“The Bachelorette SA” came to an emotional end on Thursday as Qiniso Van Damme chose Gareth “Gaz” Ehret as “her person”.
She accepted his promise ring while offering him her final rose.
Six months after the actual filming ended, the couple remain together and seem more in love than ever.
IOL Entertainment caught up with Gaz to chat more about life with the beautiful Qiniso after the finale episode.
How are you feeling now that everything has been revealed?
Very relieved and a little bit overwhelmed.
There is so much positive energy coming at us that it’s hard to reply and take it all in at once, but we’re really happy.
How did it feel watching the journey over the 16 episodes and especially seeing Qiniso kiss all those men along the way?
For those parts I turned away.
I tried to put on a brave face and I kept saying that I wasn’t affected by it but it was a bit strange.
I also understood the process and I knew that those are the sort of things you have to do to get to know someone properly.
How long did you keep the relationship a secret?
It’s been almost six months, we finished shooting on December 1.
We had a bit of a weird December together where we couldn’t be seen out in public.
So much has changed, but nothing has changed in the same breath.
The love we had on the show has just grown day by day and we spent a lot of quality time together.
We’ve formed the grounding quicker than we would have normally if we didn’t have to be incognito and indoors spending intense time together.
What did you learn about Qiniso outside of The Bachelorette SA?
I thought she liked exercise as much as me but she doesn’t, which I was quiet surprised with.
She’s got a foot that doesn’t stop moving and 50% of her dialogue is speaking and the other 50% is almost like a “meow“.
What would you say was your biggest challenge on the show?
We had a lot of alone time in between especially when it came to the top four, we were each put up in hotel rooms with no cellphones, no communication. We weren’t allowed to talk the guys or her so it was massively drawn out.
So you just sit there waiting, my mind was spinning.
So there’s a big mental game that I didn’t anticipate, so that was definitely the toughest part for me, but I knew it would be worth it, if not I would have left if I hadn’t fallen in love with Qiniso.
Do you get along better with Qiniso’s family now?
It’s only gone upwards so we get on so well now.
They were tough on the show and I anticipated that, especially the sister, Phumzile, but now I’ve gotten to know her and understand where she’s coming from.
After months of being with them, we are all good friends and get on extremely well.
Final words for the fans?
A massive thank you. I’ve been looking at my phone as much as I can and there’s not an ounce of negativity.
People are receptive and it’s nice for them to observe something so positive, especially at a time like this. It’s important to lift people’s spirits and I’m so glad that our love could do this.