It's usually seen as one of the most important days in a woman's life. They day her partner says "Will you marry me?" and she decides whether or not she wants to spend the rest of her life with the person.
Historically, the men would do the planning, choose the ring (with maybe some hints from the prospective bride) and decide on when and where to propose.
But times have changed and so have the proposals.
Now a new show on Honey TV is giving women an opportunity to ask for their partner's hand in marriage, a concept that is still new in South Africa.
The show has only had a couple of episodes out and South Africans have a lot to say about it. Who will pay lobola then? Do they buy rings? These are some of the questions that have popped up since Will He Say Yes? hit the screens.
Presenters Pamela Mtanga and Karabo Ntshweng chat to Drum about the show, describing it as a feel good show that is all about empowering women.
“It is all about women who decide to take matters into their own hands, take the plunge and challenge societal norms. This show is really for people who can keep an open mind,” Pamela says.
Read more | Reinvigorating wedding bliss on HONEY TV
Karabo says the women in the show should really be seen as an inspiration.
“Marriage proposals aside, these women are doing something that will make them happy, talking ownership of their lives and happiness. I do believe many people watching the show will relate to them and many may even wish they were brave enough to do the same too,” she says.
Both Pamela and Karabo agree that the content of the show will be relatable for women in different marital statuses, like themselves. Pamela is single and Karabo is engaged.
In terms of African culture, men must pay lobola when they want to get married and Pamela says, as a show, they do not get involved in the conversation of who will be responsible for lobola since it is the women proposing.
“Asizingeni (we are not getting involved),” she laughs.
“The fact that women are proposing on the show does not absolve men or mean that culture should be disregarded. Women are just pushing their partners in the right direction, but they can still commit to culture.”
They say there were moments where they too were not sure if the men would accept the proposals.
Though she is not ready yet, Pam would like to get married too, one day.
“There is absolutely no rush. After spending so much time with Karabo I also learnt that it is ok to take your time in a relationship. To experience each other, to explore and travel together and make mistakes together without rushing into marriage. Once you have done all that and still choose each other, then get married,” she says.
Karabo recently got engaged to her longtime boyfriend of 11 years and she says she would not have it any other way.
“We have been together since I was 19 and my 20s were really my selfish years where I could do whatever I wanted. I had no interest in getting married in my 20s and this is by no means a judgement to those who decide to marry young, but I just felt that I need to know who I am and now I am ready. Babies are still going to wait for a while though,” she says.
“This show is so great because we get to see beautiful South African stories where women are wearing their hearts on the sleeves and showing their affection. I was constantly reminded of the quote that says ‘well behaved women seldom make history’ – not that the show is reckless, but because these women are breaking boundaries and going against societal norms. They are going out there to chase their happiness,” Karabo adds.
Pamela says she would like people who watch the show to walk away feeling empowered and inspired.
“I really feel like this is a feel-good show. Hopefully people will remember that whatever they want to do in their lives, they must just go for it. It does not have to be marriage. People must always remember that they do not have to do things the way they have always been done,” she adds.