A Surrey Estate couple didn’t let the Coronavirus pandemic dash their dreams of love and marriage.
The young sweethearts gave “in sickness and in health” a new meaning by staging a “drive-by” wedding over the weekend.
Aqeelah and Tanweer Regal caused a stir on Sunday as hundreds of cars driven by family and friends queued in Taurus Road, waiting for their chance to wish the newlyweds well, drop off gifts and receive a barakat.
The couple met when they were just teens through relatives, but Aqeelah, 22, says while at high school, she was focused on her academics and sports.
At the time, she was in the Western Cape Touch Rugby junior team and Tanweer says he was ready to be tackled by the love of his life.
But the bride remembers the first time she met Tanweer, 23, and says he was voorbarig when he asked her to be his girlfriend.
She resisted him for three years, but in the end, she was the one who asked him out when she felt ready.
Tanweer says: “She was a rugby player and she didn’t like skinny men like me so I had to work harder.
“She was hardegat but I knew what I wanted. So when she was in matric and I was finished with school, she came to ask me to go out,” he chuckles.
Aqeelah went on to pursue a degree in civil engineering and is currently a fourth year student at CPUT, while Tanweer works as the manager for two security companies and is a member of the Surrey Estate Neighbourhood Watch.
“After several years of dating, she got dik and said now she wanted to trou, but I wanted to be financially stable first,” the young man says.
“So when I was ready, there wasn’t a proposal, I just sent her a WhatsApp message and told her my father is going to her house now to ask for permission,” he laughs.
The couple set the date for 21 June as this was the time Aqeelah would get a break from university and planning got underway.
They hired caterers, a local hall and the bride-to-be planned to have 10 flower girls on her big day.
Aqeelah says her family started to stress when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the nationwide lockdown in March and they were worried their wedding plans were scuppered.
Relatives called on them to bring the date closer, but Tanweer insisted the “date is the date” and instead, they amended their plans.
“We cancelled the caterers, the hall and she wanted 10 flower girls but we settled for one and there were no bridesmaids,” the determined groom says.
With restrictions on gatherings during the Covid-19 outbreak, the couple set about the difficult task of creating a guest list of only 50 people.
Tanweer said their friends were kwaad, but would not settle for pictures of the wedding, so they came up with a plan to do a drive-by wedding.
The plans hit a few snags.
“Our neighbour had died from cancer and the janaazah was set to be at the same time as the wedding,” he says.
“When we went to give our condolences, they were so nice and moved the time of the janaazah so that there wasn’t a clash because space in the street was limited.
“They held the burial earlier and by the time the nikah was over, I came back and we were ready to go,” he says.
Aqeelah says they planned to erect a stage in the driveway but then the rain came and they moved it into the garage instead.
“There were about 300 cars that came, as people pulled up, they took a picture, wished us well and got their barakat,” she says.
“My neighbour made lekker mutton breyani that we put in bakkies.
“Ward councillor Aslam Cassiem also came and made a du’ah while standing under an umbrella and alles was over by maghrib,” adds Tanweer.