Africa’s most famous gay married couple deny split

The April 2013 wedding

The famous April 2013 wedding

Following reports that their marriage is on the rocks, one of the men who famously married in a same-sex traditional African wedding has spoken out.

The Sunday World claimed on the weekend that audit manager Tshepo Cameron Modisane and IT specialist Thoba Calvin Sithole, whose marriage two years ago made international headlines, had split up.

It also reported rumours that Modisane was now in a relationship with a woman and had a child with her.

Sithole did admit to the newspaper that they had “decided to give each other some space” and were living apart for now, commenting that, “In this world there is no perfect relationship or marriage. Like any couple we have our own problems and we would overcome them.”

On Tuesday, Modisane confirmed to Mambaonline that the couple are still together. Without going into details, he said: “We have not broken up. We are still married.”

He also refuted reports that he is seeing a woman or has child. “There is no baby. There is no woman involved,” he said. “I haven’t touched a woman since I was in high school [and was] confused about my sexuality.”

“I can’t be championing the rights of the gay community at the same time busy chasing around women and impregnating them,” he insisted.

Modisane added that, “Sunday tabloid newspapers will do anything to peddle lies and sell their papers. I can confirm that there is no truth to their story.”

Tshepo Modisane and Thoba Sithole

Tshepo Modisane and Thoba Sithole

He did not address a claim by the Sunday World that last year he took out a protection order against his husband following an alleged domestic abuse incident.

Modisane and Sithole tied the knot in April 2013, in a traditional wedding ceremony in front of 200 guests at the Stanger Siva Sungam community hall in KwaZulu-Natal.

They became an international media sensation, were interviewed by numerous TV networks and were even mentioned by American comedian Chelsea Handler.

The international media incorrectly called it “the first African gay wedding” (gay marriage has been legal in South Africa since 2006), but the widely-seen and powerful images of the two men kissing in their traditional cultural attire were ground-breaking.

In February last year, Modisane told Mambaonline that while “not everyone was welcoming and accepting of us getting married in African culture,” the couple hoped to show young Africans “that you can be gay, in love and still be proud of who you and not be ashamed of your sexuality.”

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