Big-hearted hero

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Life coach, all-natural bodybuilder, high-intensity personal trainer, doting dad and adoring husband, Benson Rewu has a smile that lights up the room.

Benson grew up in Donkerhoek, a small farm situated between Cullinan and Pretoria.  Married to Dana, the woman of his dreams, the couple recently relocated to Mbombela from Barberton. “We have four beautiful children,” he beams, proudly, “one boy (Giancarlo, nine years) and three girls (Vannah, six years, Graylynn, three years, and Seraiah, 21 months).” A qualified personal trainer, Benson has group, one-on-one and special needs training, as well as nutritional coaching, under his belt. By day he works for Liberty Life, and after hours he provides health and fitness services, a combination on which he thrives. “I love being a part of both worlds,” Benson explains, “I get the opportunity to meet so many different types of people. My mother always told me that people are important, and being interested in them is one of the ways of giving hope.”

Benson and Dana Rewu

Benson didn’t always want to follow this particular path in life. He initially wanted to be an architect. “But you know, life happens,” he smiles. “As time went by, I realised how much I love the health and fitness industry, which allows me to make a difference in people’s lives.
“I have to say that I am right on track with where I always wanted to be, and seeing someone walk away victorious or with an inspired smile on their face brings me great joy and satisfaction.” As an all-natural bodybuilder, it is important to Benson that people, especially the youth, see that using substances to build a healthy physique is unnecessary, as well as unhealthy. “I absolutely love natural bodybuilding,” he says.

“As a life coach, I worked in schools for more than seven years, and during those days, many of the students – especially boys – used to ask me what I use. And whenever I answered that I eat healthy food, they wouldn’t believe me.” That specific question got Benson thinking, and he challenged himself to do a natural bodybuilding competition. “I really wanted to inspire the youth, to show them that you do not need to use anything to build a well-balanced, healthy physique. It is sad to see how many boys and men suffer self-image problems, just because they do not look a certain way.

Benson absolutely loves natural bodybuilding

“We are all built with an inner and an outer being. It is important to look after both. Fitness is a journey and not an event. I competed in the INBA competition during 2019, and it is a big privilege for me to be able to say I came first. The bottom line is we all have it in us, we just have to put our words into action, we have to believe in ourselves, and we have to remember to give back.”

When he was growing up, Benson’s parents always told him to love, serve and respect other people. “Those words are working to my advantage today,” he says. “Being a personal trainer gives me the opportunity to continue everything my parents taught me. Always remember that we are stronger together, but only if we are interested!”

Being a dad is one of Benson’s most important roles, and he smiles as he says that to him, fatherhood means many things. “Being a father means being a beast with a tender heart and a soft voice, it means sitting down in the dirt, even if only for five minutes, and playing with Barbie dolls or cars, and understanding that those five minutes mean the world to your children. Being a father means it is okay to cry and speak out when you are not emotionally well. You are human, not a robot. It means walk in my footsteps – the road is not perfect, but it has a legacy. Being a father means providing shelter and food for your loved ones. And lastly, a father should always learn from the One above.”

The Rewu clan

Watching him laugh and interact with his children, you can tell that Benson is all of this and more; they simply adore him. While balancing family life with work isn’t always easy, Benson knows that at work, he is replaceable, but at home he can never be replaced. This is also why it is so important to him to be involved in every aspect of his family’s lives, their sporting activities, school, academics and so on. “I never take work back home,” he adds. “Whatever work I did not finish in the office, will wait until the next working day. Work stays work and home stays family.”

Together, the Rewu clan love to go to the Kruger Park, which they do whenever they get a chance, and they love to snuggle up together for movie night. “A nice family movie with
popcorn and the family bed works wonders for us!” he laughs.

Kruger times

Someday down the road, Benson hopes to have his own successful health and fitness life coaching studio. He is inspired by his faith, which he believes is the substance for all things
hoped for. He wants to be at a place where he can give back, and says that we must never forget where we come from, and never lose sight of where we are going.

A father and his beloved children

Photographer: MIA LOUW

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