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Why we faked our wedding

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To her friends and family, Arlène Agneroh has it all. Well, nearly.

She is successful, educated and attractive. They call her a leader – she coaches entrepreneurs and offers personal development training for a living. The only thing she’s missing, they say, is a husband.

Recently, something happened to remind her of just how much social pressure there is for young people in the Democratic Republic of Congo to get married.

On a late summer afternoon, the 33-year-old was invited to yet another friend’s wedding in the capital, Kinshasa – one of 30 invitations she had received in that year alone.

As is common in Congolese weddings, guests invited by the bride wore clothes with matching patterns, while the groom’s party wore a different style.

During the ceremony, Ms Agneroh sat next to her good friend, Jean-Félix Mwema Ngandu.

‘It was completely crazy’

Innocently, a mutual friend took a picture of them sitting side by side at the wedding. He then posted the picture on Facebook.

Five minutes later, his phone was buzzing. He started laughing.

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