Oratile Tingwe (30) and Thabo Keebine (37) met on Facebook in 2010 and shared a mutual crush unbeknownst to each other. By the time Thabo told Oratile he was smitten, she was in a troubled relationship with someone else so she asked Thabo to wait.
“One day she put up a status that she was in Rustenburg,” he recalls. “I rushed to the taxi rank and told her I was going home with her. We kept chatting on BBM while driving in her car with her uncle. Her uncle didn’t know anything. They dropped me off and I went home.” Oratile laughs softly listening to Thabo reminisce. He says he called her later to continue their conversation.
Oratile says he kept trying his luck till 2013 when she told him she loved him too. “I was willing to see where life would take us. We decided to fly to Durban. We got carried away... and I fell pregnant.”
Thabo was overjoyed, while Oratile had her reservations because she was ready for marriage at the time, but not to have children.
“Each and every couple have their ups and downs,” says Thabo. “I was out of a job for more than six months. She made sure the rent was paid, the car had petrol, while I was looking for a job. She would always tell me that everything would be fine. I found a job and life continued.”
When he was ready to pay lobola, the elders went to her family for negotiations. Oratile says: “Towards the end of 2018, in November, he bought a ring. I didn’t know anything. He planned everything with my little sister. We arrived at Spur and ordered food and we ate. He said I shouldn’t eat too much since there was still dessert.”
Thabo admits he was nervous and wondered how he’d feel if she said no. But there was no turning back because he had already given the waiter the ring.
“At Spur, they like singing the 'happy birthday' song,” says Oratile. “I heard them sing and started singing along. Only to find they were coming to our table. When I looked up, I saw them standing in front of us with dessert. I asked whose birthday it was."
"They gave me the dessert, when I took it, there was a ring in it. I was shocked. I just started crying.”
“I took out the ring and she started crying,” says Thabo. “I hadn’t said anything but I had her at hello.”