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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

‘I married Connie because I was a danger to myself’: Herman Mashaba as he celebrates 42 years of marriage

“I knew I wouldn’t be able to get far without any personal security in my life,” Mashaba said in an interview, referring to his wife.

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has spoken glowingly about his wife as they celebrated more than four decades of marriage over the weekend.

“You know why I married Connie at 22, because I was a danger to myself, I needed protection. And I chose this woman to protect me and I can tell you if there’s kind of a certificate that one can give while I’m still alive, Connie is still  alive…Connie deserves the award any human being can ever get from a husband,” said Mashaba in an interview.

“I’m who I am today, she shaped me, she protected me, she supports me unconditionally and I’m eternally grateful to her and I’m looking forward to Sunday, I have not planned…we’ll probably go out for lunch but I’ll be married to her legally for 42 years.”

Mashaba was speaking on Gareth Cliff’s Cliff Central’s The Burning Platform with Phumi Mashigo and Kanthan Pillay.

In another interview Mashaba attributed his success to his wife. “You also need stability in your life,” he said. “One decision that I treasure in my life was to get married 30 years ago to stabilise my life because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get far without any personal security in my life.”

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The couple tied the knot in 1982 and the entrepreneur paid tribute to her again on the day of their anniversary on social media.

“Each day with you reminds me of the blessing and strength you bring into my life. Your grace and resilience inspire me constantly. Here’s to more years of love, laughter, and cherished moments together. Thank you for everything, my love,” wrote The Black Like Me founder.

When he was sworn in as mayor of Johannesburg, Mashaba became the first non-ANC mayor of the City since 1994.

In 2016 when Mashaba decided to switch his entrepreneurial hat for a political one, he said Connie would look after the family’s business interests.

But Mashaba hasn’t been active in the haircare business since 2005 which he is a 50% shareholder, with the rest of the company being held by Pretoria-based cosmetics company Amka products. According to Connie’s LinkedIn profile, she has been the manager at Amka Products for nearly 19 years.

Connie is the current President of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI). Mashaba remains the Executive Chairman at Lephatsi Investment, a broad-based black economic empowerment company with investments in financial services, mining, construction, transport and logistics.

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