Mannetjies Roux Returns The Greeting

The July Lig spread on Mannetjies Roux

This month’s issue of Lig magazine features a profile story on ex-Springbok rugby player, Francois du Toit Roux, better known to family and fans alike as Mannetjies Roux. Retired to his place of birth – Victoria West – photographer Donna Lewis traveled up with Lig art director Tenille Swanepoel and journalist Jacqueline Leuvennink to see how Mannetjies has been busying himself since stepping off the rugby field and to find out what he keeps close to his heart – tucked beside his rugby ball of course.

 
 

Tenille and Mannetjies exchange stories and a rugby ball. photo: Donna Lewis

We spent the nights of 16 and 17 May in a very nice guesthouse in Victoria West. Despite being a very quiet, slow-paced town it wasn’t without its surprises and action! On our first night there we went out for supper and I came back to my room to find that the geyser had burst and was spraying alarmingly hot water all over the floor, even more alarming though was the close proximity of this to my collection of very expensive camera equipment. We dashed in to rescue it with Tenille screaming “get your equipment!” and then a slight after thought of  “But don’t get burnt!” Fortunately we managed to save the equipment (and ourselves) and after the ordeal any daydreams of roaring fires and snug rocking chairs brought about by the cosy, sleepy town had been rudely dashed from our eyes and we were fired up and ready to shoot the next day.

Mannetjies and his wife Charlotte outside the Trading Post. Photo: Donna Lewis

Although Mannetjies has celebrity status from his professional rugby years and from having had a song named after him, (which has recently been turned into the first broadway style Afrikaans musical), he is actually very down to earth and was quite shy infront of the

Mannetjies Roux and Victoria West in July Lig

camera like a “little grandpa”. He couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about but was very accommodating nonetheless. He and his wife Charlotte made us feel very welcome in their hometown and took us to various quaint locations like the old train station, no longer in use, and the Victoria Trading Post, a shop and museum run by the retired couple to keep themselves occupied.

In face of the bitter cold and ever threatening rain we managed to recover from the harrowing geyser incident and got a lot of outdoor shots done. Fortunately the equipment had also succeeded in putting the death defying experience behind it and performed well too. I used a macro lens at 2.8 and a speed light with a 60×60 softbox. In the below photo (right) I used this to underexpose the background so the clouds jumped out and the flash highlighted Mannetjies to make him the focus point of the image.

Mannetjies was very humble in welcoming us into his home and his life and in lieu of the song written by Laurika Rauch “Stuur Groete Aan Mannetjies Roux”, this time Mannetjies was given the chance to return the greeting and bestow his on us.

More behind the scenes pics (don’t miss Donna the rugby player!) on our Facebook page.

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About Flat Art Studios

We are a tight-knit group of photographers specializing in food photography in the Cape Town area.
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