|Dene Botha has been a familiar face in the South African surfing scene for years now. Some of you may know him from the Western Province surfing team, others might recognise him as the co-organizer of the Earth Wave event, or as a regular commentator at local events. The ballies reading this will remember him as Paul Botha’s little snot-kop, who used to run around the contest site stirring kak. Some of you might have ridden your first wave at his old surfing school, Kahuna.
Recently though, you may have also spotted him on the cover of some saucy magazines… He’s been doing some modelling work and appearing in a number of national Pretty Face competitions of late, and this kind of thing could only go on for so long before Zag caught up with him, and grilled him.
Zigzag: So Dene, you were voted SA’s Most Irresistible Man in 2009 and then did lank well at the Cleo Bachelor of the Year pageant … erm … I mean competition. How did you end up entering these?
Dene: I was asked by my agency to audition for the Most Irresistible Man (Axe Sweet Life) reality show as they were looking for a Western Cape surfer type guy to take on this supercool KZN knob-jockey – who had his own entourage nogal – in a series of dating games. Haha! We had to run around some Joburg clubs chatting up girls and getting them to do things. Plenty fun, good exposure and some epic prizes. The 2010 Cleo Bachelor competition I entered myself because I wanted revenge for not winning the 2009 Cosmo Sexy Man Awards. It didn’t work.
Giving a couple of groms some surf lessons in Norway.
Do your friends give you kak about entering these competitions?
What do you think? Even you’re giving me kak about it now. Yes, I get all the hardship that goes with being really, really, really, really good looking, but the rewards are well worth it and… Wait a minute… I’m broke! Shit, why do I bother with the humiliation?
Probably because you can boast about officially being SA’s Most Irresistable man. Anyway, does it help being a known surfer and using that as an angle for your portfolio? Do creative directors ever make you pull shaka signs and say dorky things, like ‘Kowabunga Dude!’ on photo shoots?
Not really, that’s so last season. Keep up with the times Clayton! The ‘surfer type’ is still long blonde hair and blues eyes, but think about it, what surfer actually looks like that? Beyrick de Vries? And how well is that working out for him? He can keep it, but yeah, they make you do pretty odd things some times. “Now jump in the air… off that bench… with your left leg first… holding your coffee… don’t spill. Smile but look serious and sexy at the same time, wave without actually doing it, and make the clothes look good… Okay, GO!” Yeah, it’s nothing short of amusing.
Do you have a signature ‘Blue Steel’ look – a Dene Botha exclamation mark – if you will?
Yes, I have a few including the common ‘This is way too early to get on a plane, I think I’m still drunk!” face. I have a patent pending on the “I just threw-up a little in my throat” look, but the one I’m probably best known for is the “I’m sure there was more than that in my bank account last time?” signature look which turns into the whitening of the skin, clenching of teeth and eventual vomiting.
The media portrays models as a bit doff, self-absorbed and shallow. Is this true, or are there really kief people on the scene?
Sorry, I don’t understand the question? I was too busy looking in the mirror. Something about me being kief?
Dene Botha – There can be only one.
When it comes to organizing Earth Wave every year, do you use your connections to smoking hot dolls on the modelling scene to bribe surfers down to the beach? The Online Ed often refers to the unreliable nature of surfers when planning photo shoots…
Hell yes. I am a self-promoter and connection user of note. I am sure some people reading this are going “Yes you are you vain little turd!” But it really is about ‘who’ you know and not so much ‘what’. On Earth Wave though, it’s a great cause and a lot of people just want to be involved. Not surfers! They’re too scared of getting a board to the shin or teeth, and in all fairness I don’t blame them. But each year the crowd gets bigger and the publicity gets better. Who knows we might actually get a REAL sponsor this year?
How are plans for Earth Wave looking this year? It’s a bit early, but is there anything big in the pipeline for then?
The plans are coming along nicely. We are looking at attempting another record or two, if anyone has any thoughts please feed them on through. No major sponsors as yet (hint, hint) but plenty of super amped supporters. As for the Brass Bell After Party followers… jussie! Seriously, that party gets messier and messier every year, it’s brilliant!
Dene strikes one of his more familiar poses. © AVG
We hear you are MCing at the Billabong this year? What MC’ing gigs have you been up to and what have you got planned?
Hehe. Yeah, give me the microphone baby! I love it. Anything where I can run my mouth-off. This will be my fourth year of commentating the Billabong Pro, it’s something I look forward to for months in advance. I have commentated plenty events such as Billabong Pro and Junior Series, Rip Curl Gromsearch, Mr Price Open, O’Neill CWC, the Kustom Airstrike and SA Champs. Hopefully I’ll be hosting the Zag Surfing Awards one day soon? Ha ha, awkward….
And now, you’re doing some TV presenting and selling property too. Do you in fact even surf anymore?
Not as much as I’d like to, but I don’t know anyone that does. But yes, I surf you cheeky bastard! I’ve got the hottest lady on the planet and she’s from J-Bay so I get up there often – Easter was insane!
Otherwise, I’m working with Sothebys on the Atlantic Seaboard in Cape Town and loving it. I don’t have Jordy as a client but it’s all good. Someone will buy something one day. We have some great listings and a database of surfers, models and actors who are all interested in this area. Sean Holmes, Ryan Payne, Nick Godfrey, Jordy Smith, Jevon le Roux, Shane Thorne. The migration has begun! TV presenting is where I want to be though and I’m pushing for it wherever I can. I am working on some other new projects at the moment too, so life is good. Check www.onesmallseed.tv for the bi-weekly, And ‘Like’ it and ‘Share’ it for f–k’s sakes!
Thanks so much for your time bru. Well done for getting in so many plugs in such a short interview. That takes skill.
Thanks for the grill brah. I appreciate you taking it easy on me… not! You guys are going down… See you in the line-up buddy!
Dene snags an Easter gem in J-Bay. © SIAN DAWKINS