Big congratulations are in order for South Africa's leading TV weatherman, Derek van Dam (31) who just got engaged to his girlfriend, Tara Hossack (29), asking her to marry him after they jointly completed the grueling 89th Comrades Marathon in Durban.
e.tv's hunky chief meteorologist who've become a beloved South African TV personality the past six years with his American accent and dedication to pronounce difficult South African place names during weather forecasts, proposed to his girlfriend after they finished the 90km run.
The couple who've been together for over two years surf and run together and also love to travel. "I'm just looking forward to waking up next to the woman that I love, every day for the rest of my life," says Derek van Dam.
He knew he wanted to pop the big question after the Comrades Marathon and planned to ask Tara to marry him when they've reached the finish line.
"This is the second time we've run this race together. It really defines who we are as a couple; always pushing the boundaries of our lives and what's possible in a relationship".
"Comrades is really the culmination of a year's worth of training for us. The early mornings and the endless weekends dedicated to running, have all come down to this particular day. I chose this day because of its significance for both of us personally and as a couple," says Derek van Dam.
"Tara has boundless energy and charisma. She is unique because her heart truly guides her decisions in life. She's passionate, caring, adventurous and hugely athletic. I love her because of her spirituality, her smile, her love for animals and her never-ending willpower and strength. Did I mention she's an incredible surfer?"
"Living together will be a great new adventure for us," says Derek van Dam. "She's got so many clothes, I have no idea where we are going to put it all! Ha!"
Derek van Dam's wife to be is originally from George but moved to Cape Town when she was 6. She's an independent producer and freelance journalist and is currently considering pursuing her masters in mass communication and journalism.
"We both love to travel. And when I say travel, I mean 'drop us off in the middle of nowhere and see what happens' kind of travel. So yes, you could say we both love adventure too".
In turn, South African TV viewers have come to love Derek van Dam, not just for his weather presenting professionalism but his visits to schools and work in communities across South Africa as well as across borders into Southern Africa.
"I love this place with all my heart," he says about South Africa. "It has defined who I am and who I've become as an individual".
"I cherish the people of South Africa most because of their overwhelming acceptance towards me on their TV screens for the past 6 years. Being welcomed into someone's living room every night, especially as a foreigner, is a massive privilege".
"It also speaks volumes to how far this country has progressed post-apartheid. It has been my greatest honour living and working in this vibrant country, while doing my part - although small - to help it develop and mold into something special".
"South Africa is a place that I will forever call home, regardless of where I am living," says Derek van Dam.