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How Msizi James AirDropped his perfect love

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Msizi James and his high-school sweetheart Angela McGennis tie the knot.
Msizi James and his high-school sweetheart Angela McGennis tie the knot.
Image: The Sight Seekers

947 broadcaster Msizi James and his high-school sweetheart Angela McGennis, a graphic designer, opted for cosy and casual nuptials in a safari-themed wedding that embraced rustic chic. 

THE MEETING

Msizi: We laugh about this question all the time, but we met in high school [in Durban] around 2009. I was in matric and she was in grade 10. We know that we met through a mutual friend, Tyler, who used to have a lot of house parties and that’s where I would shoot my shot [laughs].

THE ATTRACTION

Msizi: Besides her beautiful smile, I was first taken with her sense of humour. I knew from afar that I was incredibly attracted to her, but when I finally got to know her I fell in love with her heart. Not to be cheesy, but I had never met anyone with such a big and caring heart.

DATING

Angela: While we first started dating in high school, we broke up for four years when Msizi left high school. We then reconnected in 2017 during a trip to Mozambique with mutual friends. We started dating again in early 2017, and a month after dating Msizi was offered his dream job in Joburg.

Msizi: We did three years of long distance when I first moved to Joburg to work at 5FM in 2017. Those three years really put a strain on our relationship, but are also the reason why we are strong and resilient as a couple.

Image: The Sight Seekers

THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT

Msizi: There was a moment when we were younger during breaktime at school. At the school drama hall, we played a song called A Drop in the Ocean by Ron Pope and danced for the whole half-hour of break. This song became our first dance song at our wedding.

THE PROPOSAL

Angela: People always say, “A girl knows before she gets the proposal,” and that is so true. Msizi had told me about this wonderful “bush holiday” that we were going on, but the details were sketchy.

Then he made a comment about going shopping for some new clothes for our holiday — another red flag, because Msizi hates shopping. The last giveaway was that I was supposed to get my nails done, but the place I usually go to was closed. He was having none of that and within the next hour he had found a place. I knew the one night we would be staying in a treehouse, and everyone kept on talking about it.

Image: The Sight Seekers

Eventually, the day arrived and we packed our bags and off we went on our game drive to the treehouse. After getting a full tour of the five-storey treehouse in the middle of the Kruger [National Park], we made our way to the rooftop. We cracked open a bottle of champagne and I looked down at my phone and Msizi was trying to AirDrop me something. I was confused, so I asked him if it was a mistake.

Nervously, he told me it wasn’t and that I should just open it. It was a video of him taken in our home, just completely wearing his heart on his sleeve. By the time the video was over, I was in tears while he was going down on one knee, and the rest is history.

THE WEDDING DAY

Msizi: We decided to have a small, intimate wedding weekend with 35 close family members and friends. A lot of our friends and family had never been on safari, let alone one at a place like &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve. So we thought it would be special to combine our wedding with a weekend away.

Angela: We kept everything minimal and neutral to elevate the feeling of being in the bush. The colour palette that we went with was white, black, and wood tones. We used both dried and fresh florals, and the decor comprised animal horns, beads, and woven baskets. We draped white tulle in between two gorgeous, massive trees where we had the ceremony and kept things as simple as possible.

THE DRESS

Angela: I wore my absolute dream dress, which was designed by Stacey-Lee Cairns of Something New Bridal. My dress was so me. What I loved about it was how you could deconstruct it to look completely different.

Image: The Sight Seekers

At the ceremony, I had a 6m-long lace train with long tulle sleeves. For the photoshoot, I took the sleeves off and had a boob-tube dress. For the reception, I took the train off and was left with a gorgeous dress that didn’t look like it was missing anything. I plan on using my long train as a net over our baby’s cot one day.

THE SUIT

Msizi: [Laughs] I wish I could say I chose my suit. I was very hands-off and last-minute about everything. In fact, I was going to buy my suit off the shelf and wear that. A few weeks before the wedding, our friend Ole Ledimo from House of Ole offered to make my suit.

Image: The Sight Seekers

He gave us a family-and-friends discount and, after many conversations between him and Angela, I had my incredible suit. I couldn’t have been happier with how it came out. From the fit to the cut and even the pattern, it was perfect. My shoes were made by my friend Zak Venter, who is the founder of Basic Supply.

BREAKING TRADITION

Msizi: We really wanted to make our wedding ours, and neither of us is very traditional. We still incorporated some traditional elements into our wedding day, such as the traditional vows and even an umembeso ceremony. But we didn’t do things like tossing the garter and the bouquet.

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