WATCH | What you need to know about 'The Bachelorette SA', Qiniso van Damme

Don't call her 'Q' or 'Nay-Nay'

17 July 2020 - 10:14 By Unathi Nkanjeni

After two successful seasons of The Bachelor SA, a gender-reversed spin-off of the show is set to air early next year.

The Bachelorette SA is coming, and the first bachelorette will be The Bachelor SA's season 2 fan favourite, Qiniso Van Damme.

Here is what you need to know about the leading lady.

Fan favourite

M-Net’s head of publicity, Lani Lombard, announced earlier this week that Van Damme would be the leading lady of the show with filming expected to start later this year.

“Qiniso has been a fan favourite right from the start, and we know for sure she will ignite all the passion and excitement that The Bachelorette franchise is renowned for worldwide,” said Lombard.

“Our Queen Qiniso is quirky, sassy, sexy, smart, bold, bubbly, kind, confident, dynamic, in touch with her emotions and true to herself — the type of woman a diverse range of successful men would find irresistible. The timing couldn't be better. She has reached a point in her life where she is looking for someone to settle down with.”

First black leading lady

The model, actress and masters degree student from the University of Cape Town will be the country's first black bachelorette to land the leading role.

Van Damme was born to a Belgian father and South African mother in 1993, and is looking for someone who is “proud to be South African”. 

“I’m really open to meeting all kinds of handsome hunks with beautiful personalities who think I might be their gal. I want someone who isn’t afraid to be themselves, is a citizen of the world, proud to be South African, and willing to grow with me.

“If he can make me laugh, he will definitely score extra points. Being tall would be a bonus. But c’mon guys, surprise me. Don’t be afraid, as long as you’re caring, kind and honest and think we’re a potential match, I want to meet you and get to know you,” she said.

Don't call her 'Q' or 'Nay-Nay'

The 27-year-old hates it when people call her just “Q” or any easy nickname.

Earlier this year, Van Damme made headlines when she corrected other contestants who preferred calling her “Q” because her name was “hard to pronounce”. 

“My name is the easiest. We live in SA. It’s Qiniso,” she told contestants who asked “can’t we just call you Nay-Nay or Nene”.

DA MP is her sister

She also happens to be the younger sister of Phumzile Van Damme, the DA's shadow communications minister and a member of parliament.

However, the older sister doesn't like it when people call her “Phumzile Van Damme’s sister”.  

“She is her own person. Remember her name for her star is rising and bright it shall shine,” she told her followers on Twitter.

Speaking about their sisterly bond, the bachelorette told Sowetan in February they are “similar in the most intimate of ways”. 

“We are actual goofballs. We love to play around, sing and dance together,” Qiniso said. “We live our own lives and have followed our own career paths. We are individuals.

“Being sisters with Phumzile does come with pressure, the same pressure that being my mother’s daughter comes with—to be nothing but great, to never stop working towards my goals and to always be a force in my own right.”