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Bodybuilder bouncer

Text by Espera G. Donouvossi/Twenty Ten and photos by Oupa Nkosi/TwentyTen

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

The first impression that Laurent Dansikpe makes, is of a man who truly believes that his body is his temple. The same applies to his West and Central African mates who are all musclemen in search of a better life in South Africa.  

Following in the footsteps of businessmen, bodybuilders from around Africa plan on cashing in during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. But just how do they intend to capitalise on this unique opportunity?

“I came to South Africa in July 2009 looking for new opportunities to market my physique, which is in high demand, particularly in developed countries. But I never managed to obtain a visa to travel to those countries. Therefore, the World Cup being hosted here in South Africa creates a platform for me to display my abilities and skills, and hopefully score great contracts. With this large and fit build, I could be an efficient bodyguard or a ferocious security agent. Those are actually the kinds of jobs I have been doing ever since I arrived in this country, whilst looking forward to meeting the large crowds coming for this great event,” Laurent explains.

This 28-year-old bodybuilder from Benin has a background in computer maintenance, but quit his job to devote himself to bodybuilding. “My mother was the one almost forcefully encouraging me to pursue the academic path, as she values education more than sports. But today she understands that success lies in excellence,” Laurent...

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