Names: Kahludi and Tebogo Malele
Married since: 13 December 2006
Pet names: Sugar, Rato or Hun.
Scripture foundation: Ephesians 5:22-33 (Love and Respect)
How did you meet?
We were serving together at church in the youth and music ministry.
Was it love at first sight?
We would not say love but more curiosity as we had heard about each other before we met. Kahludi had taken over from what I was doing at church as I had to go further my studies away from home.
What attracted you to each other?
Kahludi: From where I was, I had never seen anyone like her. It was her beauty.
Tebogo: He was different from the ordinary guys and he related to everyone from children to old people. I loved that.
Why did you get married?
We got close because we were working together and we became friends because we spent a lot of time together.
Kahludi: Tebogo taught me a lot about the Venda culture and language. I longed for the feeling of having someone you deeply cared about and we found that feeling between us.
Tebogo: I always longed for someone I could be free around, I could be vulnerable with and did not have to worry about pretending or being judged and Kahludi became that friend who later became my husband. Someone I would build memories with.
How did he propose?
We were sitting in the office and Kahludi asked me what my response would be if he asked me to marry him and I answered I would agree and the rest is history….
How has marriage changed you?
Kahludi: I grew up a loner and being married has taught me to think of the next person first which is something I had to grow out of. Simple things like waking up and having to interact with the next person in my personal space. I usually don’t like house chores so being married and having children has pushed me to learn to cook and do other house chores.
Tebogo: It has taught me to fully understand and encourage myself to understand the mysteries that come with commitment and submission. It has taught me the real meaning to unconditional respect and love. The pleasures of serving the next person with no expected return. Having children opened doors to a love I never thought I had in me.
What has marriage taught you?
Kahludi: To allow myself to be vulnerable. I need someone in my life. I am not always right. To consider the other person.
Tebogo: Respect, to allow myself to be loved and to be taken care of. That it is ok to allow myself to be vulnerable.
What do you love most about being married?
Kahludi: I have always loved the idea of family even though when growing up I did not fully understand that. Now, I value family especially knowing that societies thrive when families are together. I also get very excited to see young marriages being born as this brings hope to the future of our society.
Tebogo: I have someone who is always by my side. I have a partner whom I can fully be me when I am with and has encouraged me so many times to find me throughout the years.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your marriage and how did you overcome them?
When Kahludi was not working, we started a business together and that gave us both a platform to maximize our potential.
Not living with our kids due to work commitments, we ensure that every school holiday we maximize our time with them and we visit them often as we usually work some weeks in Limpopo where they are. The kids are also very supportive and we are working on something to get them back to live with us soon.
What do you mostly fight about?
Kahludi: i am a closed person and I don’t communicate a lot also if I don’t find my things where I last placed them.
Tebogo: Procastination and lack of communication.
What irritates you about each other?
Kahludi: My wife’s phone. Because of work, it never stops ringing which gets too much sometimes.
How do you keep love alive?
Always finding things we can do and enjoy together.
Always remind each other that we love and appreciate each other, remind each other that we value the commitment and role we play to make this family what it is.
What do you do for fun together?
Travelling (especially game drives), Spontaneous trips just the 2 of us and also family holidays with the kids.
What do you think marriage is?
A devoted servanthood.
What makes marriage work?
Be all about the other person yet don’t lose yourself.
What makes it fail?
Pride and being self -centered.
What do you think is the reason for people to not believe in the institution of marriage?
Some people see a marriage as a business contract and therefore look out only for what they can get out of it and when it fails there are those who are observing from outside without being given an opportunity to see marriage for what it truly is.
Do you think pre-marital counselling is important, why?
We think it is vital, because it will serve as a basis for guidelines and evaluation.
Why do you think there is such a high rate of divorce?
Because of issues such as expectations, setting high standards on spouses, lack of communication and allowing social and peer pressure to dictate the direction of the union or relationship.
What measures can be taken to break the high rate of divorce?
People need to get married only when they want to get married and they are committed to the idea thereof, not feeling compelled or carrying ulterior motives.
What do you think are the roles of husbands and wives in marriage?
This question would depend on each couple since the dynamics are variable. In our marriage, we do what we can do to make things work.
What do you think is the significance of lobola?
It symbolises how a man is willing to sacrifice for his bride and to bind the two families involved.
Would you advice people to do prenup, in community of property or out of community of property and why?
We would advise to do a prenup so that properties are not attached should one party be in financial constraints.
What advice do you have for people intending to get married?
People need to diligently work on themselves, their insecurities and ideologies so that they are able to serve the next person with a prepared and clear conscious.