Ziningi & Delisile Ndlela just married – Durban June 15, 2013.
By Melanie Nathan June 17, 2013.
While the United States struggles, state by state, to allow legal marriages between same-sex couples and while the United States waits with bated breath to see if any of its nine justices agree that marriage equality must be recognized on a Federal level, South Africa has attained the ideal of full equality and with it comes marriage equality. The irony is there was no slow evolution, as South Africans attained their equality right out of one of the most oppressive discriminatory systems known to the world, the system of apartheid, when former President Nelson Mandela ensured that never again would the law divide South Africans. And yet in the U.S. we waited for one President to evolve toward his approval and have only gained 12 out of 50 States (and D.C.) where same-gender couples can legally marry. Who would have thought that in a mere 23 years the tables would turn and that a place like South Africa could look at a country like the U.S. to justifiably say “shame on you America.”
Admittedly the traditionalists in South Africa have yet to catch up and there is a great deal of homophobic violence in South Africa. It is always a pleasure to report those South Africans overcoming the odds, as they stare homophobia in the eye and vow to live equally, regardless.
Inkanyiso attended and documented the magnificent wedding of this lesbian couple, Ziningi & Delisile Ndlela at Chesterville Hall, Durban. South Africa. The brides are members of Victories Ministries Church International, VMCI, whose congregants were also present.
It is because of couples like Ziningi & Delisile, the work of people like Zanele Muholi, websites like Inkanyiso and affirming clergy such as Pastor Zungu at VMCI, that same-sex lives are normalized to such an extent that hopefully sooner than later, South Africans will learn to accept that equality yields normalcy. It is further hoped that when showing the celebration of weddings such as this, other countries such the U.S.A. will awaken to the imperative reality of unconditional acceptance and full equality.
VMCI church was established in 2004 to accommodate the LGBT community and especially those who are discriminated to fellowship in other denominations because of their sexuality. The objective is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, give hope to the hopeless and life to the lifeless people irrespective of gender and social circumstances in Durban, South Africa and the World.
Photos by Nqobile Zungu & famed lesbian photographer and filmmaker, Zanele Muholi© 2013. These photos are private and cannot be republished without permission.
To see all the photos please visit the Inkanyiso website at: http://inkanyiso.org/2013/06/17/2013-june-15-the-durban-lesbian-wedding-of-the-year/
Contact: Melanie Nathan [email protected]