Thimna and Libho, winners and favourites of “Love Island SA”, said that it is scary for them to consider that they almost didn’t end up together at one point.
Thimna Shooto and Libhongo-Lethu “Libho” Geza spoke about their journey after having time to soak in their win during Sunday night’s finale of M-Net’s popular reality dating series.
The Eastern Cape couple – better known as “Limna” – became the winners after garnering the most viewer votes with over 53% in vote share, from a total of over 1.6 million votes received in the finale round.
As part of their win, they take home the whopping R1 million cash prize, which the couple opted to split.
In second place from the remaining final couples are Millie Terblanche and Asad Boomgaard with over 30% in vote share, followed by Mischka Najar and Xavier Haupt with over 12%, and Ross Marshall and Tania Kera in fourth place with just over 2% in vote share.
“We’re very thankful for the public’s faith in us, we recognise that it could not have been easy to put in the effort to vote for complete strangers and rally behind them,” the couple said.
“We feel a lot of gratitude about winning the first ever season of Love Island SA.”
The said that given the mammoth journey they’ve been on, seeing what they’ve built together, they wouldn't have done anything differently inside the villa.
The pair almost didn't get end up together as there was a moment when things could have gone differently, and Libho could have picked another contestant, Erin Japhta, when he first entered.
Talking about that period, they said: “We think it’s a scary thought that we may have given up on the opportunity to be Limna”.
Libho added: “She (Erin) was a factor, especially because I had had reservations about Thimna’s feelings for me as she took her time to show me the parts about her that I like.
“My brain chose Erin but my gut chose Thimna, and I’m so glad that I went with my gut.”
Viewers of the show also know that Thimna went through her fair share of challenges prior to the love triangle, when she was first paired up with Durang Atembe.
It was much after that when viewers rallied behind her and showed her love. When looking back, she didn’t mince words on why exactly that pairing bombed.
“It didn’t work out because Durang wasn’t open to dealing with certain things about himself that I felt he needed to work on.”
Talking about viewer support, she added: “It always feels comforting when people value your well-being and feel the need to protect you.”
Besides Limna, there was another relationship that Libho was a part of who viewers loved to watch: his bond with Chris Mouton.
The two had entered the villa together and were often there to support one another and offer sage advise.
However, after leaving the villa, Chris had felt betrayed as his exit occurred when Libho had the deciding vote between saving Chris or Xavier – who had just started seeing Mischka.
After being dumped from the villa, Chris said he was disappointed that his villa bestie had dropped him when he needed him most.
“I feel disappointed that when it mattered most, Libho dropped me and that I left just as I found a connection after trying so hard – but we (Kitty) left together, so that's a positive. However, I believe we had the possibility to win.”
After leaving the villa, Kitty and Chris broke up.
Libho said that this news confused him because it had appeared as if everything was fine when Chris left.
“Very confusing for me, because when Chris was leaving he understood my decision and that it was purely based on which couple deserved to continue their journey in the villa,” he said.
The winners added that they feel the connections they made were legitimate, especially the friendships, as they “are connections we feel will last a lifetime”.
The love birds added that while some might have been playing Strategy Island, they were quite oblivious to certain strategies.
“In our experience we could not have found a better love.”
Their priorities will be on trying to move in together and putting themselves out there, given that they’ve been so well-received by the public.
And as for how they will be spending the prize money?
“The prize adds to the foundations we've built to make our relationship easier. Such as our friendship foundation, romantic foundation and now the prize comes as a financial foundation.”
While the Islanders’ pursuit for love in the villa is now over, viewers can still watch “Love Island SA” on DStv Catch-Up until May 10.