Robben Island hosts first same-sex wedding on Valentine's Day

Marcia Jumat and Rozeana Julius aboard the ferry Sikhululekile on their way to get married on Robben Island on February 14 2019.
Marcia Jumat and Rozeana Julius aboard the ferry Sikhululekile on their way to get married on Robben Island on February 14 2019.
Image: Esa Alexander

Two women who met while flipping burgers became the first same-sex couple to get married on Robben Island on Thursday.

Marcia Jumat and Rozeana Julius, from Parklands in Cape Town, yelled: “Thank you Nelson Mandela”, as the ferry set sail from the V&A Waterfront, carrying them and 10 other couples to the island’s annual Valentine’s Day mass wedding.

February 14 weddings in the island chapel have taken place for 19 years. Couples have to apply to the home affairs department by the previous September to be considered for the experience.

“We were thinking of the weirdest places we could get married and thought of Robben Island,” said Jumat, 38, a medical secretary, originally from Stellenbosch.

“We were amazed when we found we really could have our wedding there.”

Julius, 29, who works as an administrative assistant for a long-distance bus company, said the couple met 10 years ago when they were working at McDonald’s. They started dating four years ago and got engaged two years ago.

Their wedding entourage consisted of their mothers and two maids of honour. The couple is planning a honeymoon in Thailand in May.

Sandra Mushovhani and Eucriff Ramachuphu, with their nine-year-old daughter Unarine, at the Nelson Mandela Gateway, at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, before setting sail for their Robben Island wedding on February 14 2019.
Sandra Mushovhani and Eucriff Ramachuphu, with their nine-year-old daughter Unarine, at the Nelson Mandela Gateway, at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, before setting sail for their Robben Island wedding on February 14 2019.
Image: Esa Alexander

Another couple due to get married on Thursday under the watchful eye of home affairs minister Siyabonga Cwele were Sandra Mushovhani and Eucriff Ramachuphu, who are originally from Limpopo, but live in Centurion.

“It’s going to be a special one,” said Mushovhani, 36, as the couple and their nine guests boarded the ferry, Sikhululekile.

The couple have been together for 15 years and the bride said the idea of marrying on Robben Island started as a joke. “Today it all ends up as reality.”

We follow a rose grown on a farm in Roodepoort as it is clipped and sent overnight to a Durban warehouse, where it is arranged and delivered to Sayuri Govind from her fiancè Duran Naidoo on Valentine’s Day in 2019.

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