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SA's next big YouTube sensation has been found

2016-12-29 20:01
Graham "Dingo" Dinkelman, Aaron McIlroy
Graham "Dingo" Dinkelman, Aaron McIlroy (Photo: YouTube)

Cape Town - Graham "Dingo" Dinkelman has Broken the Net! His series of seven videos netted a whopping 65 000 views, making him the winner in Cell C and Blink Pictures #BreakTheNet (#BTN) competition.

Along with the title of South Africa's next YouTube Sensation, Graham, 36 from Hillcrest Durban won himself a trip to Hollywood and R250 000 in cash.

The Life and Investment broker and father of three said he was delighted to have won. As a crusader for wildlife, this #BTN win helps him get his conservation message out to a large audience.

The winner Graham is passionate about wildlife, and all his videos used wild animals and reptiles. He invited celebrities to star with the animals in his videos. In one of them, he persuaded Greg Minnaar, South African World Champion Mountain bike racer, to help him restrain a crocodile for a health check-up.

While he has been inspired by Australian nature expert and television personality "The Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin - who died in 2006 after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb - Graham's love of wild life began early.

Graham said his favourite week was filming the "cat" theme in which he had to rescue a curious cat that happened upon a deadly black mamba in a horse stable. "It was a difficult shoot because of the danger and the risks involved. But very worthwhile once it had been captured."

He said it was a pleasure to work with his chosen celebrities - comedian Aaron McIlroy and Cell C Sharks rugby playing Beast Mtawarira "who were absolute troopers and got stuck into the task and the shoot."

"The entire shoot with Aaron was a complete laugh from start to finish. He is, in my opinion, the funniest man in South Africa. "For the rest, all the shoots - spitting Cobra, Black Mamba, Crocodiles - had moments that were pretty scary."

Graham said he intended to expand on the exposure he has received from winning #BTN by launching a YouTube channel where "I will continue to promote the message of conservation through my passion and love for animals."

"We will continue to include celebrities in our videos as it has been incredible to watch them change their mindset about so-called dangerous animals. Because they have such a large audience, I hope that the celebrities will be able to help me get the message out to as wide an audience as possible."

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