republished with corrections and additions from The Herald

She is a celebrated boxer and he is a leader of an Apostolic sect but they are now one family. Popular

Vapostori boxer Monalisa Sibanda (photo. courtesy of The Herald).

Zimbabwean female boxer Monalisa Zireki Sibanda and Madzibaba Tinofirei Simon of Johanne Masowe WeChishanu Nyenyedzi Nomwe were legally married in August at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts. The two did their nuptials after three years of living together.

The bride Sibanda briefly cast aside her boxing gloves for a white wedding gown while the groom donned a dark designer suit instead his of usual white robes. Madzibaba Simon, leader of the shrine in Kuwadzana, said he is happy with the route he has taken with his boxer-wife, and the couple is planning to bless their marriage in church.

While for some men the notion of taking a fighting champion for a wife could be intimidating, it’s not so much for Simon. “Her boxing is for the ring and when she is at home she is my wife.”

In fact, Simon said he is now his wife’s number one fan. “I give her all the support. Talent is in-born and it’s a gift from God, so it needs me as her partner to be supportive.”

The Vapostori leader also said, “I wish and hope that all men and women could be able to support their partners and children’s talents. These talents like in sports are God-given and need to be cherished.”

The couple has been blessed with a child Tatenda, who is a year and five months old.  Although, the two also have children from previous relationships, whom they are raising together. Simon conducts his business at a shrine located between Kuwadzana 7 and Kuwadzana Extension. Sibanda is a follower of her husband’s Church. She goes by the name Madzimai Marytions when she is doing her duties at the shrine.

The 28-year-old boxer said putting a wedding ring on her finger had been one of her dreams and it is no longer a fairy tale now. “Having a white wedding is a dream come true for me.”

Getting ready for the wedding, Sibanda was preparing to take a crack at the World International Boxing light welterweight belt against Zambia’s Esther Phiri. “The other dream is to win a world championship belt and I am working towards that. This is my year and God is with me. My husband had been very supportive for the three months I spent in [South African] camp while I am also always behind him as he does God’s work.”