FOR the love of history and Xhosa culture, South End couple Xoliswa and Jerry Mandla Mabasa spent their afternoon surrounded by dinosaur, marine and bird memorabilia as they held their wedding reception at the place across the road from where they first met – Bayworld.
The Rev Zandisile Nongauza of St Matthew’s Anglican Church in KwaMagxaki married Xoliswa, nee Chubana, and Jerry on September 28 last year.
“We chose Bayworld mostly because it was near to the beach and because the museum holds a lot of history about Port Elizabeth and the Xhosa culture,” Xoliswa said.
“My husband, who is Tsonga, is from Limpopo so some of his family members who came from the remote areas of Limpopo had never even seen the sea – and this was a way of bringing them closer to a proper PE experience and also for them to learn a bit about my culture at the same time.
“It is a beautiful and modern venue that offers so much. We had the jazz band Blaze, from New Brighton, play as our guests entered.
“It was a bit rainy so we took a few outside photos and then we were lucky enough to be allowed to take the photos inside the museum, which was the highlight for me.”
Mandla is an industrial engineer at Volkswagen South Africa and Xoliswa is a community development specialist at the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral).
The two met at Brookes Pavilion, across from Bayworld, and said it therefore carried significance for them.
“It’s where our journey started but I fell in love with him when I saw him at a mutual friend’s gathering in Uitenhage. I liked him a lot. After about two months of talking over the phone he asked me out on a date as a friend, but I was hesitant to go. However, it was the best date ever and we’ve been inseparable ever since.
“On our first year anniversary of dating, he asked me to pray with him. He knelt down and prayed for me, our families and our relationship and on that day I knew he was going to be my husband and even if I had to learn how to cook pap and make atchar, I would do just that!”
Mandla said he fell for his wife before their first date.
“I fell in love with Xoliswa when we were talking on the phone each day. I loved the way she carried herself. She is different (quite a mix, a free spirit and brains) from any lady I have met. She understands my character. She has the most adorable smile. I’m blessed and lucky to have her as my partner. She can cook about four dishes really well: her lasagne, umphokoqo, roasted chicken in a cook-in-bag … uhm it’s actually three, but I still love her,” he joked.