And brings two cultures together

Simon Nare

Simon Nare

When Zweli Banzi and Karen Yegappen vowed to live happily ever after, they also embarked on a marriage of cultures.

He is Christian and she is Hindu.

Banzi, who turns 31 today, has already paid the traditional African ilobolo.

"As Indians, they don't practise the culture of ilobolo, so I had to insist that I wanted to pay because in my culture you have to pay ilobolo," Banzi said.

The couple had a traditional white wedding at Senaoane in Soweto on Saturday after an Indian reception at the bride's home at Chartsworth in Durban.

Banzi met the love of his life at work, the Umsobomvu Aids Trust. He is an outreach officer and she a technical specialist.

For months he had been attracted to Yegappen, but it was only at a Christmas party in 2005 that he was able muster enough courage to tell her.

"She was dodgy at first, she just said it was not the appropriate time to discuss it because it was a party," he said.

Like a hunter after prey, Banzi relentlessly pursued her until he won her heart. The relationship blossomed when they were assigned to organise a conference in Mpumalanga.

"When Zweli asked my hand in marriage the first thing that came to my mind was that this guy is not serious," she said.

Now the two are husband and wife and their marriage has been blessed by both their families.