Monday, 8 April 2013

South Africa: First Legal African Gay Marriage

A gay couple in South Africa have married in a wedding ceremony uniting Zulu and Tswana traditions, which they hope will send a message to others that “Being gay is as African as being black.” Tshepo Cameron Modisane and Thoba Calvin Sithole, both 27, met several years ago while studying in Durban, but lost contact with each other. A chance meeting in a gym in the suburbs of Johannesburg led to them becoming training partners, then a couple. After three years as boyfriends Mr Modisane proposed in June 2012.

South Africa legalised same-sex marriage in 2006, but the pair still drew media attention as the area’s “first legal gay wedding”. On 6 April the pair were married in a ceremony drawing on traditions from both Mr Modisane’s Tswana and Mr Sithole’s Zulu ancestry. Both wore traditional regalia, asked their ancestors for blessing, and a cow was slaughtered. Gifts were presented to the parents of both men as thanks for raising them.

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