MARC AND RICARDO’S CELEBRATE BECOMING MR AND MR
It is early Saturday evening in Windhoek.
Outside light is fading, but here in the main conference hall of the Hilton Hotel the lights are burning bright.
Excited chatter is punctuated with the clink of glasses as guests await the arrival of the happy couple.
To the casual observer it would seem a typical wedding reception.
But this is no ordinary wedding.
To the sound of the famous BebeWinanas songI Found Love,Ricardo and Marc step onto the red carpet.
Walking hand in hand the couple are greeted with cheers and the applause of what seems like the entire local gay community.
RicardoAmunjera is after all the current Mr Gay Namibia.
Marc Themba is from Botswana. The two met in September and their relationship blossomed into the life long relationship they promised each other in a civil ceremony in Johannesburg the week before.
Now it is party time.
Ricardo looks radiant, his striking good looks and lightly tinted skin glow bright against the priest like effect of his all black attire.
Marc by contrast is wearing a crisp white shirt that accentuates his delicate features.
Like the ivory and ebony of piano keys they create a look that suggests they belong together.
Best man Gregory De Vriesis a friend to both, and mentions in his short speech that Marc brings out the best in Ricardo.
“I so happy and excited that they have married,” he adds before breaking down in tears.
Ricardo’s mother shares the same sentiment, and raising her glass to toast her son says: “ I love Ricardo and support him in whatever decision he takes as he is a very responsible person.
Marc by virtue of being Ricardo’s partner is my son too.”
Meanwhile the waiters keep the drinks flowing. Ricardo and Marc constantly stare at each other.
Love lights their eyes as they hold hands.
BoikiTema, Marc’s uncle who has travelled from Gaborone along with a sizeable contingent of well- wishers from Botswana, finds it hard to hide his excitement.
“I am honoured that Ricardo’s family has proved to be very loving and have accepted Marc as their own son,” he says to prolonged applause.
As they exchange vows most of the guests reach for their tissues.Ricardo pours out his heart to Marc.
“For a gay man marriage shows stability and responsibility. I found love with Marc.
I have never loved any man the way I love you Marc.I pray for you more than I pray for myself.”
By the time Marc responds with, “I love you Ricardo with all my life,” there is not a dry eye in the room.
After exchanging vows the happy couple kiss and cut the cake. Everyone is on their feet, moving towards the top table in a surge of emotion.
Hands clap, wave and reach out to hug the newly weds in anticipation of the moment they eventually break from their long embrace.
Andre Beukes, Ricardo’s life long friend sums up the mood when he says in his concluding remarks:
“As individualsyou have taken your stand in life without fear of being abused because of your choices in life.
This wedding will open doors for many more gay people.”
It will be dawn before anyone leaves to find out.