Nine year old schoolboy Saneie Masilela has become the world’s youngest groom after marrying 62-year-old South African Helen Shabangu at a formal ceremony witnessed by her children and grandchildren.
Dressed in a silvery tuxedo, baby-faced Saneie clutched the hand of mother-of-five Helen Shabangu, as they repeated their vows a year on in front of 100 guests at their wedding. At the ceremony, which took place at Ximhungwe village in Mpumalanga, South Africa, was witnessed by the brides’ children who are aged between 28 and 38.
Saneie said he held the ceremony to make the marriage, which he entered into last year official but other villagers described it as sickening. Among the guests at the ceremony were Helen’s long-term husband Alfred Shabangu, 66.
Mr Shabangu said: “My kids and I are happy because we don’t have a problem with her marrying the boy.
I don’t care what other people say.” Both families claim the wedding is simply another ritual after Saneie was told by his dead ancestors to marry last year and his parents forked out £500 for the bride and another £1,000 for the ceremony.
However the schoolboy wanted to follow South African tradition and insisted they have the second ceremony this week to make their marriage official.
Saneie, the young groom said he still hoped he would have a proper wedding to a woman his own age when he was older. He added: “I told my mother that I wanted to get married because I really did want to.
“I’m happy that I married Helen but I will go to school and study hard. When I’m older I will marry a lady my own age.”
Recycling worker Helen, said: “I’m very happy that the boy chose me and my family support and understand that it is part of making ancestors happy.”