THE VICTORIOUS PAIR Lloyd and Janice Cele
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’