Rumours have been swirling that South Africa’s favourite celebrity 'couple', Maps Maponyane and Nomzamo Mbatha has split. In fact, a local newspaper has even gone so far as to confirm the rumours.

According to TimesLive, neither of the stars’ PR reps have confirmed or denied the split, saying they don’t get involved in personal matters; but Nomzamo and Maps seem to be attempting to quell the public’s thirst for gossip by having a little exchange on Twitter after the news broke.

Bear in mind that they don't owe us any info about their personal lives.

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Nomzamo tweeted Maps asking him if he was okay with a picture of a crying child, and another offering toilet paper.

Maps then responded saying he was good and asked how she was:

Now these two have never actually confirmed that they’re dating and have actually pushed more of a friend vibe over the years than anything else, but we all always believed (wanted to?) that they were very much in love and just so perfect together. 

So, of course, when the news broke that their relationship (if it ever even was a romantic one) might be no more, people were feeling all kinds of things – from being sad that the pair could have broken up, to saying they’re glad it’s (allegedly) over, to asking others why they cared in the first place.


But why exactly are we so invested in celebrity relationships? I mean it’s not just Maps and Nomzamo. It’s AKA and Bonang, it’s Jay-Z and Beyonce. And more. We all want these relationships to thrive or fail for different reasons, but we don’t even know the people involved.

We’re all probably in parasocial relationships with these celebs. According to Find A Psychologist, parasocial relationships "are one-sided relationships, where one person extends emotional energy, interest and time, and the other party, the persona, is completely unaware of the other’s existence." They’re most common with celebrities or organisations like sports teams.

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The article also details how these relationships negate the chance of rejection and make people feel like they can choose whoever they like to model and identify with and who naturally give off an empathic response. These relationships are often cultivated by the media to resemble face to face relationships and so, over time, the fan begins to develop an intimacy and friendship with the celebrity and begins to feel like the celebrity knows and understands them. 

Case in point, we asked our W24 readers who they would be heartbroken about if they broke up and people were quick to interact with it. 47% said they would be heartbroken if Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith broke up and, honestly, same. 

But parasocial relationships are mostly harmless and we can continue having one (okay, let’s face it, several) for a long time with the famous person/people of our choice. Unless you start getting a little creepy and move over to stalking or trolling. Then there’s something seriously wrong. 

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