Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
It was a feel good pick me up story that began the year for Zimbabweans on a high as it was filled with romance, love, and commitment, fulfilling most women’s fantasy of the perfect proposal.
This is the story of Makhosana Mguni (27) and his fiancée Belinda Nyoni (24), who are now famously known across the country as the Chicken Inn proposal couple.
What started off as an act to publicly declare his love and affection for a woman he describes as his everything on December 26, 2018 at Chicken Inn Drive Thru, quickly trended on the Internet as Makhosana’s picture on bended knee was plastered on social media platforms.
The proposal, Makhosana said was a culmination of a six-year relationship that is filled with love between neighbours who live in Bulawayo’s Nketa 6 suburb.
“We actually met six years ago. The first time I saw her was at Chicken Inn 8th Avenue. I relocated to South Africa two years later where I’m now based and we kept in touch on the phone, through calls and WhatsApp.
“Once in a while, I’d send her gifts,” said Makhosana who is an aspiring pastor at the Assemblies of Glory Pentecostal Church.
Belinda who refers to her partner as MK said: “We live close to each other in Nketa and when we met at Chicken Inn six years ago, I didn’t know that he had been ‘checking me out’ in the neighbourhood. I think when he saw me there, he then took advantage of the fact that we were at a place where there weren’t people who knew us,” said Belinda, a devout Seventh Day Adventist.
MK said he used to admire Belinda from afar and promised himself that one day, he would talk to her.
“I used to see her in the neighbourhood when I was with my friends. I’d tell them that I liked her and she had captured my heart. However, I couldn’t gather the strength to approach her when we were in Nketa 6.
“When I saw her at Chicken Inn, it was a perfect moment as she wasn’t with her friends. I asked for her number and we became friends for a while. We became so close that I couldn’t spend a day without seeing her and before I knew it, we fell in love some months later,” said MK.
When one talks to the couple, they steal loving glances at each other, occasionally blushing when their eyes meet. They both speak glowingly about each other although the more forthcoming is Makhosana as Belinda is a very shy and reserved character.
“What I’ve noticed is that she loves me for who I am and not for what I have. I’m not the richest man in the world neither do I have Usher Raymond looks but she’d choose me always, I’m sure of that,” said Makhosana.
Asked what made her fall in love with Makhosana, Belinda said it was his dreadlocks (which he has since shaved off) and that he was a twin.
“I loved his dreadlocks, his small eyes and that he is a twin. My mother is a twin as well so I envisioned that when we have children, I’d have twins.”
The decision to go on bended knee was something that had been gnawing Makhosana’s mind for the past month. Actually, Makhosana bought the engagement ring last year and for one month, he was carrying it around each time he would meet Belinda.
“I bought the ring in South Africa and I was moving around with it in my pocket for a month or so. I was waiting for the right moment.
Therefore, on that day, I had hired a photographer called Ricky and he was ready for the whole thing as I had briefed him along with her sister Ntokozo.
“The sister assisted me with getting the right size of the ring and she together with the photographer hid in a corner on the day,” said Makhosana.
“Once inside and settled as we waited for our order of a two-piecer, I popped the question and the rest is history.”
When the picture went viral on social media, there were people who ridiculed Makhosana for proposing at a fast food joint. This for him was a shock as Chicken Inn was the ideal place to propose to Belinda as it was the place they met, exchanged digits and held their first date six years ago. After the proposal and pictures were taken, Belinda was sent a WhatsApp text from her sister in the United Kingdom, informing her she was all over the Internet.
“I saw the picture on Sunday morning. It was sent to me on my WhatsApp by my sister who lives in the UK. I was surprised and before I knew it, people were sending the same picture to my WhatsApp. It happened so fast,” said Belinda.
Until today the couple does not know how their pictures leaked on social media.
“We never put the pictures on our profile or statuses as our parents didn’t know about the proposal. So perhaps one of our friends put them on their Facebook or WhatsApp status. We suspect that’s where it was picked up,” said Belinda.
The couple is overwhelmed at the love and support that they have been getting from Zimbabweans thanking companies and individuals who have pledged to give them a dream wedding.
“People have been wishing us well. It was really shocking that there are some people who offered all these services to us. We never knew that Zimbabweans have such kind hearts like this. Maybe it’s God who is showing his favour to this relationship. It means that God approves of this relationship,” said Belinda.
The next step for Makhosana is to introduce his fiancé to his family and formalise their relationship with her family.
“My plan now is to approach her family and pay lobola, then plan for a wedding, get married and live with her. Although everyone now knows about us, I’ll stick to my guns and go ahead with everything.”
So far, the couple has been interviewed on Skyz Metro FM and yesterday, they travelled to Harare for an interview with Star FM’s Nikki as well as a fitting at Jan Jam boutique. Tomorrow, they have an appearance on politician Acie Lumumba’s ‘The Lumumba Files’ Facebook series.