Nandi Madida and Zakes Bantwini are literally one of Mzansi's favourite married couples. The lovebirds first met through their shared passion for music and it's been fireworks ever since.
Today, the musical hubby and wife have two beautiful children, including a very special little girl with autism. These sweethearts are proving every day that real family values still exist, even in the often-cutthroat entertainment business.
Zakes and Nandi: "How I met your mother"
While the longtime celeb couple has been known to keep things between them super private, it seems the years have opened Nandi and Zakes up to sharing a whole lot more about their love story.
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This year, the musicians are celebrating nine years of blissful marriage, but Nandi says it wasn't love at first sight for her. Speaking with TimesLive back in 2017, Zakes hilariously shared how much he frightened Nandi when they first met.
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The multiple SAMA-winning producer had been putting off a meeting with Nandi for a while. The up-and-coming singer had been eager to meet the producer, whom she admired for his work. They would finally meet for the first time at the SAMAs.
"She is amazing and we just connected from the moment we met. I know that she wanted to work with me even before we had met... I realised she was my wife," Zakes said confidenlty.
However, the producer's blunt proclamation of love had the young actress a little frightened.
"When she said that she loved my music I told her: 'I love you'. I kind of overwhelmed her. It was love at first sight, for me. I told her that I was waiting for her to be ready but I wanted to just do it," Zakes sweetly remembers.
A few short months later in the friendzone and Nandi soon realised her love for Bantwini too. She credits the producer, who's seven years her senior, for guiding her through those initial awkward stages of her music career. The singer could not help but fall in love:
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"He literally was like 'What do you need? Do you need a team, do you need this?' It's not the reason obviously why I ended up being with him, but someone who cared so much, and was willing to invest in me... And he was like, 'No it's fine, you don't have to to date me'," she told ZAlebs.
Keeping their love private & welcoming their first child
After a few long months of keeping things on the down-low, the couple came clean about their relationship and secret wedding in August 2016. While there were rumours making the rounds, Nandi had fans excited after officially confirming her new role as Mrs Bantwini.
And in another major shocker, The Citizen reports that Nandi stole the show at the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week that year when she strutted the runway with an obvious baby bump. The model and media personality kept quiet and left her fans to make their own conclusions. Of course, it set the social media streets on fire.
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The couple welcomed a little boy named Shaka the next year. They've been enjoying a happy family life with their five-year-old son and beautiful baby girl ever since. Zakes and Nandi's little ones are definitely #familygoals.
Nandi & Nefertiti are spreading autism awareness
Another amazing part of this family is that Nandi and Zakes have been very intentional about spreading awareness about the autistic community. As Briefly News previously reported, the couple's youngest daughter, three-year-old Nefertiti, is on the autism spectrum.
The proud mama is all about normalising the often misunderstood disorder, especially in the black community. Some of the world's most intelligent people, including Albert Einstein and Elon Musk, actually had/have the condition and Nandi is always teaching her little girl to hold her head high.
"Proud of my Neurodivergent little, she’s also the reason my family members understand themselves and their genetics better. We are grateful for you my smart, kind, beautiful young queen. May you inspire the world with who you are," Nandi sweetly wrote to their daughter.
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Speaking with TshisaLive in 2021, Nandi also opened up about taking a year off work to prioritise some much-needed time with her kids. The Black Is King star had a busy year working alongside Beyoncé and decided to focus on motherhood:
"My children needed it because they're still young. And that's a huge achievement," she said at the time.
For Nandi and Zakes, it's clear family has always come before everything else. After nine years of marriage, fans can't wait to see what's next for this amazing, loyal celebrity couple.
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Source: Briefly News