Sarah Ngubeni’s glam wedding

By Drum Digital
05 January 2011

AN OLD-SCHOOL township wedding is what she’d dreamed of since she was a little girl. Her childhood home is full of pictures of her own mother’s joyous celebration and she wanted to do things the same way – with a line of bridesmaids, people dancing in the streets and ululating, and traditional food prepared by her aunties and uncles in big three-legged pots.

And Sarah Ngubeni isn’t disappointed at all. The gorgeous TV presenter and businesswoman is enjoying her traditional wedding with all the trimmings – times two, in fact, because both the bride’s and groom’s parents have insisted on throwing these two firstborns a reception each!Then there’s the white wedding, too – which means that in the end they’ll have no less than three festive celebrations. Talk about doing things in style!

Everything is just the way she wanted it, Sarah (30) says – it’s her dream wedding, she feels like the dream bride and she’s marrying the man of her dreams, hunky Mbuso Thabethe, CEO of Mohlaleng Media.

But the festivities aren’t without drama. The 14 groomsmen, including actor Loyiso ‘Chippa’ Mangena, are literally caught with their pants down as the guests sit waiting for the entourage to arrive at the Ngubeni reception in Heidelberg, south of Joburg.

They had beautiful coffee-coloured suits designed and made for the occasion – but something has gone wrong and the trousers haven’t arrived!

Four hours of anxious waiting later and with the carefully planned wedding on the verge of crisis, the guys throw caution to the wind, pull on their jeans and the top half of their designer suits and march out the door.

Fortunately the outfit debacle hasn’t extended to the groom – and in keeping with the theme of the festivities, he isn’t doing things in half measures.

Mbuso (33) arrives at the wedding with Kenny ‘Mr Sushi’ Kunene himself in a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce Phantom, which is worth around R4 million.

The guests erupt as the groom’s party enters the marquee, decorated in rich browns, copper, gold, burnt orange and green. And the 14 bridesmaids, including actress Renate Stuurman, TV and radio presenter Bonolo Nkosi and TV personality Lala Tuku, dance in to join them.

And this is just part of the Ngubenis’ reception. The couple have set aside the whole week to hold their two traditional weddings and their Christian wedding, one straight after the other.

They explain how it all came about when DRUM visits them the morning after they exchanged vows in a private ceremony in their own garden in Sandton.

“We decided to go big or go home,” Sarah says. They got engaged in November 2009 and lobola was negotiated in April and May last year. At first they thought they’d do the traditional weddings in December and have a big church wedding in April.

“The original plan was to have a small private ceremony on a Sunday where our pastor would bless the rings, then on Wednesday we would have umembeso, on Thursday we would have an Afro-chic traditional ukuvuma ’bakhwenyana ceremony and reception, and on Friday my new in-laws would come to fetch me.

“Saturday would involve the Thabethes welcoming me into their family home and a beautiful Afro-chic reception, and then we would say our vows in church four months later,” Sarah explains. “But all that changed in the last few weeks,” Mbuso chips in.

Read the full article in DRUM of 13 January 2010

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