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Yearning to be loved unconditionally? Get yourself a pet unleashes true love with The Bachelor SA in one of a kind journey that puts the meaning of true love in the spotlight

Every Thursday of the week – starting this Valentine’s Day (February 14) onwards – M-Net viewers will be taken into a captivating journey as South Africa’s most eligible bachelor, former Sharks rugby player, model and entrepreneur, Lee Thompson, go on a search to find his perfect match in SA’s very first edition of the worldwide reality show phenomenon, The Bachelor.

The 30 year old Capetonian will embark on a dating adventure with a bevy of stunning local ladies, 24 in total, from different backgrounds to ultimately find that special someone with whom he wants to settle down, start a family and create a warm and loving home.

But how can you imagine this dreamy picture without the snuggles and cuddles of a loyal pooch or cutie-pie cat, especially when things appear not so rosy any longer? South Africa’s leading pet insurance provider, has signed up as the mainline sponsor for The Bachelor South Africa, to walk side by side with Thompson as he searches for his soulmate. 

“ is extremely proud to play matchmaker and put true love in the spotlight,” managing director, David Roache said, adding: “This for us is the ideal opportunity to remind pet owners about the responsibilities of looking after their furry friends and to raise awareness of the plight of all those homeless ones who are in desperate need of affection and a caring home.”

A slew of shows to satisfy a variety of tastes

Roache was among a panel of speakers during a recent Q&A press session at the Johannesburg’ Gold Reef City Casino, hosted by M-Net (DStv 101).

During the event, a series of the channel’s upcoming productions was unveiled, including the third season of The Voice South Africa, which premieres tomorrow (February 03).

Finding The One (currently in the works), as well as the announcement of M-Net Movie Epic pop-up channel (running from March 22 to April 14) on DStv channel 109 were among other new shows unveiled.

However, that the The Bachelor continues to be a hit world-wide comes as no surprise given the multitudes of women who are willing to go through any lengths to find true love. And so is the involvement of as the title sponsor for the South African debut of The Bachelor.

“We know that the international Bachelor series has been a huge hit for over 10 years now and we expect the reception not to be different with the South African version,” Roache explained.

“Research also tell us that a large portion of the audience is going to watch the show or actually animal lovers. There’s a huge relevance for us there already in terms of promoting our brand and most importantly, educating the people about animal related issues.”

He added: “We knew that the Bachelor is about finding true love, and that’s when we decided to start the “Unconditional Love” campaign. And really what that is about is just promoting the adoption of animals.” 

Lee Thompson, South Africa’s most eligible bachelor on a search for this soulmate

Love that knows no boundaries

While it’s no secret that the potential bachelor has to be good looking, and smart with a good history of past romantic liaisons and most importantly is someone known to treat women well, the much awaited premiere of The Bachelor SA brings not only hope to a bunch of female singletons – with equally good creditials to match – looking for love.

Here’s how will bring the much needed twist to the already familiar story-line. “The wonderful thing about pets is that they do give you unconditional love. It doesn’t matter if you are tall, short, black or white, it cuts above the racial and language barriers. Weather you are good looking or not, they really know how to give you unconditional love. And we thought that it is our responsibility as “dotsure” to use this awesome platform to educate the public about the importance of adoption of animals.”

As for the perception that there isn’t that many people looking to adopt animals, nor are there enough shelters that provide for such a service, he totally disgree, stating: “The truth is there are lots of shelters full of animals looking for loving homes. And the problem is not that there’s a shortage of people that want to adopt animals. Unfortunately it’s often about where the shelters are located, they are not often in the best areas.

“Also they often don’t have a lot of money to promote themselves, and that’s where we come in as an insurance company to connect the dots. So our campaign is going to be running throughout the flighting of The Bachelor SA series. Essentially, it’s going to be about promoting some awesome animals that are available for adoption and hopefully there’ll be some people whose hearts get captivated by these amazing animals.”

To those looking to understand the  role pets play in satisfying human needs for companionship, unconditional love and affection, not to mention the kind of attachment humans have to their pets – be it dogs or cats – which is often as strong as their attachments to their children and spouses, Thompson had this to say:  “As I said before, the main reason I’m here is to find my soulmate, my life  partner and eventually start a family.

“So having kids is one of my biggest dreams in life – as to how many will I have, depends on how many I can afford. See I’ve always loved animals, the same way I’ve loved kids and I look foward to having this type of a family lifestyle one day. That’s the true one reason I decided to accept the offer to be the bachelor, and I cant wait to be a dad one day, I really can’t.” 

Tankiso Komane
Tankiso Komane
A Tshwane University of Technology journalism graduate, Tankiso Komane has a vast experience in print & broadcast media business and has worked for some of the country’s biggest daily newspapers, including The Sowetan, The Citizen, The Times, and The New Age. Through her varied work as a journalist, notably as a copywriter for SABC1 (On-Air promotions) and as a publicist for Onyx Communications, she has developed an in-depth understanding of the nature of the media business and how to use it for the purpose of exposure. Her expertise in journalism across various disciplines, coupled with a good reputation, has laid the foundation of a new kind "trust in Journalism" as the media ecosystem continues to digitally evolve.
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