The secret behind my successful marriage is respect - Siba Mtongana

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Siba’s husband, Brian is no stranger to us. He makes regular appearances on Siba’s Table along with the pair’s children and friends. She talks to us about their marriage. 

“Brian and I genuinely love each other. We’re best friends and we’ve been together for 16 years. I met him when I was 17 years old. 

I was in Cape Town on holiday and it so happened that I stayed in the same complex as him. Sixteen years later, and we have three kids. We had our first child after 10 years of being together, and second year of marriage.”  

She continues: “We were in a relationship for eight years before we got married.” I ask what’s the secret behind their successful marriage. “Respect,” she answers. “Respect is a big thing for men, whether it be my father or brother or any other man. As strong as I am, I’m not overbearing with Brian.

We challenge each other like any other couple but we always talk it out. I respect what he’s done with his career as Head of Design at Woolworths South Africa and I love that he’s so supportive of my work. He’s got calm strength and inner confidence that I really admire. He doesn’t see the reach and influence I have in my career as a threat. We’re a solid unit. Our pattern is that we love each other first and then the children.  We make sure we have time for each other and then the kids.” 

With juggling a marriage, kids and business, the chef says, “There’s no perfect balance. You create an atmosphere that’s inclusive of the kids so that I’m not away from them often, for too long. That’s why I included them on the show. I travel with them sometimes.” The Mtonganas have two sons, Lonwabo (5), Lindamandla (3), and daughter BuhleNkosi, who’s just turned two years old

Learn more about Siba on our Mach issue, in stores NOW.

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