Surrounded by red plastic chairs, a man in a KFC branch in South Africa bends down on one knee. The crowd around him claps and cheers as he slides a ring onto his partner’s left hand. The woman, who is seated alongside a portion of golden fries, wipes away tears of joy as she perhaps mentally ticks becoming engaged off her bucket list.
There began South Africa’s very own fast-food fairy tale.
A video of the KFC proposal was taken and shared to social media by a surprised observer, identified by KFC as Kateka Malobola. His impromptu recording has since been viewed over 1.4 million times on Twitter. On Thursday KFC publicly thanked Malobola for “capturing the beautiful moment” and sharing it with the world. Then it appealed for help finding the couple.
With a little help from two viral hashtags: #KFCProposal and #KFCWedding, the couple were soon identified as Bhut’ Hector and Nonhlanhla.
With almost 300,000 tweets about the happy incident, South Africans united in their efforts to give the newly engaged couple the best wedding ever. While some strangers offered to help design wedding invites, others said they would make traditional wedding outfits for the pair.
A spreadsheet was even created to keep track of the Internet’s collective acts of kindness. On the list? Tents, sheep and formal shoes.
Then the brands got involved, offering free transportation, food and drink for the couple’s big day and their upcoming honeymoon.
“These honeymoon destinations look far. Someone needs to drive them there. We got you," tweeted South Africa’s official Audi account.
“Just like your chicken and our Coke® are the perfect pair, and we’re all for bringing people together. The soft drinks for the wedding are on us!” tweeted Coca Cola South Africa.
Aware that wedding planning can be somewhat stressful, Sony Movies took to Twitter on Friday to offer the couple movie tickets and popcorn to help them unwind.
On Friday, Malobola shared another video in which he said he was feeling “very teary” and provided more details about the proposal. “I took the video and sent it to a group that I’ve got on my WhatsApp to say ‘check this out’ and I put it on Facebook and put it on Instagram and then boom! The whole country’s got a wedding!” he said.
“The couple’s pretty much covered when it comes to the wedding costs from what I’m seeing,” he added. “just from a single video.”
Speaking of the groom-to-be, Malobola said “I’m not as brave as he is,” while describing the scene he witnessed as “genuine love.”
On Friday, KFC South Africa said it would be meeting with the couple and vowed to keep people posted on any developments. “South Africa, you guys are amazing!” the restaurant tweeted.
KFC could not immediately be reached for comment.