PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP
PRESIDENT EMERITUS OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY
AND TRADITIONAL PRIME MINISTER TO THE ZULU MONARCH AND NATION
Mount Edgecombe: 31 August 2019
I have always loved weddings. From that moment in July 1952 when my bride walked down the aisle, I have been fascinated by the marriage union. How is it that Indlunkulu Irene Thandekile chose me, over all others, to share her life with?
As we celebrate the wedding of Skhumbuzo Ngidi and Thanda Ngubane, I know that they are wondering the same thing. How is it possible that this great good fortune has befallen them, to be wholly and completely loved?
That is part of the mystery of marriage. It’s what makes it so unique.
I am honoured to have witnessed this wedding at the invitation of His Worship Alderman Petros Ngubane, our Mayor of Umzinyathi. Today our Mayor has given his daughter in marriage, and he has gained a son-in-law. We pray that both families will be blessed by this union.
I have no doubt that Mr Ngidi will be kept in line, because he has married his boss’s daughter! I think it is wonderful though that Mayor Ngubane was able to get to know the character of his daughter’s suitor, before they were married. When you have seen how someone acts in the work environment, faced with pressure and deadlines, it’s easy to tell what kind of person they are.
As a father, I can tell you that a great deal of our time is spent thinking about our adult children; about their happiness, their choices, and the way they are treated by those around them. It is deeply satisfying when we see our children cared for the way they should be.
I know, therefore, that Mayor Ngubane is happy today, for he has seen the love that Mr Ngidi has for his daughter. I am sure the Ngidi family feel the same happiness, because of Thanda’s love for their son.
But this wedding is not just about the bride and the groom. Nor is it just for their families. A wedding is a very public occasion where friends and family become witnesses to a lifelong commitment. As witnesses, a responsibility is bestowed upon us to stand up for this marriage in the years ahead. We have agreed, by our presence, to become champions of this union. It is not easy to make a contract of being together until death parts you. I have just had mine and my late wife ended when she passed on on the 25th of March this year, about 67 long years. It is quite obvious that every marrying couple can manage to keep that promise for as long as that through God’s grace. But it cannot be successfully achieved by relying on the Almighty only, the two marrying individuals have also to work on it for married life has its ups and downs. And that then prompts me to say to both of you that there is a lot of wisdom in remembering always that God helps those who help themselves. It is a life-long game of GIVE AND TAKE.
We must take that responsibility very seriously, because marriages are not lived in isolation. They are lived in community. As much as the bride and groom may feel that they are in their own bubble of happiness, they are far from alone. We are here as their cheerleaders and supporters. And we will be here to hold them accountable for maintaining their commitment.
This is a good thing, because marriage is a long haul. In the years that lie ahead, this couple will need to be reminded now and again – like every couple should be – that love is not something we fall into, but something we choose.
I am so grateful that my late wife chose to love me; not just on our wedding day, but every day thereafter. My wife died when we had only 4 months left before celebrating our 67th wedding anniversary. This was the greatest gift you can give to another human being. To the new Mr and Mrs Ngidi, may it be the gift you give each other from this day. We have all come here from different walks of life to wish both of you that God gives you the ability to walk this lifetime journey that you have promised each other. We wish you every happiness.