Smitten Cape Town couple with 21-year age gap is melting hearts with surprise proposal at Nandos

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Magdaline Martheza and Marlon Michaels are fast becoming the newest social media sensation after he proposed at the Nandos at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Photo supplied by Marlon Michaels
Magdaline Martheza and Marlon Michaels are fast becoming the newest social media sensation after he proposed at the Nandos at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Photo supplied by Marlon Michaels
  • Magdaline Martheza (61) and Marlon Michaels (40) are fast becoming the newest social media sensation after he proposed at the Nandos at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
  • The couple has known each other for several months and only found out about their significant age gap months into their courtship.
  • Both had not been in a relationship for years, and Marlon says their relationship is an answer to his prayers as he asked God to send him someone to spend the rest of his life with.


It seems South Africans have adopted a new wedding season tradition: restaurant proposals.

Who can forget the KFC proposal that had the entire country feeling butterflies back in pre-covid 2019 when Hector Mkansi proposed to Nonhlanhla Soldaat at a KFC in the south of Joburg.

The couple who later shared that they were already married were given royal treatment in what became dubbed the National Wedding after various sponsors put the day together.

Since then, several couples have had restaurant proposals, such as Refilwe Mashego and Mangaliso Kamnqa, who had their proposal at the Vaal Mall Spur in Vanderbijlpark, also south of Joburg.

This time our hearts are melting again after Marlon Michaels (40) proposed to Magdaline Martheza (61) at the Nandos at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

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The news of their engagement is spreading on social media after a Twitter user, Reaaz Ahmed, shared a video of their engagement.

Speaking to W24, the couple from Milnerton, Cape Town, says they met some months ago through a friend and started their romance on the phone.

They did not meet in person or share photos for a while, but they connected through their shared love for God instead. They didn't know that they had a significant age gap, which ultimately made no difference to their love for each other.

"I told myself that I would never get a chance like this again," says Marlon, explaining why he proposed. He's never been married and has one daughter, while Maggie has four children. All their children are grown.

"This is my first encounter with marriage, I don't know what marriage life holds for me, but I am very grateful to be with such a lady in my life. She is my diamond," says Marlon of the love of his life.

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Their day started when they took a bus trip from Milnerton to the V&A Waterfront, where Marlon secretly bought a ring from American Swiss. The couple then headed off to Nandos for something to eat, and this is where Marlon put his plan in place.

"I spoke to the cashier and asked her to put the ring somewhere nice to surprise Maggie. I was thinking on my feet, quick, quick," says an excited Marlon. The waiter decided to put the ring in the dessert.

And when the dessert came, Marlon went on one knee and proposed. 

Maggie was confused as she saw people standing around pulling out their phones, only to realise that it was all for her. "It was such a beautiful moment for me. I've never experienced that kind of thing before," says Maggie adding that she happily accepted the proposal.

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The couple has already sent their children messages to tell them they are getting married, and they've congratulated their parents. 

Speaking of their age-gap love, Marlon says, he had not been in a relationship in seven years before he met his future wife. But he prayed to God to send him someone to share his life with, no matter what age.

"I just wanted the Lord to give me someone to spend my life with regardless of the age or anything else. And I am so blessed that he sent me this diamond of a woman. I am the luckiest man ever," he says.

Maggie, a fashion designer, also hadn't been in a relationship for about six years before meeting her future husband.

"The age difference was a bit concerning in the beginning. But we could relate easily. One of my daughters came to work with me and started to accept the relationship when she saw how Marlon and I get along," says Maggie.

The rest of her children also followed suit as they realised how happy she is. 

READ MORE | Bridesmaids at war, hair trial a flop, guest-list conundrum? How to solve your wedding disasters

The couple is looking forward to starting a life together. However, at the moment, Marlon is unemployed and looking for work as a grade C security officer. He has firearm training and NQF 2 electrical with six years internship. He also has gardening service and horticultural experience.

"I'd like my wife to retire so that I can look after her," he says, adding that the future seems bright for them despite his employment situation.

"We put God in everything we do, and he will make a way," Marlon says.

Twitter users have also wished the couple well:

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