This week we sat down with one of Mzansi’s cutest couples on the scene right now, Simoné and Andries Pretorius, for a dual-interview like no other!
We’ve been following Simoné and Andries’ romance for some time. Simoné, who many recognise from her work on soapies such as 7de Laan (where she played the popular Nadia) and films such as the wildly successful Vir die Voels (where she played Irma Humpel), has proven to be one of Mzansi’s most exciting on-screen talents.
Her hubby Andries (also known by his industry name, Levi) is never far away from the action, playing an active role in her career while building his own as an exciting and innovative entrepreneur with fresh ideas on how to shake up the South African real estate industry using prop-tech. He also founded www.webuyprop.com/, a platform which has revolutionised the property market.
In between all that, they are a loving and romantic couple with a bundle of joy on the way and we couldn’t wait to find out more about their love, their life and the work they do during this one-of-a-kind interview. Grab a snack for this one!
Simoné and Andries on making marriage work
2020 – How did you survive?
It’s been a particularly difficult year for couples! How have you both kept your marriage healthy and strong during lockdown?
A: It helps being married to someone you like, being married to your best friend. We’ve been almost married for two years now and it’s going well.
S: I don’t even want to say we’re in our honeymoon phase because we’ve been together for a long time. I think it helps that we both keep busy with our own things as well, so we are not reliant or dependant on one another. We also voice our needs. Communication in terms of your needs was so vital in that time.
A: But I think we will stay in our honeymoon phase forever! [laughs] I think another big thing is that we both come from divorce families so we both trying to become whole before we become married.
How Did Andries Propose?
It’s been 2 years since Andries proposed (we wrote about it too!). Please take us back to that special day and if you don’t mind sharing how Andries popped the question?
S: Andries took me to Akabeko Boutique Hotel which is a 5-star hotel in Dullstroom [Mpumalanga] and it was all a big secret. Funnily, we had a fall out the Sunday before this because I was starting to get impatient. We got there on the Friday, the next morning we had brunch where Andries started asking all kinds of deep questions. Then he said “let’s go for a walk” where he then prayed over me before he got down on one knee and popped the question. It was beautiful and just so romantic!
What have you both learned about each other since then?
A: I’ve learned that Simoné loves spending time at home, alone, with a book, on our big comfy puff chair. She is a bit of an introvert and needs that time sometimes.
S: I have learned that it’s crucial to keep Andries well fed and give him enough sleep! Otherwise… [giggles]
What are some of the ingredients to a healthy and happy marriage?
S: I think the most important thing I have learned in marriage is to not sweat the small stuff. The early things that bothered me I realised can build up if you let them get to you. Don’t take them too seriously.
A: From my side there’s a saying that goes ‘What you focus on expands’ and that’s been a huge thing that I’ve learned. I can either focus on my partner’s strengths, and all the things she’s good at, or the one thing she’s not good at. And that for me is a huge lesson.
A hard-working power couple!
How would you describe what your partner does for a living?
A: So Simoné gets paid to play other people for a living! [Simoné: that sums it up! I get paid to not be myself]
S: And Andries gets paid to have coffee with people! To convert agents, make houses, sell houses, build houses – houses houses houses! And Prop-Tech somewhere in the mix!
How have each of your jobs been affected by the pandemic? What can’t you do that you used to be able to do?
S: The entertainment industry came to a halt and a lot of productions were delayed due to the pandemic. A lot of things then changed, like can you write a script for theatre if theatre might not be here in a few years time?
A: I think in terms of the Real Estate space the biggest impact was that the deeds office was closed for a long time during lockdown. So we couldn’t help people buy and sell their properties at that time. But one opportunity that came from that was that we were able to conduct online training for a lot of agents, recruiting them online and we started building online Prop-Tech platforms and we are changing that game.
A: Well you are a brand! So it’s great to see yourself that way. I agree it’s refreshing to have a partner in a different industry. And I think it’s nice to encourage one another.
If you had to trade jobs for a week – who would get tired first?
S: Definitely me! Without a doubt! I just don’t think I could do anything else other than the career I am in. Also, Andries has to deal with people a lot. I don’t have that capacity I would burn out, I have a lot of respect for his career.
Lastly, what do you both hope to accomplish in your respective careers?
S; I always wanted to be an actress, but I developed a love for writing, directing and producing. The idea of becoming multi-faceted behind and in front of the camera is my goal.
A: From my side it would be to change the way people buy and sell real estate in South Africa. And leveraging technology to do that. I want to completely change the game in South Africa, then empower people to create wealth through real estate. I would just like to be known for creating jobs and disrupting industries. I’m passionate about making things work, getting them more efficient, making them operate quicker, I’m not a huge fan of old traditional models. Just like we have done with www.webuyprop.com/, I would love to create platforms that leave a legacy in the industry.
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