Two men have gotten married in Africa in what is being touted as Africa’s first traditional gay wedding. Tshepo Cameron Modisane and Thoba Calvin Sithol, both 27, were reportedly married in the town of KwaDukuza in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa before some 200 guests, in a ceremony that united Zulu and Tswana traditions. The two men first met while studying in Durban, but reunited when they randomly bumped into each at at a gym.
“We were helping each other with weights, training exercises and eating health plans,” explains Tshepo. Soon after the chance encounter, the friendship blossomed into a romance.
“The great step that we took in our relationship as a gay couple was introducing each other to our families,” Tshepo told Mamba Online in February. “We are so blessed to have supportive families who care about us. Even though we are gay they still love us.”
The men are also planning on starting a family with the help of a surrogate.
“Family is important to us and that is the number one reason why we want to have children,” Thoba said. “We also want our children to grow up in an environment where they are loved greatly by both parents who appreciate them.”
In a country where homosexuality is still considered highly taboo, Tshepo says that one of the reasons they’ve chosen to be so open is that they “hope to inspire people out there who are still struggling to come to terms with their sexuality”.
“We see no reason to hide in darkness as if there is something to be ashamed about. Our marriage is largely symbolic and a sign that black gay men can commit and build family through a happy and loving marriage,” he says.