There is a fine line between love and fame when you are dating someone outside your circle. There are questions such as: “Is this the real deal?” or “Is this person with me for ulterior motives?”
It is natural for such questions to be swimming around one’s head.
There have been many celebrities who fell in love with people who were unknown and they are still together and happy. But there are relationships that are not sustainable for various reasons.
Look at Zodwa Wabantu, for example. The reality star has had the worst luck with dating and her relationships, including that of her Ben 10 beau, Vusi Buthelezi, which ended badly.
Even a star as big as Adele filed for a divorce from Simon Konecki after three years of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences.
In 2017, Somizi fell in love with Mohale Motaung and he threw caution to the wind, happily flaunting his young hot lover on social media. He wasn’t afraid to turn up the PDA levels either.
Mohale basked in the newfound attention of his high-profile romance. And it wasn’t long before they were celebrated as SA’s darling gay couple, more so after tying the knot in a traditional ceremony in September 2019. This was followed by a wedding to end all weddings at the end of January 2020.
They had SA’s crème de la crème of personalities in attendance and their fairytale romance was also filmed for a Showmax exclusive, “Somizi and Mohale: The Union”.
Despite the 22-year age gap between the couple and talk of Mohale being a gold-digger, they refused to allow anyone to cast a shadow on their happiness.
They were loved-up, serving Mzansi life goals with their travels to exotic places, and sharing it ad nauseam on social media.
Trolls were shut down by Mohale and Somizi, and their clapbacks were most entertaining.
Heck, they even went double-barrel with each other’s surnames.
When SA went into a hard lockdown due to the coronavirus, Somizi’s deluge of cooking videos with his hubby lifted the nation’s spirits and proved to be the perfect recipe for a TV show, “Dinner at Somizi’s”.
Somizi handled the culinary side of the show and Mohale took over the reins when it came to interviewing their celebrity guests.
Everything was lovey-dovey until the latter part of last year, when tell-tale signs of trouble in paradise started to emerge.
The first nail in the coffin was talk that Mohale was unfaithful.
Over the long Easter weekend this year, the “Living the Dream with Somizi” star was seen partying up a storm with his bestie, Vusi Nova, while Mohale kept the celebrations low-key with family and friends.
Within the blink of an eye, the two were leading independent lives – and the Twitterverse’s curiosity grew as social media posts of them together vanished.
Everyone was baffled by the detached vibes between the two.
The “Idols SA” judge also unfollowed his spouse, who had dropped his husband’s surname from his social media accounts.
Every now and again, Somizi would share random murmurings on relationships and marriage.
When fans read between the lines and asked if the couple were separating, he never gave a straight answer.
Anele Mdoda pried during an interview with Somizi but she too came up empty-handed.
Somizi and Mohale were so tight-lipped you would swear they were with the State Security Agency. And it was sheer torture for fans left in the dark after the two lived their romance in the spotlight.
Before arguing that celebrities are entitled to their privacy, please note, Somizi and Mohale pivoted off the attention.
Mohale bagged more acting gigs as the industry embraced his talents. The model also added “influencer” to his CV.
Somizi juggled his various TV and radio gigs with his corporate commitments. The moolah was rolling in.
There seemed to be an almost unspoken agreement to keep their private affairs, private.
But when you live your life in the public eye, skeletons don’t stay in the closet for long.
All that pent-up silence recently exploded when allegations of abuse were made against Somizi. And it was too detailed for some to disbelieve.
The scandal was clearly the straw that broke the camel’s back.
It had a domino effect on Somizi’s work commitments, where he was given a hiatus from his duties on Metro FM and “Idols SA”.
In a statement posted on his account, Somizi said: “Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would one day have to defend my honour as a result of someone I have loved so deeply and so genuinely deliberately harming a reputation I've worked so hard to build,(sic).
"It is incredibly painful that what I thought would be a beautiful new normal for the rest of my life with the love of my life is no longer what will happen."
"You are now audience to what has sadly become a breakup between two people laced by defamation, false but very serious accusations and interference from supposedly close and reliable sources. (sic)"
He admitted that they had had an altercation, and dismissed several allegations made. He called it a smear campaign and confirmed he had taken legal action.
Mohale also issued a statement. He clearly felt some remorse that intimate details of their marriage were exposed and said it was never his intention to have them aired or to harm his soon-to-be ex-husband’s image.
Of course, what’s done is done.
And aside from Mohale’s recent umbrage at suggestions that he take his estranged husband to the new Sanctuary Mandela Hotel, his career is faring better than Somizi’s. He was nominated for Male Personality of the Year at Africa Choice Awards.
At the end of the day, no one knows what went on behind closed doors. And while Somizi, who has been indulging in retail therapy at Gucci, and Mohale figure out their divorce settlement, there is a lesson to be learnt here.
Couples grow apart. In a situation like this, one person’s fame rubbed off on the other.
But that’s what happens when you open your heart to someone, you open that door to exposure, too. As the saying goes, all is fair in love and war.
If nothing else, the story of Somizi and Mohale can be a cautionary tale for future unions. Love doesn’t have to be blind.