By Ashleigh / Dec 9, 2022
It wasn’t just a straightforward condemnation of his behavior. It was a direct, needlessly harsh attack on what ought to have been a happy occasion.
He only had one goal in mind: to marry this woman. Why did everyone need to voice their opinions? He was unaware that there would be other remarks, though.
Love At First Sight
When Hector Mkansi and Nonhlanhla Soldaat laid eyes on each other, they knew they were meant for each other. The attraction was instant.
The sparks were intense and only got strong the more time they spent together. So, when the couple started talking about tying the knot, no one was surprised. But there was just one problem.
Dreams Vs. Reality
More than anything, Mkansi wanted to be able to give his future wife the kind of wedding her beautiful heart deserved.
She was so selfless, and every time she smiled it melted his soul. But he was just a local pastor and neither of them had much money. In his eyes, even his proposal plan wasn’t what he wished for.
Still, if they waited to have enough money, the wedding might never come.
So, he scrimped and saved enough to get a modest ring and then took her to her favorite restaurant – KFC. To some people, it might have seemed like an odd location choice, but it he would do any to make her smile. He even enlisted the help of the staff.
The workers grinned as they wrapped the ring in a frilly piece of paper and hid it under the lid of her chicken burger.
As soon as she opened it and saw the ring, she gasped and burst into happy tears. It would have been a perfect moment, but Mkansi had no idea that someone had snapped a photo and uploaded it with a horrible comment.
The journalist “Anele” tweeted that men in his country were so poor they couldn’t propose anywhere nice and had no class.
It was like a punch to the gut. He had chosen the place because his girl loved it there. Every part of him wanted to crawl under a rock and never come out. But the tweets were only starting.
Mkansi braced himself for whatever comments would follow. With millions of people now aware of the situation, how would he keep this from hurting his beautiful Nonhlanhla?
Thankfully, there was plenty of backlash against the poster, taking some of the heat from him and his beloved. However, it was the regional KFC comment that utterly shocked him.
The fast-food restaurant desperately wanted to get in contact with him for a “finger licking good surprise.”
As soon as he picked up the phone and heard their offer, he had to sit down. Not only did they want them to have a perfect wedding, but the franchise also wanted to pay for it all! But things didn’t end there.
The proposal and wave of kindness created a domino effect worldwide. Their story went viral, and business after business raised their hand, wanting to donate something to the coming nuptials.
What began as a humble show of affection had developed into this. The list of gifts grew to insane levels. Neither of them could believe it! What else were they offered?
Big Brands Reach Out
You name it, and there was a brand offering it. Puma wanted to get them new clothes. A ring company wanted to give them a matching diamond set.
Audi offered to provide luxury chauffeuring services. Koo donated thousands in grocery vouchers. And if you think this is huge, McDonald’s decided to one-up their competitor KFC.
McD’s Steps In
They went as far as to offer a luxury honeymoon to Cape Town – all expenses paid. Uber chimed in to give them a ride to the airport.
A bank company offered to clear up R300k worth of debt. And a renovation company offered to redo their kitchen. The couple stood in the middle of it all, crying their eyes out.
Bursting with Joy
It was beyond magical. But more than anything, it was a reflection of Mkansi’s core beliefs – that good, kindness, and love will always conquer.
Austin Malema, KFC media release
So, when the floor of offers swirled into action, and he stood at the altar waiting for his beloved to come down the aisle, he felt nothing but pure gratitude.
The Big Day
She was a stunning vision in white. Her smile lit up the room. Every part of him felt like it was going to explode with happiness. It was more than they could have ever hoped for.
Austin Malema, KFC media release
The day was perfect. But what about the person who originally tweeted the insult that had started it all?
The Original Tweet
The account has been made private – not even a picture. The only thing that remained was a name. Whatever back-and-forth arguments or defense of their opinion the poster had been engaged in had now gone silent.
Austin Malema, KFC media release
The avalanche of support towards the South African couple was apparent. But the poster did have her own thought on the matter.
Good From Bad
Something good can come out of something terrible. Even on the first day, she had probably learned her lesson. It did no good to keep coming down on the girl – leave her be.
Austin Malema, KFC media release
These times should be ones of love, acceptance, and joy. But Mkansi and Nonhlanhla aren’t the only one who had their engagement story blow up. Something similar happened in a diner in Zurich, Switzerland.
Welcome To Zurich
Thomas and Lila were young when they met. Only nineteen and twenty, the two knew they were meant for each other long before they even started a life together.
Thomas came from Argentina, while Lila was a French immigrant. Both were studying in Zurich, where they irrevocably fell in love. If only they knew what awaited them.
Thomas and Lila’s story spans a few years of hardship and perseverance as both came from struggling families. For Thomas, coming to Zurich to pursue higher education was a dream.
He hoped that his degree would come in handy in helping his family move from poverty into an excellent sustainable way of living. He had no clue what awaited him in Zurich.
On the other hand, Lila had grown up an orphan on the streets. After years of hardship, she managed to snag a full scholarship that moved her from the darkest corners of Paris to the biggest city in Switzerland.
She wanted to change the hand life had given her, and education was the best way to do it. But fate had other plans for her entirely.
Lila and Thomas went to the same class, and it was there that they would have their chance to meet. Both studying law, they wanted to become celebrated judges in their countries.
The goal was simple, and the road to it was straightforward. But as soon as they lay eyes on each other, it became apparent that nothing in the world is easy or black and white.
He Sees Her
Thomas had never had an interest in ladies before. In his words, “It is difficult to focus on women when your family has little to nothing to sustain them through the week.”
He came to Zurich with a laser mind, ready to get his degree and return home to help. But things quickly changed as he took notice of the silk-haired French girl sitting across from him.
He’s In Trouble
Thomas knew he was in trouble as soon as he and Lila locked eyes. She waved at him with a curl of her lips.
Although he had seen many a smile before, he had never encountered one so pure and genuine. Back home, many people smiled at him with a poisonous glare behind their eyes. But that wasn’t the case with Lila.
As if that wasn’t enough, she took her belongings and came to sit right next to him. She was warm and accommodating, trying her best to communicate, despite the apparent language barrier between them.
English was neither of their first languages and coupled with their thick individual accents, communication became difficult. So how did they communicate?
Their Love Language
“Our love language was the competition between us. We were both tops of the class and wanted to see who would lead,” a chuckling Lila explained in an interview.
She and Thomas would spend time studying and discussing their work, forming an academic bond that tied them as comrades. But although they tried to keep everything professional, it soon became apparent that their relationship was more than that.
“She asked me out on a movie date,” said Thomas, explaining how direct and to the point his Lila was. “She doesn’t beat around the bush and will go for what she wants.”
He immediately agreed to her invitation, only wasting a few minutes to answer so he wouldn’t appear desperate. Who knew that a movie would explode into what they’re facing now?
Four Years Down The Line
Thomas and Lila spent the six years of life dating. It was never easy, especially since Switzerland is among the most expensive countries in the world, and both of them didn’t come from well-to-do families.
Regardless, they found a way to make everything work, going on picnics and movie dates whenever possible. It wouldn’t be long until it became clear that they were meant for each other.
Fetching The Ring
On his last trip to Argentina, Thomas asked for his late grandma’s ring before he flew back to Europe. But instead of going straight to Zurich, he flew to Paris to see Lila’s adoptive family.
Lila was glad to see Thomas, with her adoptive mom and dad welcoming him with open arms. But he would spend more time with her dad, ensuring he honored him before asking his daughter to marry him.
Going Back To Zurich
Thomas and Lila took a bus to Zurich. As soon as they were back in school, Thomas organized for them to have dinner at their favorite restaurant, a cheap and homely that had always been dear to them.
He asked the waiter to hide his ring in Lila’s dessert, hoping the surprise would catch her off guard. Although the plan worked as expected, and Lila shouted “Yes!” from the top of her lungs, it soon became apparent that the news was taking over the city. Someone had shared the video online.
It’s Viral Time!
The video went viral, with some of the affluent of the city calling out Thomas and Lila for having an engagement in a small, low-end restaurant while there were more presentable places in town.
But it didn’t take long for netizens to come to Thomas and Lila’s rescue, claiming that showing off is never the point to some. But that was only the beginning.
Many commenters highlighted that Thomas and Lila weren’t even focused on their surroundings in the video. They only wanted to express their love for each other by moving to the next step of their relationship.
Many people came out to support the two love birds. Some sent or brought gifts, while others came to hang out and congratulate them. But it didn’t stop there.
The Power Of Love
The restaurant where Thomas had proposed to Lila catered for their wedding, which took place in Paris. The manager even chipped in to fly Thomas’s family over from Argentina.
The original poster of the video was soon to pull it down. Although Thomas and Lila bear no ill will toward them, they hope they, too, can experience the wonders of love, which transcends any monetary value.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.