The superhero security guard and trainer


Words: Nhlanhla Masemola | Photography: Nadia von Scotti | Videography: Maxime Thaysen

This Body Moves is our sport campaign celebrating all of the big and small ways that our bodies carry us. This body adapts, struggles, learns. This body endures, it accomplishes, it has what it takes. This body soaks up the stories that make up a lifetime of living with its own identity, heritage, failures, capabilities and wins. This body sets its own pace. This body sets its own terms.

Meet José Maria João. Tall in stature and of muscular build, José was originally born in northern Angola. He endured a tough childhood, growing up during a time of civil unrest in his country, and spent his youth being a child soldier. Today in South Africa, José has made a living for himself as a tireless security guard and personal trainer. Considering the trauma the 49 year old has survived, José hasn’t let it stop him from pursuing happiness and winning hearts with his kindness and warm personality. His body has always been a tool to survive and fight. Now he sees it as something to respect and gauge his personal best.

My body is a good place to be because...

I can push it to the limit and train and it never lets me down.

What do you like to wear while being active?

Gym shorts and a tank top.

What do you eat before you work out?

I make an egg smoothie.

What or who has been your biggest inspiration in life?

The pursuit of happiness. My mother, who’s passed on. When I climb in my spare time, I like to go as high as I can and speak to her as if she were still here with me.


What does health mean to you and how do you define it?

It means to live longer. To look good, but also feel good.

What misconceptions do you think people have about fitness?

That fitness is a quick fix, whereas working out should be a lifestyle.

What was your favourite moment while shooting the Superbalist Sport 2019 campaign?

Everyone was very kind and welcoming. I especially loved dancing and skipping.

What do you love most about your body?

Honestly? Everything!

And the least?