wanted Elaine to have a taste, an understanding of my world. Africa is a wild place, beautiful, yet complex,” says chiropractor Dr. Nick Boden, 38, who swept TV host and actress Elaine Daly off her feet, not once, but thrice. For not only was there the garden wedding in the hills of Genting, where the bride and groom’s closest friends celebrated their nuptials, and traditional Chinese tea ceremony with royalty-studded reception, but Nick whisked his bride off to his homeland of Africa for an intimate ceremony replete with Zulu choir, Sibhaca tribal dancers, and spiritual Sangoma blessings. Elaine, 38, admits theirs was a bona fide fairy tale, a whirlwind courtship. “Friends who knew we’d be perfect for each other arranged a soirée last March where – surprise, surprise – we were the only singles.” Within months, cute couple pictures popped up on their Insta-feeds. By December they were exchanging vows.
“The plan,” reveals Nick, “was to have a traditional African ceremony filled with cultural influences from my past. I had a pretty unorthodox upbringing. We originated from South Africa, but my father, a teacher, was fundamentally opposed to apartheid. When I was about 10 he moved the family across the border to Swaziland, where he started a school that accepted all races and cultures. I grew up learning tribal dances and even speak the language of the land, Siswati, which would have been unheard of back in Johannesburg. I suppose that’s why when I ultimately found myself in Malaysia years later it was a coming home of sorts. Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, cuisines and spiritualities, and I fit right in, having found myself in Kuala Lumpur through a series of coincidences,” says Nick, who after 11 years here now owns his own chiropractic clinic with a veritable A-list clientele. Nick flew Elaine into South Africa first for “a little time together before the wedding” and to show her his old haunts. As an adult he returned to South Africa to start his university education in Durban. “We did a little of the wine trail through Stellenbosch and then, because of her law background I knew she’d find Robben Island fascinating. That was where the late Nelson Mandela was incarcerated. You’re taken on tour by a former prisoner of conscience and as Elaine is incredibly passionate about human rights I knew she would be moved by the experience. We did all the things you simply must do so she’d get an essence of the place: Table Mountain, penguin-watching at Boulders Beach. Then we flew halfway across the country to Kruger National Park, where we were set to go on safari and have the traditional ceremony. Something to tell the grandkids.”
Elephant-watching at Kruger National Park the night before the African ceremony
A traditional Zulu choir sang a moving rendition of Amazing Grace
Sibhaca dancers led the merriment