We cel­e­brate #BONALove with Zam and Nkhensani Nkosi as well as seven other loved-up cou­ples

Bona - - Contents - By Fundiswa Nk­wanyana, Gugulethu Mh­lungu and Kwanele Mathe­bula. Pho­tog­ra­phy by Andile Mthembu

It is the month of love and, as per usual, we are tak­ing some time to cel­e­brate cou­ples who are the em­bod­i­ment of #BONALove. Read on for some truly heart­warm­ing sto­ries of de­vo­tion from eight in­spir­ing cou­ples, in­clud­ing our first #BONAWed­dings win­ners.

Zam and Nkhensani Nkosi are hap­pily mar­ried, and have been to­gether for 23 years. South Africa fell in love with this cou­ple when they graced our TV screens on their 90s hit TV talk show Mojo on SABC 1. Their chem­istry and au­then­tic love was ev­i­dent, and for many they rep­re­sented young black love. We loved see­ing them grow as in­di­vid­u­als and a pair in their per­sonal and pro­fes­sional lives. Over the years, they have taken a back seat from the spot­light to pur­sue busi­ness en­deav­ours and raise their four chil­dren. It gives us great plea­sure to share with you a rare in­ter­view where we get a glimpse into what keeps their re­la­tion­ship alive.

BEAU­TI­FUL BE­GIN­NING

Zam: In the mid-90s, a mu­tual friend in­vited me to watch a play at the Mar­ket The­atre in Joburg that Nkhensani was part of. I en­joyed it and af­ter­wards, I was in­tro­duced to her. We clicked right then, and nat­u­rally grav­i­tated to­wards each other. We started ca­su­ally spend­ing time to­gether and be­fore we knew it, we were in love and plan­ning our fu­ture.

Nkhensani: When we were in­tro­duced, it was at­trac­tion at first sight for me. I found my­self drawn to him, we started spend­ing time to­gether and have be­come in­sep­a­ra­ble since. I don’t re­mem­ber the ex­act mo­ment, but there came a time when I was not con­fused about my feel­ings for him and felt it in my heart that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. Know­ing that he felt the same way made it eas­ier for me to love him.

LOV­ING EACH OTHER

Zam: I love that my wife is com­pas­sion­ate, strong, smart, funny and hon­est. She has all the qual­i­ties that I ad­mire. Know­ing that I can rely on her dur­ing dif­fi­cul­ties is com­fort­ing. See­ing her hap­pily rais­ing our chil­dren also makes me very happy be­cause see­ing her happy makes me happy. I’m en­joy­ing grow­ing older to­gether, and there is noth­ing that I would change about her.

Nkhensani: My hus­band is in­cred­i­bly loyal, and I love that he lives his life with so much in­tegrity. He treats every­one with re­spect, and teaches our chil­dren to do the same. He loves our fam­ily and al­ways goes out of his way to make us happy by jok­ing around. There is never a dull mo­ment when he is around.

GROW­ING TO­GETHER

Zam: We have come a long way, and have cre­ated so many happy mem­o­ries over the years. The births of our chil­dren are my favourite mem­o­ries, and I’m en­joy­ing rais­ing them with my beau­ti­ful wife. Our life to­gether con­tin­ues to be filled with love and laugh­ter, and I’m grate­ful to have her in my life.

Nkhensani: Our lives are filled with bless­ings that we are grate­ful for. Our fam­ily is im­por­tant to us, and I’m happy to have him by my side. I’m look­ing for­ward to spend­ing many more years with my lov­ing hus­band.

I’m en­joy­ing grow­ing older to­gether, and there is noth­ing that I would change about her.

– Zam

No­muzi “Moo­zlie” Mabena and Sbu­siso “Sbuda” Mot­loung have been to­gether for four years.

Some­times it’s dif­fi­cult for me to ex­press my­self with­out be­com­ing over­bear­ing and dom­i­nant. How­ever, I’m learn­ing to choose my words care­fully so that she un­der­stands that I’m on her side.

– Sbuda

BEAU­TI­FUL BE­GIN­NING

Sbuda: Be­fore we met, I had al­ready seen her on TV and be­cause we both work in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try, we had seen each other at work events. We ex­changed num­bers with the aim of set­ting up in­ter­views with mu­si­cians that I was work­ing with. I saw her again at the MTV Africa Mu­sic Awards (MAMAs) af­ter-party in 2014, and I made my move by telling her that she was go­ing to be my girl­friend. She smiled at me when I told her. Af­ter­wards, we started spend­ing time to­gether and go­ing on dates. I knew that there was some­thing spe­cial be­tween us two months later.

Moo­zlie: It’s funny that when he saw me on TV work­ing as a pre­sen­ter, he told his friends that he found me ir­ri­tat­ing, and now here we are hap­pily in love. We ex­changed num­bers for work pur­poses, and I was pleas­antly sur­prised when he told me that he wanted me to be his girl­friend when we met at the MAMAs. But, I found his ap­proach charm­ing. Af­ter our first date, I re­mem­ber think­ing to my­self that this is a cool guy, and I wanted to see him again.

LOV­ING EACH OTHER

Sbuda: I find her sin­cere and gen­uine na­ture re­ally at­trac­tive be­cause we live in a pre­ten­tious world. She is also kind and lov­ing, and these qual­i­ties are im­por­tant to me. I love that we are build­ing our busi­ness em­pires to­gether, and we love and sup­port each other. I’ve also en­joyed watch­ing her grow into a so­phis­ti­cated and am­bi­tious woman.

Moo­zlie: I love that he is am­bi­tious, sup­port­ive and in­no­va­tive. I re­mem­ber when peo­ple around me were scep­ti­cal about my de­ci­sion to start rap­ping. He was one of the few peo­ple that en­cour­aged me to pur­sue it. I’m en­joy­ing spend­ing time with him and get­ting to know him. I love that he is in tune with who I am and what I like, and even sur­prises me with gifts.

GROW­ING TO­GETHER

Moo­zlie: We met when I was younger, but I have ma­tured over the years. This growth has af­fected my un­der­stand­ing of life and per­sonal style. I find that we of­ten have to nav­i­gate these changes care­fully. I ini­tially thought that mix­ing busi­ness with plea­sure was go­ing to be dif­fi­cult, but it isn’t be­cause we work to­wards the same goal and sup­port each other.

Sbuda: I’m a Zulu man and my girl­friend is very opin­ion­ated, con­fi­dent and knows what she wants. Some­times it’s dif­fi­cult for me to ex­press my­self with­out be­com­ing over­bear­ing and dom­i­nant. How­ever, I’m learn­ing to choose my words care­fully so that she un­der­stands that I’m on her side.

BEAU­TI­FUL BE­GIN­NING

Jerry: In Au­gust 1978, I was vis­it­ing Claudine’s younger brother and while he was still in the house, out walked Claudine. I was go­ing through a rough time in the love de­part­ment, and I had told my­self that I wanted noth­ing to do with love or re­la­tion­ships, at least un­til the fol­low­ing year. But, it was love at first sight, which (un­til then) I didn’t be­lieve in. I thought I could get over the feel­ings I had for her, but the more I poured wa­ter on them, it seemed I was pour­ing paraf­fin. When I re­alised that the feel­ings were se­ri­ous, I started pur­su­ing her. In De­cem­ber 1978, I sub­mit­ted my ap­pli­ca­tion to be her boyfriend and on the 2nd of Jan­uary 1979, I got the job.

Claudine: We got mar­ried in June 1980, 38 years ago. When he first men­tioned love and mar­riage, I thought he was jok­ing. My mind just wasn’t there, but his in­ten­tions were clear, and I prayed about it. I said to God: “I don’t know what this is and I don’t know where it is go­ing,” and asked for guid­ance. Our love grew from there.

Jerry: My first moves were un­ob­tru­sive; I kept vis­it­ing the brother and made small talk with her. Her brother re­alised that I was vis­it­ing of­ten and talk­ing to Claudine, and he got jeal­ous. I was per­sis­tent, and ac­com­pa­nied her to the train sta­tion or work (she was at Natal­spruit hos­pi­tal at the time), and spoilt her with choco­lates. I even­tu­ally got to a point where I made my in­ten­tions clear be­cause I couldn’t hide my feel­ings any­more.

LOV­ING EACH OTHER

Claudine: I love that Jerry is ac­com­mo­dat­ing, lov­ing and a man of his word. I love him be­cause we have five chil­dren, but I didn’t feel the stress of it be­cause he was and still is there. I didn’t have to bathe a baby or change a nappy. And, as soon as the ba­bies could sit, I was off-duty be­cause he made sure that they were taken care of. He loves not just our fam­ily, but his ex­tended fam­ily as well, and that makes me love him even more.

Jerry: What I love most about Claudine is that she never holds a grudge; and so has no po­ten­tial for ha­tred or hold­ing you at ran­som. She has a kind heart. Also, my kids re­ally have an amaz­ing mother; she goes out of her way for them. She shows them love and care by wak­ing them up and cook­ing their spe­cial meals even though they are now also par­ents. I also love that she takes no non­sense, from any­one, when it comes to me!

GROW­ING TO­GETHER

Claudine: One of the big­gest lessons for us is re­al­is­ing that our chil­dren are no longer chil­dren. Re­al­is­ing that they are now adults with their own minds, even to the point of chal­leng­ing our faith and say­ing, “I am go­ing at it my way”. And, they went their own way and came back. That has been a big change and a learn­ing curve. As well as ac­cept­ing that I brought some­one up and they are now grown up and in­de­pen­dent.

Jerry: Also, love doesn’t ex­pire; it’s that new­ness of love, even af­ter so many years that makes it spe­cial. Ad­di­tion­ally, I be­lieve that love is not love when it doesn’t for­give. When you know that you are for­given, not be­cause you are spoilt, but out of love, and to be given a se­cond chance, that’s spe­cial. And, as we al­ways say, love is for all sea­sons, we don’t only love when it’s lov­able.

Claudine: Love is about work­ing at it and re­vis­ing it. It’s those lit­tle things that we seem to take for granted, such as a What­sApp mes­sage here and there to say “I love you”, “I miss you” and “when will you be back?” to make the other per­son know and feel that they are missed.

I thought I could get over the feel­ings I had for her, but the more I poured wa­ter on them, it seemed I was pour­ing paraf­fin.

– Jerry

I love that Jerry is ac­com­mo­dat­ing, lov­ing and a man of his word.

– Claudine

There will al­ways be ob­sta­cles, but we are spe­cial

be­cause we are will­ing to learn and grow

from them.

– Wendy Com­ing from a tough up­bring­ing where I didn’t get the love I needed, the first thing that made me fall in love with her was how much love she gave me.

– Bernard

Wendy and Bernard Parker have been mar­ried since 2011, and have two sons.

BEAU­TI­FUL BE­GIN­NING

Bernard: I met Wendy 11 years ago when she was a sports store man­ager in Dur­ban. I was al­ready play­ing soc­cer pro­fes­sion­ally, so I had to go into the shop to buy some­thing. When I first laid eyes on her, I just saw stars. I kept go­ing back to the shop hop­ing to see her and af­ter the 11th or 15th time, I bought a pair of socks. I even­tu­ally ad­mit­ted to one of her staff mem­bers that I was ac­tu­ally in the shop for Wendy, and he said he’ll speak to her on my be­half and give her my num­ber.

So, I waited for her call. She even­tu­ally called, and we went out for cof­fee and a few lunches. A month or so af­ter that, we started dat­ing.

Wendy: I didn’t no­tice Bernard at first be­cause he was speak­ing to the guys in the shop. But, when we went out for cof­fee, I was taken aback by the sin­cere, re­spect­ful and lov­able per­son that he is.

LOV­ING EACH OTHER

Bernard: What I love most about Wendy is that she taught me love. Com­ing from a tough up­bring­ing where I didn’t get the love I needed, the first thing that made me fall in love with her was how much love she gave me. I love her orig­i­nal­ity; there’s re­ally no one like her. Wendy is also sup­port­ive in a way that I have never ex­pe­ri­enced, and she wants me to be a bet­ter man and I love her for that.

Wendy: I love Bernard be­cause he’s a gen­tle­man, and he treats me well. He’s lov­able, kind and thought­ful. When we met, we were both young, but he still brought out a side of me that I didn’t know I had. I be­came ma­ture, stopped go­ing out of­ten and re­alised that be­ing at home watch­ing a movie on a Fri­day night was awe­some. He re­ally is a 10 out of 10.

GROW­ING TO­GETHER

Wendy: The big­gest chal­lenge for us, with Bernard’s hec­tic sched­ule and me not be­ing from Joburg, is the time spent apart. Bernard works hard and is of­ten play­ing, some­times even the kids miss him be­cause he needs to work on the days they have their events. But, the up­side is that we all live good and com­fort­able lives be­cause of how hard he works.

Bernard: What makes our love spe­cial is how we are al­ways will­ing to sup­port each other. From the kids to our own per­sonal chal­lenges, we al­ways find ways to make each other’s lives eas­ier. And, be­cause I am the shy soft-spo­ken par­ent, Wendy is more as­sertive and gives struc­ture and dis­ci­pline which brings a good bal­ance in our home.

Wendy: We have grown and im­proved to­gether through trial and er­ror. We fall a lot of the time, but get­ting up is al­ways 1 000 times bet­ter, and each time we get up we get bet­ter; the love is amaz­ing. There will al­ways be ob­sta­cles, but we are spe­cial be­cause we are will­ing to learn and grow from them.

Baby has al­ways shown me re­spect, even when she’s up­set, which is some­thing that is im­por­tant to me and I ad­mire that about her. I also love that she is not afraid to speak her mind.

The love we have for each other helps to keep our love life alive de­spite the dis­tance.

– Baby

Baby Cele and Thabo Maloka have been hap­pily mar­ried for a year.

BEAU­TI­FUL BE­GIN­NING

Baby: We met at a friend’s house­warm­ing party in 2002. Through­out the party, we kept steal­ing glances of each other.

He was wear­ing a hat and coin­ci­den­tally, Mshoza’s pop­u­lar song, Kortez fea­tur­ing Mzam­biya, was play­ing. I thought he was hand­some and knew then that he was my hus­band.

Thabo: Af­ter the party, I asked my friend for her num­ber. I then called to ask her out. Our first date was at a seafood restau­rant at East­gate Mall in Jo­han­nes­burg. Al­though I didn’t like seafood, I wanted to im­press her be­cause she liked it. Dur­ing our date, she or­dered prawns. I had planned to kiss her, but af­ter see­ing her eat seafood, I changed my mind. (laughs)

LOV­ING EACH OTHER

Baby: I love that my hus­band show­ers me with love all the time, and he goes out of his way to show me that he loves me. By do­ing this, I al­ways feel safe in his arms and I’m look­ing for­ward to spend­ing the rest of my life with him.

Thabo: Baby has al­ways shown me re­spect, even when she’s up­set, which is some­thing that is im­por­tant to me and I ad­mire that about her. I also love that she is not afraid to speak her mind.

GROW­ING TO­GETHER

Baby: I had to move from the

Vaal, Jo­han­nes­burg, to Dur­ban to shoot for Uzalo, three months af­ter we got mar­ried. This was hard for both of us, es­pe­cially be­cause he couldn’t move with me due to work com­mit­ments. To be hon­est, some days are eas­ier, but I miss him dearly.

The love we have for each other helps to keep our love life alive de­spite the dis­tance.

Ntokozo Mbambo and Nqubeko Mbatha met as teenagers in Dur­ban. They have been mar­ried

for 10 years, and have two chil­dren.

He is a calm­ing force in my life. He has the abil­ity to help me see rea­son when I am up­set or an­gry.

She loves my fam­ily and God, which is im­por­tant to me.

– Nqubeko

BEAU­TI­FUL BE­GIN­NING

Nqubeko: I moved to Dur­ban in 1998, from Esikhaw­ini. And, I kept hear­ing about Ntokozo and the great singer she was. I grew cu­ri­ous and wanted to meet her. We ran in the same cir­cles as we sang in our churches’ choirs. When I fi­nally met her and heard her sing, I thought she had an amaz­ing voice.

Ntokozo: When I met Nqubeko, he sang in a band of five mem­bers, and his voice re­minded me of the leg­endary Ste­vie Won­der. In 2005, we both joined choral group Joy­ous Cel­e­bra­tion. Here, we grew close as we spent a lot of time to­gether. He would bring me lunch, take me home af­ter re­hearsals and helped me put my first al­bum to­gether. Through work­ing to­gether, we even­tu­ally fell in love.

LOV­ING EACH OTHER

Nqubeko: I love her be­cause not only is she beau­ti­ful, but she is also lov­ing. She loves my fam­ily and God, which is im­por­tant to me. We’re also re­ally good friends.

Ntokozo: I love him be­cause he makes me laugh. He is a calm­ing force in my life. He has the abil­ity to help me see rea­son when I am up­set or an­gry. He’s also one of the kind­est peo­ple I know.

GROW­ING TO­GETHER

Nqubeko: In 2013, we de­cided to leave Joy­ous Cel­e­bra­tion to pur­sue our solo ca­reers. This wasn’t an easy tran­si­tion for us be­cause we left the com­fort of hav­ing ev­ery­thing done for us to take on full re­spon­si­bil­ity of our ca­reers. This has meant that we’ve had to make a lot of sac­ri­fices in order to suc­ceed.

This has strength­ened our re­la­tion­ship and im­proved how we work to­gether.

Ntokozo: Hav­ing chil­dren was a big change in our re­la­tion­ship. We were mar­ried for three years be­fore be­com­ing par­ents. When we had our chil­dren, we had to learn how to man­age be­ing par­ents while still main­tain­ing our re­la­tion­ship. For­tu­nately, we are sur­rounded by great peo­ple who have been a great help in us be­ing great part­ners and par­ents.

I love that we can be real with each other all the time with­out fear of be­ing judged.

– Toll A$$ Mo I find that be­cause we love and sup­port each other, we are able to eas­ily over­come any chal­lenges that come our way.

– Mome

Mongezi “Tol A$$ Mo” and Mome Mahlangu are hap­pily mar­ried, and have been to­gether for 10 years.

BEAU­TI­FUL BE­GIN­NING

Tol A$$ Mo: I was driv­ing in Melville with a friend when I saw her jog­ging down the street in 2009. I im­me­di­ately asked my friend to drive so I could get out of the car and in­tro­duce my­self. We ex­changed num­bers and started tex­ting.

Af­ter some time, we went on a date and I made my first move by kiss­ing her.

Mome: He saw me jog­ging, and in­tro­duced him­self. We ex­changed num­bers and started tex­ting on BBM. I en­joyed chat­ting to him and even­tu­ally went on our first date. I knew that it was love from the way he looked at me and be­cause we never got bored of each other.

LOV­ING EACH OTHER

Tol A$$ Mo: I love that she is my wife, mother of my kids, best friend and man­ager. I love that we can be real with each other all the time with­out fear of be­ing judged.

She plays so many im­por­tant roles in my life, and I’m grate­ful to have her as my wife.

GROW­ING TO­GETHER

Tol A$$ Mo: I’m happy with the life that we have cre­ated to­gether, and I’m look­ing for­ward to many more years. I hope that our love con­tin­ues to grow and we keep mak­ing each other happy.

Mome: Even though we were ex­cited to move in to­gether and be full-time par­ents, we were also ner­vous be­cause of all the life­style ad­just­ments we would have to make. I find that be­cause we love and sup­port each other, we are able to eas­ily over­come any chal­lenges that come our way.

Queen Mathosa-Nkosi and Refilwe Nkosi, our first ever BONA Wed­dings win­ners, met in 2008 and have been mar­ried since 2016.

Refilwe is very strong. She’s also sweet and self­less and I re­ally love that about her. I also love that she goes the ex­tra mile.

– Queen

We also put each other first. And, re­gard­less of how big or small a de­ci­sion is, we do it to­gether. That’s what makes it work all the time.

BEAU­TI­FUL BE­GIN­NING

Refilwe: We met for the first time in April 2014 on Elec­tion Day. I had just voted, and we had been chat­ting ca­su­ally be­fore that. Af­ter that meet­ing I knew I wanted to be with her. She wasn’t ready for a re­la­tion­ship at the time, so I was pa­tient and per­sis­tent.

Queen: I thought she was shy, and she says I came across as a bully. We didn’t start dat­ing ini­tially; we just met and chat­ted. I knew it was love a year into our dat­ing be­cause she re­mained con­sis­tent. She was sweet, giv­ing, funny and thought­ful. I re­mem­ber think­ing: “Oh my God, this is so hard to find.” I knew that she loved me.

LOV­ING EACH OTHER

Refilwe: She’s beau­ti­ful and I love that. She’s also very un­der­stand­ing, giv­ing, hon­est and lov­ing. I also love that she knows what she wants, so I knew when she wanted to be with me that it was real.

Queen: Refilwe is very strong. She’s also sweet and self­less and I re­ally love that about her. I also love that she goes the ex­tra mile.

GROW­ING TO­GETHER

Queen: Once we got mar­ried, the big­gest chal­lenge was learn­ing to draw bound­aries. We moved from just be­ing part­ners to be­ing part of each other’s fam­i­lies. There are things that we were able to do when were sin­gle, but that are im­pos­si­ble now. At first there’s re­sis­tance, but if you don’t keep those bound­aries, every­one is go­ing to be in your re­la­tion­ship telling you what to do. But, what helps is that we are best friends and re­spect each other be­cause this helps you re­mem­ber that you’re a team.

Refilwe: We also put each other first. And, re­gard­less of how big or small a de­ci­sion is, we do it to­gether. That’s what makes it work all the time.

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