Martinette’s story of romance and tough times

2009-09-19 00:00

A LOCAL couple need your votes in a final battle between four couples to see who will walk away as the winners for the Amazing Wedding Race.

Launched by a Bloemfontein newspaper, the wedding competition will award the winning couple with an all inclusive wedding to the value of R100 000.

Of the thousands of entrants received, the newspaper chose 12 couples, including Martinette Botha and Shawn Hibbert.

On September 5, the Amazing Wedding Race began. A monitor was appointed to each couple to observe them solving puzzles, assessing their communication, how they handled situations and how well they worked together.

After completing a questionnaire about each other’s likes and dislikes, they received their first clue and had to figure out their destination, which was based on information about the competition sponsors.

Botha and Hibbert led the race from start to finish, completing different tasks — which included resolving puzzles, waxing 10 x 10 cm of leg hair from each other, searching for goods in a busy mall and other fun tasks.

“We ended up winning the race 20 minutes ahead of the couple finishing second. Now, after an inspiring motivation letter we wrote, the intense questionnaire and challenging race, we’ve come this far as to be one of the final four couples,” said Botha.

The public in Bloemfontein is now responsible for choosing their favourite couple — but as Botha and Hibbert have recently moved to Pietermaritzburg and don’t know many people, they have had to phone everyone they know to vote for them, said Botha.

“However, on Thursday, my fiancé’s sister, who is located in Bloemfontein, informed us that the other three couples are on a huge marketing spree, handing out flyers, putting up banners and advertising themselves. Now what to do, we are here and they are all there and that is why I gave it a shot to try and get as many votes from our local community as possible,” said Botha.

PIETERMARITZBURG is Shawn’s home town and Bloemfontein mine. We met in Bloemfontein while we were both studying there. I, coming out of a rocky relationship, was not interested in meeting anyone soon. We were introduced by a mutual friend after being invited to the same social meeting. He reached out to me and despite trying to put him off, there was no way I could get rid of him. Lucky for me he never stopped trying. After a few years in Bloemfontein, Shawn decided to go back to ‘Maritzburg, leaving me feeling shocked. We had been together for six years. After a year apart, he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I was shocked for a few seconds, not knowing what to say. The first thing that came into my mind was, why does he want to marry me? He very calmly said to me: “You are my very best friend, my soul mate and I can’t imagine being a day without you.” At exactly that moment I knew I’ve found my “prince on his white horse”.

I moved to Pietermaritzburg about a year ago, adapting with difficulty to my new surroundings. We both worked for companies that went through financial crises and as our financial situation weakened month by month, we were desperate for a new beginning. Through all this, Shawn stood by me, loved and supported me unconditionally. Our prayers were answered and both of us were employed after being without work for a few months. Shawn is now a franchise manager and I work as a warranty clerk.

Just type the following SMS:


Fatty’s & Moany’s (the winning team name)

xxx (your name)

xxx (your location e.g. Pietermaritzburg etc)

And send it to 34183



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