I now pronounce you as husband and husband – Hardly a week ago the whole world witnessed the first African black gay marriage in South Africa. Next Saturday will see the second gay marriage reception take place as a Francistown business manager Marc Omphemetse Themba and Mr Gay Namibia – Ricardo Raymond Amunjera celebrate with family and friends.
By Eugene Majuru
This article originally appeared in Zimeye
This comes as as the South Africa’s Johannesburg city neared being fully labelled Africa’s GayVagas last week.
The reception ceremony will take place at Namibia`s Hilton Hotel where the gay couple will also celebrate Ricardo`s 30th birthday.
This weekend will see 70 of Marc’s closest friends and relatives travel to Windhoek to help him celebrate.
When the couple exchanges vows these will not be scripted. Marc will “just look into Ricardo’s eyes and speak from the heart”. Namibia does not allow same sex marriages so the couple travelled to South Africa where they tied the knot at a civil ceremony in Johannesburg.
The couple began their romance online when Marc saw Ricardo`s photo on facebook and started contacting him.
The couple are said to have started spending hours chatting to each other via telephone and their love blossomed.
“Father my lord full of grace, i come before you on this blessed day, i pray that you give me a big heart to love Ricardo Raymond Amunjera & be his sanctuary in times of need! Give me the strength & courage to bear & to protect our family against any evil that this filthy world may throw @ us! May you shower our hearts & home with love, peace, tranquility & joy, May ur grace reside eternally in our thoughts & mind, through Jesus Christ i pray! AMEN….,” prayed Marc.
They decided to meet each other in person and met at the airport in Gaborone, Botswana.
In the end it turned out to be simple. “Ricardo is the first meaningful relationship of my life,” says Marc. “He’s a beautiful shy person. He sometimes comes across as fierce, but he’s a sweetie”.
Marc has never hidden his sexuality. He just doesn’t “shout about it from the hilltops”.
He and his two siblings lost their parents long back, and were raised by Dithapelo Sibona – a family friend.
Marc was brought up by a family friend Dithapelo after losing his parents.
Dithapelo welcomed the news of his marriage.
“You don’t necessarily expect someone of her generation to be so open” said Marc.
“That is how God created him, so people out there should accept him the way he is,” said Dithapelo.
Ricardo works as a geological supervisor at Langer Heinrich Uranium mine.
Both men feel that the future for gay people is looking brighter in their countries. “Attitudes are slowing changing,” says Marc. “Maybe one day the law will too.”
Ricardo makes use of social networking website Facebook to transform negative thinking. “People are afraid of the unknown. But when we connect on Facebook we respond to each other as individuals,” he explained.
Francistown-based Amo Bogacu is looking forward to the reception in Botswana.