Flirting with 50/50's new hottie

Written by TVSA Team from the blog Interviews on 12 Dec 2014
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He's hott people, he's hott!

50/50's new presenter Samir Randera-Rees isn't 50/50 at all but rather 100%. Here's what he had to say for himself when I flirted with him at the SABC Upfronts recently:

Tashi: How did you get the job?
I come from very much the nature, conservation side of it.

Tashi: So you're legit!
Ja, ja, ja. I studied environmental science and economics at undergrad and then did my Masters in ecology, did my field guide courses and I've worked as a game ranger.

To be honest, I didn't expect to do anything like this but someone posted on Facebook that 50/50 was looking for a new presenter and needed people who had environmental experience so I thought: "I've got the credentials - why don't I try it out?"

I guess I've always harboured a secret desire to have my own wildlife show - I wouldn't have even known where to start looking for that. I just decided to give it a go - I sent in my CV, they asked me for a couple of photos, they asked me to audition and I got the job.

Tashi: What's your biggest passion environmentally?
I love protected areas - I've just come from a congress - one of the world's biggest congresses - 6000 people were there to discuss protected areas and that's everything from national parks to green areas.

I think those are your core areas that are going to protect biodiversity and where a lot of people will go to experience nature. In my Masters thesis I studied carnivores - Savanah carnivores and the interactions between them and the effect that lions have on smaller carnivores. I love carnivores but I have a very wide range of interests.

One of the greatest things about being a natural scientist is that the more you see and understand, the more questions pop into your head. The more you start to see details that you overlooked before.

Tashi: Your surname? (His father's surname = Randera and his mother's = Rees)
Samir: My mom grew up in England but her family's Welsh - very Welsh - and my dad grew up in South Africa until he was about 17, then he moved over to the UK to finish high school. Both my parents are doctors so once they both finished university, they were working at a hospital together and then they met, fell in love and came back here and joined the anti-Apartheid struggle and all sorts of things.

Tashi: How has that impacted on your identity?
Very strongly. They were very involved and knew a lot of people who were very high up in the ANC so my dad was Nelson Mandela's doctor when he came out of prison - he went on that round the world trip with him.

We'd always have ministers and people that are very high up in the ANC coming through our house, coming in for dinner so that was what I grew up with - I'd sit at the table and listen to these political discussions going on so it gave me a very strong social conscience.

That's still very much with me - that's partially why I've become an environmentalist because I believe you can't separate the environment and people. They're both interconnected and a lot of the time, as the environment becomes more impoverished, people are becoming are becoming more impoverished at the same time. We as a society are because we're connected to nature in so many different ways.


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