Ever since Reeva Steenkamp’s passing thrust season 5 of Tropika Island of Treasure into the limelight (as it was one of the last things she did before she was killed), season 6 and 7 enjoyed fairly little fanfare from viewers.
But that is all set to change as the powers that be went back to the drawing board to rework the show and bring it back for yet another season with a few changes. The first of which was the fact that Katlego Maboe would be taking over from Minnie Dlamini and Jonathan Boynton-Lee as both Games Master and host of the show.
“I did as much preparation as I could in understanding who I was dealing with in my contestants… the format of the show itself and the games involved and in the absence of trying not to emulate too many of the people I’ve seen in the past, I was trying to just put MY mark on the show,” said Maboe.
He added that those who have seen him on the Expresso morning show on SABC know that he is the crazy energetic one who likes to have fun and that is what he wanted to maintain on #TIOT8 after the decision to combine the roles of Games Master and host.
What has remained the same however is the fact that there would be 7 celebrity contestants paired with 7 Tropika consumers - the only difference being that the teams had no idea who their partners would be ahead of the show.
As some of you may know, the show goes on an annual nationwide search in order to provide the public the opportunity to compete alongside the famous faces and the season 8 contestants who will join them at The Adaaran resorts and villas in the Maldives are as follows:
The 20-year-old is a drama student from Pietermaritzburg with a passion for acting and dancing. She is also a part-time model, and will soon start training young children from the age of five years old how to swim.
She is also passionate about young people and one day hopes to start a production company and a bursary foundation for students wanting to study in the arts and performance field. If she wins TIOT8, she'll use her prize money to pay off her school fees, help her mother out, and invest the rest.
The Amanzimtoti native is a final year broadcast major and a marketing coordinator.
The 21-year-old used to play golf for KZN, and is the former Miss Mamelodi Sundowns KZN; Miss eThekwini 2014; Miss DUT 2015; and Miss SA Campus first princess 2016. If she wins TIOT8, she will invest in an apartment and use part of the prize money to travel.
The Benoni resident is a student at City Varsity, a model, and runs a magazine at the tender age of 21. He has a passion for acting and loves working with people - trait he probably learned from being part of such a big family (he has 18 siblings!).
If he wins he will do something really special for his family with the prize money.
Mabizela is a 23-year-old medical student from Johannesburg with a passion for drawing and running.
If she wins, she will use her TIOT8 prize money to pay off her studies, do something special for her parents, buy a car, and do some shopping.
27-year-old Witkowsky is a Chartered Accountant, CA (SA) from Cape Town as well as a fitness instructor, model and actor (which probably explains why he wasn’t in Sun City with us).
He has a passion for surfing and fitness. If he wins, he will invest a portion of the prize money, take a well-deserved holiday, and send his parents on a vacation to Zanzibar as they deserve it the most after what they have done for Rudi.
The 23-year-old from Johannesburg was an avid swimmer and has represented South Africa internationally numerous times.
She also recently completed her Honours in Sports Science at the University of Pretoria. If she wins TIOT8 she will use the prize money to elevate her passion for health and fitness by starting up a business to aid people of all walks of life to implement a healthy lifestyle that actually fits into their lives.
Bingham is a Johannesburg based PA to a financial advisor. The 29-year-old has a passion for Latin, ballroom, salsa and hip-hop dancing, and also teaches salsa dancing.
If he wins TIOT8 he will use the prize money to surprise and spoil his mom, and will start an art project in his community of Westbury.
ZAlebs got to spend an entire day with the cast and crew of the show at Sun City and after getting a sneak preview of what’s to come, we can safely say that we are optimistic about the 8th season of Tropika Island of Treasure.
Melinda Bam said that the main lesson she took away from it all was the lesson of learning to consider a win for one as a win for all while Sbahle says the importance of a positive mindset is what she is taking away from #TIOT8. Khanya Mkhangisa said she used the fact that people often underestimate her small stature to her advantage while Naymaps opted to rely on endurance and mental strength.
Lisanne, said that her tendency to overthink everything actually came in handy for her on the island while Mpande, who is bound to be a fan-favourite due to his sense of humor, said the power of prayer and God carried him through. Another hilarious fan favourite, Mark-Anthony, also said God carried him through.
"Each season of Tropika Island of Treasure has something new and exciting for fans - and TIOT8 will be no different. We have an incredibly diverse mix of celebrities and contestants who will compete in all new and awesome challenges on one of the most beautiful islands on earth. Will there be excitement? Yes. Drama? Most likely. Plot twists? Without a doubt. TIOT8 might very well be the best season yet," said Brand Group Manager for Tropika, Miantha Padayachee.
Tropika Island of Treasure debuts Monday 5 February 2018 at 19:30 on SABC3 (DSTV Channel 193).
Viewers stand a chance to win daily prizes as well when they buy promotional Tropika products. Prizes include a Kia Picanto, vouchers from Loot.co.za, airtime, American Tourister luggage and more. Follow the show on it's official hashtag #TIOT8.
Episode 1 of season 8 is now on YouTube, watch it here:
- What to read next: Check out how Tropika Island of Treasure Season 7 winner, Anga Makubalo spent his cash prize
Main image credit: Supplied