HER FAMILY are sheep farmers and they’re not crazy about the idea.

But Michelle is a determined young woman and she’s not giving up on her idea of happiness.


And the fact that Michelle Schoeman’s future husband, Pietermaritzburg businessman Khanyisani Phungula, already has three wives doesn’t make her question her decision in the least.

Michelle (34), a white woman from eMakhazeni in Mpumalanga, and Khanyisani are preparing to tie the knot in a traditional way – with or without the blessings of the Schoeman family.

The engagement ceremony was on Monday. Michelle told Daily Sun her family is refusing to accept her fiance because he’s black and a polygamist.

She said they refused to meet him and rejected him and the marriage. Her dad isn’t speaking to her after she told her parents about Khanyisani last month.

“I’d love my parents to give their blessing, but marrying Khanyisani is my decision.

“My parents must accept that I need a life partner, and that they won’t be here forever.

“I need to choose the one I’ll spend my life with.”

Michelle met Khanyisani on Facebook and he spoke to her in a private message.

When he told her he had other wives, she wouldn’t accept that. But Khanyisani took the time to explain polygamy to her, and after doing research and consulting with her friends she eventually agreed to join the Phungulas.

Michelle speaks both Zulu and Swati fluently and has released a single, Shonamalanga, on digital platforms.

She’s also an MC at events.

When the People’s Paper sent questions to her mum Jo (70), she replied with “no comment”.

Khanyisani’s mum said he’s a grown man and that she won’t dictate to her son.

“I have no problem with his lifestyle, as long as he’s happy. It’s not whether I approve or not,” she said.

Michelle said she’s been warmly received by the other wives.

First wife Ncumisa Mlandu said she’s accepted that Khanyisani had to have more wives.

“He explained that it was his dream to marry more than one wife,” she said.

“Since I’ve accepted that, it’s not an issue who he marries.”

Ncumisa said all the wives are happy.

“I’ve warmly welcomed Michelle as part of our family,” said Ncumisa.

Another wife, Lebogang Sethole, agreed with Ncumisa.

“There’s no problem here. We’re a happy family. Ncumisa welcomed me, and I welcome Michelle,” said Lebogang.

Nompumelelo Mseleku, sister to Musa Mseleku, reality actor on Uthando neSthembu, wasn’t at home.

Khanyisani told Daily Sun he always dreamt of having four wives. He said he was disappointed that Michelle’s family didn’t want to accept him.

“I’ve offered to pay lobola, but her father doesn’t even want to meet me – let alone accept lobola,” he said.

“I don’t know what will happen, but I’ll continue persuading the Schoemans to accept my culture and our marriage.

“We’re engaged and are planning a traditional wedding before the end of this year.”

  • Musa, the well-known polygamist who’s also from KZN, congratulated Khanyisani.

He said taking a fourth wife and not lose other wives was a milestone for any polygamist.

He urged Khanyisani to work very, very hard to keep all his wives HAPPY.