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“Then, just after the robbery, the sponsorship started picking up – Huel came in, so did Perfect Ted. I’m a firm believer that a story is written, and I think our story was written for this climactic up and then this beautiful, slow descent – and it really helped us through.” Mindset and group harmony were critical in overcoming the hurdles they faced; this circular way of extracting any positives that came from the negatives is what ultimately pushed them forwards to the finish line. “In the end, every day there were problems,” adds Karp. “You had to come onto the mission with a problem-solving mindset. Everything kind of becomes a blur in the end. You wake up, you drive, you dump footage, make food and then you sleep. That’s kind of your bracket routine. Whatever happens in-between just becomes a blur. It’s constant problem-solving. “Like when we were robbed. Within two days, the team were past it. We had spilt-milk mentality: to just move on. There’s no point just sitting there and crying about it. When we eventually sat down and shot the interviews for the robbery episode about two weeks later, all of us had to sit for a minute and think, what actually happened?.” THE CLOSING CHAPTER Though Karp wasn’t with the crew in the final week of the project, he made sure he was there to witness that magical last day.

“When I arrived in Tunisia, I went to a hotel that everyone called the Geezer Hotel, because Russ had got the whole place rented out. It felt like I was in a movie because people knew who we were. That’s when I felt like we had definitely done what we set out to do. “People would come to me and say, ‘I know this is weird, but I feel like you’re my best friend and you don’t even know who I am.’ It was so amazing that people felt like they became our friends through the mission. They weren’t just fans of it, they were part of it.” There was a palpable atmosphere and an inspiring shared feeling among those waiting for Cook at the finish line, as described by Karp. “It was crazy to see everyone coming together, different fitness levels, wealth, backgrounds – all to support this single person. They all shared the same ideology that Russ had created and instilled in himself and in the videos – that had clearly resonated with people.” With the documentary having just finished up in post-production, Karp looks to future projects – and how this life-changing experience has altered his approach. “I’m looking for something that inspires me. That doesn’t have to be as crazy as going across Africa – that’s not a maintainable lifestyle. “I’m trying to find whatever excites me. If it’s nine months away, a year away, cool.” When asked for one last reflection on Project Africa, Karp took the moment to appreciate the rest of the team. “It couldn’t have been a better team,” he concludes. “The camaraderie, the way that we all came together and worked together. The respect we learnt for each other in our own crafts. But at the same time, we developed a bond way bigger than just friends. “We became a brotherhood. None of this would have been possible without every person from start to end, whether they came and stayed – or went. Every single person had such an amazing impact on the mission and it truly wouldn’t have been completed if even one of us was missing.” .

THE NOBLE STEED Travelling in Nelly the van, the team had to pack light and choose carefully when it came to filming gear

WATCH ME! The YouTube series follows Cook every step of the way


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