Congratulations are in order! This year, Lloyd and Janice Cele celebrate ten years of marriage. Between building a successful business, having two beautiful children, and spending a decade loving each other and learning together, they have many blessings and lessons to share. I asked them about their home life, ups and downs, and the little things they do to help their relationship stay healthy…
South Africa’s romance with Lloyd Cele began in 2010, when he took the runner-up spot on season 7 of Idols. Janice, however, only had eyes for Lloyd, long before anyone else was looking at him. The couple had already been married over two years when, overnight, Idols fame changed their lives forever.
At first, we struggled and we had to learn quickly. There were moments where we would be eating a meal at a restaurant and people would come and interrupt. At first, Jan could never take it and would find it rude, but now she has learned to appreciate all of that and doesn’t have a problem with it. I guess we are constantly growing in our love. There are many things that we had to adjust to. The most important thing is we’ve never allowed all the fame etc. to change us. We’re still the same people. We still have the same friends and we live our lives with the same values and principles we were taught. Fame has not, and will never, change us.
One of the demands of Lloyd’s successful music career is that it takes him away from home often and for long periods. How does their family cope with the separation when he is performing in other parts of the country?
They have learned to deal with it and accept it as part of my job. It’s never permanent. We keep each other in the loop all the time. Even if it’s a small thing like saying, “I’ve just landed.” I guess communication is key. I also make sure they are well taken care of while I’m gone. We have an amazing support structure which really helps in these times of being away.
Nobody stays together for ten years without ever disagreeing. To keep their relationship healthy, the Celes have had to learn to handle conflict constructively. They have some simple, practical ways to ensure that they always fight calm and fair.
In our marriage, we’ve learned to just walk away when things get too heated up. You will be amazed what a drive can do to cool you down. When I am heated up, I take a drive, clear my head and take a moment to breathe. It’s not easy sometimes. So, learning to choose your battles is key. You must remember the problem is not more important than your spouse. You value each other more. We also have amazing people around us that we are accountable to. There are certain problematic issues that can only be solved by getting the right advice from the right people. Marriage is never easy and you don’t know it all.
Staying together is not just about handling arguments in a constructive way. Lloyd and Janice also give each other constant positive reinforcement and emotional support. They often spoil each other with little gifts to show they appreciate one another. Janice also likes words of affection to affirm their emotional bond.
Quality time for the couple means doing ordinary things together. Janice does most of the cooking, not because Lloyd can’t — he just makes too much of a mess in the kitchen. He will however, claim the title “master of breakfast” and, at dinner time, occasionally likes to treat his wife and kids to a unique culinary creation (mostly grilled chicken). Their all-time favourite thing to do together is to binge-watch series.
We love watching series together. We’ve just finished Teen Wolf. We start a series together and when we are hooked we spend the next few nights watching it together. We love going through the same emotions. We hate it when the one watches without the other.
Spouses, parents, business partners — above all other things, Lloyd and Janice are best friends. They play games together, annoy each other, and they miss each other terribly when apart. So, what is the best part about living with your best friend?
Humour. The way he offers support to me. When I am down, Lloyd tells me the best possible things.
Support goes a long way when you have two kids running the house. Lloyd and Janice have two beautiful children, Levi (7) and Zoey (4), and have developed quite distinct roles when it comes to parenting.
I am always the Bad Cop. Jan is the Angel. I don’t always like being the bad guy, but one of us must be tough. Jan would sometimes ask me to get involved and when I do, she feels bad. It’s never easy, but you have to put your foot down, time and time again with kids. When I’m not around they will call me to sort things out.
The Celes are a team at home and at work. Through their music company, Levi Josh Productions, their goal is to unify people, and help them embrace diversity, with music as their tool. Music fans can expect two singles dropping by the end of March, Ungowami is for the urban market, and Dance with Me will be for pop lovers.