Quinton Masina and Kayleigh Schwark are best known, together, as a couple with a lot of drama from the first season of the Netflix hit Young, Famous & African.
We meet this dynamic pair for the shoot at the Houghton Hotel, in casual matching lounge wear, Kayleigh in orange and Quinton in blue. It is after sitting down with the two, they are much more normal than you’d think.
So normal that they do regular couple things like binge on series and go on movie date nights. Now if that isn’t ‘couple goals’, what is? They even look alike with their beautifully sculptured noses, we love to see it.
Quinton, also known as Naked DJ, is someone many know for his advice on relationships as he dishes it out daily on urban radio station Metro FM. His segment Ask A Man is one of the most popular shows in the country.
We then wonder what it’s like navigating his own relationship! He admits it comes with its own risks.
“It’s like bungee jumping, it’s tricky but it is worth it in the end,” says Quinton, describing the couple’s love for one another.
As Kayleigh puts it: “There are a lot of ups and a few downs but we always know we will catch each other at the end of the day.”
From what we have watched on the reality series, it’s important to know how exactly they resolve conflict.
“We have been seeing each other for three years now. In the beginning it was quite difficult but with the growth of our relationship we made a pact that we don’t go to bed angry and we sort out conflict as soon as possible.”
While Kayleigh still questions Quinton’s communication skills, she is happy with the way in which they resolve things -much quicker.
They have definitely grown up more, they add.
The couple ended up in therapy to help them communicate a lot better and it has helped. There is a visible difference in how they communicate with each other.
“Quinton used to have a wall up and was very guarded which was frustrating for me,” says Kayleigh.
And for Quinton, it was Kayleigh’s lack of trust that kept him annoyed.
“Now we talk all the time. We gossip about the good and the bad stuff and about everyone,”
Quinton adds that the couple being able to talk about how other people are ‘relationshiping’ has shown them just how good their own relationship is.
“You really realise, yours is not that bad,” he jokes.
What’s a relationship without the spice? For the lovebirds trying new things and being spontaneous helps.
The spontaneity is more a Kayleigh thing than a Quinton thing, however.
“I am more of the boring one in the relationship. Kayleigh never used to watch TV for instance. Now we binge on series together. I suffer from social anxiety so we binge at home and do the whole slushie and popcorn thing together. The craziest thing about us is what we do together keeps us exciting while to others it may seem boring.”
Quinton jokes about Kayleigh going through his DM’s to keep things extra spicy but Kayleigh, like many other women, refutes the claim.
“I want peace in my life! In the past I didn’t want peace that’s why I would go through your phone,” she chuckles, explaining that it was a difficult period when she just could not trust someone who was closed off all the time. But now life is far better for them.
“We are best friends before anything. We started out as friends and by accident we got into a relationship,” says Quinton.
Accident? What was his intention when asking Kayleigh out in the first place?
“My heart had been broken a couple of times and I also hurt a few people. At that moment I wasn’t looking for something.I was fighting it.”
After being friends for a while, the two decided to take their friendship to the next level and the rest is history.
Acts of service and words of affirmation are two of their love languages.
“When he has me upset or knows he is wrong he will bring me my favourite food or hold me and touch my feet. We always cuddle. Even when we aren’t talking and have our backs to each other we make sure to connect.
I am more of a words of affirmation person. I apologise when I am wrong. I like to be told I am beautiful, I am proud of you. He likes to show me and I decipher that.”
The couple met through a mutual friend and after liking ‘all’ of Kayleigh’s pictures on Instagram, Quinton asked her out for a smoothie and a run.
“He was very smooth about it but we haven’t gone for that run yet but our relationship has had a good run so far,” laughs Kayleigh.
The couple’s relationship has been viewed on TV and has had a fair amount of opinions thrown at them. This is the territory that comes with having a ‘public’ relationship so to speak but one thing they can share is that it is all real unlike many social media relationships.
“People on social media show their happy pictures while they are hurting inside. Clearly no one is crying on Instagram. You see happy pictures then two weeks later people are getting divorced,” says Quinton.
“Social media is not real, it is a facade of reality. People who post aren’t necessarily unhappy. You can keep your life private but don’t keep your people a secret,” says Kayleigh.
Quinton quips in: “Relationships are a gamble. It doesn’t matter how you meet or whether you put your relationship out there…love is a gamble and we all hope the gamble is worth it.”
Young, African and Famous has shot the stars of the show, which include personalities from across the African continent, to international stardom with commentary from entertainment channels all over the globe.
What led the couple to agree to be on the show.
While Quinton is used to the limelight through his popular family background, music and radio shows. For Kayleigh it was a bit of a harder task.
“I come from a corporate background so it was difficult for me to adapt. I am still learning to adapt.”
“It was a natural progression for me,” says Quinton,”but we learn together everyday.”
And what is it that they have learnt about themselves through each other?
Kayleigh feels patience has become a strong personality trait for her.
“I have an amazing but hard headed man. I have navigated how to decipher him and tha has made me more softer and empathetic.”
Quinton has learnt to stick it out.
“I don’t throw the baby out with the water anymore.When you love someone you learn to work it out and stick it out.”
As we have seen on the show, it is not always roses and rainbows but the couple has managed to work through their pet peeves like talking over each other and always having a response waiting during arguments.
“At the end of the day we are learning to love and respect each other.”
The three things that are most important in a relationship?
“Food, sex and shelter,” states Quinton matter-of-factly with a serious chuckle.
When it comes to style, Kayleigh knows how to give her tomboy style the edge while Quinton prefers to be more experimental yet simple with his looks.
He is currently working on an album called Naked in Africa.
“It features some artists from around the continent- Malawi, Cameroon, DRC, Tanzania – it is about my love for the African continent and celebrating and showing that. The album will be coming out at the beginning of July.”
“Everything he is working on right now is his favourite song, he is always playing his music,” adds Kayleigh.
Her current favourite is the hit song Rush by Nigerian singer Ayra Starr.
What makes the couple happy?
“Love, peace, appreciation and knowing there is someone who cares for me and is truthful and honest with me even when it is tough…that’s what makes me happy,” says Kayleigh.
“For me it is family more than anything. Kayleigh is close with my family and my son and I love that it is not just me that is receiving the love but my family as well,” says Quinton.
Kayleigh is always the first to apologise while Quinton is the neatest between the two. While Kayleigh is outgoing and eats more, Quinton is the big spender (who spends it all on Kayleigh of course).
Kayleigh is 100% sure it was Quinton who said I love you first.
While we all know reality TV isn’t always real and is packaged for us to watch for entertainment value, the couple says this season of Young African and Famous will blow fans of the show away.
Quinton: “We are all growing and there will be drama but friction means growth.”
Kayleigh: “It’s nice to have the platform to show what Africa is, not just the propaganda and cliches you read in the papers. It is a dope journey!”
Stream Young, Famous & African now on Netflix.
Cover stars: Kayleigh Schwark & Quinton
Editor-in-Chief & Producer: Bonnie Meslane
Photographer: Austin Malema of RTC Studios
Creative Director: Lesego Kgosimolao
Stylists: Advice by KgosiLesego
Wardrobe assistants: Bongiwe Masina & Iseng Ntshabele
Makeup: Caroline Greeff
Hair: Innocent Gama @laid_by_lolo
Photography team: RTC Studios
Photography Assistant: Tshepo ZItha
Lighting: Henry King
Special thank you to The Houghton Hotel for their hospitality.