Listen: Nothing stops ‘Die Brug”s Iana

Henry

Iana Strydom is an adventurous rabbedoo who has been enjoying life since she was a child.

This 25-year-old traveller, presenter and content creator gained fame last year with her participation in kykNET’s reality show The Bridge. This program was right up her alley, says a cheerful Iana.

“When I saw the trailer for ‘the big adventure’ (as it was marketed by kykNET at the time), I knew it was for me,” says Iana in RNews’s studio.

She has never been one to back down from a challenge, in fact, she believes that the fear that holds you back from trying something new can and must be overcome. Iana grew up in Johannesburg, where she still lives today. She matriculated at Helpmekaar College before making her way to the North-West student town of Potchefstroom.

There she obtained a BSc and honors degree in geography. She also served in the leadership structure of the women’s hostel Wanda. Already during her student years, she started creating content about all her local and overseas travels.

Long before she decided to bring her love of adventure to the box The Bridgeshe donned her first presenter hat for a show, Track Stories, which was broadcast on SABC 2 in 2022.

“This is where my career started; I am very grateful for that,” she says.

When she looks back on her experience today The Bridge, she cherishes the friendships forged during the filming process. She is still in contact with many of the players today, including Tina, Melanie, Larry, Jacques, Marna and Avril. She even invited her Gauteng contestants for a viewing party of her latest show, The Challengewhich airs weekly on Via (DStv channel 147).

She admits that she was shocked when Robert, who eventually walked across the bridge as the winner, decided not to share his winnings with the rest of the contestants, except William.

“I did say from the beginning that I wasn’t going to vote for someone simply because they would share. That wasn’t what it was about for me. I wanted to vote for someone for how they contributed to building the bridge, and what you meant to the team.”

However, Iana admits that if she were the one who walked over the bridge, she would definitely share the money.

“I would a winner’s cut of R400 000, and gave Tina R200 000. Because of my alliance with Rob and Geo, I would have given them R25 000 each. I would then have known that they had ‘stolen’ money and they would have ended up with R75 000 each.

“I would have given the rest of the players R50 000 each.”

Right for this challenge

Several years ago, Iana came up with an idea for a program like The Challenge. However, she patiently waited until the right opportunity came her way.

When a friend called her to see if she might have an idea for a program, she didn’t think twice. In every episode of The Challenge Iana tackles a new adrenaline-filled activity with a familiar (or two).

Refentse, Angelique Gerber, Katinka die Kat, Christo Davids, Zoe Brown, Hykie Berg, Schalk Bezuidenhout, Francois van Coke and the couple, Mila Guy and Bennie Fourie, can be seen in the program. Together they take on challenges such as skydiving, bungee jumping, shark diving and a race with some luxury cars.

“It is a story that includes a mixture of excitement, emotion and storytelling,” says Iana.

“Many of us sit with this fear and we are too afraid to do good. Fear holds us back in life. I would like the program to be an inspiration to people.”

  • Listen to the full audio interview with Iana Strydom above.
  • The Challenge is broadcast every Thursday night at 20:30 on Via, DStv channel 147.