Welcome to the world of Dene Botha – surfer, entrepreneur, actor, model, MC, event commentator, TV presenter, sports coach, Guinness World Record holder, party-animal and tireless thrill seeker.
Whether its surfing the perfect points of Morocco or snowboarding in Aspen, paragliding in Spain or dangling from the world’s highest bungee jump here in SA, surf coaching in Norway or attending a trance-parties in Zambia and Portugal, Dene is always up for an adventure.
Give him the microphone and he’s interviewing the country’s best entertainers, or MC’ing events such as ‘Peroni Cafe’, ’Springtide Beach Festival’, ’Sports Illustrated Lingerie launch party’ and even heading up the MC’ing at ‘Rocking the Daisies 2011′ .
The son of an international surfing promoter and an award-winning actress, he was surfing at five and acting in professional productions, including Shakespeare, at seven. Bailing school at 15, Dene worked as a waiter and model while running hugely popular parties. Soon earning more than his teachers, he enjoyed several stints in England, Europe and the USA before he turned 20.
Date of birth: 16 Feb 82
Home Town: Kommetjie in the Dirty South (Cape Town)
Top Places to Ride: Anywhere along the SA coastline (Surfboard), Sea Point promenade (Sector 9), in and around CT CBD (Bicycle), my bed (?)
Your Dirty Habits: Surfing, Sector 9’ing, SUP’ing, hiking, running, cycling (as a mode of transport though – I’m NOT one of those leotard wearing speed-bumps) Speaking my mind.
DH: You are part of the new board culture evolving, people with an open minds who ride any board that suits the conditions of the day or your mood. Has your life changed since you added skateboards & SUP’s to your quiver?
DB: Absolutely, it open up new options for exploring your inner fun-maker / child. It’s all about the fun and the energy, with more equipment you have more choices… It’s about mixing it up. The problem is when you travel or go or a road trip, haha, you need a truck to take all your toys. Actually wait, that’s it! I’m getting a truck.
DH: You get up to some interesting things in a day, surfing, skating, parties, etc. give us a rundown of your average day?
DB: Insomnia usually takes it’s toll rather early, coffee and emails while planning the day ahead and waiting for the sun. Run, box, surf, SUP, swim (depending on conditions), scoff down some breakie, plug-in my Skullcandy‘s, jump on the bike and head into town. From there it’s a series of phone calls, emails, meetings, admin, castings, shit loads of coffee, dodging cars and taxis, and missioning around… Usually plan the day around the swell so will try get in the ocean at some stage, otherwise an evening Sector / SUP session, OR, you’ll find me at a Rafikis… Celebrating SOMETHING.
DH: You’ve been spending a lot of time behind the mic these days, how does that fit into your lifestyle?
DB: Give me the mic baby! Hehe… I love it. Clearly. “Mommy-dearest” threw me onto the stage when I was just a pup, it’s all been down-hill since then, acting and performing, and now MC’ing and commentating various event. It’s mad fun! Started with surfing events for Billabong, then other brands, then music festivals, then hosting fund-raisers, to events such as the Sports Illustrated Swimwear party, Cosmo Lingerie (Eat your heart out lads) and now on to rather large gigs like ClubvibeSA at the CTICC, The Wailers at Trinity, @ Door Cinema Club with 5Gum Experience etc. Don’t get me wrong, it can be pretty daunting (I used to lecture “Stiffs” on the basics of trade foreign exchange in London – RATHER intimidating), BUT there is no greater reward than standing in front of 10 / 12 / 15 000 people like at Rocking the Daisies and controlling the crowd – Getting that energy flowing… Oh man, it gives me shivers just thinking about it. Can’t WAIT for this year’s event! 4-7 October – Make plans around it. Simple
DH: Your dad, Paul Botha has had a huge involvement in SA surfing from the start. When did he get you on a surfboard for the 1st time and how much influence has surfing had on your life.
DB: My father is “Mr Surfing SA”… He’s the man! Best friend, business partner, father and hero… He’s done it all. You might say I’m following in my parents footsteps, one ‘stage’, and one ‘surfing’. My Pops was pushing me into waves at Fish Hoek (DIRTY South) when I was five, I got bitten by the surfing bug then and have never looked back. It’s a way on life, thinking, feeling and doing… We’re different people us ‘Board riders’, and I’m proud to be a part of the clan. Did the competition side of things for a while, until a serious of injuries dictated that I wouldn’t ‘Turn pro’… To be honest, I was more interested in organising the events then competing in them anyway (Yeah, well that’s what I tell people anyway 😉 )
DH: You are involved in a lot of fundraisers and charity events, tell us a bit about some of the projects you are involved in?
DB: Rhinos, Global Warming and Feeding the Hungry I suppose are the things closest to the heart and with which I have been working. We have the most beautiful country here, and we need to look after it. Charity events coming up are the BOS Earthwave Beach Festival 29 & 30 September – Muizenberg (Guinness World Record Attempt for the “Most Surfers on a Wave”, creating awareness for Global Warming), Skydive for Rhinos 21 – 23 September in Robertson (Trying to raise money for our ‘Horny’ friends), jumping NAKED to try raise my R10 000 – Don’t event ask, think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew on that one!? A few bits and bobs in between for CANSA, Feeding the Hungry, Sisters Incorporated etc, the list goes on. I feel we all need to do our part… Nuff said.
DH: Is there anyone in particular that has been a big influence in your life or surfing?
DB: Plenty, too many to mention… When I was growing up, it was the likes of Daniel Beatty and Michael Grendon (Komskom boys who were / are very inspirational), and now just seeing all the little ‘whipper-snappers’ like Michael February, the Brand brothers, and the Kommetjie guys that are starting to kill it on the international front – Go boys!
DH: You’ve managed to dodge the desk job pretty well until now, what advice would you give a kid coming out of school now.
DB: Stick it out, get that education (it will come in handy), THEN, find your dream and don’t stop tapping away at it until you’ve achieved it! You don’t need to give in to main-stream society (unless that’s your ‘thing) and do what makes you happy… If you are any good at it you’ll find a way to make money from it… Promise you. AND GO TRAVELING! It truly is the BEST education…. You learn about YOU, can’t go wrong with that.
DH: Whats the craziest thing you’ve done lately.
DB: Um, about to jump out of a bloody plane NAKED!? Yeah, hope I remain intact if you catch my drift…? (I said drift, not draft) Other than that, cycling into town everyday is pretty damn crazy – Those DAMN taxi drivers – YUSSY! ‘Life’ in general has been crazy, it’s a wild ride man… Enjoy it.
DH: Why is Cape town the best place to live?
DB: Really?! I could go on and on but it’s like one big play-ground, with a whole lot of interesting people and places. Gorgeous women, crazy parties, mountains, oceans, beaches, missions, nature, work, opportunities… LOVE THIS CITY! (And it’s pretty easy to jump in the car and head up the coast-line, either one)
DH: Anything cool projects in the mix?
DB:YES! I’ve been working on a DREAM for nearly 8 years now (As mentioned above – DO NOT GIVE UP… EVER!), it’s a TV show about traveling around Southern Africa… The name is set to be confirmed this week, but something like Get Lost or Global Nomads. The concept is simple, think “Going Nowhere Slowly”, on acid! Hahaha. ‘Adventure travel’ at it’s best! Crazy places and people, hidden venues and locations, wrapped up nicely with some quirky presenters and top notch production. NOT Top Billing, so NO 5 star hotels, cruise-liners, Dom Peringon, or stiff presenters – We’re gonna have a laugh, and probably take-the-piss a little too – Hehehe. Will be airing next year – Stay tuned for more. HELL YEAH!
DH: Anyone you’d like to thank or mention.
DB: YOU guys at Dirty Habits. Was honoured when this interview arrived in my inbox, love your work and will be supporting you guys all the way – KEEPING IT REAL, and leading the pack… Good on ya!
Follow Dene and his latest projects and trips. And if you need a MC for an event, He’s the man.
Photo’s, unless otherwise stated, copyright Alan Van Gysen – www.avgphoto.co.za