Pastor juggles weddings, the step and decor

2017-07-20 06:01
Lusanda Papiyana has turned his love for marital festivities to a fully fledged business.  PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

Lusanda Papiyana has turned his love for marital festivities to a fully fledged business. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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A Nyanga man who started off by singing and teaching people “the step” at wedding ceremonies says he has gone on to be the most sought after wedding planner.

Lusanda Papiyana, 32, a native of MauMau has more than 10 years planning and hosting weddings and being an MC.

“My journey into this business started off as a hobby, I loved singing and dancing at weddings. In the early days I became well known for that. People would invite me to sing as part of the uduli entourage and I later started teaching them to do the wedding step,” he said.

He said that this happened so often but it was an encounter with the now deputy minister of land affairs Mcebisi Skwatsha that set him on a road to success.

“It was in the early 2000s when I was helping him with his step for his wedding and he suggested that I should take this as a business. I started small but it was in 2010 that I officially started this as a business concern,” he said.

He said that the early days were tough because couples would not have budgeted for a planner.

“One of my early weddings was for a close friend and the budget was R5000 with which we had to pay for everything, hiring, food and tents. We managed to make it work and it was then that I felt that I have made the right decision,” he said.

Papiyana, who studied as a nursing assistant, dropped his chosen career and opted for the one in wedded bliss.

He said that as time went on he started to become a household name in as far places as Khayelitsha.

“I then went on to expand and started being an MC at events, I still love to sing, and then I started to offer a hiring service and decorations.

Decoration has also became a big feature in my business as I recently renovated a restaurant as well as funeral decorations,” he said proudly.

While all this is happening Papiyana also found the time to follow his other calling, which is doing the Lords work, he was ordained as a pastor last year.

He said that said despite the early struggles, his wife and mother put on a strong support system as business was not always easy.

“Starting a business is always gonna be a challenge and there were times it failed and people would ask me why I was still holding on.

The support that they gave me made me strong enough to endure,” he said.

He also noted that as a male wedding planner he had to face a lot of problems with societal perceptions.

“Some do not think you are going to do a good job because you are a man and others make assumptions non your sexuality.”

He encourages young people to follow their dreams and do what they want even if it is against the society’s expectations.

He said that he hopes to one day open a centre where he can train young people to do a task he loves most; empowering young people.

“I love giving to others. Even at church, there are young boys who used to be addicted to drugs. I have started teaching them how to do decorations and given them work at my events,” he said.

“This is the best time for young people to start their own businesses,” he said.

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