by Lerato Dumse
A two-day surprise 25th birthday party for Akhona Nolusindiso Hailele, was celebrated mid November, in Alexandra Johannesburg.
Akhona’s partner, Zandile Makhubu (22), thought it fit to throw the denim themed, surprise party for her live-in partner of 4 years, who was born in the Eastern Cape on November 6.
Zandile’s aunt, who lives in the same yard, was used as a decoy and an unsuspecting Akhona was told the surprise party was for the aunt.
Zandile’s mother, Duduzile Khanyi , opened the event by explaining to the partygoers that she wants order and discipline and cautioned against reckless behaviour when leaving the yard, as it was at night.
Sharing from a conversation, Duduzile said she was hurt when she heard Akhona say she has not had a party in many years.
It was further revealed that when Zandile approached her cousins and aunts who live in the same yard, to ask for assistance with the party, none of them refused, having accepted Akhona as part of the family.
Duduzile described her daughter’s partner as respectful, and thanked her for that. She (Duduzile) also thanked her sisters for accepting Akhona with warm hands.
The family refused to let the downpour dampen their mood, as they were adamant the party will go on.
In giving context, Duduzile explained that she didn’t know her daughter was lesbian, but noticed that she preferred shopping in the boys’ section, and walked with a step that had an extra bounce.
She admits that she chose to remain in a state of denial, until her daughter eventually came out to her. Duduzile adds that the revelation caused her to lose her breath, while her knees went weak, but she tried to maintain a straight face and responded by saying, “If that’s how you were born, then there is nothing I can do about it.”
Then headed straight to her late mother’s bedroom to confide and her mother, who responded by saying, “what God has created, you can’t change.”
Duduzile ended her speech by saying she does not condone gays and lesbians, and acknowledged that its not easily accepted, as many ignorant people call it a curse, “but you can’t live your life trying to make others happy,” she said.”
Charmain Carrol also added a few words, saying it is not often that people in lesbian relationships are as accepted as Akhona has been.
Reminiscing about previous events she has attended at the home she said, “we eat and get a safe place to sleep, and we feel the love from the home.”
Before adding that no one fights with Akhona, and she never fights anyone.
Many speakers agreed that Zandile’s family is welcoming to lesbian people who visit the home.
Even Zandile’s grandfather shared a few words of gratitude, even though they feared what his reaction would be, when Akhona moved to the home.
The rain took a break and allowed for the dishing out process, which was setup outside. The was a variety of food and meat to choose from, while more meat was being prepared on the braai.
With the speeches out of the way and stomachs full, the attention turned to the DJ who was playing good music that led to all sorts of dance moves, the party then continued until the next day, those who had left, returned for some more partying.