COMIC’S COVID SKOLLIE PATROL
TikTok star is potty-mouthed but clean cut
● His TikTok videos may be helping people to smile through a pandemic, but juggling them with his day job is a serious business, says Clean Cut Skolly.
That’s the alter ego of Grant Renecle, a Johannesburg copywriter who created the typical alpha male “boet” who likes to gym, party and meet girls.
“South Africans love to laugh at themselves and I think the reason Skolly does so well on social media is because everyone knows a ‘boet’,” he said.
“My videos are also shot in a kind of documentary style, so Skolly appears to be a real person. Sometimes people actually think I am being serious rather than satirical.”
Renecle, 35, is one of many using social media to make a name for themselves as online influencers.
He said balancing his day job in advertising with the demands of the Skolly persona is “hectic”.
“I literally work all week and weekend. The plan is to eventually make a living from online but it’s hard work because I am also a one-man team.”
Renecle said he was “a complete skollie” in his youth.
“I was an angry child, I got into bad situations and started drinking and doing drugs. I was eventually arrested for this behaviour. I put my mom through hell.”
He spent two months in rehabilitation and has been clean since, but also had a harrowing bout of depression four years ago when a friend died in a car crash and a longstanding relationship ended in a break-up.
“I was always the ‘funny guy’ and once I got out of the funk my friends persuaded me
I should make some short skits,” he said.
In 2018 Clean Cut Skolly was born as a blog character and soon Renecle was creating skits for Facebook and Instagram.
“My first video did well, it got 20,000 views, so I kept going.
“I was never really into TikTok, but my
friends said I should try it. So I gave it another try just before lockdown and it took off.
“I think because people were looking for entertainment and looking for something light-hearted to keep them strong during a tough time,” he said.
“I have a lot of people messaging me to
say that the videos helped them get through the lockdown. This really means a lot to me because that is my intention.
“After my dark times I wanted to help people who may be going through depression to laugh. Even if I make them smile for a second, I’ve done my job.”