Johnny Gbenda-Charles and Murray Roeske
The Amazing Race; In To Win It


Johnny Gbenda-Charles and Murray RoeskeJohn Gbenda-Charles and Murray Roeske – or Raspberry and Coke as they became to be known on the Amazing Race NZ vs Australia 2014, were members of Team NZ, they met in their final year of boarding school, while John was on a soccer scholarship and Murray on a rugby scholarship.

The retired professional footballers shared a stint in Hong Kong together, but have spent most of their careers living and working in separate cities around the world. They're relishing this opportunity to focus on their friendship and hopefully nab a victory in the process. “We believe we've got enough skills, fitness and ability to win this, so we have to focus on that. This is our team and our journey,” says John.

Murray currently works in the civil infrastructure rebuild of Christchurch, or as John puts it, “he's doing God's work in this world”. John manages professional athletes, or as Murray puts it, “he's the black Jerry Maguire”.

By their own admission they're different characters, and they don't compete with each other. “We don't like the same kind of girls, we don't dress the same – our differences are our strength,” John says. John, who is Murray's best-mate, was born in West Africa and moved to Wellington with his mum and sister when he was nine.

Murray, who is John's "second-best-mate‟, grew up on a farm in Nelson until he was 15.

The two have made a living from being fierce competitors on the sporting field, although it remains to be seen just how seriously the fun-loving larrikins will engage in competition on the Race.