Springbok star gets down on one knee

By Drum Digital
15 December 2010

WE KNOW him as the beefy, dreadlocked rugby star who flies down the field with the speed of a cheetah to dot the ball behind the try line and send the crowd wild. But there’s another side to the Springbok and Shark’s wing his fans don’t know: he’s a real romantic – especially when it comes to a certain beautiful young woman...

Which is why, when he decided she was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, Odwa Ndungane chose to do it at one of the most exclusive venues in Mzansi: the six-star One & Only Hotel at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. And it is here that we meet the good-looking lovebirds, barely an hour after the 29-year-old sportsman’s wellplanned proposal to Kgomotso Mogatwe (28), the woman of his dreams.She looks like a princess as she floats down the stairs on the arm of her husbandto- be, the gleaming platinum engagement ring no competition for the radiant smile on her face. Odwa, looking hunky in grey tracksuit pants and a navy T-shirt that reveals more than a hint of muscle, is calm and relaxed – very different to how he felt at breakfast when he was all set to pop the question.

“He couldn’t eat this morning,” Kgomotso says, laughing teasingly at her new fiancé. Odwa lured his lady love to the Mother City with the promise of a romantic getaway for two. Little did she suspect the suite he’d booked would also turn into the place where he asked her to be his wife.

“I had to wait for her to finish breakfast,” he explains. “What I planned to do was playing through my mind the entire time. I was so nervous!”

When the food arrived, Odwa – who is the nephew of former Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane and is deeply religious – started with a prayer.

“Then he spoke about our relationship and our love for each other,” Kgomotso says. “I didn’t suspect anything because we often reminisce about what’s happened in our relationship.”

Odwa, too tense to sit still, started pacing the suite. He put some music on, then turned it off again.

“I thought he was acting a bit strange but I only realised what was happening when he started fiddling in his pocket,” Kgomotso explains.

“I’d planned to go down on my knee but she was laughing too much, so I just sat there, waiting for her to answer,” the Umtataborn rugby player says.

“I laugh a lot when I’m nervous and he caught me by surprise,” she says. “Although I knew it would happen, I didn’t know when. Then I saw the bling and I was blinded!”

Odwa had been planning his proposal for months. Cape Town seemed like the natural place to do it – they both love the city and he opted for the glamorous One & Only because he wanted the proposal to be private. “I needed it to be private in case she said no,” he quips. “Only joking. I knew she was mine.” “That’s because I’m your one and only,” Kgomotso laughs.

Read the full article in DRUM of 23 December 2010

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