8-year-old boy marries 61-year-old woman because dead ancestors told him to!
An 8-year-old boy in South Africa has caused worldwide shock after choosing to marry a 61-year-old woman, supposedly because the spirits of his dead ancestors told him to!
I don't even know how to react to that except to say…what?!
Sanele Masilela told his parents he had been told by his dead ancestors to get married. Fearing retribution if they didn't comply, his family agreed to the wedding, paying approximately $745 for the bride and close to $1,500 for the ceremony. Dressed in a little tux, Sanele tied the knot to Helen Shabangu, a woman more than 7 times his age, who is reportedly already married and a mother to five children! Can you believe that?!
Though the marriage has raised eyebrows for obvious reasons, Sanele's family is defending their decision, claiming that the entire ceremony was just a ritual and not legally binding. So why do it at all? According to the little boy's mother, Patience, Sanele's grandfather never had a white wedding before he died so he asked his grandson to get married on his behalf.
"By doing this we made the ancestors happy," she said. "If we hadn't done what my son had asked then something bad would have happened in the family."
This is seriously just too crazy for me to wrap my mind around.
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At least the ceremony hasn't seemed to have much impact on the boy or his life. Sanele and the bride did not sign a marriage certificate and do not have to live together. In fact, the little boy even revealed he hopes to have an official wedding to a woman his own age when he gets older!
While I'm extremely relieved to hear that the young boy won't actually be expected to be a real husband, I still cannot understand how his parents allowed the ceremony to take place in the first place, all because their child said so. I mean, he's 8! How can you let someone that young decide on something like marriage? I just hope that this really was just a ritual and that Sanele can now go back to being a normal kid.
Image via Thinkstock