Klaus Yohannes – The Black Viking
Klaus Yohannes is an athlete, fighter, poet and founder of the Black Vikings, a group dedicated to the embrace of struggle and the mastery of suffering.
He is on a mission to complete “The seven sagas”, physical challenges intended to test the mind and soul.
On Maundy Thursday this year, he attempted the “Crucification Saga”, which involved carrying a 60kg wooden railway sleeper across his back, barefoot and bare-chested, for 7.2 miles through central London. The challenge almost ended his life.
He expected this march to take 5 hours but it instead lasted 9 hours and 46 minutes, as his arms went numb and he repeatedly fell headfirst onto the pavement. People from all walks of life came to his aid throughout the journey.
Two days later he was diagnosed with a life-threatening spinal cord injury and received emergency surgery. He is now convalescing in order to continue his sagas with the Black Vikings.
02:52 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
04:03 Brian’s introduction.
07:07 Description of the death saga.
12:11 Klaus opens up as to why he undertakes all these sagas.
15:44 How Black Vikings came into being.
18:51 If he gives up Klaus thinks the worm inside him will return.
20:02 Where the name Black Vikings came from.
21:49 Success secrets …
22:18 How city living is detrimental to our bodies.
25:46 Why Klaus wants to adopt five orphans.
28:25 Where his powerful poetic writing comes from.
31:01 The crucifixion saga.
46:43 Why Klaus’ arms were numb, but he remained determined to finish.
49:19 What happened once he finished.
55:48 It’s midnight, Klaus is going into surgery and sends a text “sell all my stuff”.
58:59 His condition after the operation.
1:03:13 “Wanted suffering and so now I’ve got exactly what I wanted.”
1:05:16 Struggling with rehabilitation.
1:07:12 Decision to make the documentary made Klaus become vulnerable in recalling his past.
1:16:54 Planning future sagas.
1:22:48 Klaus recites some of his poetry and talks about what inspired them.
1:33:16 There is something that Klaus is doing which connects with people.
1:37:35 Klaus’ plans for his way forward.
1:38:11 Brian’s summing up.