Love was certainly in the sea air on Valentines Day as 12 lucky couples said, “I do” on Robben Island, tying the knot in what has become an annual February 14 wedding celebration. The small Garrison Church, which seats 100 people and is located at the village opposite the post office on Robben Island was packed to capacity with family and friends of the happy pairs, all dressed up for the special occasion.
Robben Island Museum (RIM) Executive Manager, Mr Gershon Manana addressed the brides during a welcome speech: “You have selected a unique and very special place to get married, a World Heritage Site, a place we all associate with the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, and is something marriage surely needs.”
A choir from Home Affairs entertained guests, singing songs before the weddings began. Ayanda Dlodlo, Minister of Home Affairs attended the ceremony and wished the couples well on their special day. Following the wedding service, where rings and vows were exchanged, the couples had their photos taken with views overlooking Table Bay and the city of Cape Town in the distance. They then sat down to a delicious lunch with refreshments provided by Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages. Local alternative pop singer, songwriter and guitarist Timothy De Monk performed for the happy couples and their friends.
Among the couples were two police officers from Limpopo; Motlankane Margaret Rampora married Sontaga Josias Mokonyama, and from the North West Province; social worker Matshidiso Edith Madikgetla married businessman Itumeleng Amos Ramohale.
From the Western Cape, attorney Chanelle Goschen married bicycle mechanic Sean Dearling. When asked why Goschen wanted to get married on the island, she said she was fascinated by Nelson Mandela’s life and the sacrifices he had made. She added that while reading and re-reading his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, she continued to learn much from studying his values and approach to humanity. “My connection to Mandela is based mainly on his legal career and struggle to be admitted and practice as an attorney in our country. I have recently graduated with an LLB after ten years of studying and have found Mandela to be a source of inspiration in this time.”
After their celebratory meal, the very happy couples were treated to a very special tour of the island before returning to mainland, to start their new chapter in their lives as husband and wife.
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