Two gay KwaZulu-Natal students have gotten engaged in the Durban Botanical Gardens, and their unique proposal was captured on video.
Siya Ngcobo, a 27-year-old psychology and law student, and Mosa Seloane a 24-year-old final year medical student, have been together for more than two years.
Avid vloggers, they started their YouTube channel as a way to not only document their relationship but to also promote acceptance and humanise LGBT people. Recently, Seloane and a friend, Anele Moli, came up with an idea to surprise Ngcobo with a marriage proposal.
As part of their plan, Moli suggested to Ngcobo that they make a video for the couple’s YouTube channel in which he interviews him about his relationship with Seloane.
He agreed. In the video, as the two walk around the Botanical Gardens, an unsuspecting Ngcobo is asked by Moli, with the help of other friends, about key moments in the relationship.
At times amused and at others emotional, Ngcobo reveals some of the joys and challenges they have faced together, including family rejection.
At the end of the walk, thinking the interview is over, he’s taken aback when he spots his partner holding up a sign that reads: “I’ll never forget the day I first met you. I want you to be the first person I see for the rest of my life. Will you marry me?”
Seloane then gets down on his knee, holding up a box with a ring. Unsurprisingly, Ngcobo says yes!
While the couple had previously decided to marry, they had not yet had a formal proposal. “We were already planning an engagement party [but Siya] did not know when the ring was coming,” Seloane tells Mambaonline. “He had no idea that I was going to propose on that day.”
Ngcobo confirms that he didn’t suspect a thing during the walk around the gardens. “But as soon as I saw him, I knew what was up. I guess I was late in processing things!” he laughs.
Making a positive impact on acceptance and inclusion
The proposal is the latest in a series of videos about the couple’s relationship.
“The impact we want to make with our videos is to show everyone, even straight people that we LGBTI people are humans too and we all want to be loved and accepted,” explains Seloane.
Ngcobo adds: “The more people ‘come out’ the better the society gets.”
KwaZulu-Natal is known as one of the most conservative provinces in South Africa, a reputation that Seloane feels is not unwarranted. “There is a lot of teaching about LGBTI that still need to be done. I believe it should start in our primary schools.”
Seloane says that the response to the proposal video has so far been largely positive. “We cannot change everyone’s perceptions but we believe our videos are definitely making a positive impact, especially on the young LGBTI people.”
He admits: “I know we will get some negatives but that won’t change how we feel about each other and it won’t stop us from sharing videos.”
The couple haven’t set a date yet. They’ve decided to wait until they both graduate in a couple of years before tying the knot. In the meantime, congratulations!