It is still the month of love, and couples are still celebrating in unique ways.
Singer, chef, and restaurateur, Joao da Fonseca, affectionately known as J' Something, recently hosted 25 couples at the ‘Perfect Date Starts With A Stella’ Valentine's Day Picnic at Kleine Rijke, in Hartbeespoort and treated guests to an unforgettable performance and a delicious picnic.
The romance of the occasion also resulted in a marriage proposal by Ilan Brest and Shani Lasarow from Johannesburg, who have been dating six years.
For J Something and his wife Cordelia “Coco” Godi, the month of February is all about reminding them of the most important thing in their life, which is love.
“As cheesy as that sounds, it’s a time to celebrate love, specifically the love we have in our life. We believe that love is our purpose and it’s not something that we ever attain in its entirety but it’s something that we strive towards every day. It’s a kind reminder and a reason to celebrate something we pursue daily,” he tells Drum.
Besides singing about love, J Something says he is also quite the romantic.
“I’d like to think I’m a romantic. I have always taken a lot of pride in doing things that are meaningful and thoughtful for my wife,” he says.
“Our love language is cooking for one another. The act of cooking is enough. It’s not really about what we are cooking, but we just love cooking together.”
They also enjoy going on holiday together.
“We just got back from Durban for a little Valentine's getaway trip with just the two of us. We went to different coffee spots and food spots. We spent some time near the beach and took long naps and just connected.”
J' Something and his wife Coco met in Johannesburg through mutual friends.
“I met Coco 10 or 11 years ago through mutual friends. At the time we were just acquaintances and later in life, we got chatting and it developed from there,” he says.
“When I first met her, I thought she was beautiful, super cool, and ridiculously fun. I really enjoyed that energy, unknowing that we would be together. But at first, it was just that,” he says.
“She had a good positive energy about her but it wasn’t love at first sight, it was friendship and really innocent with no intentions.”
Most of the love songs he has written up until now have been inspired by his journey with Coco.
“On my first album when we first started spending time together I wrote my first song for her called Across The Room, and it’s on Mi Casa’s first album and thereafter I mean, a lot if not most of the stuff, was based on our journey,” he says.
Most recently the song Mamela is a song he wrote about their desire to get away from a certain situation.
“So right from songs like Your Body to Turn You On and all these types of song and recently on the new album We Made It, I wrote the songs I Love Everything About You and Church Bells. It is all personal. When I write music, it’s about things that I experience and think of most of the time. Most of the songs are a documentation of our journey.”
Like all normal couples, they have their little fights, but always find a way to make up.
“We tend to argue about silly things that are external and not necessarily our own doing. Which tends to be a little bit frustrating, but the key is to go through it together and to communicate and that’s really been our principle since we started dating,” he adds.
Communication is important in their relationship.
“One of our principles is to never go to bed without having expressed or gotten off our chest something that was bothering us, which we have done now for years,” he says.
Since being married, he has learned to be less hard on those he loves.
“Marriage is a life-changing decision. I’ve learned that I tend to treat the people that I love as I treat myself,” he says.
“Which tends to be quite hard. I am quite hard on myself. I have had to constantly be reminded that the people I love are not me and the journey of marriage is the pursuit of love. Marriage is another chapter of life that reveals another depth of love that you can only witness and be a part of when you make that decision,” he adds.
“There is beauty in commitment, and I think in that we start to reveal who more of our creator is. Life’s purpose is love and we are created to love and experience love. That is something that my wife and I continuously talk about and are very passionate about.”
J' Something says he is constantly adjusting himself and working towards being a better person.
“When you’re married, it’s no longer only about yourself, it's about the two of you and you have to constantly adjust, make sacrifices and be patient and make space for the other. One of the key adjustments is to invest time into your partner daily, purposefully.”