A nine-year old boy in South Africa married a woman seven times his age in order to fulfill his dead ancestors' wish.
In a controversial marriage ceremony adorned in white and purple, Mirror UK reported Saneie Masilela had wed 62-year old Helen Shabangu in Ximhungwe in Mpumalanga, South Africa. The "lavish" ceremony was attended by 100 guests including the bride's long-term husband, Alfred Shabangu, 66, who stood beside his wife as witness.
The newlyweds were blessed by a minister during the ceremony after they exchanged mismatched rings. Then the marriage was officially sealed with the bride bending down to give her young husband a kiss on the lips. After which she reportedly also kissed Shabangu.
Masilela's family reportedly spent around $1,708 for the wedding ceremony and another $854 to secure the bride. Some villagers described the wedding as "sickening," but guests were seen cheering and singing, while others threw rice over the newlyweds. Both families claimed the wedding was a ritual to honor the wishes of Masilela's dead ancestors, who in the previous year had told him to marry.
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A previous report from Mirror UK claimed this is not the first time the pair has wed. The nine-year old married the mother of five in 2013. The second ceremony was a renewal of their vows and also to make their wedding "official," following South African tradition.
Metro reported both families were extensively criticised during the first wedding however Helen's husband couldn't "care what other people say."
He said he and his children were "happy" since they don't have a problem with Helen marrying a nine-year old boy.
Meanwhile, Helen Shabangu was also grateful that the nine-year old had chosen her and that she has her family's support.
"My family support and understand that it is part of making ancestors happy," she said.
She said her marriage was just a game and only done to please the ancestors, noting that one day Masilela would "grow normally and have family of his own and get married one day." However Masilela seemed to take the wedding seriously, claiming he chose Helen because he "loves her."
Although the pair has been married since last year, they have gone back to their normal lives living separately. Masilela has moved to Venda to study however still remains in close contact with his wife's family.
His mother claimed he had shown no embarrassment when he had expressed his decision to marry Helen.
"He was just happy to get married, very excited and was not embarrassed about it. So much so he wanted to do it again," she said.
She claimed if her son hadn't married then something bad could've happened to their family since it would displease the ancestors.
However, Masilela also expressed his desire to marry someone of his age someday when he grows older.
Source: YouTube/ Barcroft TV