Ntombifuthi Dlamini (56) and Vusi Sikhosana (60) met at Madonsela's restaurant in 1989. "That’s when Vusi made a move on me, and told me he loved me," she says.
Vusi says he and his colleagues from Carbo Chem were regulars at the place because they used to go there after work.
But Ntombifuthi didn't get a good impression from Vusi initially. "I was scared of him. He seemed like someone who might leave me high and dry. I didn’t trust him. I played hard to get. He kept coming to my work to tell me how much he loved me."
Vusi, however, had been instantly smitten. "Out of all the girls I had met, she was the most beautiful. The girls I used to know back then were busy bodies."
She didn't agree to date him right away. "There was a marathon passing through town and he asked me to go with him. When he arrived, he expressed his love for me. That’s when I also agreed to date him after having toyed with him for a long time."
When Ntombifuthi fell pregnant, she says she hid it from her mother. "I was afraid to go home because my mother would shout at me." That's when Vusi decided to pay lobola. "I sacrificed certain luxuries in order to save up and speed up the lobola process so I could have her," he says. "I had already stolen and was living with her because I didn’t want other men to steal her."
She faced challenges with Vusi's family though. "I stayed with him and we had a proper wedding. We had a gifting ceremony and he paid lobola, he did everything on his own because we were facing hardships. It was hard. When a woman gets married into another family, the transition is never nice. It was hard, more so because they didn’t approve of my marriage. It’s painful to get married when the mother-in-law is no longer alive. If there was a mother-in-law, it would have been nice. I would have accepted my mother-in-law being harsh with me. What hurts is that I was harassed by his sisters and cousins."
She says she wasn't properly welcomed into his family so they're doing the wedding again.
"What I loved about her was her patience through it all. She was faithful to me. Her faithfulness was the reason I left everything in her hands," says Vusi.
"I’ve even given her my bank cards because she’s the homemaker. She’s responsible for everything. She knows all my bank PIN numbers. I know nothing. I show my love to her by being faithful."