THE VIC­TO­RI­OUS PAIR Lloyd and Jan­ice Cele

DRUM - - News -

He first spot­ted her in 2002 af­ter a church youth-club meet­ing, and was ini­tially too shy to say any­thing to her. But luck­ily Lloyd plucked up the courage to ap­proach the woman who would be­come his wife. “The first thing I saw was her amaz­ing legs but it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate for me to com­pli­ment her at church, so I spoke about her shoes and that was the ice­breaker,” he says of his wife, Jan­ice. Still ner­vous to ask her out on a date, the Dur­ban singer probed more then re­alised how much they had in com­mon. “She told me she played drums and gui­tar and could sing, and we im­me­di­ately clicked be­cause I was also a mu­si­cian.” Af­ter many failed at­tempts to ask her out Lloyd fi­nally did, years later, but Jan­ice wasn’t in­ter­ested. A few days later Lloyd tried again and Jan­ice agreed − on the con­di­tion they go out with friends and not on their own. Lloyd says their first date was the worst. “I never re­ally spent time with her. We went with an­other cou­ple who were lovey-dovey in front of us and they took all the at­ten­tion.” But he man­aged to con­vince her to go on a sec­ond date, just the two of them, and that’s when love bloomed. Be­ing an in­ter­ra­cial cou­ple in the pre­dom­i­nantly In­dian neigh­bour­hood of Phoenix in Dur­ban brought its fair share of chal­lenges. “We couldn’t walk hold­ing hands at the mall,” Lloyd re­calls. “Peo­ple would look at us or make snide re­marks and that re­ally hurt.” Be­fore they mar­ried, the 35-year-old singer also strug­gled for ac­knowl­edg­ment from Jan­ice’s fam­ily. “Her fa­ther is very pro­tec­tive and the fact a black boy wanted to marry his daugh­ter was dif­fi­cult to ac­cept, but he got to know me and I had to prove I was se­ri­ous. “It took time but we were re­ally in love and noth­ing was go­ing to get in the way.” To­day Jan­ice and Lloyd say race isn’t an is­sue be­cause they come from a strong Chris­tian back­ground. “My wife is a gen­uine per­son. She is car­ing, lov­ing and has a beauti- ful heart. Our re­la­tion­ship is based on a Godly foun­da­tion, good com­mu­ni­ca­tion and ac­count­abil­ity.”

Lloyd says, “It’s im­por­tant for cou­ples to seek out­side ex­pert ad­vice be­cause you can’t solve ev­ery­thing.”

They cou­ple has sur­vived many dif­fi­cult times.

A few years ago they lost their baby, who was still­born. When they tried to have an­other baby, Jan­ice mis­car­ried.

“Life hasn’t been easy but we’ve made it through the worst,” Lloyd says.

They now have three chil­dren Levi (9), Zoey (6) and Kings­ley (six months old). Dur­ing the month of love, the cou­ple will also cel­e­brate their 11-year wed­ding an­niver­sary.

‘Peo­ple would look at us or make snide re­marks and that re­ally hurt’

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