If you are a regular at the same of the legendary party spots in Pretoria you might spotted Heinrich Van Den Worm (aka “the barefoot guy”) around places like Arcade Empire and Aandklas over the last year. At first glance you might think that @DapperTrapper (that’s his Twitter handle by the way) is just doing it as a party stunt, but in actual fact he’s been walking barefoot for 1 year, all in the name of charity.
I met Heinrich Van Den Worm at Park Acoustics one weekend and since then I’ve been randomly bumping him all over Pretoria. And he was always barefoot. I’ve personally seen him kill a cigarette on the bottom of his one foot (it’s true as Bob). If that isn’t legendary, then I dunno what is. Recently @DapperTrapper finished his year of walking barefoot and received a donated pair of Macbeth shoes.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Heinrich Van Den Worm (Aka @DapperTrapper), this is what he had to say:
What prompted you to attempt walking barefoot for 1 year?
At first, it all started with a barefoot day on campus. I clicked on attend and pretty much just did it. Had to do some practical hours stuff at Eersterust where some emotions regarding the situation and so on developed. The next day I went barefoot again and bumped into one of my inspirations. From there on I decided that I am going to go barefoot for a year. I told a friend about it, and she said that I should do something with it, so I decided to do it for charity.
What are the most disgusting things you’ve stepped on over the last year?
Haha, there are a few yucky things that I have stepped in, but I think it might be the combination of urine and vomit (in pubs) and even stepping a condom (how does that work? In public? Sheesh)
What is the funniest thing you’ve experienced on your barefoot journey?
I think the funny things are the people’s reactions during the winter time. I have received various comments that I am crazy and what not. A funny one was one morning when I went to church, this little boy said to his dad “Pappa, daardie oom het nie skoene aan nie!”. Was kinda cute.
What are you currently working on?
Well for now I am relaxing a bit, but not laying low. I am going to try and do a national barefoot day for South Africa (which is really easy to contribute, just take off your shoes). I am also thinking about doing more benefit shows and so on to create awareness. Also thinking of some smaller projects here and there. Will keep you posted.
Has Social Media made you a mini-celebrity over the last year or has it just helped to market your campaign easier?
I don’t know how to answer this one but I think it might be a combination. It was brilliant to see people interact via social media when we needed hands, especially with the #lovedrives and the #koffiehuis projects, and also with the #loveday. But I think a combination between social media, networking, radio coverage, tv coverage, and national paper that there are enough opportunities to create awareness. Someone has to step up to the plate and do it. I did it, and so the community contributed.
Running Wolf’s Rant would like to thank Heinrich Van Den Worm for conducting this interview with us. He’s a true legend. We wish him the best of luck with his future ventures.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Technology category on Running Wolf’s Rant. There have been various interviews posted on this blog over the years, feel free to check them out.
Photo featuring the Macbeth shoes and @DapperDrapper courtesy of Xander van der Merwe.
Watch this space for updates in the Technology category.