CULTURAL STATEMENT: Baby Cele and Mandla Mabuza 28/02/09. Pic. Thuli Dlamini. © Sowetan.
CULTURAL STATEMENT: Baby Cele and Mandla Mabuza 28/02/09. Pic. Thuli Dlamini. © Sowetan.

Canaan Mdletshe

There were splendid gifts galore when TV actress Baby Cele introduced her man - Mandla Mabuza, a senior arts official in the Mpumalanga government - to her family at the weekend.

Mabuza is the head of performing arts at the provincial department of arts and culture. Cele plays the role of Katlego Rathebe in's Backstage.

The two exchanged gifts in a traditional umabo ceremony held at Cele's home in Umlazi, Durban.

The ceremony is held to exchange gifts between the groom and bride-to-be's family to indicate ilobolo has been paid and that the wedding date can be set.

It now means wedding bells are seriously ringing for the two.

Heavy rains, thunder and lightning did not stop the two families from fulfilling the couple's dreams.

Clad in traditional attire, Cele and her husband-to-be braved the torrential rain to complete the custom, attended by a handful of relatives.

Cele, who said she was impressed by the whole ceremony, said they had first met in 2005 at Witbank.

"It was love at first sight. When we met, he said I was going to be his wife and I said to myself he must be mad . but here we are today."

Mabuza said he had loved Cele from the moment he set eyes on her.

"I knew there and then that she was mine. I developed this bond . this love for her. She is everything you could want in a woman."

They haven't yet set the wedding date. "Maybe at the end of the year," said Cele.

The actress has just finished shooting several episodes for Home Affairs and is preparing to shoot two more dramas for SABC.

They are already planning their family. "Our first baby will be coming soon," they said happily.

Cele has a 10-year-old daughter, Yolisa.

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