Exploring love in all forms this Valentine’s Day

Words + Concept: Talya Galasko | Photography: Bevan Davis | Styling: Gabrielle Kannemeyer | Film: Robin Adams + Jake Levy + Stephen du Plessis

The Way of Us caught up with the individuals behind our recent Valentine’s Day campaign to capture their stories. Touching on the power of friendship, young love, self-love and strength in the face of discrimination, the Make Love series speaks to the idea that love is constructed differently by every individual – what we make of love and how we assemble it is unique.


As they sing and dance enthusiastically down Wale Street on an early Saturday morning, it becomes clear that 'love at first sight' is the story being told here. Having met six years ago, Aaron and Koko recently got engaged ( a tale involving a stranger and impromptu tissue-paper rings) after making up and breaking up and learning that they belong together. While they make things seem so effortless from the outside, as we spend more time with them it becomes obvious that simply being who they are, has made love difficult for them.


We chat to Kayleigh and Seth while moving across the city using various forms of public transport. Seth quickly describes his relationship with Kayleigh as something of the long-distance sort, with both 19-years-olds and living on opposite sides of the city. Despite this geographical hurdle, the couple is always prepared to make the effort, with modern technology coming to the rescue when public transport lets them down. The pair reminds us what it’s like to fall in love for the first time.


Palesa Kgasane, the founder of Mzansi Moodboard speaks about the idea of self-love, and the obstacles it presents in a society where all the parts that make her her have been discriminated against historically. We live in a world where who we need to be and who we are allowed to love is dictated to us. Existing somewhere in the middle, Palesa shares with us her struggle toward self-acceptance.


Representing young, black, queer voices through sound and vision, FAKA is the creative duo of Desire Marea and Fela Gucci. We meet them out on a Friday night, dressed in drag, making themselves visible in a world that often makes it unsafe for them to be so. Describing their friendship as something akin to being spirit twins, Fela and Desire let us capture their love as a unique bond, as connection and as unity in the face of adversity.