'Quiet and gentle' and 'an overall lover of life' - meet the men vying for Qiniso Van Damme's heart

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Qiniso Van Damme.
Qiniso Van Damme.
Photo: M-Net
  • South Africa's first-ever Bachelorette Qiniso Van Damme's journey to finding love has begun.
  • The 15 eligible suitors brought their A-game to the red carpet, hoping to make a lasting impression.
  • In January M-Net introduced the first five, now, get to know the next ten eligible suitors vying for Qiniso's heart.
  • The Bachelorette SA airs Thursdays at 19:30 on M-Net (DStv 101).

South Africa's first-ever Bachelorette Qiniso Van Damme's journey to finding love kicked off on Thursday, 11 February on M-Net (DStv 101).

The 15 eligible suitors brought their A-game to the red carpet hoping to make a lasting impression, hoping to nab that very important first impression rose.

In an interview with Channel24, the 27-year-old said she was very impressed with the men who signed up.

"They were courageous and fearless and really, really put themselves out there. It's so refreshing for me to meet these kinds of men."

In January the channel introduced us to the first five men vying for Qiniso's heart. Now that you've seen them on television, get to know the other ten gentlemen better here.

1. Lunga Kupiso

Lunga Kupiso
Lunga Kupiso.

Age: 30

Described as a "quiet, gentle introvert with a colourful personality", Lunga is a village-raised, city-groomed Xhosa herd boy who grew up with a passion for livestock farming before moving to the big city at age 14 - the very first time he ever left his village.

He was raised by his "uGogo" (great-grandmother) and "uMakhulu" (grandmother)" whilst his mom trained as a nursing specialist, and only when she qualified, did his big move to Johannesburg come about.

He is a double graduate from a Johannesburg based university with a diploma in public relations and communications and a BA degree in strategic marketing communications. "Lungsta", as his friends call him, consults with a continental government agency, which sees him split his time between Mzansi and Ethiopia regularly.

Besides surviving the city, his biggest career moment was two years ago when he was given the opportunity to join Australia's most loved sport - as a communications assistant - an opportunity inspired by the infamous "sandpaper gate". He is described as well-spoken, articulate, and a high calibre man who is "ready to love and hopes to be the one Qiniso says she is looking for".

2. Marc Coetzee

Marc Coetzee
Marc Coetzee.

Age: 41

Town: Johannesburg

A dad of two boys, aged 11 and 15. Marc is described as "an overall lover of life who strives to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle. He is also a lifestyle and transformation coach and has a passion for working to change people's confidence and outlook.

Marc is an adaptive business developer, brand strategist and serial entrepreneur at heart and says that he "loves pushing boundaries in everything he does".

"Having played all his cards at love, ready to try something different to meet someone he doesn't normally look for, Marc wants to complete his idea of the ultimate power couple. Marc is in it to win it and is ready to give the other guys a run for their money."

3. Franco Basson

Franco Basson
Franco Basson.

Age: 26

Town: Johannesburg

Franco grew up in Magaliesburg and had to build himself up. His parents are divorced, and he studied law at the University of Johannesburg. After some time in the legal field, he realised he was not passionate about it, and he now works at Discovery as a financial consultant and runs a podcast named The Weekly Order with two of his best friends.

He is described as "a lover of music, he also plays the guitar and drums. He has a passion for the arts and expresses his creativity through photography and videography".

Franco had a high school sweetheart at 16 who he broke up with and has spent the past eight years trying to win her back. "He used his Instagram to send her subliminal love letters. After a long wait, they saw each other again and realised that they had both grown and moved on. Now he is ready to find love again and wants to ultimately get married."

4. Aviwe Mahlakatha

Aviwe Mahlakatha
Aviwe Mahlakatha.

Age: 25

Town: Johannesburg

Described as an introverted extrovert, mature and curious, he was born and partially bred in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape and then uprooted for primary and secondary schooling to Johannesburg with his family.

A jack of many trades, Aviwe is a media studies graduate who works as a radio producer for an online station. He also works as a freelance video editor in-between and is a full-time fashion runway model who has worked with some of the top brands on the African continent.

Aviwe comes from a close-knit family and keeps a tight group of friends who support each other. He says that he loves what Qiniso stands for and her feisty personality. Maybe, just maybe they could be a perfect match.

5. Henk 'Swazi' Nel

Henk 'Swazi' Nel
Henk 'Swazi' Nel.

Age: 28

Town: Piet Retief

Described as a "soft natured Swazi, often gets noticed by taking on leadership roles". Originally from Cape Town, he lived in eSwatini for eight years.

Henk then spent a season in Waterlooville, Hampshire in the south of London while advancing his cricketing career. Swazi captained most of the cricket teams he played for and the eSwatini Under-19's. He currently runs his own cricket academy that serves to help junior players throughout Mpumalanga and eSwatini.

"He has a wild party side that comes out as soon as cold tequila is involved. He has a highly competitive drive and does not like to lose. He is charmingly quirky and quick to grow on you. "In a group of men, he will make sure he is noticed," he says. He still lives with his parents and says that he realises he is too old for that but that he is comfortable with the status quo.

6. Vuyani Mashego 

Vuyani Mashego
Vuyani Mashego.

Age: 28

Town: Johannesburg

He is a weightlifter, crossfitter and a strength and conditioning expert and has his eyes set on the Commonwealth Games in his weight class.

Vuyani gives back to the sport and is part of the non-governmental organisation Lifting Dreams Soweto. He lives the bachelor life, mostly training and working at a functional training gym he owns called Urban Shack Benoni. He has been dealt a few not so great cards in the relationship department and says that "he likes to believe he can close a deal with any lady and is charming and in tune with his emotions".

He says he has "a really good vibe, is a good listener, has high emotional intelligence and is a fashionista".

7. Keelan McManus

Keelan McManus
Keelan McManus.

Age: 26

Town: Cape Town

Keelan is a sporty, active guy that loves adventures and the outdoors.

His backstory includes losing his father at a young age and growing up with an empowered single mom. He represented his country playing badminton and had his eyes set on going to the Olympics but he, unfortunately, injured his lower back while training.

Keelan has a culturally diverse family, and he says that "family means everything to me". He is now seeking a partner that can enjoy a healthy and responsible lifestyle with him, and that can keep up with his adventurous nature. His party boy habits are still there, but he is looking for inspiration to change that and describes himself as a "sweet and humble guy with a big heart".

8. Peter Roos

Peter Roos.
Peter Roos.

Age: 27

Town: Johannesburg

He is climbing the corporate ladder and is described as "a gentle soul, and just truly a nice guy".

He would make for a good partner but has been very unlucky in finding love. He is very close to his mother and two sisters and is very family-orientated.

Peter says that he is genuinely looking for love and someone to settle down with and wants to share his journey with the right woman. He enjoys playing sports daily and regular exercise. Peter appeared on First Dates SA and is half-English, half-Afrikaans.

9. Justin Lakey

Justin Lakey
Justin Lakey.

Age: 26

Town: Johannesburg

Justin is a track and field specialist and competes on the local stage and is aiming for the Olympics in the next four years.

He works as a sports conditioning coach and a sports massage therapist. His guilty pleasure is junk food, and he expresses his creativity "through sketching and draws amazing cartoon characters". Justin was in a long term relationship before but has been single the past three years and describes himself as an "easy-going, competitive and funny guy".

10. Kyran Wright

Kyran Wright
Kyran Wright.

Age: 32

Town: Cape Town

Kyran says he is "at his best when he is surrounded by nature".

He became a father at a young age and says that this forced him to grow up fast. He returned to university to pursue an education and a career in ecology. He manages important terrestrial and aquatic sites in Cape Town and works to protect and rehabilitate the ecosystems in these spaces. He says that he has been following Qiniso since The Bachelor SA and sees potential for romance with her, given the opportunity.

He is planning to move into a residence on his nature reserve in preparation to settle down. He says that he is "very clear of who he is and what he wants out of life" and that "this will be a true journey to find love with Qiniso".

READ MORE | We meet SA's first-ever Bachelorette Qiniso Van Damme

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