The Bachelorette's Craig on that controversial touch rugby move: 'I said what I said'

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Craig Khumalo on the Bachelorette SA.
Craig Khumalo on the Bachelorette SA.
Photo: M-Net
  • Craig Khumalo is one of the four new suitors who met Qiniso Van Damme on The Bachelorette SA.
  • The 31-year-old left quite the impression with the rest of the gentlemen and the viewers after his first appearance on the show.
  • In this Q&A Craig sets the record straight about what went down in episode 2.

When Craig Khumalo met Qiniso Van Damme on The Bachelorette SA red carpet with a fireball in hand, it foreshadowed what was to come.

The 31-year-old was one of the four new suitors introduced to Qiniso on the reality dating show's latest episode. It wasn't long until the social entrepreneurship graduate had tongues wagging in the mansion and on social media.

First, he interrupted Lunga's one-on-one time with Qiniso. During the first group date, he scored a controversial try during a touch rugby game that won his team some alone time. He was a master of interception at the cocktail party when he showed up with a tray of snacks when Vuyani was chatting to Qiniso.

Like the viewers, we had some burning questions for Craig. In this Q&A, he sets the record straight about that try, the platter interception, and whether or not he thinks there is a target on his back.

What was your, for lack of a better word, game plan going into the show?

My intention was to challenge myself by putting myself out there in finding a life partner.

Did you expect to be such a hot topic on Twitter after your first appearance on the show?

To some extent, I was aware of my strengths, but I wasn't aware of how people would respond to them. I am fully aware of how certain characteristics I have could come off as arrogant and confident.

How do you feel about what went down with you and Lunga when you interrupted his time with Qiniso?

My intention was not to interrupt Lunga; it was to check on Qiniso. Because at the end of the day, that's what I'm here for.

ALL IS FAIR IN LOVE AND TOUCH RUGBY: Craig scores some extra time with Qiniso for his team.

So, we need to know, did you, or did you not feel the touch during the game of rugby?

I do not know, you tell me. I said what I said.

How did you feel about being called a cheater by the other guys?

This is what happens when you're undermined; this is what happens when you're the underdog. It sucks to realise you were wrong about someone.

Let's talk about that platter move. Did you intentionally want to rile up the other men?

I'm here for Qiniso, and at the end of the day, this is a competition; I am such a romantic at heart.

Craig offers Qiniso some grapes while she chats to
A MASTER OF INTERCEPTION: Craig offers Qiniso some grapes while she chats to Vuyani.

Watching the episode, it comes across as if there was some kind of plan for everyone to get time with her. Was there one, and were you aware of it?

I was left in the dark regarding any discussions to do with one-on-one time with Qiniso. I guess the platter move made it seem I had a game plan. It was about her emotional wellbeing for me.

Having seen the episode now, were you surprised at how much you got under the other guys' skin?

I was surprised that they expected me to conform to the gaslighting sessions held prior to the cocktail party. I did feel isolated at breakfast and understood pampering egos was not for me. My path to finding a life partner was not for everybody to understand, especially not my competition.

Do you think you have put a target on your back and isolated yourself from the group?

I do not necessarily think there is a target on my back; however, I think that anybody who undermined me coming into this competition has realised that I'm here to play to win. Anyone who did undermine me realised I'm competition.

WILL YOU ACCEPT THIS ROSE? Craig gets a rose at th
WILL YOU ACCEPT THIS ROSE? Craig gets a rose at the ceremony.

You managed to get some alone time with Qiniso. In that moment, did you feel an instant connection with her and feel like it could lead somewhere?

There was a natural chemistry; however, it takes more than one day to really understand the possibility. I liked her willingness to listen and the kinds of questions she asked me. I liked how she put herself out there to be vulnerable for love; I connected to that immediately.

During your conversation with Qiniso, she told you that she wants to see more of you as a person. You said the moment she comes into the room; you try to speak. Are you just nervous around her, or are you waiting to get to know her a bit more before you show some vulnerability?

I was open to being vulnerable with her no matter how they perceived me. I was overwhelmed when it came to that moment.


The Bachelorette SA airs Thursdays at 19:30 on M-Net (DStv 101) and is also available on DStv Now.

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