OPINION | Tying the knot at KwaSizabantu: From strangers to best friends

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Bernice Greyling and her husband Cobus on their wedding day at KwaSizabantu Mission (Supplied)
Bernice Greyling and her husband Cobus on their wedding day at KwaSizabantu Mission (Supplied)

Bernice Greyling writes that she undertook the marriage process at KwaSizabantu Mission where she did not know her husband before tying the knot and there have been no regrets 12 years later.


I see that News24 has gone to great lengths to portray marriages at the KwaSizabantu Mission as all doom and gloom.

It might benefit the readers of News24 to be informed of how many marriages have taken place over the years and how many of those couples are happily married. Not sure if the journalists actually did that bit of research... It might put things into a bit more of a perspective for the readers. 

READ | A perfect stranger: Engagement and marriage at Kwasizabantu mission

I, for one, got married at KwaSizabantu mission in May 2008 and would love to share my story with the readers as I see no positive experiences published by News24. 

I was 26-years-old and had just arrived home when I got a phone call that Rev Erlo Stegen wanted to see me.

I quickly went up to his house.

We sat down and he mentioned that there was a young man who had asked for my hand in marriage. I was rather shocked as it was the last thing on my mind at that time. This man was a perfect stranger to me. if I recall, I had seen him twice in my life and we had never spoken. However, he felt that the Lord was leading him to get married to me.

Rev Erlo Stegen asked me to pray about it and return when I have an answer. I asked him if I could share this with my father and he agreed. 

For about two months I had a very emotional time.

How do I marry someone I don't even know?

When I was 13-years-old, I made a decision that I wanted to be a virgin the day I get married. I wanted to be able to tell my husband one day that I kept myself pure for him. I knew that the Lord is ultimately in control and I needed to trust Him with the biggest decision of my life.

So I took it to Him in prayer, trusting He would not fail me in this.

After I gave the yes answer, Rev Erlo was so excited!

Cobus Greyling and I got engaged a few weeks later and eight weeks later we got married!

Perfect strangers 

Up until our wedding day we had not spoken one word to each other... we were indeed perfect strangers. 

Our big day arrived! My wedding day was more than what I could ever dream or think of! A joyful and wonderful day! 

From the first moment I hooked in with my husband we bonded. 

For me, on our wedding day there was a beauty and security in knowing that when you vowed "until death" we both meant it. 

On our wedding day we chatted so much at the reception that my father-in-law even commented that we seemed to be best of friends. We had no problem connecting or finding each other. We were in love!! I recall the most amazing honeymoon and how each day we got to know each other better. 

Marriage is not a clock to be wound and left alone; it is a living relationship to be fed, nurtured, and enjoyed each day.

We are now married for 12 years with three beautiful kids and my fairytale has still not ended! 

A blessing

I can honestly say that my husband is the perfect person for me and one of my greatest blessings from God. His love is a gift I open every day.

Happiness in marriage is a moment-by-moment choice. A decision to love, forgive, grow and grow old together. 

I believe it would be of great benefit to readers if News24 could inform them of how many couples have arrived at KwaSizabantu Mission with their marriage on the rocks or on shaky ground and have walked away with their marriage reconciled and restored. 

I have not gone around and criticised everyone else in South-Africa with broken marriages and emotional baggages from previous relationships with multiple partners, so I would appreciate it if News24 could shine a light on the numerous happy marriages that have taken place at the mission and stop trying to discredit my most happy and fairytale wedding that is still continuing...

- Bernice Greyling got married at KwaSizabantu Mission in 2008 and now lives in Pretoria with her husband and three children.


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