When Hector went down on one knee to propose—in fact, re-propose—to Nonhlanhla at that KFC Restaurant, little did he know that his story was about to make headlines all over the world. He was just doing something he felt he had to do and do properly.
He was doing something special for someone special—something he wished he had done seven years earlier. According to Hector, he was not happy with the rings he got his wife at the time, so he decided to buy her new ones and surprise her with a better proposal.
But of all the places, he could have re-proposed to the lady he had met and married years earlier, why KFC? Simply because it was Nonhlanhla’s favourite place to eat. She so loved the brand that he gave her that special surprise in her favourite eatery.
Except for the few customers at the KFC Restaurant that day, Hector’s romantic move would have gone unnoticed. But as the story goes, someone took a video of the proposal and posted it on social media. A female Twitter user saw it as an opportunity to troll South African men, claiming “SA men are so broke, they even propose at KFC…..They have absolutely no class. I mean who proposes at KFC.” She added a hashtag, #KFCProposal.
That tweet was a direct slight at the KFC brand because it suggested that KFC was for cheap people. What this internet troll did not know was that the KFC brand represented much more than just affordable meals.
And KFC did what KFC did best—it came through for its customers.
Within a couple of hours after that tweet, KFC South Africa responded with a masterpiece—appealing to all South Africa to help find the couple. KFC even went ahead to promised rewards for whoever helped find the couple.
The original tweet as well as the reaction of KFC caught the attention of Twitter users and the thread caught fire—with many people shaming troll for hating on the couple and congratulating KFC for its initiative.
Not long after, another organisation, Woolworths SA joined the thread. They promised to send the couple a gift voucher of R15000. The folks at Coca Cola were not to be left out.
Tweeting about how KFC Chicken and Coke were a perfect pair, they also promised to take care of all the soft drinks for the wedding. Not to be outdone, Rain, a data-only mobile telephony network in SA joined the party promising to provide unlimited data for the couple for a whole year.
The giveaways to the couple did not end there. Standard Bank also took advantage of the situation and chipped in to offer some sort of help. Billy Dlamini, owner and Founder of Billdore Jewellery, decided to chip in with two rings worth R45000. Alcoholic beverage brand, Lion Lager also pledged R5000 for the traditional marriage rites.
South African low-cost airline operator Kulula also offered to fly the couple to Cape Town for an all-expenses paid, five-night honeymoon stay. Audi offered a car to drive them around.
Sony Movies promised to give them two tickets for a 3D movie experience. Even some musicians joined the fun, pledging to come over and entertain the guests for free. The gifts just kept pouring in, from all corners. This was beyond this couple’s wildest dream.
The original KFC tweet was posted on November 19, 2019 and just over a month later, on 31st December, 2019, the couple had their dream wedding. Their story made global news with CNN among the networks that covered the story.
All in all, Hector Mkansi and Nonhlanhla Soldaat’s story was one of the great stories, just before the world turned sombre, kind courtesy of a certain virus. And with the current state of our world, we could do with more of those stories.
With Valentine’s Day here and with KFC Ghana promising couples a great package dubbed #BundleofLove, it would not be a surprise if we get to hear of another beautiful love story.