by Yaya Mavundla
Two days before the wedding (19/12/13) everyone at Inkanyiso is confused about when the wedding is.
Is it Saturday or Sunday, we contact a few people in Daveyton and NO one knows about the wedding.
Then we called Lesiba Mothibe (Uthingo Chairperson) who was also unsure.
“You are hereby Summoned to Appear as a Witness for the two Accused, Promise Meyer & Gift Samonne.
Charges: Falling in love.
Court: 607 Vivian Drive, Chris Hani Park, Daveyton.
Sentencing: 22nd December 2013, 14h00 for 14h30”
Need I say more?
All I can say is we had so much fun after reading the invitation.
We then started with task delegations and were looking forward to the wedding.
I of course had to worry about what to wear, but trust me I wasn’t the only one worried.
Sunday 22nd Dec. 2013, at 11h30 we were ready to rock and roll. We drove to Daveyton with the team and got there around 12h00. At first we couldn’t find the venue, but eventually we got there after driving around.
“Who is getting married” was my first question when we got into the house.
I was confused; perhaps it was the environment, the setting. I didn’t get a clear indication of what was happening, who was doing what?
At around about 12h15 a very tall gay guy, light in complexion wearing a leopard print vest arrived while we were still chatting to the people who were busy decorating the tent for the wedding. “Hi, I’m sorry I’m late, things are hectic, thank you for coming” and that was Promise, the bride!
We sat next to the tent and asked him a few questions and you could just tell that he was under so much pressure, but I mean it’s his wedding day, its normal.
The honest truth is we were exhausted, we really wanted to see things starting to roll already. I will not lie, I was skeptical that things will be in place by 14h00 to start the programme as the person who was getting married was still busy with the dishes and cooking, basically all over the place, making sure that everything was in order. He eventually got dressed, but I wasn’t convinced that things would be ready by 14h00!
To my surprise, things were ready before 14h00.
I really loved the Kilt skirts, such a statement! The taxi that was confirmed to transport bridesmaids and groomsman to O.R Tambo Cultural Precinct for pictures didn’t pitch!
Luckily we came to the wedding with a taxi so things came together and were off to O.R Tambo.
The energy from everyone in the taxi was amazing, we partied so hard on the way and everyone was ready to pose like a cover girl.
When we got to the venue, the bride (Promise) directed everything very smoothly. It was his task to do so, as he was also the wedding planner.
As always, there will always be show stoppers and the ones that just don’t get it, like they would say on twitter #TheStruggleContinues, trust me that’s exactly what happened. Some of the grooms men just didn’t get it, but then again, they are “butch” so we can forgive them.
While we are busy with the pictures, I had a chat with the bride, Promise Samonne-Meyer, I could tell that he was now a bit calm than he was when we were at the house earlier.
I asked him, what would you like to tell me about today’s experience?
He immediately responded “I am so happy knowing that everything is going on as planned, we are making history in Daveyton, we are the 1st Gay Couple to get married here” I was impressed.
Even when he was posing for pictures with his husband, you could tell that he was happy.
After wrapping up at the Precinct, we rushed back home. When we got there, boom, everything was ready and people were all over the place including curious neighbors.
The deco was stunning in red and white. I loved how they made everything look intimate.
Proceedings started immediately after everyone was seated in nice round tables of 10 seats.
Mini platters with samoosa’s, small pieces of fried chicken and onion rings were placed amongst glamorous cutlery, and of course a bottle of champagne.
Before the programme director, Eric Motsema even started with the programme people started helping themselves with the food.
Then the official opening of the ceremony started by prayer led by female Pastor Ndlovu.
The process got disturbed for a while because Promise had to connect with his ancestors, since both newly weds are sangomas (traditional healers).
Eventually things got back to the programme, the Pastor mentioned “njengoba nilalana anihlukanga ndawo, okwenzakalayo phakathi kwenu ningakukhipheli ngaphandle ngoba kuyohamba nomoya, uthando luyabekezela.”
After the Pastor finished preaching, family and friends began sharing their thoughts, wishes and experiences they had with the couple.
The most moving message came from the mother of the bride, Mrs Shezi who spoke so fondly about the couple and her son Promise. She confirmed to everyone that she supports and gives the two her blessings.
She went as far as saying “angizange ngitshele muntu ngalomcimbi, abantu abaningi nje engibabona lana ng’yaqala ukubabona. Abanye ngike ngababona emagcwabeni. Anginandaba ukuthi abantu bathini, uPromise ngumntwana wami, ukuthi omunye umuntu uthini anginandaba.”
You could tell who was there to see where ‘will this end.’
And you could also tell who was there to support, as there was a minority that was very shied away and not even willing to turn their faces towards the cameras.
Towards the end, the couple shared their wedding vows, flittering and so excited.
With a beautiful smile, Mpho made it clear that he “will always be there for Promise to comfort, love, honour and cherish” him at all times.
He also promised to be a true and faithful partner.
While Promise said he will comfort his husband in times of sorrow and struggle, to cherish and always hold him in highest regards.
The couple decided to use double barrel surnames for their union.
Then the couple cut the cake and fed each other.
The guests were smitten, and then it was time to pop the champagne.
The guests were served with variety of food between rice, pap, chicken, beef, fish and a number of salads.
I spotted a lot of exciting people, some of them were the former Miss Gay Daveyton, Lesiba Mothibe, and dancer Xoli Ntsebeza to mention a few.
The atmosphere was just beautiful, you know when people are happy, and that’s exactly what was happening there.
Inkanyiso media were the official documenters of the whole event.
Some well dressed persons wanted to shine, forgetting that it was Mpho and Promise’s moment. All in all we had a great time.
About the author
Yaya Mavundla (25) is a writer, cultural activist and events organizer.
Previously worked with Exit and Miss Gay Lesbian Soweto.
Currently contributes to Inkanyiso media.