Afrikaans and Venda roll nicely

Ndumeliso and Monique Radzilani.
Ndumeliso and Monique Radzilani.

Monique Radzilani had viewers of Our Perfect Wedding in awe as Tshivenda seemed to roll off her tongue like butter.

Her husband Ndumeliso says his Afrikaans wife is learning eagerly, but arduously, and even has an app on her phone to help her along.

Unlike most South Africans, she finds her lover's language simple and similar to her home language, Afrikaans.

"She started learning easy words and short phrases the first time I took her home in October 2016. My wife has said many times that Tshivenda is much easier for her compared to Zulu and Tswana, because Tshivenda has a lot of rounding of the tongue like Afrikaans.

"She also has an app called Memrise that is helping her learn [the language]."

The two deliberately sought a TV crew to televise their wedding in January this year to crush stereotypes and get mixed-relationships trending.

The geologists, who met on a drilling course, had their first date at KFC.

"My first thought when I saw her was that she dressed very smart and she has a cute way of walking ... With our first coffee date at KFC, she really blew me away," he says.

But their relationship was kept under wraps and news broke six months before the wedding.

"We both dated outside of our race before. But it wasn't serious. I know my wife never told her family about that part. I was the first 'out of race' guy she mentioned to her parents.

"You know in the black community, you only mention a girl when you want to marry her, so my family wasn't aware of my 'out of race' dating."

And when Monique first told her father that she was dating a black, Venda guy, he was against the idea. He didn't want to accept it or meet him.

"We were already engaged when I met him face-to-face over a cup of coffee at Mugg & Bean. Monique and her mom arranged the whole thing, because it was only six months to our wedding," he says.

"Our families now get along great. We always braai or make potjie and just relax around the fire. Our moms call each other once a week just to catch up.

"If she (Monique) has a rough day at work, I take over cooking and let her rest." He says their first Valentine's Day as husband and wife will be special.

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