Cape Town’s wedding of the year!

By Drum Digital
30 April 2014

Brenda Fassie's wedding was characterised by excitement, joy and chaos.

There was the usual wedding buzz and the bride looked beautiful.

Cape Town’s Wedding of the Year in January 1989, when Brenda Fassie married Nhlanhla Mbambo,  was characterised by excitement, joy and chaos.

From the minute Brenda slipped on her beautifully beaded sophisticated white gown with its elaborate headdress in the tight crush of her mother’s bedroom in Langa, to the minute she arrived back from her Catholic church service a married woman, the scenes around her were chaotic.

Too many people, myself included, a rookie journalist on one of her first assignments, had crammed into the bedroom to watch her dress.

Brenda seemed unfazed but there was tension, too. Yvonne Chaka Chaka towered over her commandingly and her flustered aunt , Cynthia Bedeza, told me: “Thank the Lord I am already married.”

She and her entourage fought their way past excited crowds to get to the church; during the service the chatter drowned out the vows.

The groom, in his Michael Jackson-outfit, seemed a little out of his depth. A slight man, he arrived at the church after his bride - and she was already 90 minutes late!

Twenty five years later, I remember the black wedding Cadillac that sped  back to Langa on the N2 highway, hooting with joy, with Brenda and Nhlanhla leaning out of the windows, ready to greet the waiting crowds once more.

She told me she was “excited” to be getting married, and clearly, she loved the adulation and the attention but she was also rattled by it.

When I asked her about it as she was leaving her mother’s house, she laughed  and said, “I’m used to all of this …” And ironically, on her wedding card, with its red roses and hearts, were printed the lyrics from one of her hits, “I am what the people have made me.”

-By Sharon Sorour-Morris

Don’t forget to read the touching tributes in this week’s issue of DRUM – 8 May, 2014.

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