After two Islanders were dumped during the last episode of Love Island SA, Rochelle van Vuuren and Erin Japhta opened up to The South African on their different journeys and why they entered the show in the first place.
It is said that the two are the latest islanders to be dumped after Sarah Fischer exited the show in Tuesday night’s episode (16 March), following Jay Freemantle and Durang Atembe. Islander Kaige Bertasso chose to exit the villa of his own volition, stating that it was affecting his mental health.
Van Vuuren, a 23-year-old digital creator from Pretoria said that the experience was everything she could’ve asked for and more – even though she was dumped due to a recoupling in Friday night’s episode (19 March).
“I made lifelong friendships and truly learnt so much about myself,” she explained. “Although the public did not get to see my romantic connection in-depth, I am so proud of the way I carried myself and the person I was on the show. At times it was a bit challenging when there was so much drama going on around me, but the challenges and games and memories made up for everything. I laughed more in those three weeks than I did the entire year!”
Van Vuuren says she would have wanted to redo the day she pulled a bit away from Jay Freemantle, but in the end, she made some amazing friendships – especially with Jay, Kaige Bertasso and Asad Boomgaard.
“Our friendship was so deep and fun that each day, us four would find ourselves gravitating towards each other. We were always laughing and making the dumbest jokes. Those three boys truly protected me so much and for that, I’ll always be grateful to them. I can’t wait to see them all on the outside and have a wild reunion!”
She says she entered the show to have an adventure and potentially find somebody that would be able to make it out of the villa with her and enjoy life on the outside together.
“I was so excited to meet a bunch of new people and embark on this once in a lifetime opportunity and I can confidently say I found that I am so grateful for the people I met and the memories we made inside the villa. I cannot wait to make more on the outside.”
Meanwhile, Japhta, the 22-year-old Cape Town marketing student who studies in Los Angeles, said that has no regrets when it comes to her experience in the villa.
She specifically highlighted her relationship with Thimna Shooto.
“A highlight for me in the villa would definitely be connecting with Thimna on such a deep and sisterly level. We shared a really special moment together on the second night where she gave me one of her most valued rings and we cried together thinking how insane of a friendship we’d made in such a short period of time.”
She also says that if one should enter in the future, you really need to have a strong backbone.
“Don’t feed into the drama and gossip of the villa and most of all stay true to who you are, trusting that you’ll make the best decision for you and your journey.”
She also said she will never forget her experience on the show.
“My experience on Love Island is one I will never forget with all the amazing friendships I made and the life lessons I learnt. I entered Love Island for an experience, using the opportunity for personal development and obviously, the ultimate goal was to leave with someone that I could build an amazing connection with.”