Derek van Dam’s fine and sunny life

By admin
20 March 2010

What more could you ask for than a home with a sea view in picture-perfect Llandudno, Cape Town – hammock and all? Especially when you share it with a South African partner who, like most TV viewers, think you’re irresistible.

Little wonder Derek van Dam (27), e.tv’s hunky weatherman, is in no hurry to return to the land of his birth, even though he misses tasty American cereal without bran and plans to return there eventually to raise a family.

He’s over the moon he recently got permanent-residence status in SA. “What an honour it is to be granted permission to stay in this wonderful country,” he says.

After two years here he feels well integrated. Since June he and his girlfriend of 20 months, Katherine McChesney (27), have lived in Llandudno. When we last spoke to him he was single and struggling to get his tongue around some South African place names. Now he admits he sometimes misses his home country – but loves his job as e.tv’s head meteorologist and a lifestyle of sun, sea and surfing.

He and Katherine are clearly madly in love.

“Derek taught me a lot about spirituality,” she says.

What sort of person is he? “Very down-to-earth. I definitely don’t see him as a celebrity. He’s a very humble guy who loves nature and the outdoors,” she reveals.

“Katherine brings out the best qualities in me,” he says, giving her a loving smile. “She makes me smile and laugh a lot.”

She was born in Nelspruit and has lived for 10 years in Cape Town, where she’s an accounts manager at an online advertising agency. He’s originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

What does he miss most about his homeland? “I miss a selection of good cereal like Captain Crunch and Fruit Loops. Everything here has bran in it,” he says. “Also I feel like things just work in the US. But that’s what makes this place unique.”

He says he has become a more rounded individual here, more open to new ideas. “It’s been an absolute pleasure to live and learn among the myriad cultures in South Africa.”

He reckons he has even picked up a bit of a South African accent.

Where does he see himself in five years? “I believe I will be in South Africa. If plans change I’ll work abroad once again. Perhaps Australia or New Zealand. But the next place I work has to be as beautiful as South Africa.’’

He could have a long search ahead.

Read the full article in the 18 March edition of YOU.

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