The small South African town of KwaDukuza had its ‘First Traditional African Gay Wedding’ over the weekend when a young Zulu couple tied the knot.
According to IOL News, Tshepo Modisane and Thoba Sithole, both 27, walked down the aisle in front of 200 guests at the Stanger Siva Sungam community hall.
Thoba, an IT specialist, and Tshepo, an audit manager, have dated on and off for years. They will adopt each other’s names in the hybrid Sithole-Modisane, as will their future kids; the couple is reportedly planning to have children through a surrogate.
“Family is important to us and that is the number one reason why we want to have children,” said Thoba. “We also want our children to grow up in an environment where they are loved greatly by both parents who appreciate them.”
Tshepo and Thoba enjoyed the support of family and friends in South Africa, where gay marriage is legal. However, a series of gay murders have plagued the nation recently and, as San Diego Gay and Lesbian News points out, Zulu traditional chiefs attempted to remove sexual orientation as a protected class from the South African constitution.
Thsepo wanted to be so open about his and Thoba’s nuptials in hopes of inspiring “people out there who are still struggling to come to terms with their sexuality”.
“We see no reason to hide in darkness as if there is something to be ashamed about,” he said. “Our marriage is largely symbolic and a sign that black gay men can commit and build a family through a happy and loving marriage.”