Fact. Celebrities can be as awkward as the rest of us. Some of Mzansi’s favourite celebrities, including soap star Maria Valente De Almeida and TV presenters Zoë Brown and William Lehong, have got us melting (and giggling!) this Valentine’s Day.
Romantic hike for Zoë Brown
Brown, who’s part of SABC3’s Expresso team and is also a Kfm 94.5 presenter, says her most romantic moment was also quite embarrassing, as it came as a surprise. Three years ago, a friend from varsity invited her to join him and a few friends on a Lion’s Head sunset hike. “When I arrived, there were no friends in sight, and it was just the two of us. We proceeded to hike up (the mountain). I still remember it being an unusually cool evening.”
The sunset was soon replaced by the rising of a full moon. “When we reached the top, I whipped out my banana and water bottle, but when he opened his back-pack he had everything in there. A blanket, a baguette, a variety of cheeses and cold meats, a bottle of champagne as well as dessert, which consisted of fruit and chocolates from Germany.”
Although it came as a bit of a surprise, Brown says it is definitely something she’ll remember as it ended up being fun and also “super romantic”.
Surprise Valentine’s for William Lehong’s mom
Lehong, who hosts The Morning Show on eTV, has big plans to celebrate the “day of love”. The part-time music producer says the perfect Valentine’s Day is when you do things out of love, and not because you are feeling pressured.
“Sometimes the smaller gestures also say a lot. But, with the advent of social media, we’re now ‘supposed’ to post our Valentines and how we’ll be spending the day with them.”
However, Lehong is set on doing something different this time around. He is going to spoil his mother, and make sure that the day is very special for her.
“She’s the woman who has taught me how to love, and what it means to love. The reason I’m spending my Valentine’s Day with my mother is because she has not been spoilt in a very long time. So, I’d like to make this a very special day for her specifically.”
He plans on surprising her with a weekend getaway on the KwaZulu-Natal east coast.
‘Expectations will have you starving’ – Maria Valente De Almeida
Meanwhile, the mere thought of the perfect Valentine’s Day often creates expectations, and the younger version of Valente De Almeida was no different. The actress, who plays the role of Samantha on Arendsvlei, kykNET & kie’s new Afrikaans telenovela, learnt that expectations will have you starving.
While preparing to celebrate Valentine’s Day with her first boyfriend in grade 10, Valente De Almeida’s friends advised her to not ever eat in front of her date.
“His mommy made us so much food – like a whole huge plate full of crayfish and prawn curry, and all these amazing things that I love.”
With the “wisdom” of her friends haunting her mind, she politely, and regrettably, turned the food away even though her stomach was rumbling. “When I got home, I was like ‘Oh my word, Mommy. I’m so hungry I need to eat right now.’”
When asked by her mother why she didn’t eat during her date, Valente De Almeida replied with a contagious chuckle: “‘No, I can’t eat in front of boys,’ and then my mother told me that that’s the stupidest thing she has ever heard.”
Her most romantic moment has since made up for everything when her boyfriend surprised her with a unicorn teddy bear and a trip to a secret destination. “He told me to get dressed and he took me to a guest house. When we got there, the bed had hearts with our initials made from rose petals, plus balloons, champagne, roses and strawberries. We stayed for the weekend.”