Close to the house, but far from comfortable: Surviving South Africa it becomes real on the wild coast.
Twenty vagrants from all over South Africa gathered in a Surviving South Africa the first – a chance to compete for the first time in the eight-season history of the series for “Sole Survivor” in South Africa, with the upcoming Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island.
After spending most of the year in isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a group of 20 fugitives were transported far from their homes and in real isolation to the stunningly beautiful wild coast of the Eastern Cape, where they tried to outwit and survive for 39 days for R1 million and the desired title.
Jan du Plessis, channel director for M-Net Channels, says the series is being formed to be the best ever in the history of South Africa’s Survivor. “The losers this season have proved that they will not stop at anything to come out as winners – this is the most cut, most ambitious and most interesting season of the game we have seen, and in which a group of true super fans compete.”
Creative producer and director of the series, African Lerouk Botha says that the first local environment for Survivor South Africa this season has taken another step. “When the Cancellers discovered that they would play the game closer to home than usual, some of them thought they could take the level of knowledge for granted – but soon found out if they were in the beautiful wilderness of the Coast or on an island on the other side of the planet.” “Survivor always throws out tests, reversals and challenges that they couldn’t have foreseen,” he says.
Here are 20 missing people who will start Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) at 7:30 pm on Thursday, June 3:
1. Ami Eliason Lawyer (33) from Johannesburg, says that her favorite drink – red wine – also led her to apply for this season of the show. “I was on braja and commercials for Survivors came on TV and with my lips and teeth stained with red wine I declared: “I can do it!”, she says. “Then I continued to record my messy video from the audition, which somehow chose me!”
2. Mathematics teacher and rugby coach Anela Majozi (25) from Johannesburg, is originally from Durban, but Joburg is now calling home – describing himself as a ‘typical Gemini’. “I’m simple, but also elaborate, thoughtful and measured in my approach – and sometimes also very careless,” he says.
3. Anesu Mbizvo, MD, yoga teacher and small business owner (29) from Johannesburg, describes herself as “a natural leader, a healer, a lover of the earth and a passionate dreamer.” The yoga teacher says of entering: “I’m constantly looking for ways to grow and evolve and I wanted to get into Survivor so I could find out who I would be when everything was taken away and when I was pushed to my limits.”
4. Executive Sales Director and Entrepreneur Carla Gubb (29) from Cape Town, says that, looking at every season of Survivor that has aired over the last 20 years, he still believes you can never be ready. “The game is so different every season and every player is unique, which makes it impossible to predict what will happen or how to play,” she says.
5. Entrepreneur Francois Chapman (32) from Centurion, is known as the ‘Chappies’ to his friends and fellow Castavais. By nature, he describes himself as an optimist, who loves life and tries to positively influence other people’s lives by living life to the fullest. “Swim upstream or not swim at all,” is his motto. Chappies says there is nothing he would not do to win the game. “There are no hard feelings, just a hard game,” he says.
6. Live Escape Game Owner Dino Paulo (30) from Johannesburg, says that his greatest strength is the ability to laugh at himself or in a difficult situation, which helped him show resilience. “Lightness and adaptability should also have their advantages,” he says.
7. Building designer Jason Brookstein (27) from Johannesburg, he packed hair bands as the first item in his play bag – strange, then, to say that one of his biggest weaknesses is the “barber shop”. Citing Joe Anglim, Ozzy Lusth and Sarah Lacina as their favorite Survivor players ever, he says his strategy of entering the game is to spot the vulnerability and use it to his advantage as he networks and has opportunities to move around in the game.
8. Strategy Advisor Kiran Naidoo (29) from Johannesburg, was born in Durban and absolutely adores competition. “Playing ‘for fun’ is literally the most boring concept in the world,” he says. “I’m extremely curious about the world around me and the motivation behind why people do what they do. And in the end, I’m super sarcastic and smart, if you don’t do that, you might think I’m mean. Shame.”
9. “Owner of Boervrou and boarding house” Marisha du Plessis (35) from Tulbagh, describes herself as “outgoing, strong and very moving” – and hates being told that she can’t or doesn’t have to do something. Although her biggest weakness is not that she can hide her true self, she says that her strengths are how good she is with people, relationships and the way she never gives up.
10. Laws on Attorney Mike (32) from Cape Town, calls himself a ‘classic city nerd’. “I am a corporate law nerd with anxiety problems, strong opinions and a big heart.” He entered this season “to see if a neurotic, urban slippery nerd could destroy her in the wild” and prepared himself by learning to tie knots – although he declares himself “useless” in it.
11. Digital Marketing Director Nicole Vilmans (26) from Somerset West, “I think I was born to be in Survivor – I love the excitement of the game and how it challenges you in every way you can imagine,” she says. “I am a passionate and enthusiastic woman. A cheerleader and always ready for a challenge,” she says. First packing her bikini – unyielding, she intended to get that ‘Survivor Shine’ – Nicole says she feels like she’s been preparing for the game all her life.
12. Freelancer Noleen Nkanjeni (30) from Cape Town, better known as Pinti, loves to learn how to do new things and go beyond its limits. “That’s why I like to think of myself as the ‘Janet of all trades’ who knows a little more than just a lot about different things,” says Pinti. “Meeting new people and meaningful, honest interactions are one of my favorite things.”
13. Nursing teacher Paul Cupido (29) from Johannesburg, describes himself as “unmarried / very single” and thinks of himself as “a kind and loving person, with a spontaneously positive outlook on life”. “I am someone who is always ready for a challenge – spiritually, mentally and physically and someone who often puts others ahead of himself,” he says. He joined Survivor SA because he wanted to be a part of a social experiment, but also because he longed for a new adventure and a little excitement in his life.
14. ‘Funny’ Kiean (pronounced ‘Kei-hahn’) Wang (35) from Cape Town, was born in Taiwan and is currently headquartered in Hong Kong. She likes to have the freedom to explore nature and be immersed in it. She describes herself as “extremely empathetic, kind and fiercely loyal” – something she says is often taken for granted. “Expect a few tears. I’m definitely not the one who is afraid to show her vulnerability! I hope that viewers will recognize me by their kind, nurturing nature and not mistakenly replace it with someone who is not aggressive,” she says.
Chemical Engineer Renier Louvrens (30) from Sekunda, “I’ve been playing a hypothetical game in my head for the last 5 years, discussing it and breaking it up with my wife and having fun while doing so,” he says of his preparations to play that game. “My wife and I watched every season of Survivor there. It’s my dream to be able to play a game that I’ve liked so much over the last 20 years,” he says.
16. Internet business owner Santoni Engelbrecht (39) with Strand, it is the case of the “fourth charm” because it has finally realized its desire to become a Survivor SA doom after three previous attempts. “I love the dynamics of the show and I’ve always wanted to get into it. I’m such a ‘person who doesn’t look to survive’ and I wanted to show people that anything is possible if you have fun with it,” she says.
17. IT entrepreneur Shaun Wilson (40) from Cape Town, was born in Norwich, Jo ‘burg-bred, and now Capetonian, is a’ nerd with a penchant for adventure and the greatest soft spot for dogs’. His preparation for Survivor SA did not exist. “Lockdown hit and I perfected my baking skills, spending time with my dogs and improving the KD rate on Apek Legends,” he says.
18. Marketing Officer Thoriso M-Africa (36) from Whitenhage, was born in PE and describes herself as ‘an eternal optimist, a fiercely loyal and vivid person living in my world’. “I will stand out as an anomaly in the show, because they wouldn’t catch me dead camping, I’m a creature for comfort and I would probably die if I ever did something like this alone,” she says.
19. Creative Director and Entrepreneur Tison Zulu (24) from Johannesburg, “I’m super creative, an expert and a perfectionist. I love animals more than people,” says the Durban-born entrepreneur. “10/10 times I will always speak my mind and do what I feel.” He entered Survivor SA as a learning experience. “I want to be a big player in the film and TV industry, and first-hand learning in the biggest show in the country is a huge opportunity,” he says.
20. Yoga instructor and fitness professional Wardach Hartley (39) from Johannesburg, “This year I am officially celebrating four decades on the planet and I have learned a lot about myself and how people behave,” she says. After being a journalist for 20 years, she developed the ability to quickly connect and build trust with virtually anyone she meets. “I wanted to place myself in an environment where I could test all these valuable life lessons – Survivor SA is my Masterclass.”
South Africa Survivors: Immunity Island was filmed on the wild coast of the Eastern Cape, in partnership with the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC).
The eighth season of the show is again produced by Afrokaans, and hosted by Nico Panagio. The series will premiere on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) on Thursday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m.