Munyaradzi Vomo

“I feel like a million bucks,” said the winner of the fourth season of Tropika Island of Treasure, Nolan Jonathan. And he should feel like a million bucks because that’s how much he won!

In a season that was tightly contested by well known names such as Phila Mazibuko, DJ Zinhle, Tshepo Mogale and Joelle Kayembe among others, the plebs were never sure if they could match with the celebrities because they were new to each other and the limelight.

“I thought that, since the celebrities all knew each other for a long time before the show started, they would be willing to sacrifice us and save each other,” said Jonathan.

And he was right, judging by the number of celebrities who were still present at the end of the season.

The executive producer and co-creator of the show, Samantha Moon, seemed to agree with this notion.

“I was never aware of the details of the alliances, but I am sure the celebrities had something up their sleeve. I noticed this from the time we were still in South Africa, way before the show started,” Moon said.

Still, their star power proved to only work up to a point as the little known Jonathan wound up taking the R1 million.

At first glance Jonathan would not have been the obvious choice to win this type of competition.

“I wasn’t the fittest of the contestants, but I managed to pull through everything that was thrown at me,” said Jonathan.

Moon agreed with that notion and said that when crafting the tasks for the show the producers look for challenges and elements that do not necessitate strength, but rely on other attributes.

“We try to make sure that at the end of the day it becomes a thing about luck more than anything else.

“Imagine if all the challenges were to just involve strength, then the female contestants would be at a disadvantage from the onset,” Moon said.

As we saw yesterday, the challenges included trying to run over a balanced group of pillars and attempting to shoot three balls into three hats.

Now you do not go to the gym to get something like that right. It has to do with how the stars are lined up for every individual taking part.

“I never, ever expected to win,” said Jonathan in disbelief. It took me 10 minutes to let it all sink in.

“When I got the call that I would be on the show, all I expected was to get to meet people and just be on a holiday in Mexico.

“When they announced I had won it was an out-of-body experience,” Jonathan said.

His triumph saw him beat rapper Slikour, singer and TV personality Phila Mazibuko and model Tracy McGregor and her broken arm, who were all strong contenders.

“I don’t know how Tracy got that far, but I was happy for her,” Moon said. It is amazing that she was a good sport throughout the show. I kept saying to her that if it were me I would milk it to my advantage,” she added.

Jonathan admits he is still undecided on how he will spend the money he won. “I am going to invest most of it and perhaps push my music a bit as well, but we’ll see.”