Meet Benni, XOA Presenter
“I had no idea what I was getting into” Behind the Scenes XOA season 1 with Benni Langa
As an actor and presenter, Benni Langa has had a lot of on screen experience but nothing prepared him for Xtreme Outdoors Africa. To begin with he attended the audition without a clue of what it was about.
“To give you an idea how little I knew, I actually walked into the audition wearing a suit. So I only knew what #XOA was after I was selected for the project and there was no looking back once they told me all the amazing places we would go to and the activities we would do.”
Benni though not as experienced as his co-host Michelle took on the role with gusto and has not looked back since. He admits that he did begin to feel bolder as the show progressed and it has had a positive impact on his everyday life and boosted his confidence.
“I suppose that’s one of the major draw-cards to this extreme lifestyle. It really does change you.” It also helped that he had a great co-host in Kenyan presenter Michelle Morgan, an outdoors girls who is no stranger to the extreme sports and being on screen. “I really enjoyed how upbeat and happy Michelle is. It made working with her so pleasant. She also seems absolutely fearless and is so ready to fully experience every adventure we go on. It’s very inspiring and it rubs off on you in the best way,” says Benni. He has nothing but praise for the co-host who he says is extremely good at her job, something that came in handy when they had to memorise really long links in an extremely short time.
“Obviously we are in the thick of the action all the time so we have to get things right very quickly and she’s a master at it,” he says. So far, Benni has swum with seals in Hout Bay, Cape Town, reluctantly but bravely abseiled down Table Mountain and generally done things he would otherwise never have imagined doing. He admits that the most exciting experience of XOA Season 1 was going bungee jumping for the first time.
“To be honest with you I have no idea to this day how I went through with it. My gut still twists and turns when I think about it. But when the jump is over and you are dangling by your feet on this rope suspended high in the air you do feel a sense of accomplishment. And of course a massive rush of adrenaline.” He also got to meet the extreme sports stars, people whose death defying lifestyles have left an lasting impression on him. For Benni the motorcross daredevil Alistair Slayer stood out the most.
“He really lives on the edge and it’s unbelievable what he’s put his body through to perform at an extremely high level. He is superman, totally incredible on his bike. I found my jaw dropping a few times while he was telling us his story and the injuries he’s sustained doing what he loves.” He says. Being part of XOA and getting to travel across Africa has opened Benni’s eyes to the beauty of the continent and cultivated a new appreciation for the different cultures he has come across thus far.
“It really is concerning that most of what we know about each other as Africans is what we see on the news. Being on #XOA and traveling as much as we have has given me an appetite for more culture and knowledge of the soil I walk on everyday,” he says. He looks forward to an exciting Season 2, co-hosting with Michelle and visiting more countries to showcase their extreme sports and the passionate people who dare to take part in them. He promises more adventure and fun in season two.
“I look forward to seeing what growth I’ll experience in this new season too. I look forward to all the glitches and false starts that come with producing a show like this one. I’m very terrified of what’s next but that’s all part of the fun isn’t it?