Celebrities to give Dusi marathon a bash

2012-02-16 00:00

A STRONG celebrity contingent at the Unlimited Dusi canoe marathon this year will give spectators entertainment of an unconventional nature.

Two of South Africa’s top TV personalities, Bonang Matheba and Lizel van der Westhuizen, will be taken out of their comfort zones and thrust into the hustle and bustle of one of the world’s most challenging canoe marathons.

One of the celebrity pairs to keep an eye on is former four time Dusi champion Ant Stott and Matheba.

Coming back from a serious ankle injury, Stott said this year’s Dusi would be a completely new experience for him.

“I have only ever raced to win, but for most entrants it’s about the challenge, adventure and camaraderie along the river,” Stott said, adding that Matheba’s strength and courage had impressed him.

But that courage might be a well-crafted mask that Matheba wears to please the crowds.

Matheba said: “To be honest I am really nervous. I have never been an overly sporty person, so I just hope that it all goes well.”

It’s a far cry from Matheba’s usual glamorous appearances where she made the Top 10 of FHM ’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World survey in 2010.

She also is a popular host of SABC 1’s music show Live and she has her own show on YFM.

“I hope Stott knows what he is getting himself into,” she said.

“I have only ever paddled recreationally and that has been around Emmarentia Dam in Johannesburg.

“So I’m good on the flat water, but untested on the rapids.”

Unlike Matheba, Van Der Westhuizen, a presenter on SABC3’s early morning Expresso, has participated in sporting events before.

She said: “I try to do at least one major sporting event a year and I would have done the Dusi last year, but I got injured.

“So I am really looking forward to it. Although the starts are really early, even for me,” Van Der Westhuizen added with a huge smile.

The one aspect of the Dusi which has Matheba worried is the local wildlife.

“We have heard that there are crocodiles on the route, and I hope Stott is good with that paddle because I want to see them but from a distance,” said Matheba.

Van Der Westhuizen on the other hand has other worries on her mind.

“I’m not too worried about the crocodiles. My friends call me giraffe [because of her height] and have been giving me banter on Twitter and Facebook since January about a possible early meal for the crocs at the Dusi.

“But to be honest, I am more worried about getting Dusi guts,” she said.

Bonang Matheba

I hope [Ant] Stott knows what he is getting himself into.

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