Mpumalanga (41) and Mduduzi Cele (45) are from the same village. She lived on the one side of the village, he on the other side.
Mduduzi said he loved the fact that she was free spirited, she loved sports, so he tried to get her attention. But Mpumalanga wasn’t interested. “I thought he was irritating,” she said.
Mduduzi got close with Mpumalanga’s sister. He’d visit the family and dine with them. In December 1998, he sent someone to go call her. She went outside to meet him. That’s when she decided maybe she should tell him she likes him, and she did.
Mduduzi said they hid their relationship from Mpumalanga’s family for about a year. “Her mother and brothers were very strict,” he said.
Mpumalanga said Mduduzi’s family didn’t accept her at first. “It’s not that his family didn’t want him to get married, they just didn’t want me,” she said. She said she worked hard to earn their approval and things have changed for the better now.