news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute| July 23, 2014| 8.00 pm IST

Sanele Masilela and Helen Shabangu from South Africa renewed their wedding vows this year in a fitting ceremony in front of around 100 guests. They walked down the aisle together, shared cake and wine and even kissed each other- things common to many weddings.

The otherwise picture perfect event (you’d think), grabbed eyeballs from across the world, for all the wrong reasons. 

Masilela is a 9-year-old boy and his wife Shabangu is 62. The couple had got married first last year.

A video capturing the ceremony was published by Barcoft TV, that also captured last year’s ceremony, on July 17.

The wedding, however, is said to be for namesake. Masilela’s dead ancestors is said to have sent him a message asking him to get married. His family took this seriously and got him married to Shabangu in order to please the ancestors, according to the video.

Masilela and Shabangu are not a real married couple and they do not live together. In fact, Shabangu is already married to her 67-year-old husband and is a mother to five children.

Barcoft TV reports Masilela as saying that he is close to his symbolic wife Helen, but would like to get married to someone of his age in the future. He is studying hard and learning a new language at present.

"Sanele will grow normally and have a family of his own and get married one day; our ceremony was all to make his ancestors happy”, Helen is quoted as saying about Masilela.

However, this incident has drawn a lot of criticism with some describing it as an immoral act in the name of culture and religion.



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