ALTHOUGH a KwaFord couple never got the white wedding they wanted when they married 27 years ago, reaching such a milestone recently was a blessing and symbolic of the strong love they share.
Mbuyiselo Tyobeka, a maintenance electrician at Faurecia Exhaust Systems, and his wife, Loyiso Senior Secondary School maths teacher Linda, celebrated their wedding anniversary in June.
“Our sisters were friends and she [Linda] used to come to our house a lot,” he said.
He said he, being an older guy, was often asked to accompany her when she had been visiting their New Brighton home. In 1985 the two fell in love and, in December that year, they started dating.
“The more we saw each other and spent time together [the more] our love was accentuated … there was just some spark,” Mbuyiselo said.
“She would always leave me notes to encourage me and give me hope and strength to cope with challenges I’d have.”
Linda, who was a student at the then Cape College of Education in Fort Beaufort, said she grew to like the young Goodyear engineer’s calmness and polite manner.
“Every time we spoke, I felt I could trust him. He was very calm. Oh, and boy was he handsome!” Linda said.
This was regardless of the scepticism from her township peers for dating a working man who had a car.
“On weekends he would often visit me at college with treats, and I really enjoyed those!”
Mbuyiselo said: “It was during those visits that I really felt this woman loved me. She cried whenever I had to leave. She was ever so warm and loving. I realised this was somebody I could spend the rest of my life with.”
Because Linda was the last-born in her family and only 22 when the couple decided to get married, her family was not too happy to give her away.
“This made the negotiations a bit tougher. But it really strengthened our love … love really surpasses everything!” he said.
On June 19 1987, before a magistrate and a friend as witness, the couple legally married at the Port Elizabeth Home Affairs.
The couple have three children – Xolani, 27, Thandeka,19 and Sibulele,13.