A simple and delicate beauty emanates from the streets of Johannesburg. It’s a city still rising from the ashes of the slow burn of a recently defunct apartheid, still lingering on it’s sidewalks in the fragile hours of the early morning.

South Africa, at it’s surface, is a beauty of a country whose people have overcome a lot. Deeper within, there are people of immense beauty to be discovered. That was the case for Mariaan and Werner, two Afrikaans and English—speaking soulmates. Their love gushed through the streets of Pretoria, out of the continent and all the way back to my plane trip home. These were two people who had so much love for each other and everyone around them.

In the morning, as a hot African sun rose over the dusty plain, Mariaan slipped on her dress. She cried joyful tears alongside her mother and bridesmaids in anticipation of family, vows and first kisses. In the afternoon, Werner welcomed the guests on his way to the top of the aisle where he would meet his bride. As he hugged close friends and greeted family members all too long unseen, you could tell that all he had on his mind was seeing Mariaan. She was his calm, as all partners should be.

Of all the incredible things I witnessed in Africa, none of them come close to the incredible power of love that Mariaan and Werner share. Click play on the song below, grab some brandy (like a true Afrikaaners) and scroll through their story.

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