Hangberg resident, Peter Michaels will feature in a travel documentary series aimed at the huge Chinese market.
Earlier this month, two Chinese media personalities, Kyle Guyue Johnson, and hip hop star MC Little Tiger (Zhao Hong) arrived in Hangberg to film the South African segment of their 12-part Africa Overland Adventure series, which will air on Chinese website Youku, the country’s leading online video platform.
Mr Johnson is one of the most recognised travel influencers in the East, while Little Tiger has a massive social-media following in China.
Mr Michaels, who is a South African kung fu champion and rapper, explained that the Chinese had wanted to meet people in Africa with martial arts backgrounds and, through a mutual connection in the local film industry, he had been introduced to the men.
“They were here on October 8, and I took them into the community and introduced them to residents. They asked me how I had become an SA kung fu champ, how I had transitioned from boxing to kung fu and most recently mixed martial arts. But they were also interested in my life story. They then started following my everyday life in the community. I was surprised how interested they were in me,” he said.
Mr Michaels said the film crew was struck by the economic disparities in Hout Bay.
“When I noticed this, I decided to give them a more in-depth look at daily life in the poorer parts of the community.”
What the Chinese stars also had not reckoned on was that Mr Michaels is an aspiring rapper in his own right.
“Little Tiger and I actually ended up making a song together, and they were blown away. I must say, he (Little Tiger) was really good. I found out that he had a similar background to me, in that he had grown up in the ghettos of Beijing, so we could really relate to each other.”
Mr Michaels also picked up a bit of Mandarin from the two presenters, while he taught them some Afrikaans words.
“We have a lot of foreign musicians visiting Hout Bay these days, and my goal is to do as many collaborations with rappers from different countries as possible. I think for me, music is a universal language that can connect people. Recently I also recorded a song in Xhosa. I think doing things like that is important.”