For Hector Mkansi, choosing a place to propose was easy – after all, his wife is a big fan of fried chicken.
Just like that, one of South Africa’s most heartwarming love stories was created.
Mkansi dropped down to his knee in front of Nonhlanhla Soldaat and proposed – in a KFC. The interaction was caught on video and instantly went viral.
The couple have since received numerous pledges from corporate South Africa, individuals and even international personalities.
In a sit-down interview with TimesLIVE on Tuesday, Soldaat and Mkansi shared how their love story had been both overwhelming and humbling.
“It was just another day for us. We were bored and decided to go to the Evaton Mall to run some errands,” explained Soldaat.
“After shopping we usually sit and eat, but he had specifically asked that I wear my pink dress. He sent me to buy a drink elsewhere. I was surprised, because we could have just bought it there – but I went. Little did I know!”
At first she had no idea of the social media love the couple were getting. “He normally takes pictures of us eating and posts, but on that day he didn’t. So I was shocked to get a call from my cousin and from random people telling me that Twitter was looking for us,” she said.
Every time someone called, her suspicion was that they were being pranked or scammed, so she ignored what was being said.
“On Friday it became crazier. Our phones wouldn’t stop ringing. People were telling us we are famous. I needed a pinch – it was too much! I couldn’t even cry or jump. I was numb because we have been through a lot,” she continued.
“He knows I’m shy, so that was overwhelming for me.”
Mkansi had to be sneaky and creative when asking the staff to put the ring in her meal – to avoid raising her suspicion at his unusual interaction with the waitress.
“I had to nag her to decide what she wants to eat,” he said. “This was such a task because how else would they put the rings in the right meal? My wife loves food – she loves chicken. But to be honest, this is where I can afford food for my whole family.”
Her ring was ultimately tucked into a small bag of fries – and the rest is history.
Although the couple got married in December 2018, Mkansi was not satisfied with the rings and took them for a revamp.
“I don’t have money, so I can’t afford the things I want to do for her. I wanted her to feel special and loved. I couldn’t just throw them at her,” added Mkansi, blushing.
“I lied to her and said I was planning to print pictures, hence I brought the camera. She wasn’t even suspicious!”