Survivor South Africa reveals 20 ‘infamous’ castaways returning for Season 9

From a social recluse-turned friendly podcaster to a more cultured straight-talking life coach to the TV series' first true female villain ever, 20 'infamous' outcasts (dating back to 2011) will make a surprise comeback as they seek to right the wrongs of the past in season 9 of M-Net's Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts -starting Monday, July 18.   

0

From a social recluse-turned friendly podcaster to a more cultured straight-talking life coach (motivator) with a knack of rubbing his tribe members the wrong way in the past, and the so-called Survivor SA’s first true female villain, an interesting mix of 20 former ‘infamous’ Castaways are making a surprise comeback as they seek to right the wrongs of the past in this brand new chapter (Season 9) of ‘Survivor South Africa’ – themed ‘Return of the Outcasts’.

Back in the game is a mixture of strategists, schemers, risk-takers and record-breakers from five previous Survivor South Africa seasons. The Castaways will do anything to avoid having their torches snuffed for a second time, over a bumper four episodes a week.

“This isn’t an ‘All Stars’ season – in fact, it’s a totally unique concept,” says the show’s producer Leroux Botha, adding: “All of the castaways returning to the game this season have demons to lay to rest, with the added challenge of everyone knowing exactly how everyone else played their game, before.”

The latest reveal comes just nine months after Capetonian Nicole Wilmans was declared Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island Sole Survivor and recipient of the R1 million cash prize on September 16), while fan favourite Chappies claimed a spot in Survivor history as the ‘Survivor South Africa’ Mahindra Fan Favourite, walking away with a Mahindra KUV100.

Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts‘ premieres on (DStv 101) from July 18 – and will air Mondays to Thursdays – until the Sole Survivor is named on 25 August 25. Visit the Survivor SA website for more.

Re-introducing 20 Survivor SA (S8) contestants 

Here are your 20 returning outcasts:

Name: Chappies Chapman

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island (S8)

Age: 31

Hometown: Centurion

Job Description: Entrepreneur

Chappies Chapman

Chappies is ‘addicted to growth’ and has a strong strive to improve in all aspects of his life, most notably in fitness, which he takes very seriously. He lives in Centurion with his wife and son and is involved in various online businesses, real estate and in the motivational speaking space.

Since becoming a father, Chappies has a renewed lease on life and is in constant pursuit of purpose. He is calmer and more at peace than before, partly due to his son’s arrival – but also because no longer feels the need to prove his worth as a Survivor player.

From his previous experience, he learnt to think before he speaks, to avoid alienating people. That was his pattern at the start of his season – which ultimately put him on the back foot because he couldn’t reconcile with them when he needed to work with them.

Name: Danté de Villiers

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets (S7)

Age: 31

Hometown: Dwarskersbos

Job Description: Podcaster

Danté de Villiers

Loner Danté has travelled the world, living in Thailand and Israel – but has now returned home to the Cape West Coast, where he grew up. The outdoorsy ocean lover believes he can provide for his tribe and excel in the physical challenges – putting him in a winning position.

Having previously owned and operated a coffee shop in Velddrif, he now hosts a podcast dedicated to interesting outlier personalities who are making a difference in the world, however big or small.

In his previous season, he felt like he didn’t have the words to convince people to believe him. That meant he struggled to befriend other Castaways, putting him on the back foot and forcing him to play a defensive game. This time, he’ll be looking to give himself more personal time and space in the early mornings, so that he can recharge to participate more in the social game at camp, during the day.

Name: Dino Paulo

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island (S8)

Age: 31

Hometown: Johannesburg

Job Description: Live Escape Game Owner

Dino Paulo

Charming and likeable Dino’s infectious, child-like enthusiasm belies a powerful tenacity. He has been in a relationship with his lawyer girlfriend-turned fiancé, Kirsten for 11 years.

An escape game franchise co-owner, he was forced to pivot during lockdown like so many South Africans and successfully took the concept online. His work is a perfect match for his competitive nature, which has also made him the perfect team player in sports like soccer and rowing – while skydiving fuels his insatiable need for adrenaline.

From his previous Survivor experience, he has learned to rely more on his game knowledge and instinct and to curb his paranoia. He feels that since he has nothing to lose, there’s less pressure on him this time around – so he’ll be playing with more freedom.

Name: Felix Godlo

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets (S7)

Age: 32

Hometown: Pretoria

Job Description: Key Account Manager

Felix Godlo

A proud Xhosa man from a very traditional family, Felix is married with two children and is devoted to being a good father and role model.

A natural leader and great sportsperson, his mission in life is to succeed to provide for his family and make them proud of him.

Having been humbled by his early exit in his previous season, he did a lot of introspection and has grown, personally. He feels that he had a strategy for the game but didn’t execute it because he wasn’t in the right state of mind to play the game. Suppressing his natural leadership instincts led to him growing frustrated and acting out of character – so this time he’s aiming to communicate better and working on connecting with his fellow Castaways on a deeper level.

Name: Killarney Jones

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Champions (S5)

Age: 51

Hometown: Johannesburg

Job Description: Martial Artist

Killarney Jones

Killarney has competed in martial arts internationally from a young age and has black belts in various disciplines. She’s climbed Kilimanjaro and has a degree in Fine Arts.

She grew up in a tight-knit family who travelled extensively throughout Africa. Killarney is tough & talkative, determined & dedicated and will fight to the bitter end.

When she competed in her previous season, she didn’t understand the game well and expected to power through on the back of her physical prowess – and was duly brought down by her neglect of the social and strategic aspects of the game. This time around, she understands the concept better and will still be looking to compete physically but will be bringing a softer touch to the social side of the game.

Name: Marian de Vos

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Champions (S5)

Age: 32

Hometown: Cape Town

Job Description: Fashion Buyer

Marian de Vos

Marian studied fashion at the College of Fashion Design in Cape Town and now works as a buyer in the retail industry. She grew up in a big family and is the youngest of five siblings

Marian is probably the biggest Survivor fan in South Africa. She’s followed each season closely and has been a particularly vocal commentator about the show, online. She knows the game inside and out, but still struggled on her season when the addition of Captains put her off her game.

Despite that, she still made her mark on the game as Survivor SA’s first true female villain – confident that she had a better grasp of the game than her fellow castaways and was more astute than them. Her biggest challenge this season will be adapting to the way the game has changed in the 8 years since she played.

Name: Meryl Szolkiewicz

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets (S7)

Age: 31

Hometown: Centurion

Job Description: Holistic Movement Coach

Meryl Szolkiewicz

Meryl studied toward a musical theatre degree and started her career as a musician and performer, but that fell away after she met and married her husband, and they had their three sons.

She saw her chance to appear on her season of Survivor SA as a chance to hit the reset button – which she duly did, rediscovering her strength and a newfound joy that has permeated all aspects of her life.

She is a big Survivor fan but understood after her season that she is not the biggest – despite Survivor being an institution in her household. This time around, she’s looking to play a more rooted game, be careful with her empathetic nature – and just have fun.

Name: Palesa Tau

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Philippines (S6)

Age: 31

Hometown: Johannesburg

Job Description: Radio Presenter / Producer

Palesa Tau

Palesa works as a radio presenter and producer, hosting her own health talk show and is also a voice-over artist. She comes from a close-knit family and spends a lot of time with her sister and mother.

Her appearance on Survivor South Africa: Philippines boosted her confidence personally and professionally, seeing her nominated for a number of radio industry awards over the last few years.

Palesa came into her season of Survivor South Africa without much knowledge of the game – with no pre-determined strategy, preferring to play instinctively. This time around, she’s aiming to be more social and try to be more intentional and proactive.

Name: Phil Dickson

Previous Season: Survivor SA: Champions (S5)

Age: 40

Hometown: Johannesburg

Job Description: Risk Assessment Manager

Phil Dickson

Phil is a firefighter and paramedic, originally from KZN, but now working as a fire risk assessment manager in Johannesburg. He has two young children with his wife. Before graduating in the Top 5 of his firefighting class, Phil lived in the USA for a while, where he was part of a popular church band.

Phil is a likeable guy with a mischievous streak, and counts fishing, running and training among his hobbies and studied game theory to prepare for Survivor. Although he is now a dedicated husband and father, he still resembles that naughty trickster he was more than a decade ago in Survivor SA: Champions.

Phil says that you cannot compare the Survivor game of S5 to the current version of it. He feels that on previous seasons, the Castaways had a lot to learn about game play – which meant he was unprepared for the game and struggled at first to adapt.

Name: Pinty Nkanjeni

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island (S8)

Age: 30

Hometown: Cape Town

Job Description: Yacht Crew Member

Pinty Nkanjeni

Pinty grew up in the small rural town of Hogsback in the Eastern Cape, a magical town in the Amathole Mountains. After leaving school at 15, she moved to Cape Town and built herself up from scratch, receiving a scholarship to study UX design as well as getting her Divemaster certification.

After her work as a Rope Access Technician was interrupted by lockdown, she got involved with a NPO that aims to unite hospitality businesses with healthcare workers at the frontline of the fight against Covid-19 to help them stay closer to where they are working – work in which she has found a lot of meaning.

She feels she has grown a lot in the few months since her season of Survivor, growing more self-aware and identifying and addressing her character flaws. She had a strong work ethic around camp and was equally valuable in challenges, but her lack of social finesse and confrontational behaviour tripped up her game.

Name: PK Phetoe

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Philippines (S6)

Age: 29

Hometown: Lephalale

Job Description: Mining Engineer

PK Phetoe

Ambitious, driven mining engineer PK has been living and working in Lephalale in Limpopo for the past 2 years. He grew up in Mafikeng and lived with his mother in Centurion most of his teenage and young adult life.

PK has ambitions of starting his own mining consultancy company one day. He also wants to contribute to society and give something back. His job requires him to problem solve, adapt, and prioritize his actions to optimize outcomes. – skills he wants to bring to the game of Survivor.

Having originally thought Survivor was all about playing a strong physical game, his experience taught him the importance of the social side, which he splits into two parts: social for friendship and loyalty for political gain. Aiming to make people feel more comfortable around him this time, he’ll be looking to trust sooner to allow relationships to mature, to allow him to build a stronger alliance, earlier in the game.

Name: Seamus Lind Holmes

Season: Survivor South Africa: Philippines (S6)

Age: 29

Hometown: Durban

Job Description: Sales Manager

Seamus Lind Holmes

Seamus is a Durbanite who works as the regional Sales Manager of a commercial trucking equipment company. He channels his competitive nature into excelling at endurance sports.

He is a massive Survivor fan – he has researched the game, strategies, heroes, villains, and the game’s evolution over the years. He watches Survivor religiously with his mother and sees this as a big bonding experience for them.

Understanding that he played too hard, too fast in the Philippines, which meant he didn’t pay enough attention to his tribemates and how they were approaching the game. Seamus feels he has matured tremendously since his season and is in a far better mental space than before. With a second shot, he is determined to play the biggest game Survivor has ever seen.

Name: Shane Hattingh

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Champions (S5)

Age: 50

Hometown: Cape Town

Job Description: Set Decorator

Shane Hattingh

Shane has lived a very interesting, colourful, sometimes dangerous life. He has spent several years working in military counterintelligence, been a shoe designer, an outdoor advertising salesman, worked in the Art department in the film industry and is currently a set dresser on an international reality show.

He has four children and admires their independence, critical thinking, rejection of societal norms and labels and proudly lists their achievements. He despises injustice, social prejudice, racism and exploitation of the vulnerable.

Having felt in control of the game in his season, he became complacent and allowed himself to get played. Losing out and being blindsided with idols in his pocket was a massive blow – and a mistake he won’t make again. 

Name: Shona MacDonald

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Champions (S5)

Age: 33

Hometown: Cape Town

Job Description: Entrepreneur

Shona MacDonald

Shona is a successful, self-starting entrepreneur with a lingerie and swimwear brand she has been running for the last couple of years. She is also developing a new dating app and has been accepted to take this further at a tech incubator in South America this year.

She successfully pitched her business idea on Shark Tank and secured the investment she needed to boost her business when 3 of the 5 Sharks offered her capital. She is very proud of this moment, as she feels like she was seen as a strong, confident businesswoman.

Shona wants to make a difference in the world and advocates for body-positivity, independence and flying the South African flag. She feels it is her purpose and study to contribute to SA, its economy, and its people.

During her previous season, she was overwhelmed and struggled to make connections, with her self-awareness and insecurity taking over. Despite her strengths as a social player, being called out by her captain as a weak physical player set her game back in a way that she found she couldn’t come back from.

Name: Steffi Brink

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets (S7)

Age: 30

Hometown: Johannesburg

Job Description: Fitness Coach & Model

Shane Hattingh

Steffi is a former ‘beauty queen’ – but she’s not your typical pageant princess. A self-proclaimed ‘jock’, he has a long history of excelling in the sporting arena, too, making her a formidable Castaway.

After her appearance on Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets, Steffi was called up to a training camp with the ‘Blitzbokkies’ – the SA Women’s 7’s Rugby team – but seriously injured her knee and had a long road to recovery.

She’s learned her lesson from her season and will be working harder on the social side of her game this time around. She also struggled with the scrutiny of Tribal Council and so has worked hard on speaking up when she believes she needs to.

Name: Tania Copeland

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets (S7)

Age: 53

Hometown: Paternoster

Job Description: Retired

Tania Copeland

Colourful Tania lives life on her own terms. Born in South Africa before relocating to the UK – and then returning when she was 21 – the now-retired business owner lives a quiet life on the coast.

An avid rock-climber, she doesn’t let society’s rules and restrictions constrain her any less than she does, gravity. She has a strong bond with her children – 3 biological and some fostered – and her five dogs.

She learnt a lot about herself and the game of Survivor in her season and is thrilled to get the chance to implement those learnings now. Whereas she spent a lot of time off on her own looking for Idols before, she plans to now spend more time with her tribemates. Tania is determined to win by aligning herself with the strong players and making herself valuable – at camp and as a vote.

Name: Tejan Pillay

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Malvdives (S4)

Age: 40

Hometown: Johannesburg

Job Description: Engineer

Tejan Pillay

Tejan is a 40-year-old electrical engineer with a Masters’ degree in engineering – originally from Verulam but now calling Johannesburg home. The self-proclaimed ‘Prince of Darkness’ has worked for Eskom for 21 years and been with his partner for 11.

He says he lives and loves life, considering himself something of a Renaisssance man and jack of all trades who enjoy the simple things in life. Tejan is in the best physical shape of his life and has trained hard for this moment to return to Survivor. He has a black belt in karate, a final brown in kickboxing and did some cage fighting.

He took pride in his status as one of Survivor SA’s early villains, getting a lot of validation from being part of the world’s greatest game. He’s accepted his ‘Survivor Conniver’ nickname and embraced the fact that his play made him a Castaway to be reckoned with. He’ll be keeping a keen eye out to see who he can trust – but doesn’t plan to give his trust away cheaply.

Name: Tevin Naidu

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Philippines (S6)

Age: 28

Hometown: Cape Town

Job Description: Medical Doctor

Tevin Naidu

Tevin qualified as a medical doctor at Stellenbosch University. He is interested in

Neuroscience and wants to specialize in that field of medicine. Tevin had already won the ‘Mr India South Africa’ title when he was 18 and was a presenter on Eastern Mosaic.

After a misguided social media post in the lead up to the Survivor South Africa: Philippines season finale saw him personally and professionally ostracised, he retreated to do some serious introspection and has matured since then.

He and his Mom have watched Survivor together since he was 7 – he calls himself a ‘Survivor Encyclopaedia’. Tevin is determined to cement his place in the Survivor history books as one of the best the game has ever seen. He wants to be recognized and revered as one of the best players in the world and he will stop at nothing to achieve it.

Name: Thoriso M-Afrika

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island (S8)

Age: 37

Hometown: Uitenhage

Job Description: Marketing Manager

Thoriso M-Afrika

Marketing Manager Thoriso is the single mother of a son named Bulumko, meaning ‘wisdom’ in Xhosa. His name is a reflection of the high regard in which she holds education and the application of intellect.

As much as she’s a huge Survivor fan, her main aim for entering the game is to win the Sole Survivor’s prize money, to improve her financial situation. Last time around, she felt she had the ‘moves’ but not the social currency, playing herself out of the game. Now, she’s looking to play a more social game – even if it means pretending to like people. Thoriso says that meeting people who were smarter than her was a huge blow to her ego, which led to plenty of introspection – the lessons from which she’s bringing back to the game at her second attempt.

Name: Toni Tebbutt

Previous Season: Survivor South Africa: Philippines (S6)

Age: 41

Hometown: Cape Town

Job Description: Content Developer

Toni Tebbutt

Content developer Toni feels that changes in her life post-Survivor SA: Philippines have released her to live her full life. The devoted fitness fiend made the move to Cape Town recently – part of her personal reinvention – and she says Survivor is an important part of her story.

Toni us incredibly active in the Survivor community, hosting online Survivor games, participating in Survivor fan events and is very vocal on social media platforms. Her straight-talking persona from the show is a reflection of her in real life, too. A bold character, she is someone who isn’t afraid to address conflict.

She feels she made too many emotional choices in her season, rather than listening to her gut. Understanding the need to form social bonds early in the game, she says she’s had to learn to stroke egos – and isn’t afraid to use that skill. She’s determined not to make the mistake of forcing herself to choose between loyalty and strategy again.