The Diva and the Don


She is an internet sensation and he is living his dream.

Meet Jack Russell Kolletjie and her ‘dad’, Emil Beetge of Bloubergstrand. The former has been wowing crowds on Blouberg beachfront with her acrobatic soccer skills, while the latter soars the waves on his kiteboard.

With a large spot on her head, the name Kolletjie was a given when Emil first laid eyes on the little three-week-old pup seven and a half years ago. It soon became clear that she wasn’t your average layabout canine. With boundless energy she destroyed soccer and rugby balls, but when Emil bought her an oversized tennis ball, she invented her own game trying to balance the ball on her head.

Over the years she’s honed her skills and currently can run with the ball on her head for 42 seconds. Facebook and TikTok videos of Kolletjie’s remarkable skill have been shared 50 000 times. Plus she’s had 2.4 million likes on ESPN and was a recent KykNet star.

Forty-four-year-old Emil on the other hand has opted for kiteboarding as his daily grind. Five years ago, he made the switch when he’d had enough of problem-solving. “It’s the best decision I’ve ever made,” he said.

A natural technological whiz, he built his first computer at age 10. Backed by eight international computer diplomas, he was inter alia a web and software developer, network administrator, IT manager and affiliate marketer over the years for companies such as Deloitte and Resolution Insurance. He also wrote an e-book, Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Affiliate Marketing, which he sold for a tidy sum to Tradebit.

With the aim of becoming an instructor, Emil is currently qualified as an IKO Level 4 kite surfer. “That means when the wind is pumping, I’m out on the water getting in touch with my wild side and upping my skills. Luckily, my parents look after Kolletjie when I’m doing ‘my job’. She’s never left alone.”

Ruling the roost, Kolletjie lives the grand life – as any upstanding dog should. Sleeping in (literally!) Emil’s bed, long walks, swimming at Eden on the Bay, good food and lavished with love are all par for the course. And Emil wouldn’t have it any other way. “Kolletjie is unlike any dog I’ve ever known. My soulmate. And remarkably: she hasn’t gone all diva on me!”


To relax, I take a nap (Kolletjie), watch a movie (Emil)
Favourite West Coast place is Langebaan
Favourite restaurant is Damhuis in Melkbos for both
I love eating Dr Hahnz canned food (Kolletjie), Eisbein (Emil)
My signature drink is water (Kolletjie), Jive Cherry Pop (Emil)