BY Edna Owusu-Ansah, 12:10pm July 22, 2014,

9-Year-Old South African Boy Marries 62-Year-Old Wife for Second Time

The 8-Year-Old Boy Who Married A 61-Year-Old Woman

Sanele Masilela (pictured right), 9, just got married for the second time to his 62-year-old wife Helen Shabangu (pictured). The two were already married last year, but according to tradition, the two needed make it official in  the boy’s and the woman’s South African villages.

There were more than 100 guests at the ceremony, and joining the newlyweds was Helen’s 66-year-old husband Alfred Shabangu as well as Helen’s five children who are all between 28-38 years old!

nelly masilela and helen shabangu

Sanele was told by his ancestors that he needed to get married, and Helen was happy to oblige. The young boy explained:

“I told my mother that I wanted to get married because I really did want to. I’m happy that I married Helen – but I will go to school and study hard. When I’m older, I will marry a lady my own age. I chose Helen because I love her, and although we don’t live together all the time, we meet at the dumping site where my mother works regularly.”

The young boy’s mother repeated this sentiment, saying, “He was just happy to get married, very excited and was not embarrassed about it. So much so he wanted to do it again. After the wedding last year, people keep asking them questions like will they live together, sleep together, have babies but I keep telling them that after the wedding, everything went back to normal – nothing changed.

nelly masilela and helen shabangu

“Sanele moved to Venda not long after the wedding because he wanted to learn a new language, but they are very close. Our families are very close. It was nice to celebrate with a wedding once more, it was afterall a calling from the ancestors. By doing this, we made the ancestors happy. If we hadn’t done what my son had asked then something bad would have happened in the family.”

Helen also added, “I’m very happy that the boy chose me, and my family supports and understand that it is part of making ancestors happy. One day Sanele would grow normally and have family of his own and get married one day — all this ceremony is for making ancestors happy. We are playing.”

Last Edited by:iboateng Updated: June 19, 2018


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