Latifah Muhammad

8-Year-Old South African Boy Marries 61-Year-Old Woman Because Dead Ancestor Told Him To [PHOTOS]


An 8-year-old South African boy wed a 61-year-old woman, after he was instructed to do so by the ghost of his ancestor.  Little Sanele Masilela wed Helen Shabangu, who is already married and has five children.

The child, from Tshwane,  South Africa, and his family feared divine punishment had they not followed the instructions for him to marry. “This is the first time this has happened in the family,” said Sanele’s mother, 46-year-old Patience Masilela, who works at a recycling center with her new daughter-in-law. “Sanele is named after his grandfather, who never had a white wedding before he died so [he] asked Sanele to get married. He chose Helen because he loves her. By doing this we made the ancestors happy. If we hadn’t done what my son had asked then something bad would have happened in the family.”

As for the more than 50-year age difference, Patience was perfectly fine with letting her youngest child get married. “I didn’t have a problem with it because I know it’s what the ancestors wanted and it would make them happy.”

The family paid  £500 ($744.85) for the bride, plus an additional  £1,000 ($1,489.70)  for the ceremony, which was put together in two months.

Sanele wore a silver and black suit, while his bride donned a traditional white wedding dress, and carried a bouquet of white and purple flowers.

Images from the ceremony show the little boy looking pretty angry (and possibly confused) about his new marriage status, but he and his mother paint  a different picture. “I told my mother that I wanted to get married because I really did want to,” he explained.

“Sanele was fine and he was happy about the ceremony and it was what he wanted,” added his mother.“He was happy to get married and very excited.”

As for the bride—whose children range from ages 27-37—she is happy with the outcome. “I’m married and have five kids of my own, but I know that this is what the ancestors wanted—and now they are happy.”

Technically, the couple isn’t actually married as the event was more of a ritual than legally binding. “We are just playing now, but it is a sign that he will get married one day.”

Shabangu’s husband said that he and his children are also pleased with the wedding. “We don’t have problems with it but some of the community members were shocked.”

No surprise there.

Click below to see photos from the 8-year-old’s big day.

Photos: Dimakatso Modipa/Barcroft Media

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Comment Comments: 20 Tags Tags: south africa

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  • Hcoop

    I hope they are not making him be intimate with her too. That would be do wrong and disgusting. Child abuse.

    • jackie1987

      They probably will, sadly anything goes in a country like that. They don’t have molestation laws 🙁

      • shakazulu

        Nah that’s totaly untrue

      • sa-chick

        Yes we do!! gees u r soignorant

      • @sachick and @shakazulu

        No you clearly don’t, because this kind of idiocy would never fly.

      • DotMan

        Your self righteousness will cure itself once you learn to read. CEREMONY – ask a buddy to read it and explain the really confusing bits.

  • Jackie1987

    I’m so glad that I’m an american, thank you god!!!

    • I know, americans are saints.

    • Ruben ulloa

      And what the hell is that supposed to mean that just because your from a america that automatically makes you better than the a guy from south africa

  • shakazulu

    Am a south african dude and a black one to be stright.its not like how they put it.its only a ceremony and that’s all.and yah we do have laws and activist who are against child abuse and protect children rights

  • Different culture and rituals… Of course this is strange to some of us americans. Nobody is hurt so to each their own.

  • da one


  • “Technically, the couple isn’t actually married as the event was more of a ritual than legally binding. “We are just playing now, but it is a sign that he will get married one day.”

    –Some of you people need to read the entire story before commenting. They just did it for the ritual of having a wedding. They arent actually married and the woman is already married to another man.

  • ford

    That is spookier than anything. Hopefully the child
    have any nightmares. Bless you sweetheart.

  • third world needs improvement

    Why are so many people on this forum trying to rationalize the ridiculousness of they’re country men? Haha south Africans are just as backwards as Muslims and Hindus.

    • Ruben ulloa

      Kill yourself now

  • robert


  • Andrew Thomas Regan

    How disgusting, I feel so bad for this young boy. Why won’t the police protect him from this sexual abuse?

  • Godhelptheidiots.

    This shows illetracy and backwardness. So sad. a ridiculos excuse for making ancestor pleased….. ,ignorant fools.

  • shybyme

    I don’t put nothing past people in Africa. Crazy asss religion people. they need to stay the hell out of America. yeah I said it and am black.