Sunday, September 19, 2021

Idols top 10 contestant Ithana Conjwa (22) withdraws from season 17 on Mzansi Magic due to medical reasons, M-Net wishes her a speedy recovery.

by Thinus Ferreira

Ithana Conjwa (22), the only contestant from the Eastern Cape part of the top 10 of season 17 of Idols on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) has abruptly dropped out because of undisclosed medical reasons.

Ithana Conjwa loses her place in this season of Idols, produced according to the Fremantle format by [SIC] Entertainment for M-Net's Mzansi Magic channel on MultiChoice's DStv pay-TV service.

It's not clear what is wrong with Ithana Conjwa, but M-Net said that it wishes her a speedy recovery. Voting for tonight's episode of Idols will continue as planned.

M-Net on late Sunday afternoon announced that Ithana is gone, mere minutes after the start of Sunday's episode, and said that she won't be performing.

"Idols SA top 10 finalist, Ithana has withdrawn from the competition due to medical reasons," Mzansi Magic said in a statement.

"The 22 year old will not participate in the highly anticipated battle of the DJs performances this evening."

Nomsa Philiso, M-Net director for local entertainment channels, said in the statement that "As M-Net we wish her a speedy recovery. It is unfortunate that she cannot continue in the competition but her health is of paramount importance".

"I know that this would not be the last time South Africans see her on their screens."

Besides Ithana Conjwa, the Idols top 10 includes Nqobi Linda (28) from Soweto; Berry Trytsman (31) from Cape Town; Daylin Sass (28) from Hanover Park, Cape Town; Sia Mzizi (20) from Tsakane; Karabo Mathe (22) from Hebron; S’22kile Langa (21) Pietermaritzburg; Monique Erens (25) from Cape Town; Kevin Maduna (29) from Soweto; and Bulelani Twala (19) from Heidelberg.

Friday, September 17, 2021

BET announces October dates for Black Tax season 2, Behind the Story season 5 and South African short films under 7 Deadly Sins banner.

by Thinus Ferreira

BET (DStv 129) has announced October dates for the second season of the sitcom Black Tax, the 5th season of Behind the Story, and 7 South African shortfilms under the 7 Deadly Sins thematic banner.

The second season of the comedy series Black Tax will start on BET on Saturday 9 October at 19:00. The comedy series is done in conjunction with MultiChoice's video streaming service Showmax and keeps the existing cast, with new additions.

Black Tax is BET Africa's first South African produced sitcom, following Thuli a successful, young, professional black woman who grapples with "black tax" that is experienced by a lost of middle-class African families.

A "reversioned" version of the profile talk show show, Behind the Story will start on Saturday 9 October at 18:30 with a new host that BET isn't announcing with the date announcement. Pearl Thusi is no longer the Behind the Story presenter.

According to BET the unannounced host of the 5th season of Behind the Story will do profile interviews with various different artists and celebrities as they open up over the struggles and successes of their careers, personal lives and the headline stories that surround them.

Then BET is also unspooling a series of 7 short films, produced by 7 different production companies in the KwaZulu-Natal province, under the banner theme of 7 Deadly Sins.

The production companies were given a brief to develop stories in line with this theme and will all bring a unique interpretation to the so-called "7 deadly sins" as told through the lens of young African film makers.

BET did 7 Deadly Sins in conjunction with the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission (KZNFC).

"We are thrilled to continue our commitment in elevating local storytelling and talent through authentic and engaging entertainment," says Monde Twala, senior vice president and general manager for ViacomCBS Networks Africa, and peer lead, BET International.

"The past two years have been game-changing for the channel. The channel’s upcoming content slate features the very best in black culture entertainment from comedy to drama, mystery and intrigue."

"I'm so proud of our vision of realising local and international content productions that resonate with audiences and celebrate black excellence."

INTERVIEW. Anela 'Smash' Majozi on ending second in Survivor SA: Immunity Island: 'I'm not R1 million richer but I feel very richer for having experienced this show'.

by Thinus Ferreira

Anela "Smash" Majozi smashed his way to second place in Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island, on M-Net (DStv 101), making it to 39 days and just losing out to Nicole Wilmans.

You're a math educator and a rugby player. How would you say did you math skills help you in Survivor?
Smash:  That's a good question, I think obviously when you are a math teacher you have a very a naturally, strategic, analytical way of viewing things and looking at a situation.

I think when it came to problem-solving on my feet, it really did come to the fore in that regard. In instances where I was faced with situations and looking at it from different points of views, I was naturally able to navigate it from different angles and what a better move forward might be.

I wish it came out a little bit more in the puzzles and stuff but from the homework I did do to prepare for the show I thought: Let me not put my hand up for puzzles. I never, ever wanted to put up my hand for puzzles while we were still in our tribes.

You're also a rugby coach, and a rugby player. As a team sport it's constantly drilled home that you need to be a team player, and we're all a team. How did you adjust between playing coach and playing an individual strategy?
Smash: Both are of big importance just at different stages of the game, particularly at the beginning when we were still in tribes that was the name of the game: be a team player, encourage the players. So the coaching was more there.

Obviously once we got to merge it became more an individual game - that's when the player Smash came out. 

That's when it was, "okay, gloves are off, you're fighting for your life now". For me both of them played a big importance - it was just bringing them out at the correct times.

You're a big guy. Chappies. Some of the others. Some of the girls and others are physically smaller. When it's time to divide up the food it's the same quantity for everyone. You don't get more. Correct me if I'm wrong but you actually get weaker therefore quicker. If you're bigger like you, how do you navigate the situation of getting even less food than others?
Smash: You ask a brilliant question there, I mean, I've also wondered why. Chappies lost 12kg, I lost 13kg so it definitely takes a bigger toll on us sort of having to downsize all of the food. 

I probably got onto the show in arguably some of the worst condition I've been in in more recent years. 

My normal weight is about 83kg, 84kg and I've been 93kg, so in all honestly to adjust to eating less was challenging but as I got lighter than when the athleticism improved. I felt that as my weight got lighter I got quicker so I actually welcomed the "lack" if I can say.

You took a cowboy hat which I think was the best piece of clothing besides maybe a waterproof, thick jacket. Was that a deliberate decision?
Smash: It's obviously hot out there and I wanted something to protect myself from that but the significance with the cowboy hat in particular is - some of the contestants would know - I had written on the inside of that, in the lining of that hat - I've written messages to myself to just keep me going.

For instance, all glory goes to God; and small little phrases like "I will be the winner". So for me, I was always very intentional where I saw myself landing up, and when times were tough that really did bring myself back, and helped to calm be down.

During quarantine before the game started I had time to watch SuperSport's Chasing the Sun documentary and Makazole Mapimpi and the achievements in his life and where he's come from. I wrote in my hat just his name. And when times were tough I would think: There's nothing that says you can't be what you want to be in life. 

If you have the intention and you have that goal and vision, the only person stopping you, is you. That small little hat literally gave me all of that, so I was very grateful for taking that. 

When you stepped off as the first of the three in the final immunity challenge, did you think now you're definitely out, or did you think that you still might have a chance going on as one of the final two?
Smash: Sjo, it's a very good question, I think at the time I was sort of there I think I felt that either way  these people - both of them view their chances in the final as being better with me being there.

So that's how I perceived things then. I could clearly see how Nicole could argue her game against mine and that she carried me there, plus we had that really solid relationship. So I thought if she wins, I'm going. 

On Chappies' end, again, we spent a lot of time together from Zamba 2.0 and I felt that if you just draw strength to strength comparisons, I thought he also fancies his chances winning against me. 

For me it was a personal victory to last that one hour 58 minutes. I was really on the sidelines for only 15 minutes or so. 

Now that I've seen it from the perspective of home and a fan, it's interesting to see that Chappies as he outlined in the finale that he might not have had a better chance with me in that final.

What did you learn about the experience?
Smash: There are so many amazing things I could take away from this experience. I feel that everything happens in the way it's supposed to happen and anything that happens that I miss on in life was obviously not meant for me and I have no regrets with how everything has happened.

This is going to change my life going forward and I've learnt a hell of a lot on the good side and the bad side of things. 

I didn't know how much of an influence I could have on someone else's decision making process. Obviously  as a coach and as an educator I'd be pretty bad at my job if I couldn't motivate someone's thinking. 

I was quite surprised at how effectively I was able to do that. The relationship building I've always knew I had. I'm a nice guy and I'm a flirty person and I get on with people. I knew that part of me was going to come out naturally. 

But then weaknesses that I was able to identify, having played the game of rugby, and being a coach now and always having this temperament of being resilient and that you are going to win - it was humbling to realise that you're not invincible.

If you know where your weaknesses are and you know where your boundaries are, then you can better then or say, I'm going to focus on highlighting the strengths. The most important thing is just being grateful for how everything played out in the end. 

Although I'm not a million rand richer, I feel very richer for having experienced this show. I made amazing friends that I'll probably have for life now and life lessons that are priceless.

It's an insane thing to do or want to take part in, like climbing Everest. What would be your advice for people for someone even remotely considering entering Survivor SA?
Smash: My key pieces of advice would be, if you're going to play, play to win. 

And I say it with the greatest respect to the cast because obviously it was fast and furious from the jump, but you can almost immediately identify the people that are here to play and have a strong chance of going all the way, and the others that are just happy to coast along kind of thing.

Secondly, the deeper you get into the game, you're probably going to be revealed more - the core of yourself. With that in mind, yes - there's obviously a right time to highlight yourself or downplay yourself - but be as true as you can be as an individual because it's bound to come out anyway.

If I reflect on my game personally, I knew that I wanted to be this strategic player or physical but I knew even with that in the back of my mind that the thing that makes Smash, Smash is he is friends with everyone. That was my strength. So I naturally just played my own strength. I didn't shirk away from it but I knew that that was the thing that was going to get me there. 

You can see it when I spent 5 days with Zamba 1.0 and they still saved me over Dino and QieƤn who've spent all their time and that was not for nothing besides that I genuinely got to know these people. 

How are you dealing with the fame aspect? You've become an iconic character associated with Survivor SA fandom. People will forever seek you out for advice and to tell stories of your time. How do you handle the fame of it now?
Smash: It's been surreal. For me personally I feel like when you do things well, or when things go well, you want to take the least amount of credit, and when go bad in life, that's when you put your hand up and own it.

For me, I like to stay in the shadows, I don't necessarily want the fame and stuff. I was genuinely just playing for the million. 

Having said that, it's been absolutely incredible and overwhelming just to see how much this show means to and how big Survivor is to so many people.

If you're going to engage with it and you're going to engage with the fans and you're going to engage with the show, there will be good and bad that you'll see and that's welcome to. Everyone must have their opinion and everyone's opinion deserves to be heard. 

I've really enjoyed engaging with every single aspect of this game. It's crazy and it really hasn't sunken in. When people want to have a photo with me, I think but I'm just me. Ha ha. Why do you want a photo with me? But I'm really appreciative of it.

I try my level best to, if I'm ever speaking to someone - there's an age old question that you get where someone asks, "How was it?". And you've probably been asked that a thousand times all of us as contestants. 

But I try to answer it to someone like it's my first time answering it because I know for them - either meeting me or engaging with me - even if I've been asked these questions a thousand times, this show means so much to someone, I  want them to experience Smash like it's the first time. 

If someone asks me for a photo I never say no. If someone want to have a quick chat the energy will always be up. I'm so grateful for that stuff - that again is not something you necessarily go looking for, but it's really appreciated.

INTERVIEW. The speedo. The disappointment. Losing 12kg. Chappies on his Survivor SA: Immunity Island experience: 'What happens to us, actually happens for us'.

by Thinus Ferreira

Widely predicted and expected to become the winner of Survivor SA: Immunity Island on M-Net (DStv 101), Francois "Chappies" Chapman made it so close and yet so far to last 38 out of 39 days when he lost the final individual immunity challenge after winning a breath-taking string of previous ones and then got his torch snuffed.

The only two people who spoke completely differently from the rest when it came to individual interviews to camera were you and Renier. You both spoke as if watching it as a viewer, and stylistically you also changed yours to be funny and with one-liner zingers. Was it a conscious decision to do almost reality TV "method-acting"?
Chappies: The "method acting" was a slight part of my strategy, it's something that naturally occurred to a certain extent within the game. 

For example, the day we arrived on the beach I played up my confidence a bit so that people might have seen it as arrogance. I am very confident in real life but I decided that I'm going to embrace this confidence and add a bit of spice so that I get into people's heads.

That was my only form of "method acting" that I embraced.

What you see in confessionals, is actually who I am, just with a bit more spice. At all times I took into account that I am producing a show here as well and I wanted to tell the story as accurate as possible and as entertaining as possible because that is what I love from a viewer's perspective as well. 

That's why, sometimes - I don't know where these creative things come from - but it helps the viewer remember those scenes, those one-liners, if you colour things in a bit.

The speedo. Obviously no body issues. 
Chappies: Ha ha. I don't have body issues and I just felt that if you get the opportunity to go to the beach and you can show the world that you accept your body, why don't you wear nothing if possible, or the slightest bit of material, right?

If you get the opportunity to go to a deserted beach - and as a bonus, international TV - just show people that you can love your body without faffing about yourself, if I can put it that way. Accept your body. Go out and have fun. 

That's the thing that I wanted people to see. I wanted them to see this bright, orange speedo and it should be a symbol of myself having fun and not caring what anybody else thinks about my body because I love the body that I'm in.  

How do you deal with disappointment and you're probably still dealing with it - how do you find something good out of something that's bad?
Chappies: It's a very good question and one that I've been pondering and been processing the last while; the last year or two of my life, you know.

The answer for me is, the things that we find happen to us, actually happen for us. Let's say that not winning Survivor SA is a bad thing in most people's hearts or in their opinion. 

Yet in my heart, in the bigger scheme of things, down the line, we're going to know exactly why I didn't and why I wasn't destined to win this season. There's a reason for it that we don't understand now but in the bigger scheme of things we're going to understand.

I choose to see the things that don't go my way that it happens for me, and not necessarily to me. Accepting the fact that things are actually happening for you, you can actually overcome some of the worst things that life throws at you - death, the loss of business.

Any adversity happening to you gives you the opportunity to grow. It gives you the opportunity to discover things about yourself.

What surprised you that you didn't know about?
Chappies: There's so much, Thinus. If I can point out two things, I knew that the cast misunderstood me as a person but I didn't know to what extent, and that was crazy to see that these people really hated me to the core of their beings. They really hated me from the beginning.

It tells me that some of the strategy to mess with their minds actually worked. 

Them getting to know me now, I get a completely opposite vibe from them. As much hatred as I've experienced from them, I now get love. It was really interesting to see how much they've hated me at the beginning. 

Most of the other things were not that big of a shock. Another thing that shocked me a bit was that I've got flaws - I know I've got flaws - but I also didn't know to what extent these flaws are and how big they are.

This is what the game really emphasised for me. It's like a magnifying glass highlighting both your weaknesses and your strengths. A lot of my weaknesses were highlighted and now I've got to take responsibility to work on that, and that is something that was shocking to me. 

I knew sometimes I say sh*t without thinking, but I didn't know to what extent, and I didn't know to what extent it hurts other people.

What did you learn about how people behave, from this experience?
Chappies: I could go on for hours about this because I'm still analysing the reactions of the cast as we go along.

First of all this experience made me realise that we are spiritual beings within the game called life. Then, I had the opportunity of playing the game of Survivor SA within the game of life. As you go further along, people tend to get controlled by their emotions more. That was really interesting for me to see.

They would lose self-control and their emotions would rise much more to the surface and take control of the vehicle. They would say things and do things that they don't normally do in their real lives because of the emotional control; because of the very harsh environment and the fact that they're in survival mode.

In the game either the spirit could rise and you could have an amazing transcending experience, or the emotions and the body can rise and you can have an egoistic experience that you're only going to realise afterwards because you don't realise that you're being driven by emotions while they drive you. You only realise that afterwards and go "Oh sh*t, did I really react like that?" 

Sometimes I look back at some of the confessions and it doesn't feel - I can't even remember some of the things I've said. Emotions also took over me at some stage. 

You obviously go into this expecting a deterioration of your physical body. Was it worse than you expected and to what extent were you surprised by how your body changed?
Chappies: Thinus, I was shocked because when I saw my body, I saw the homeless people standing on the side of the street. And that happened over a period of 38 days.

To lose a kilogram every third day - that's what it came down to more or less because I lost 12kg. It was insane. It was ... It was so shocking to me. 

At the same time, also, when I looked into the mirror for the first time, I saw that my body had deteriorated to such an extent that I did not recognise myself.

If I had to choose from photos, myself, I would not have recognised myself, right. 

When I looked into the mirror and I saw the eyes, I realised the soul is still the same. 

That's the penny that dropped that made me realise that everything material will deteriorate with time. It was like an opening for my soul that made me realise: Chappies, listen, you've lost 12kg within a month, if you keep going on like that, you would be dust.

It's philosophical, it's spiritual but that what the realisation was when I looked into the mirror of "wow, this is just a vehicle. And it's just here for a little short time before turning back to dust. But this is eternal, you know". But it shocks you to your core when I saw how the vehicle just deteriorated.

As a transformational coach as your career, this is such a great thing for your CV, I'm sure a lot more people will come to ask you for help and advice, what do you think this experience has infused on a professional level and how might you bring what you've learnt from your Survivor experience into it?
Chappies: I really believe there's a lot of lessons that I've gained through the game that I can apply in my personal life as well as the business life and some of these lessons are lessons that you can apply in any business; in any person's life.

I can't say that I've got the solutions for everyone; that I'm going to boost their business now. 

I want to work with people who are willing to accept the fact that there's always more to learn and that you can really learn from everyone, and wants to see what my input can do in their business.

If there are people who are willing and open to learn and they know they are open to growth and more out there, I'm going to take that opportunity to upscale the business by changing the way the employees think about themselves - about their daily work and about the people around them. 

Because the moment you change the way you think about the activities you're busy with every day, your work becomes more meaningful, which gives better results, which brings about a more fulfilling life.

The business owners that don't just see numbers but see the holistic, big picture, will find value in what I can bring to the table.

INTERVIEW. Survivor SA: Immunity Island winner Nicole Wilmans on her 39-day experience: 'A day came when I was ready to go digging through a rubbish bin for food.'

by Thinus Ferreira

The winner of Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island and R1 million, Nicole Wilmans (26), says the experience of enduring just 39 days with little to no food in bad shelter in the rain was an extremely humbling experience and that stripped of everything, a day arrived in the game where she realised why hungry, homeless people go digging through bins because she was there and ready to do it too.

On Thursday night M-Net (DStv 101) broadcast the finale and reunion show in which the digital marketing manager from Somerset West clinched the title of Sole Survivor in the 8th season of the South African version of the Banijay format reality competition series produced by Afrokaans.

Nicole Wilmans first eliminated Francois "Chappies" Chapman from the top three, after which she got more votes than Anela Majozi to become the winner.

After the final immunity challenge that she won, Nicole tells me that she "immediately knew I had to get rid of Chappies".

"Looking at his track record he was really a challenge beast. Regardless of the fact that people didn't like him as a player or as a person stealing food, I knew that some on the jury would not judge him on that but on the game that he played".

"Obviously for me, the dilemma that I had and that was a massive issue for me, was taking away someone's dream. I knew how badly all of us wanted that. Just the person in me was thinking 'This sucks because it's actually someone else's dream as well that I'm dampening'. That was difficult."

"Yet, in terms of game play, I knew what needed to be done. And Chappies had to go." 

In a lot of individual immunity challenges Nicole couldn't effectively compete but stuck it out to win the pivotal final one that was an endurance challenge, when it really mattered.

"It was phenomenal. I remember just standing  there. And we stood there for quite long. Viewers only see so much and for us it's a do-or-die moment. I knew that if I didn't win that challenge, that I wasn't going to win the game."

"Funnily enough I remember everyone said Chappies manifested a win. But I remember in the 2-week quarantine period before the time, I wrote down in my little journal 'I'm going to win'. I just kept that in my heart."

"I wasn't out there with "'I'm going to win' like Chappies' but I thought I'm going to be a more subtle about this," she says.

"I'm proud of getting to that final challenge, and secondly about slaying Chappies. It's just a feeling that I'll ever be able to put into words because it's just so priceless. It was just phenomenal".

'Playing my own game'
"I didn't want to play a game that everyone else was playing. In Survivor everyone usually goes in with the same strategy and say they're going to be social, or physical and I wanted to incorporate all of those things because you also have to play to your strengths," Nicole Wilmans says.

"I need to play what makes sense to me and plays to my strengths so that's really what I wanted to hone in on and make sure that I was not playing someone's else game but playing my own game and doing that really well. I tried to do my best at that."

"I'm a social person and I really wanted to make real relationships and I think that really benefitted me in the end. Obviously it helped me win but I really invested in people and listened to them and spoke to them about things outside of the game and it helps you to stay sane."

'The worst it can be is 39 days'
"Going into Survivor I knew it was going to be tough," says Nicole.

"I said to myself that the worst it can be is 39 days. Like that is it. I remember one tribal council sitting there and it was raining and I thought: 'What is happening?' I just kept saying to myself 'This too shall pass, this too shall pass'. I never ever wanted to quit. I knew in my heart that it's only 39 days. This will end."

"It's such a phenomenal experience. You have to do it justice and give it your absolute best." 

About what she's learned about humanity, Nicole says that "when people are placed in pressure situations, everyone reacts differently. I think at the end of the day, people just want to feel safe. It was really interesting for me to learn that this is just a game but at the end of the day we are stripped to the bare minimum and it's really a do-or-die situation."

"At the end of the day people just want to feel safe and to be treated with compassion. And it's difficult in the game. I met the most amazing people and I'm so grateful for that."

New perspectives
Nicole Wilmans is obviously R1 million richer which changes any life, but she says that Survivor SA has changed her life in many other ways.

"Just being even more grateful for the little things," she says - "having a warm bed. Having food in my fridge."

"I remember the one day. I was just sitting there. I suddenly thought: 'I realise why people dig in the rubbish bins in public spaces. They are so hungry. I thought: I am willing to do that right now. That is how hungry I am right now."

"Survivor SA has really taught me to be so grateful for just the little things. I go through every day of my life with even bigger intention and making sure that I do my most because there are so many people out there who are really struggling."

"Obviously what I went through doesn't even compare to a homeless person or someone who can't get food on a regular basis. And it's definitely changed my life and made me even more grateful for everything." 

MORE TV TRASH. MultiChoice pits more African women against each other with M-Net West Africa that commissions The Real Housewives of Lagos.

by Thinus Ferreira

MultiChoice is moving to set up and bring subscribers more African women in conflict and clashing with each other and has commissioned another regionalised format season of The Real Housewives franchise for Nigeria, entitled The Real Housewives of Lagos.

Yolisa Phahle, the MultiChoice Group CEO for general entertainment and connected video, said on Thursday's MultiChoice Showcase held in various African countries, that MultiChoice is bringing subscribers The Real Housewives of Lagos in 2022 and that South Africa's The Real Housewives of Durban will be back for a second season.

The Real Housewives, a format from NBCUniversal Formats, a division of Universal Studio Group, is a reality show that selects groups of materialistic women with troubled lives who don't all get along with each other.

Often looking for external validation and showing off their conspicuous consumption as they flaunt their wealth and troubled lives, cameras follow them while they fight and their various dramatic confrontations with other people.

The Real Housewives of Lagos will go first to MultiChoice's video streaming service Showmax, after which it will likely make it way to M-Net West Africa's Africa Magic channel. 

The Real Housewives of Lagos is the third African format adaptation of the reality show and will be produced by Livespot 360. 

It follows after South Africa's The Real Housewives of Johannesburg and The Real Housewives of Durban that is produced by Let It Rain Films with Thumeka Hlotshana who will be directing the upcoming second season.

"We are so proud to build on the international success of The Real Housewives of Johannesburg and Durban with our partner Showmax," says Ana Langenberg, the senior vice president, format sales & production at NBCUniversal International Formats, in a statement from NBCUniversal.

"The vibrancy of Lagos and its rich culture, fashion and opulence makes for the perfect setting for the show. We also can't wait to see the second season of Durban come to life and deliver fans all over the world even more extravagance and entertainment."

Candice Fangueiro, Showmax head of content, says "We've seen audiences across Africa devour The Real Housewives of Johannesburg and The Real Housewives of Durban".

"The Real Housewives franchise lends itself to localisation and we know our audience is going to love seeing the show reinvented Naija-style. We can’t wait to show the continent - and the world - another side of Lagos, with all the drama, high fashion and luxury you’d expect from The Real Housewives franchise."

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Nicole Wilmans wins Survivor SA: Immunity Island on M-Net.

by Thinus Ferreira

The digital marketing manager from Somerset West, Nicole Wilmans (26) and the youngest woman to compete this season clinched the title of Sole Survivor and won the R1 million in the 8th season of Survivor South Africa, when she got the most votes from the jury during the finale that was broadcast on M-Net (DStv 101) on Thursday night.

"I don't even know where to begin. I'm just so grateful for everyone who did vote for me and just to have shared this experience with all of these amazing people and to be the Sole Survivor with such a phenomenal cast, I should feel - well done," said Nicole as she tapped herself on her shoulder. "It's mindblowing."

During the 2-hour finale of Survivor SA: Immunity Island - part Wild Coast-filmed, part studio-bound reunion show, that saw all of the castaways returning to a reconstructed tribal council set in Silverline Studios in Cape Town - DStv subscribers first saw Francois "Chappies" Chapman (32) from Centurion getting his torch snuffed as one of the final three castaways.

While Chappies was widely favoured and predicted to be the winner after stacking multiple, consecutive immunity challenge wins during the course of the 39-day season, he shockingly failed to win the last immunity challenge in an endurance challenge that would have guaranteed him a place as one of the final two contestants.

"What a beautiful ending to this amazing season. It’s another blindside right at the end," Chappies said.

That left Nicole Wilmans and Anela Majozi (25), a math educator and rugby coach from Johannesburg, as the final two castaways in Survivor SA: Immunity Island who had to plead their case before, and canvass for votes, from the jury.

In the end, Nicole Wilmans emerged victorious who said that "I think I was born to be on Survivor" before the show began, and who said she packed her bikini first - adamant to get the sun-tanned "Survivor-glow" during her time on the reality competition series.