Erns Grundling MC & Influencer

Erns Grundling is a TV personality, author, photojournalist and producer of stand-up comedy.

Between 2002 and 2017, he worked as a journalist at Die Burger, LitNet, Insig magazine, Huisgenoot/You and Weg/Go. During this time, he received twelve national awards for his journalism and interviewed Sir Richard Branson and Paulo Coelho, amongst others.

His first book, Elders, about his solo Camino pilgrimage in Spain, was published in 2017 in Afrikaans and is a bestseller. In 2019 an English translation, Walk It Off, was published. In 2019 he also published his second travel book, Sushi en Shosholoza, about his adventures in Japan. Currently he is working on a new manuscript, Elders 2: Pelgrimstog van Hoop. His poetry has been published in Nuwe Stemme 3 (2005) and Groot Verseboek (2008). He is also co-editor of the annual print publication Ons Klyntji, which provides a platform for poets, writers and illustrators to showcase their best work.

Erns was co-presenter of two seasons of the TV series Weg Agterpaaie on Via (2016-2017). Season 1 was nominated for a SAFTA and two ATKV Mediaveertjie awards. He is currently presenter and co-producer of the travel series Elders on kykNET and Showmax, now in its fourth season. In 2020, Elders: Japan won the SAFTA Award for “Best Lifestyle Programme” on national television. In 2021, Elders: Pelgrimstog van Hoop was a finalist in the same category.

Other TV experience includes three seasons as a news anchor and writer for Die Ware Naarheid met Schalk Bezuidenhout on kykNET (2018-2020) as well as appearances on magazine and actuality programmes, including Bravo, Kwêla, Die Groot Ontbyt, Ontbytsake, Prontuit, Expresso and Pasella. In 2011, he was the winner (along with teammate Le Roux Schoeman) of the popular kykNET series Fortuinsoekers: Die Kruger Miljoene (a show similar to The Amazing Race).

Erns has extensive experience in the arts and theatre. He was chairperson of the Kanna panel that adjudicated shows at the Klein-Karoo National Arts Festival (2012-2014) and a member of the national kykNET Fiësta panel (2015). In 2011, he was a judge for the Contemporary Music: Afrikaans category at the South African Music Awards (SAMAs).

Since 2016 he has worked with Schalk Bezuidenhout as producer of his Afrikaans stand-up comedy. Together they have toured all over South Africa and did shows at many arts festivals. In recent years Erns has also co-ordinated stand-up comedy at the Toyota US Woordfees, Aardklop, the KKNK and the Free State Arts Festival, working with up to 18 comedians at a time.

He has appeared in TV commercials for ClemenGold Gin, Sure Travel, Rethink CBD and the Free State Arts Festival. He recently did a voice over campaign for insurance brand, Virseker for television, radio and Spotify. He has gained experience in radio as a presenter of The Unhappy Hour on Bush Radio 89.5 FM on Sunday evenings.

Erns is a passionate traveller and hiker and has extensive experience of multi-day hikes and pilgrimages. His love for people and stories makes him an excellent travelling companion and public speaker. Last year, Erns became a partner in Pilgrim Assist, a booking agency that assists pilgrims on the Pilgrimage of Hope in the Cape Winelands and Overberg. He also hosts very popular guided hikes on pilgrimages and multi-day hiking trails and has formed partnerships with Live The Journey, Silent Steps and Stap die Camino.

He has travelled far and wide, and some of his highlights include attending a La Liga football match in Madrid, watching Hamilton on the West End in London, climbing Mt Fuji in Japan, visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra, surviving a close call with an elephant in Botswana, and seeing Leonard Cohen perform live in Verona, Italy. He has a keen interest in psychology, philosophy, mindfulness, the inner journey and purposeful travel. His presence on any tour or stage is sure to enrich, entertain and keep things interesting.

Erns lives with his wife and two dogs in Brooklyn, Cape Town.