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“I Chose Helen because I Love Her” 8 Year-Old South African Groom speaks on his 61 Year-Old Bride as they get on with “Married Life” | Photos



Remember the story of an 8 year-old boy who got married to a 61 year-old woman in South Africa to “make the ancestors happy”? {In case you missed it on BN, click here}

Although their wedding shocked many people across the world, the couple and their families who see nothing wrong with the wedding have evidently moved on and are enjoying their “married life”.

The school boy, Sanele Masilela got married to Helen Shabangu after his grandfather contacted him from beyond the grave telling him that he needed to wed. He married Helen in accordance with the wishes of his dead ancestor, and his family provided Helen with £500 and paid a further £1,000 for the celebration.

Daily Mail UK recently caught up with Sanele who admitted that since the wedding, he has begun to feel like a married man. “The day was great and it was exactly what I had imagined it would be like. My friends thought it was really funny that I was getting married but I do now feel like a husband,” he was quoted as saying.

Although the couple do not live together, Helen is often invited to have dinner with him at the family’s home. Meanwhile, Sanele has gone back to his life and continues to enjoy school and playing football with his friends.

Speaking on how he got the alleged message from his late grandfather, he said the deceased contacted him through a picture of his mother’s wedding.

We have a special bond because I am named after him. He said he had seen the picture and felt sad that he had never been able to have a white wedding of his own so he asked me to get married.” He concluded by saying “I chose Helen because I love her.”

Helen, a mother of five who has already been married for 30 years also defended the ceremony saying, “I know the story went out all over the world and it’s great that other countries have been able to learn about our culture and our ancestors. What we did was not wrong. It’s just our culture. When the ancestors ask something, we do what they say. I don’t think other people understand that. I know the ancestors are happy now because we are all alright and everything seems better and greater. The whole family is much happier than we’ve ever been.”

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. laide

    March 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    yes oo…no comments!


    March 25, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Strange culture if you ask me.

  3. Bunmy

    March 25, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    4 real?

  4. My Own Business

    March 25, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Wow this so disheartening…..May God take control

  5. naymarie

    March 25, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    hmmmmn.. okay na.. Culture

  6. Abana

    March 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    This is why Westerners think Africans are backwards. Everything about this story screams backwardness. Contact from beyond the grave, boy getting married to a grandma. Whether or not they live together, this is just screwed up.

    • Elizabeth

      March 25, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      Actually there are programmes in the UK where the psychics will tell people your dead mother/father told me this.This is weird,I hope they’re not engaging in sexual relations.

  7. Uche

    March 25, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    odikwa egwu #eyeswideopen#

    • Solomon's daughter

      March 25, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      the igwe must hear dis! #in nollywood style#

  8. Jelly

    March 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Ancestors? ancestors that didnt help us improve our living conditions? that did not think of electricity, transportation systems, medical inventions? what ancestors? *angry*.
    the ancestors knows about white wedding huh? *wtshewww*

    • Peachy_mo

      March 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      Well, SA has constant light and improved living condition compared to Nigeria na! lol

  9. gbemi4you

    March 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    child abuse oooooooooo

  10. Jd

    March 25, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    So will they or have they already had sex?

  11. me2deedee

    March 25, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Looooool they just crazy! Culture ke?

  12. Djanebu

    March 25, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    This makes my stomach churn! God, please have mercy.

  13. wande

    March 25, 2013 at 5:18 pm


  14. Chic

    March 25, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    So if the ancestors ask you to kill your entire family will you do it? I am all for tolerance of different cultures but this is rubbish and retrogressive, where are the SA child protection services in all of this?

  15. Esta Morenikeji

    March 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    The world is COMING TO AN END!!! Is this some sort of jokes?

  16. R

    March 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I’m guessing this child has parents, why would they allow such? Are he and this lady engaging in sexual activities?? What is going on??
    It’ll be a miracle if this child doesn’t have a warped sense of life by the time he’s an adult, he already seems confused

    “Culture” is not an excuse for acts that are harmful to others. How isn’t this child abuse? Just because the child is smiling and seemingly ok with it doesn’t make it right. It is the parent’s duty (or the government, in the absence of reasonable parents) to step in and protect the child.

  17. Straight4ward

    March 25, 2013 at 5:31 pm


  18. Okwy Rose

    March 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    In certain igbo culture(MINE), if a man has JUST ason, the father arranges for him to marry a woman who is already pregnant to bear kids, they normally choose an adult to impregnante the woman until the child is of age, most times by the time he is of age he marries a woman of his choice and he and his kids from the first “marriage” are almost same age, strange but very true. This South Africa marriage is not so strange afterall, BUT NO WAY DO I CONDONE IT!!!!!!!

  19. pynk

    March 25, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    this is the kind of mess that illiteracy causes.

  20. t

    March 25, 2013 at 5:49 pm


  21. Esther Neema

    March 25, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    So sadened actually 🙁

  22. Joe

    March 25, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Are we still in the Era of ancestors existence with all this coming of Christianity into Africa…all this stuffs do still happen??
    Africa is really a dark continent…….

  23. The Kinkster

    March 25, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    ROTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m dead oh, too may jokes in the world today..

    That picture of them eating together slayed ….hehehehhehe..Oko ati Iyawo of life!


    March 25, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I think I JUST THREW UP! WTH!

  25. Distance is killing me,miss my boo!

    March 25, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    It make the world interesting!imagine the world without strange happening? Hahahahahahah

  26. fragile

    March 25, 2013 at 7:21 pm


  27. benjamin

    March 25, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    hmn..typical nigerian hollier than thou cmments:as if we have any better culturally,our country is upsidedown,no direction,no gd leadership,confused and pretendtious followership…go sidon abeg.

  28. BiBiChin

    March 25, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Mehn this shit is cray!! WTH

  29. Neo

    March 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    God 4give dis woman she a pidofile

  30. Madam stretchmarks

    March 25, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    OMG! This is just wrong on so many levels cant even believe my eyes.

  31. ibukungeorge

    March 25, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    will they make love?eyes popping out in surprise

  32. Miss Flygerian

    March 25, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    no way, this is crazy…I prefer to believe that that is a grandmother posing with her grandson. But husband and wife? Me can’t shout.

  33. fashionandstylepolice

    March 25, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    This is madness.

  34. NNENNE

    March 26, 2013 at 1:17 am

    That is his culture and I respect it! As long as they are having sex.

  35. MORG

    March 26, 2013 at 1:28 am

    Hilarious n surprising, diz ppl must be rtarded n deluded to think such c’mon diz illiteracy at d topmost level. Absolute joke bt imagine am dat boy go dey enjoy toto sha hmm

  36. Naija4life

    March 26, 2013 at 4:25 am

    Ridiculous..however, all hope is not lost, once puberty sets in and he can tell the difference between a babe and a granny his eyes will open and he will RUN for his dear life…right now, he’s just a silly little kid who is surrounded by irresponsible brainwashed adults…

  37. Timma

    March 26, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Lol!!!!!!!!!!I can’t laugh!bGod forbid bad thing!!!!!!Culture ko,culture ni!!!!

  38. ZEE

    March 26, 2013 at 6:50 am

    we need to verify this story making the rounds. i dont want to believe it. besides the boy said his ancestors spoke to him. did this old woman’s ancestors speak to her too? why on earth will she even agree notwithstanding the fact that the boy is acting insane?

  39. Omo1

    March 26, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Wonders shall never end…and as part of the “WONDERS” will they be making love as a couple????
    @ZEE..same on my thoughts! from what the little boy said..his ancestors spoke to him, through a picture?? or through any other form of spiritual body? I really don’t get

  40. Vvy

    March 26, 2013 at 9:06 am

    What in the worlddddd this is crazzzyy???

  41. ben

    March 26, 2013 at 9:20 am

    We are trapped in this culture bull shit an end up impoverished….no wonder Africa remains the way it is ….Cant the culture come up with technological advancements…

  42. pincess

    March 26, 2013 at 9:42 am

    What is the name of this movie? Send part 2

  43. clin

    March 26, 2013 at 9:45 am

    this is bad news

  44. clin

    March 26, 2013 at 9:48 am

    will they even have sex?

  45. Ginika

    March 26, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Sorry but I had to burst out in laughter when I read this. #NoWords.

  46. Anonymous South African Bella

    March 26, 2013 at 11:34 am

    As a proud and black South African woman, I would just like it to be known that this story shocked even us in SA.
    This is NOT the norm under any circumstances! We DO NOT run around marrying minors and being weird and gross! I promise! Lol!

    I am personally a saved Christian who no longer participates in certain cultural practises, but in my experience in the past, these practices were more about remembering and honouring our loved ones whom we have lost.
    Unfortunately, it can often times lead to misguided practises (as I suppose this might be).

    Please don’t think us crazy when you read stories like this! 🙂

    • Idak

      March 27, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      i know how you feel but even you know the truth is bitter.
      Truth is your folks are crazy and a half. Some of your practices defy are mind boggling but i guess same can be said for most acts of faith.

  47. Sisi Eko

    March 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Oh God..I had to really rub my eyes while reading this story. I thought it was a type when I saw 8.
    Na wah..the wonders in this world never end.

  48. Sisi Eko

    March 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm


  49. Marto

    March 27, 2013 at 4:10 pm


  50. whocares

    March 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    welll.. at first you are tempted to say what a fecking load of you know what.. but read it well.. they do not live together, the boy lives at home, she goes to visit.. its not like she is expecting conjugal visit or any such thing from him. Now lets take an 8yr old boy, kids are resilient and i do not think he will be scarred from this. he may see her as an aunt or even a surrogate mom and not as a sexual being.. so its all well that reads weirdly really.

  51. littlelady95

    July 19, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! dont these people know that once people die, they die and do not become “living dead ancestors” but the deceased? these people need prayers for its demons that contact this boy. May the lord deliver these people for real!

  52. gloria okwusi

    August 1, 2014 at 11:42 am

    jesus christ oooooooo abeg quick come make i follow u, people don dey mad 4 dis world ooooo

  53. ogechi ruth nnanna

    August 6, 2014 at 8:28 am

    What kind of tradition is this,gosh boy of your mind u are married abi

  54. ojomoru pereowei

    May 5, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Culture na wah.
    Ok oo …hmm the boy try sha . E don break record ..,make God help us

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