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Forever yena! Welcome to DJ Doowap and Hakim Malema's wedding

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Newly weds DJ Doowap (real name Khetsiwe Morgan) and Hakim Malema.
Newly weds DJ Doowap (real name Khetsiwe Morgan) and Hakim Malema.
Image: Gorealr Studios

Bubblegumcore sums up the sweet pleats, pastel hues, and romantic aesthetic exuded by the wedding of DJ Doowap (real name Khetsiwe Morgan) and Hakim Malema.

The meeting  

Doowap: I’d always see Hakim briefly at events where I was deejaying or social events around Braamfontein, but never got the chance to chat to him until one day (December 2014) when I had three gigs back-to-back. He commented on one of my Instagram posts and asked to roll with me to all three shows. I liked the braveness of doing it on the timeline and not in the DMs. We had an epic time together that day and I pretty much wanted to spend every day with him after that.   

Hakim: Our first date wasn’t really a date; I mean, her sister was there. The reason I hit her up was because I’d seen her a few times, at parties, mostly. I immediately thought that she was the kind of girl I wanted to know, which is what led me to “shoot my shot”. My first impression of her was of her self-confidence and her captivating allure. I was smitten from the start.   

Dating life  

Doowap: It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact time we started dating, but during one of our romantic evenings out we decided that 7 March 2015 was a good date to mark our anniversary because we both like the number 7. We used to joke that we had the longest honeymoon phase. We love watching movies in Imax, binging Japanese anime, and being adventurous – hiking, running, and other sports. One of our love languages is definitely enjoying good food and discovering new restaurants. We’re both really invested in music, so we enjoy sharing new songs, going out partying, and creating music.   

Hakim: We moved in together shortly after we made it official. I was adamant that she was the one, so I didn’t hesitate to suggest we get a place together, because at the time we both stayed with our parents and neither of us wanted to do that whole thing of dating at home. We worked out, ran, and cooked together. We travelled to Europe and lived there for a bit, as we were both working. We went to music festivals, museums, and galleries. We’d take little road trips around the country as well. 

Image: Gorealr Studios

The proposal  

Hakim: I proposed during hard lockdown. It was after the travel restrictions were made a little less strict. There is a place in Durban that we like going to, so I booked the trip. I had the ring for some time, but I never felt like there was a good moment, so I tried to create this opportunity to profess my love. It’s a funny story, because when we got to the airport we had a fight. After that, I was getting cold feet. But then we went to the beach together and all of the temporary negative feelings had dissolved by the time we got back to our apartment.   

Doowap: The proposal was beautiful, because I was caught totally off guard and he did it at our favourite Airbnb in Umdloti, KwaZulu-Natal, near the ocean. I thought he’d take forever to make the leap, so I planned to propose first. We’ve always been aligned about marriage, kids, life, spirituality, and travel. There’s no one I connect better with in this world, so it was an easy yes.  

Lobola negotiations  

Doowap: My dad is British, so that’s not really part of his culture. Hakim and his family contributed to the wedding, our families met, and our loved ones blessed our union.

Image: Gorealr Studios
Image: Gorealr Studios

The wedding  

Doowap: We got married on 3 March 2023 (3-3-23), which feels super-meaningful to us. This was, funnily enough, the only date the venue had available, which worked out perfectly and felt divinely aligned because I’m a numbers girl. The wedding took place at a beautiful venue near the Cradle of Humankind.

I loved that everything was done in-house: the ceremony, décor, flowers, catering, etc. It made it easier when it came to wedding planning. There was also beautiful accommodation on the property for close friends and family. Chef Andrew was a dream to work with and provided incredible dishes on our special day.  

The dress  

Doowap: My dress was made by my dear friend Lezanne Vivier, the founder of the luxury brand Viviers. A few years before I got engaged, I was creative hair directing and walking one of Viviers’s fashion shows. I asked Lezanne to put the fee she owed me towards my future wedding dress. We laughed about it because I didn’t even have a ring yet. About a year later Hakim proposed and Lezanne was one of the first people I told. I first gave her references of very traditional white dresses, but Lezanne straight away said we needed to make something that’s authentically me. A bit sporty with sexy features and shape, while keeping it elegant. We also thought it would be cool to incorporate pleats, as I knew Hakim was getting something pleated.

Image: Gorealr Studios

The suit  

Hakim: I had a bit of time to figure out what I was going to wear. I love Japanese fashion, so I wanted to incorporate that into my choice. I didn’t want to wear a tuxedo or three-piece double-breasted suit. I ended up choosing a two-piece suit by the late Issey Miyake. He had a brand called Homme Plisse, which basically translates to “pleats for men”. The theme of our wedding was pastel, which is another reason why I didn’t want to wear black. And the no. 11 light-grey Homme Plisse suit went well with the Nike Air Max Scorpion sneakers.  

Top tips for bride and groom  

Doowap: My main advice is to do it your way! Take your time in organising your dream wedding without outside pressure. Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks to your bridesmaids. On your special day, make sure you have a coordinator or friend who can handle the running order of events so you can enjoy yourself.  

Hakim: Enjoy the moment. Try not to over-complicate anything. It’s easier to be agreeable than to make a scene. Having a good group of friends who checked in on me helped me to keep chilled throughout the build-up. I never felt overwhelmed or alone. No matter the stage of the relationship, if you feel strongly about someone and you trust them, don’t wait around for something “better” or “different”, take a chance and put yourself out there. 

Image: Gorealr Studios

Memorable moment  

Doowap: Having Jay Naidoo officiate our wedding was the best decision we could have made. He’s a legend, guru, and incredibly wise man who brought lessons, guidance, prayers, love, and the blessings of our ancestors to the ceremony. He really held a beautiful space for us to share our love and vows with friends and family.  

Hakim: Having our grandparents there and all the people who have contributed to our lives in different ways was very special. All those people being there at the same time was the best part. It’s a feeling that never goes away. 

Image: Gorealr Studios
Image: Gorealr Studios