But for 16-year-old Siphumelele Mdluli it has brought only tears of sadness!
Siphumelele was dragged, kicking and screaming down the aisle on Saturday morning – to be presented to her 67-year-old husband-to-be, Inkosi Mgwavemeleni
Her marriage, as the second wife of the madala, was arranged for just one reason – so that the young woman can provide the old man with an heir.
The marriage took place at Ndulini in Mandeni, KZN.
A school friend of Siphumelele who did not want to be named told Daily Sun that since the lobola negotiations began at the beginning of December last year, Siphumelele had been crying day and night.
“Her parents forced her into this marriage. She has also had a tough time at school because other pupils were laughing at her and calling her names,” she said.
It is believed the old man had two children with his first wife, but they died and now the wife, a pensioner, is too old to have kids.
Siphumelele’s parents refused to be named, but they confirmed the marriage.
The girl’s gogo said: “Mhlongo can do with the girl whatever he wants. As for her education or her future, I don’t care. We are happy with the R30 000 and eight cows.”
Her father said: “From now on I have nothing to do with Siphumelele. All questions can be directed to Mhlongo.”
Efforts to get comment from Mhlongo and his new wife, Siphumelele, were not successful.
He chased the SunTeam away from his house and did not answer any of our phone calls or SMSes.
Nobody was allowed to take any pictures during the wedding.
Lennox Mabaso of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs said: “We will send our team to investigate this matter.”