride. ” Nevertheless, we could not escape the kiss – we kissed in front of a small audience of tourists from around the world. We then did another revolutionary act by having our wedding photos taken along the silence of the Indian Ocean. It was total luck. No guests. No priest. No trouble. The only official witness was our then three year old daughter Miss N.
Our fourth marriage was at our home in Durban, a few weeks after the Mauritian Junket. We had about 50 guests. It was cheerful and amber liquids flowed. We are convinced that we have done enough wedding ceremonies to last a lifetime. In fact, we mistakenly thought we were the whole pig. We were wrong.
In front of the Mauritian Junket, I proudly told my family that I would marry. I apologized that they could not come because of the exorbitant costs. Upon my return, I duly went home to personally report the good news. My dad stunned me. He was angry. He told me in the face that I was not married. “When did we kill a cow to request an ancestral blessing for this so-called marriage? When was Umembeso? In the Zulu culture, umembeso is when the groom’s family brings gifts to the bride’s family to sign up for the gift of Your new daughter-in-law The groom’s family is greeted by the father of the bride to the sounds of singing and chattering as a family loses a daughter and another win.My mother should not be outdone and politely asked, “When is the white one Wedding? ? ”
The catch in the entire Zulu version of the marriage ritual is that it takes on the attitude of being a superior culture. According to my parents’ story, I am not married, unless I marry according to their template. But there is a clash of cultures here. My wife is English. She is a daughter of a French Mauritian father and an English-speaking mother. She was born in Durban. She does not believe in white weddings. She refuses to have anything to do with a wedding ceremony involving the killing of poor cows and goats, for better or worse. She has neither relationship nor knowledge about the thing of all ancestors. I do not believe in white weddings. I have no financial means for an imaginative blessing of my marriage.
Nevertheless, I owe two wedding ceremonies to my parents and the village of my birth – the traditional as well as the white wedding. Oh, we did not register our marriage with the South African Ministry of Interior. I guess three more wedding ceremonies are on the horizon.
Bhekisisa Mncube is a full-time public service writer in the Republic of South Africa. He lives in the capital Pretoria