We’re almost at the end of this journey, which means that Marc had some difficult decisions to make on The Bachelor SA. In a brutal and emotional episode, we had to say goodbye to two fan favourites – Mulesa Lumina and Qiniso van Damme.
Qiniso van Damme from Cape Town is a model, actress and studying for her masters in social anthropology at UCT.
We caught up with her after her final episode aired to find out what she had to say about Marc, the girls, and everything else.
∼ She didn’t let the negativity get her down ∼
From the moment she stepped onto the red carpet, Qiniso seemed to have a target on her back. With the other women constantly talking about her behind her back or openly saying that she was on the show for the wrong reasons. When asked about this she said this wasn’t always a good space to be in, because you can’t flourish and be your best self in negative situations. But she countered this by saying, ‘ Also my haters are my motivators to be myself and continue to flourish. And yeah, I can’t let the hate get me down.’
∼ It was very important to her that people pronounce her name correctly ∼
After the first episode, Cosmopolitan wrote an article about how problematic it was that the women in the house weren’t even attempting to learn to pronounce Qiniso’s name properly. And throughout the season, Qiniso has been very vocal on social media about how unacceptable it was that women on the show reduced her name to Q, without even bothering to try and say her name.
We asked her about this and she said, ‘I feel like, we are South Africans. We literally live in such a diverse and multicultural land and especially in this post-apartheid era. I feel like it’s very important for us to recognise each other. And the most important way for me that someone recognises me is by saying my full name and not reducing me to the letter Q. When the letter Q itself literally is an Anglophone way of referring to me. It’s an important thing for us to take up the space that we deserve and not reduce ourselves or let ourselves be reduced because it makes other people feel uncomfortable trying to say my name.
∼ She didn’t like that her emotions were questioned ∼
Many times in his diary sessions, Marc said that he didn’t know if Qiniso was being real with him or that she was putting on an act. She said that it was very difficult that her personality, emotions and intentions on the show were questioned. She said, ‘I definitely felt like I wore my heart on my sleeve from the get-go. And I was one hundred per cent myself. So having this part of me challenged that one: I can’t change and two I won’t change for anyone because it’s who I am. That was difficult.’
∼ Her highlights including getting dressed up, the dates and meeting new people ∼
Being on The Bachelor was an experience that she said she will never forget. When asked what she enjoyed the most about it, she said getting dressed up for cocktail parties. Of course, the date where Marc flew her to Durban and they went shark cage diving and had a ‘Titanic kiss’ was a highlight.
She also said that she was glad that she got to meet people that she wouldn’t have usually have met, ‘Finding friends and people who you might not have interacted with on the day-to-day basis, was an eye-opener. The fact that there are beautiful people out there outside of our curated spaces. I’m really grateful for the fact that I’ve made such beautiful friends in these women.
∼ Acting, modelling and much more to come ∼
Qiniso is still single (for those that want to shoot their shot), but she has been focused on her work. She has amazing projects that she is working on like The Foxy 5, a web series that she did where she played one of five superheroes fighting the patriarchy. She is also going to continue to act, as she said after being on a reality show it will be nice to play a role that’s not herself. And of course, she will continue to model (which she calls her ‘first love’).
You can watch The Bachelor SA season 2 on DStv Catch Up.