Sweet serenade on our big day

By Drum Digital
01 December 2010

IT WENT down as Pietermaritzburg’s wedding of the year. Guests spoke about it for weeks afterwards – and it was all thanks to DRUM and the groom’s favourite singer, Theo Kgosinkwe, the happy couple says.

Wendy Gumede (35) had hoped her big day would be special, but never in her wildest dreams did she think it would be the occasion it turned out to be. Yet she’s the one her Theo-mad new husband, Mlungisi Gumede, has to praise for the fact that the star serenaded them at their nuptials.Wendy was preparing for the wedding early this year when a Valentine’s Day competition in DRUM caught her eye. Theo was involved, she saw – and she knew she had to enter. The rules were simple: couples had to send in a motivation for why they deserved to win. They also had to send in a picture of themselves and give the date of their wedding, which had to be planned for some time during 2010. And the prize? To have the star perform exclusively at the winner’s wedding – and Theo himself would choose the winner.

“My fiancé loves Theo’s music,” Wendy wrote in her entry. “When he asked me to marry him, he played Usis’thandwa sam for me and my heart just melted. I had to say yes!”

But the part that really won Theo over came at the end of her note: “He also likes to play Sohlala s’thandana when he’s trying to apologise if I’m angry at him!”

Both Usis’thandwa sam and Sohlala s’thandana, as any Theo fan will tell you, are two of the Afro-pop star’s big hits and Mlungisi knows every word. So you can imagine how ecstatic he was when he and Wendy were told they’d won – especially since they’d just secured the beautiful Secret Garden in Pietermaritzburg, with a seating capacity of 200, as their wedding venue.

“Of course we ended up with a guest list of 250,” Wendy says with a laugh. But that just meant more people were there when the time came for the surprise of the evening.

“When we heard Theo would be performing at our wedding we decided to keep it to ourselves,” Wendy explains. “We told only the master of ceremonies who, at the reception, announced that we’d be joined by a special guest later on.”

Theo arrived after supper – and the effect was dramatic. “Everyone went absolutely crazy – they couldn’t believe he was there! My husband was probably more excited than me. He was showing off his moves on the dance floor as Theo sang and I have to say there were some moves I didn’t know he could do,” Wendy recalls with a giggle.

Theo asked all the couples to join the newlyweds in a dance and sang all their favourite songs, from Ngimtholile to Usis’thandwa sam. “I love all his songs but my current favourite is his Pap ’n vleis,” the bride says.

After performing for at least two hours, Theo, who’s been married for seven years, left the couple with a few words of advice and encouragement.

“He was so nice. He told us marriage was hard work but worth the effort. He said he knows there are trials and we need to be strong to face those challenges. I treasure those words even more than his performance. He really made my day.”

THE couple met over a year ago at a friend’s party and what started as friendship quickly blossomed into love. “We met at a restaurant in Pietermaritzburg – Butcher Boys –and just hit it off,” Wendy tells us when we catch up with the newlyweds after their honeymoon in Cape Town.

Read the full article in DRUM of 9 December 2010

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