SA ‘soulmates’ born at the exact same time on the same day to marry at 60!

By Pieter van Zyl
13 July 2017

“I never thought I’d fall in love again,”

Both were born on 11 August 1957 at around 8 am under the zodiac sign of Leo.

She was born in old Transvaal, and he was born in the Free State. But they would only find each other 59 years later and realise that their love was meant to be.

They even support the same team, the Lions. “It’s going to take a while to find a better combination than this, that I firmly believe,” says Wilma Jansen from Vrededorp, Johannesburg.

She is busy packing to move to Primrose, Germiston where she will marry Martin la Grange on their birthday at Marks Park in Emmarentia.

In another strange twist of fact, that day also happens to be the birthday of the pastor who will be officiating their marriage.

Two weeks ago he sent her a photo of a wedding dress he saw on Facebook. He and the guests will have to wait and see the dress she had chosen for herself long before he made his suggestions.

admits Wilma, whose first husband Neels Janse died over three years ago.

PHOTO: Supplied PHOTO: Supplied

“I told him: ‘Good night my angel.’ He died in his sleep. We suspect that it could have been his heart, because I didn’t want to have an autopsy done. He’d never been operated on before.” They were married for 38 years (she was 55 and he was 65) and it was very difficult for her to get over his death.

So when her friends told her that it was time for her to stop grieving, but she didn’t feel ready to go on with her life yet.

Later she heard that Martin was a regular client at her charity shop in the Johannesburg inner city. “I never saw him there though.”

There was a lot of other trauma that she needed to work through, having recently been through two traumatic events.

A taxi drove into the back of her car on Jorrisen Street in Braamfontein, opposite the University of Witwatersrand.

She was in hospital for three-and-a half months and needed eight operations. She lost 35 kg due to the cortisone she needed to be on afterwards.

A few months later her shop was robbed at gunpoint. It was a harrowing few years – but in September last year, Wilma’s luck suddenly turned.

She was speaking to a professor in her shop when Martin walked in. She was telling the professor that she wanted to celebrate her 60th by backpacking through the country. Martin overheard this because he was also turning 60 and also wanted to do a bit of travelling to celebrate his 60th birthday.

“On what day do you celebrate your birthday,” he eventually asked her.

“The 11th.”

“That’s impossible, me too!”

He showed her his driver’s license and the two of them started chatting. He asked if the shop maybe had an old Lions t-shirt in their second hand clothing section. She then told him that there was only a Stormer’s t-shirt but that she was also a loyal Lions supporter.

They enjoyed their first official date on 25 November. “I’m not going to say where. It’s too romantic,” says Wilma secretively.

One night they were speaking about all the coincidences. They both simultaneously wrote down the time of their births on a piece of paper. “Eight at night,” was both of their answer...

On Christmas Eve they got engaged. He played Distant Drums by Jim Reeves and with the crooner singing the words “marry me” in the background he asked her to be his wife.

“His love will be like the grains of sand on the beach and like teardrops in the ocean. If I could count that only then would his love to an end. He also told me that the way salt belongs in the sea, that’s the way his heart belongs to me,” she says.

“As soon as I step into the church, that Jim Reeves song will play and then the wedding march.”

And now Wilma is counting down the sleeps. “Because God clearly meant for us to meet and be together one day.”

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