While the world is at a standstill, one thing continues to thrive as if nothing happened - love. Meet Ndoni Mcunu and Philani Mthembu, a couple who shared a video of their proposal that went viral on Twitter, captioned ‘The perfect Zulu proposal in front of our parents’.

The KZN-born couple met in 2018, and without a shadow of doubt, they knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.

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The pair met through their best friends who introduced them to each other. They have since been together for one year and six months. The most memorable part of any relationship is the first date; Ndoni and Philani's entailed a Saturday afternoon at the market.

“We went to Farmers Market for brunch after a Saturday morning of doing work. We were both very nervous, but it was the best place because we are simple people,” says Ndoni.

In every relationship, reassurance is essential. And when the pair met, Ndoni got more than that. “In December 2018 when we started dating, he was clear from day one that he wanted us to get married in 2020,” she says.

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When 2020 arrived, Philani kept his promise and popped the question in front of Ndoni’s parents, including her 91-year-old grandmother. The 31-year-old Scientist felt nervous, excited, and blessed to have her loved ones witness this special moment.

Despite all the pressure women are put under to get married by a certain age, the PhD candidate and Black Women In Science founder has been content with the way things have aligned in her life.

“This was the right age for me, but it differs for everyone, and that’s more than okay. I do not think that there is a perfect age to get married. It’s all based on God's timing for your life. Also, how mentally and emotionally ready you are as a woman.”

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Before their negotiations began, what attracted the couple to each other were their purest and most valuable characteristics. The bride-to-be loved her fiancé’s eyes, his views on family, how he wants to raise a family and run a household. For the 35-year-old Accountant, it was his fiancé’s beauty, how she carried herself, her broad smile. And as he got to know her better, it was her persistence, courage, and drive.

Describing their relationship as a type of food, the couple finds iKota most suited for their union. “A mix mash of all these ingredients that technically shouldn’t go together, but one bite into it and it tastes heavenly,” says Ndoni.

When it comes to making their relationship work, they say patience, forgiveness, commitment, loyalty and love are the values that glue them together.

Philani says they are are a team that "prefers to work and support each other."

"Yes, there are those typical roles that we take on to make sure there is a system. But we are a team," he adds.

The conversation about how vital it is for young men to speak openly about marital unions is one may are still exploring, and Philani couldn’t agree more. “Not just marriage, but learning how to treat a woman from an early age is of paramount importance and most relevant in the times we live in today," he says.

"I cannot tell you how important it is to show love and affection to your children's mother because the love they see is the love they ultimately show to their partners and to the rest of the world,” he says.

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