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By Citizen Reporter


Influencer Nadia Jaftha bags Tropika Island of Treasure grand prize

'I couldn’t tell my family that I won because they’re so bad at keeping secrets! My mom only found out this week because I knew that if I told her sooner, she would want to tell the whole family,' said Jaftha.

After weeks of competing in what has been dubbed “one of the smoothest seasons of Tropika Island of Treasure to date,” #TeamCoolRed (made up of actress and social media sensation Nadia Jaftha and athlete and MC Trevor Lagerway) has emerged victorious and will take home (and share) the R1-million grand prize.

In last night’s final episode, the race to the finish heated up as both teams entered the last stage of the challenge.

Thanks to the Tropika Long Life Charms they acquired during the season, #TeamCoolRed received a staggering one and a half minute head-start in the final challenge.

While #TeamMangoPeach continued to recover from the setbacks they encountered on the first leg of the challenge, Siphesihle Vazi and Darren Solomon proved that they deserved a place in the finale as they quickly recovered in the puzzle challenge – catching up to Nadia and Trevor.

However, #TeamCoolRed reigned supreme as they managed to correctly guess the combination first, unlocking the chest and securing their win, bringing an end to this exciting season.

Tropika Island of Treasure’s #TeamCoolRed – actress and social media sensation Nadia Jaftha and athlete and MC Trevor Lagerway | Image: Supplied

The Reunion

The finale saw this season’s contestants and celebrities getting together for a virtual reunion as they reminisced on their time in Curaçao and the adventure through the competition.

Nadia and Trevor joined Katlego Maboe live in-studio as they opened up about their unstoppable partnership and their winning moment.

Bouwer Bosch, Janeske Rademan, Simphiwe Ngema, Siya Mfenyana, Kay Sibiya, Caldine Wyngaard, Ntando Duma, Sethu Colo and Darren Solomon reminisced on their time on the series while congratulating Nadia and Trevor on their win.

“Congratulations to them!” said Ntando Duma before adding: “Shout out to my friend Nadia and to Trevor as well. No team deserved this win more.”

Brand manager for Tropika Barbara George shared her elation with the success of the ninth season of the hit show.

“This season of Tropika Island of Treasure, we went bigger than ever before and every episode was a real treat to watch. We had an incredibly diverse group of celebrities and contestants who each brought something unique to this season, and the stunning island paradise of Curaçao provided the perfect backdrop. Nadia and Trevor were fierce competitors throughout the show and are very deserving of their win!” said George.

The finale episode also saw one lucky viewer win return flights to Amsterdam with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the airline of choice that the cast of Tropika Island of Treasure flew to reach Curaçao.

After the episode, Jaftha opened up about her experience on the show and what she plans on doing with her winnings.


You did exceptionally well on the show. After dominating most of the challenges this season, did you go into the finale expecting to win?

I was hoping for the best, honestly, but I thought that if I became too confident that I was going to win then something was going to change. With Trevor, it was easy to get the challenges done in a certain way because of his lifestyle and experience in this regard. So, no – I didn’t expect to win but I was definitely hopeful.

What does it feel like being the winner of this season of Tropika Island of Treasure?

It feels surreal because I came in seeing myself as an underdog and I don’t think anyone expected me to win over the other strong male and female celebrities who participated in this season. It’s really great representing Cape Town and the coloured community with this win. I am super proud of myself.

What was your family’s reaction to the big news?

I couldn’t tell my family that I won because they’re so bad at keeping secrets! My mom only found out this week because I knew that if I told her sooner, she would want to tell the whole family. It’s been so funny because she’s been begging me for the results for months and I eventually had to make her believe that I did make it quite far because I arrived back in SA late during the filming process. So, I told her I made it far but that I didn’t win so she would get off my back. The first thing you want to do is share news like this but I knew I had to keep it under wraps in case the news came out and would spoil the show for others.

What was the moment like when you were announced as the winners?

It was funny – I thought we had won before reaching the finish line because we opened a treasure chest at the bottom of the stairs and I forgot that we had to run up the stairs and open another huge chest! So, when Katlego officially told us we won I was overwhelmed – I even ugly cried! It was such a great feeling.

How are you going to be spending the prize money?

I am an ambassador for Nourish the Children so I will definitely be donating some of my winnings to them as well as The Habibia Children’s Home. I will also be putting some money aside for a house. Property is so expensive in Cape Town so this will definitely give me the boost I need. When it is safe to travel again, I want to spoil myself with a little trip as well.

What has been the biggest lesson you learned about yourself?

The biggest lesson I learned about myself is that I should never underestimate myself. In the beginning of the season, I kept on doubting myself because I wasn’t the strongest or fittest or best with puzzles but as the season progressed, I found a lot more confidence in myself.

What drew you to be a part of a show like this?

I have watched previous seasons of Tropika Island of Treasure and I always enjoyed the concept and I’ve always wanted to be a part of a show like this. When I got the call, I was over the moon. I wanted to see how the show would encourage me to push my boundaries both mentally and physically as well as to see how I deal with curveballs and thinking off my feet during challenges – on an exotic island, of course!

Now that the show is done, what is next for you?

I recently finished filming a movie which I am really excited about. Because of Covid-19, I expect the film will be out in cinemas next year which I am looking forward to. I also started a business with my friend which has been exciting as I step into a more entrepreneurial role. I am spending a lot of time on the planning side of things during this lockdown period and plan on hitting the ground running once I am able to do so. Then, I also have some new music coming out soon which I am really looking forward to sharing with the world.

Described as one of the most competitive players to ever feature on TIOT, Trevor looks back at his time on the show and shares what the future has in store for him.

What was the moment like when you were announced as the winners?

The final challenge was the most difficult task we undertook the whole season and after clinching that win, it took a while for that feeling to sink in. We started off the finale in such a big lead but Vazi and Darren quickly caught up to us and that stress definitely impacted our performance. But, standing on top of the castle with Nadia gave me such euphoria. It’s a feeling I won’t forget anytime soon. It was so epic standing up on the castle and waving that winning flag. The best part of the win was seeing the hard work Nadia and I put in throughout the season had paid off. We made such a great team and it was really great sharing that moment with her.

How are you going to be spending the prize money?

I have given a big chunk of it to The Lighthouse Foundation. That was something that I felt I needed to do. With the rest of the money, the plan was to take my wife on a holiday before we welcome our baby into the world in October, but because of Covid-19, we haven’t had the chance to do that just yet. I will definitely try to be smart with the rest of the money.

What has been the biggest lesson you learned about yourself?

I always used to say that I wasn’t an emotional guy but this game unearthed a different side of me when I was exposed to the different challenges on the island. It was great for me to tap into that side of myself. One always grows in tough situations and I am proud of the way I have grown throughout the competition and how that has made me a better person.

What drew you to be a part of a show like this?

I had watched previous seasons and seeing the challenges I knew it was something I absolutely had to give a go. I love the physicality, the water, islands, summer, beaches and the sun – and I knew this would be a fun experience. I am all about adventure so going to an island that I had never even heard of would be a dream come true.

Now that the show is done, what is next for you?

After selling my gym, I am looking at moving my business online and that has been something that has been taking up a lot of my time. The business is still in the health and fitness sector and is mostly geared towards men and helping them in both their physical and mental aspect, to realise who they are and the value that they hold – and taking that into their fitness, their lifestyles and their everyday life. I am also looking at entering the public speaking arena which is daunting for me because I have a fear of public speaking – but it’s something that I am working on.

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