’Survivor SA’ host Nico Panagio. Picture: Supplied.
’Survivor SA’ host Nico Panagio. Picture: Supplied.

Meet the castaways for 'Survivor SA: Immunity Island'

By Alyssia Birjalal Time of article published May 2, 2021

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In the much awaited eighth season of “Survivor SA: Immunity Island“, twenty castaways will complete for the title of Sole Survivor.

For the first time ever, the show has been filmed on South African soil due to the coronavirus pandemic and will air on Thursday, June 3 at 7.30pm on M-Net (DStv channel 101).

The group of castaways were transported far from their homes and into true isolation on the Eastern Cape’s stunningly-beautiful Wild Coast, where they attempted to outwit, outplay and outlast each other over 39 days for R1 million and the coveted title.

Jan du Plessis, Channel Director for M-Net Channels, said that the series is shaping up to be the best-ever in Survivor South Africa history.

“The castaways this season proved that they will stop at nothing to emerge victorious – it’s the most cut-throat, ambitious and engrossing season of the game we’ve seen, contested by a group of true super fans,” said du Plessis.

Meet your “Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island” castaways:

Amy Eliason (33), Corporate Lawyer

Amy Eliason. Picture: Supplied

“I was at a braai and the advertisement for ”Survivor“ came on TV and with my red wine-stained lips and teeth I proclaimed, ‘I can do that! I then proceeded to film my messy audition video, which somehow got me selected”.

Anela Majozi (25), Math Educator and Rugby Coach

Anela Majozi. Picture: Supplied

“I’m simple yet also elaborate, deliberate and measured in my approach - and somehow also very careless at times,” he says.

Anesu Mbizvo (29), Medical Doctor, Yoga teacher and small business owner

Anesu Mbizvo. Picture: Supplied

“I am constantly searching for ways to grow and evolve and I wanted to enter ’Survivor’ so that I could find out who I would be when everything was stripped away and I was pushed to my limits”.

Carla Gubb (29), Corporate Sales Executive & Entrepreneur

Carla Gubb. Picture: Supplied

“The game is so different every season and every player is unique, which makes it impossible to predict what is going to happen, or how to play,” she says.

Francois Chapman (32), Entrepreneur

Francois Chapman. Picture: Supplied

“Swim upstream or don’t swim at all. No hard feelings, just a hard game,” he says.

Dino Paulo (30), Live Escape Game owner

Dino Paulo. Picture: Supplied

“Being easy-going and highly adaptable should have its advantages too,” he says.

Jason Brookstein (27), Structural Engineering Draughtsman

Jason Brookstein. Picture: Supplied

Citing Joe Anglim, Ozzy Lusth and Sarah Lacina as his favourite-ever Survivor players, he says his strategy going into the game is to spot vulnerability and use it to his advantage, while networking and having options to move in the game.

Kiran Naidoo (29), Strategy Consultant

Kiran Naidoo. Picture: Supplied

“Playing ‘for fun’ is quite literally the most annoying concept in the world.

“I am exceptionally curious about the world around me and the motivations behind why people do what they do.

“Lastly, I’m super sarcastic and quick-witted, if you don’t pick it up you may think I’m mean… shame”.

Marisha du Plessis (35), ‘Boervrou and guest house owner’

Marisha du Plessis. Picture: Supplied

She describes herself as ‘outgoing, strong and very driven’ – and hates being told she cannot or may not do something.

While her greatest weakness is not being able to hide her true self, she says her strengths are how good she is with people, relationships, and the way she never gives up.

Mike Laws (32), Lawyer

Mike Laws. Picture: Supplied

“I’m a corporate law geek with anxiety issues, strong opinions and a big heart”.

He entered this season ‘to see if a neurotic, city-slicker, white-collar geek could crack it in the wild’.

Nicole Wilmans (26), Digital Marketing Manager

Nicole Wilmans. Picture: Supplied

“I think I was born to be on ”Survivor“ - I love the thrill of the game and how it challenges you in every possible way imaginable.

“I am a passionate and enthusiastic woman. A go-getter and always up for a challenge,” she says.

Noleen Nkanjeni (30), Freelancer

Noleen Nkanjeni. Picture: Supplied

Better known as Pinty, loves learning how to do new things and to go beyond her limits. “That’s why I like to think of myself as a ‘Janet of all trades’ who knows a little more than just a little about many different things.

“Meeting new people and having meaningful, honest interactions is one of my favourite things”.

Paul Cupido (29), Aftercare Teacher

Paul Cupido. Picture: Supplied

“I’m someone who’s always up for a challenge – spiritually, mentally and physically and someone who often puts others before himself,” he says.

Qieän Wang (35), ‘Fun-employed’

Qieän Wang. Picture: Supplied

“Expect some tears. I’m definitely not one who is afraid to show her vulnerability! Hopefully the viewers will recognize me for my kind, nurturing nature and not mistaken it for someone who is not aggressive,” she says.

Renier Louwrens (30), Chemical Engineer

Renier Louwrens. Picture: Supplied

“I’ve been playing the hypothetical game in my head for the past 5 years, discussing it and breaking it down with my wife and having loads of fun doing so. My wife and I have watched every season of ”Survivor“ out there.

“It’s my dream to be able to play the game I’ve grown so fond of over the past 20 years,” he says.

Santoni Engelbrecht (39), Online Business Owner

Santoni Engelbrecht. Picture: Supplied

“I love the dynamics of the show and always wanted to enter. I’m such a ‘non-Survivor-looking person’ and I wanted to show people that anything is possible if you put your mind to it,” she says.

Shaun Wilson (40), I.T. entrepreneur

Shaun Wilson. Picture: Supplied

“Lockdown hit and I perfected my baking skills, spending time with my dogs and improving my KD rate on Apex Legends,” he says.

Thoriso M-Afrika (36), Marketing Officer

Thoriso M-Afrika. Picture: Supplied

“I’ll stand out as an anomaly on the show because I wouldn’t be caught dead camping, am a creature of comfort and would probably die if I ever did something like this alone,” she says.

Tyson Zulu (24), Creative Director and Entrepreneur

Tyson Zulu. Picture: Supplied

“I'm a super creative, a jack of all trades and a perfectionist to a fault. I love animals more than people, 10/10 times I'll always speak my mind and do what I feel.

“I want to be a big player in the Film & TV industry and learning, first-hand, from the biggest show in the country is a massive opportunity,” he says.

Wardah Hartley (39), Yoga Instructor and Fitness Professional

Wardah Hartley. Picture: Supplied

“I officially celebrate four decades on the planet this year, and I have learnt plenty about myself and about how human beings behave. I wanted to put myself in an environment where I could put all of these valuable life lessons to the test – Survivor SA is my Masterclass”.

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