Throwback Thursday: The best of Vernon Koekemoer [videos]
Vernon Koekemoer became a household name in South Africa after a photograph of him standing alone at a rave party in Boksburg went viral.
On this Throwback Thursday we are taking a look at the best of SA’s Vernon Koekemoer!
Vernon Koekemoer is the nickname given to Cassie Booyse, a South African bodybuilding enthusiast who became an internet celebrity in 2008 after a photograph of him standing alone at a rave party in Boksburg, South Africa began circulating on the web.
Vernon Koekemoer: South Africa’s Chuck Norris
According to KnowYourMeme, similar to alpha male icons in other cultures like America’s Chuck Norris or Kenya’s Makmende, Vernon Koekemoer went onto inspire a variety of derivatives and tributes, from photoshopped images and parody films to websites and T-shirts.
The photograph of the then-51 year old Cassie was reportedly taken by an unidentified woman who noticed his unusual appearance at the annual H2O rave party in Boskburg. The photographer subsequently forwarded the picture to via e-mail to her friends, among whom was a man named Bryan Theunissen. He decided to spread it further as a viral marketing experiment by dubbing the man in the picture “Vernon Koekemoer”.
In April 2008, The Star published an article revealing the identity of Vernon Koekemoer as Cassie Booyse, who had been unaware of his online fame, let alone the existence of Facebook, until his co-worker showed him “more than 400 [photoshopped] images” of himself.
Embracing his fame
Booyse eventually embraced his internet fame and went on to appear in a number of TV commercials for South African companies like Vodacom and Nando’s, one of which co-starred American actor Chuck Norris as a cameo. In addition, Booyse made a cameo appearance in the 2008 music video Pretty Things by South African rock band Evolver.
In an interview with FHM, he said that he like the name Vernon Koekemoer – and that he is obviously making people happy with his “alter ego”.
After all these years, Vernon Koekemoer is also still active on Facebook.