By: Elesi Azumah
29 year old Mbali and 25 year old Michael Bezuidenhout have a strong and irreverent bond built on eternal love, trust and loyalty. Not only did they win the Vuma FM White Wedding Competition but also gave viewers the opportunity to tune into their journey of love on South Africa’s popular wedding show “Our Perfect Wedding”. Join us as they share their beauty of inconvenient love, interracial issues and the true meaning of saying “I DO”.
THE BEGINNING OF IT ALL
Primary School Teacher and Real Estate Agent, Mbali remembers the smallest details about the day they met on Durban’s Smith Street almost ten years ago. “Michael stayed about three flats away from mine and without fail would wait outside my building everyday just to greet me. It took us almost 8 years to become an official item but due to persistence and maturity, we eventually did and everything seemed to fit like a glove. A year after Michael popped the question and here we are,” says Mbali.
Michael, who is a Machine Operator at a Butchery, says growing up I lived with my aunt’s family who practically raised me like their own child. “I never met my father let alone knew his name nor had a relationship with my mother. When Mbali and I were transitioning from being friends to partners, things in my life weren’t going well due to my “parents” separation which left me with nowhere to turn and I found myself staying in a shelter. At that particular moment we really didn’t have anyone within my family to share the exciting news with,” he explains.
Mbali also shares her coming forth about her relationship with Michael to her parents; “I was raised by loving and respectable strict parents so I kept my relationship a secret until he asked for my hand in marriage. When the chance availed itself I sat my parents down and explained our journey together and how much I truly loved Michael. When they eventually met, they understood why I had fallen in love with him and from that day onwards they formally became “our” parents,” she says.
THROUGH THICK AND THIN
“I made the decision to support and stay with Michael, even when he had lost his family and was unemployed .I had to juggle two jobs in order to put food on the table and we moved into an apartment which was smaller than a regular kitchen yet people couldn’t understand why we were so happy and knew God was testing my strength.
“When he finally got a job as a security guard and earned R1800, he’d deduct his transport money and tell me to use the rest for household necessities. At that particular moment I realised if he could take care of me with such a small income, what more would he do with more earnings and knew he would definitely treat me like a queen. Every day we would endure people’s comments, stares and judgement yet all we looked forward too was getting home to our happy place.
“Through all this Michael saved enough money through hard-work and determination to give us a traditional wedding despite the cultural difference,” she says.
Sharing the same treasured memories together such as the birth of their son Tory in 2015 to watching Mbali walking down the aisle and not forgetting how Michael praises Mbali’s culinary skills, it is clearly evident that they’re the best of friends and portray that “we finish each other’s sentences” kind of love
When asked about their views on interracial marriage despite the fact that it’s become more common, the couple have the same sentiments and views about the issue with Mbali explaining; “When we first started dating it took a while for us to realise people were staring due to the colour of our skin, which made us a little uncomfortable. Colour has never been an issue for us; we soon learnt to be affectionate with each other in front of disapproving eyes and just embrace it. We never want to focus on the negative so we focus all our energy on the positive. Not everyone will understand our love and we don’t expect them too,” says Mbali.
“One thing that has been the foundation of our relationship is communication. We always talk about race in our household as flavour’s that is why; Daddy is “Vanilla”, Mommy’s “Chocolate” and our son Tory is our “Caramel”. Backhanded comments don’t impact our marriage instead they’ve made us learn how to find humour with everything we get asked.
NEVER ENDING LOVE
Michael: “My life without my wife would be empty, lonely and miserable because we have known each other for so long that we basically share one bond. Knowing every morning I wake up and go to bed with her and if she were to go it would feel like losing my soul”.
Mbali: “My life without my husband would be like a match stick without a match box. One needs the other to function and I need him to journey through this thing called life with me and grow old with me”.
Mbali and Michael’s love story sounds like a Disney production and would make anybody want to fall in love. With so much in common yet an immense dynamic in personalities, with Mbali being the extrovert and Michael the introvert, one can truly believe this is relationship has more to it than what meets the eye and speaks of a divine favour.
When asked about expectations for the Bezuidenhout clan in 2018, they shared how their marriage is centred on God. “Clearly he has a purpose for us because when we shared our story we were really humbled by the lives we touched. We really didn’t know so many people could relate to our story and wherever God may take us is where we shall go,” he says.
With a honeymoon planned for later on in the year to hopefully adding an addition to their family, furthering their education and promising job opportunities for Michael to explore, one can only hope for the best for South Africa’s new power couple in 2018.