Benna makes his way to New York University.

Achieving a long-term goal is one of the best feeling one could ever experience. This month, we caught up with Benna who recently got accepted to study film-making at the University of New York.

Born and raised in Windhoek, he matriculated from Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool in 2017 serving his 12th year as head boy of WAP. Throughout his school years, he did gymnastics, cricket and rugby, but it was never his passion.

“Late high school I gave rugby up to be able to focus on my film-making career. Together with that I have been taking music lessons since I started school. I enjoy making music, watching series and working on film projects of my own and of other people”, he adds.

Describe the feeling in three words you felt when you read “You have been admitted to the Tisch School of Arts at NYU”?

Disbelief, ecstatic and scared.

Why filmmaking? What inspired you to start a YouTube channel?

I fell in love with the idea of making films because it is a visual and auditory representation of my thoughts. It gives me the ability to take something that is only an idea and turn it into something more tangible and perceivable by a wider audience. Making an insane edit and being able to look at it and say “I made this” is one of the most satisfying feelings ever. Furthermore, film-making gives me a voice to share my opinions and thoughts, sometimes on social matters and problems in society. My personal YouTube channel has gone through every phase possible, I’ve done drum covers, gaming videos, pranks, vlogs and short films. It started when I saw South African drummer Cobus Potgieter’s YouTube channel where he uploaded epic drum covers. He was so successful that he was able to pack his things and move to the United States, and that inspired me to make my first YouTube video, a cover of Green day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams back in April of 2012, at the age of 13.

How do you feel being accepted at New York University?

Extremely honored. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am very excited. I was given an opportunity that a lot of people might not have access to, which makes me so grateful. Without the intent of bragging, I am naturally also proud. It was hard work and constant effort, but it all paid off.

Role model?

Peter McKinnon. One of the most creative, friendly and straight up creators on YouTube. Not only entertaining, but educational too, as he always shares tips, tricks and methods of making videos.

Life lesson: Be A Teacher

You have achieved one of your long-awaited goals. How does it feel?

Very scary, because now the real hard work will begin. This is actually just a smaller goal within the bigger goal. But excited nonetheless.

Where do you see yourself in 7-10 years?

Probably living somewhere in America, running my own studio or working for a successful motion picture company.

What would you find yourself doing apart from film-making?

Writing, playing or just listening to music. Or I’m possibly busy working or playing with some kind of tech. I’m crazy about technology and learning about it.

Future occupation? What great things would you love to bring to Namibia once you graduate?

CEO of a studio where various films and videos can be shot, otherwise a director or editor of movies and TV series. I would only like to bring back my knowledge and a story of a dream that was accomplished to inspire other young creators.


Quick Questions

Apples or Bananas?


Malta or Fiji?


Beach or Mountain Holiday?


Favourite movie you’ve ever watched?

Impossible to answer, I’ll mention a few. Pulp Fiction, Ready Player One, Interstellar, The Dark Knight and The Incredibles.

Describe your ideal vacation.

One with family and friends. That’s the most important. Going to a remote island where there’s lots to do and see.

Connect with Benna van der Walt

Youtube Channel: Ben Thunder

Instagram: @thebenthunder

Make sure to watch his reaction video as the moment he has been waiting for finally comes true.


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