Mohamed Kajee has become the winner of the biggest prize ever given away in the history of South African television by winning the R5.8 million Top Billing Dream Home competition on SABC3 which Top Billing ran for the show's 21st birthday.
Mohamed Kajee, an internal auditor from Johannesburg who've just moved to Kenilworth, Cape Town with his wife Saffiya Cachalia, won the keys to the R5 million, top floor luxury apartment in the Mirage complex in Cape Town's trendy De Waterkant area.
He also got the keys to a brand-new Infiniti Cabriolet worth R700 000, as well as a R100 000 Woolworths gift card.
The second and third place winners in the Top Billing Dream Home competition up also went home with tens of thousands of rand in prizes, making for an individual winner prize value and an overall combined prizes value over the 21 weeks of the competition which dwarves anything ever given away on a South African TV show before.
"Its the fairy tale start of our lives together in Cape Town," said Mohamed Kajee, "an apartment, a car, a whole lifestyle, a new city - its exactly what my wife and I were looking for."
In Thursday evening's Top Billing episode viewers saw how the Top 10 contestants had to endure a gruelling quiz to test their knowledge about Top Billing as they had to write down the answers on notepads and then hold it up.
"Sitting in the studio was all pressure, with all these contestants - everybody all energised and ready to win this competition. It was very difficult," said Mohamed Kajee.
The Mirage apartment was built by the Nova Group. Viewers followed the weekly progress of the entire apartment step by step, which lend an interesting new twist to the local glamarama lifestyle programme which has over the past 21 years become synonymous with showcasing South Africa's most beautiful homes.
The Mirage apartment's interior architecture was done by the award-winning architect Stefan Antoni.
It includes a gourmet Miele kitchen, a Hansgrohe bathroom, 40 MBPS unlimited internet, a cutting-edge entertainment centre, R100 000 of Woolworth decor - and a spectacular view of Cape Town and Table Mountain.
"The response we received from the public was overwhelming and the Top Billing lifestyle has become a reality for Mohamed. We congratulate him," said Patience Stevens, Top Billing co-executive producer.
"We've had such fun turning this idea into a magnificent reality," said Bonang Matheba, Top Billing presenter.
"It's been such an exciting competition to work on all together in celebration of Top Billing's 21st birthday as a show," Basetsana Kumalo, Top Billing co-executive producer told TV with Thinus.
"We worked tirelessly with a number of sponsors to make this dream come true and to give Mohamed this fantastic prize. Mohamed really is a well-deserving winner. He worked hard to answer the questions."
I asked Basetsana Kumalo what she makes about the legacy, endurance and ongoing popularity of Top Billing. "You know what, its such a humbling experience. Twenty-one years down the line we still have a South African audience glued to their screens on a Thursday, wanting to see the best of the good life, wanting to watch Top Billing with us."
"You're as good as your team. And Patience Stevens and I are blessed with a formidable, dedicated, committed team of extremely talented individuals who go above and beyond the call of duty to create quality television."
"We try to continue to not reinvent the wheel - because the format of the show works and viewers know exactly what to expect - but its always trying to keep it fresh and exciting with an infusion of some new talent, with the likes of Bonang Matheba."
"Its been a great milestone to celebrate 21 years. We've come of age, we've earned our stripes and Top Billing is known as the longest running lifestyle magazine show on South African television," Basetsana Kumalo told me.
"Its a really great accolade to be able to be known as a South African brand that produces world class international quality content. Top Billing been and remains a great, great journey. And I was really thin when we started - ha, ha - and since then its been just a phenomenal journey."