SETTLING down for a relaxing night in with his new bride of 61, eight-year-old Sanele Masilela says married life is child’s play.
The schoolboy stunned the world by wedding Helen Shabangu in Tshwane, South Africa.
He claims his dead grandad asked him to wed the mum-of-five, who already has a husband, from beyond the grave.
Although the union is not legally binding, Sanele says he does think of himself as married.
He added: “The day was great, exactly what I had imagined. My friends thought it was really funny I was getting married but I do now feel like a husband.”
With his feet dangling above the floor and his child’s portion of food, it looks like he’s having dinner at his grandma’s.
In fact Sanele Masilela, 8, is enjoying dinner with his wife, following his marriage to her two weeks ago, and said he is now beginning to feel like a proper husband.
The school boy married Helen Shabangu after his grandfather contacted him from beyond the grave telling him that he needed to wed.
The schoolboy chose family friend and mother-of-five Helen and his family paid £500 for her to be his wife at a £1,000 ceremony in Tshwane, South Africa.
Sanele admitted that since the wedding, he has begun to feel like a married man.
He said:’The day was great and it was exactly what I had imagined it would be like.
‘My friends thought it was really funny that I was getting married but I do now feel like a husband.’
But, despite appearances, it wasn’t real, the marriage was just a ritual and not legally binding.
The couple do not live together but Helen is often invited to have dinner with him at the family’s home.
Sanele has gone back to his life and continues to enjoy school and playing football with his friends but admits that the wedding was important to him.
News of the wedding sent shockwaves around the world but Helen, who has already been married for 30 years and has five children between 37 and 27 years old, defended the ceremony.
She said: ‘I know the story went out all over the world and it’s great that other countries have been able to learn about our culture and our ancestors.
‘What we did was not wrong. It’s just our culture. When the ancestors ask something, we do what they say. I don’t think other people understand that.
‘I know the ancestors are happy now because we are all alright and everything seems better and greater.
‘The whole family is much happier than we’ve ever been.’
Helen admitted the expensive ceremony had been much bigger than her original wedding to husband, Alfred, 65, and had no regrets.
She added: ‘I will always stay close to Sanele’s family even before the wedding and before Sanele chose me as his wife we were very close.
‘Nothing has changed since then.’
Her husband of 30 years, Alfred, 65, said: ‘My kids and I are happy.
Sanele also said he 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.’
Sanele’s 46-year-old mum, Patience Masilela added that she believes the ceremony ‘was not wrong’ and that it has pleased the ancestors.
She said: ‘This is the first time this has happened in the family.
‘Sanele is named after his grandfather, who was never had a white wedding before he died so 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.
‘I didn’t have a problem with it because I know it’s what the ancestors wanted and it would make them happy.’
‘Sanele was fine and he was happy about the ceremony and it was what he wanted. He was happy to get married and very excited.’