The couple originally married in 2013 after Saneie claimed that his dead ancestors had instructed him to do so. They then repeated their vows with a second ceremony this year, according to local wedding tradition.
Other villagers have called the wedding “sickening”, but Saneie’s mother, Patience, doesn’t have a problem with it: “I know it’s what the ancestors wanted. If we hadn’t done what my son had asked then something bad would have happened in the family.”
“People keep asking will they live together, sleep together, have babies, but I keep telling them that after the wedding everything went back to normal – nothing changed. All this ceremony is for making ancestors happy. We are playing.”
Helen Shabangu’s husband of 30 years, Alfred, attended both wedding ceremonies. He said, “My kids and I are happy because we don’t have a problem with her marrying the boy – and I don’t care what other people say.”