Island of former lovers, divas and weird cuisine

2009-10-17 12:42

TUESDAY, 5am: 10 young SA celebrities, 10 members of the media and

10 excited contest winners jetted off to the tropical island of Zanzibar for

this year’s instalment of the Tropika Island of Treasure challenge.

As I write this piece, we are on the island dealing with the

scorching heat and learning phrases such as Jumbo (Hello) and Asantesa na (thank

you) to say to the locals.

I must admit that I was cautiously optimistic about this


I knew that there would be some big doses of drama.

The contingent features former lovers ­ Bi­anca le Grange and

Loyiso Bala, Sizwe Dhlomo and Shashi Naidoo and Kelly Khumalo and Speedy. We

have celebs who are known to act like divas, and publicity people who are under

the illusion they are doing journalists a favour by inviting us along, and this

uncomfortable mix will have to co-exist for a lengthy seven days.

The first night was the wildest so far. After familiarising

ourselves with the island, we had dinner by the beach. The local Masai warriors gave a performance and we were served food that seemed to be nothing more than different variations of coleslaw. The best part of the evening was when ­Khumalo took to the stage and performed an impressive rendition of Brenda Fassie’s Vulindlela with Khanyi

Mbau as her backing vocalist.

Yes, we all did wish singer Chomee could have been around to see

how it is actually done.

Khumalo sang so well that we all forgot about her earlier antics

when she snapped at The Times photographer, Sizwe Ndungane, asking him if he knew who she was after he

playfully pushed her into the pool. Meooow!

By day two, some of us had stopped paying attention to how many

outfit changes Ms Queen of Bling Mbau made in a single day, and we got used to

the fact that she would remove her fabulous and expensive kanga only if there

were a few male guests in close proximity. Truth be told, the girl does have a

beautiful body.

I also got to meet the gorgeous Natalie Becker.

She will be co-hosting the television element of the reality

competition along with 5FM’s DJ Fresh.

DJ Fresh had the privilege of having his beautiful wife, Thabiso,

with him on the trip.

The two are clearly still into each other.

Others might disapprove of their PDAs (public displays of

affection), but I say it’s encouraging to see two showbiz people ­keeping it


Successful singer Lira (who is one of the celeb contestants) also

gushed about her new hubby, Robin Kohl.

I’m just impressed by how, as a black person, she managed to keep

her wedding guest list down to a mere 17 people.

Since there are a few more days to go before we head back home, it

will be interesting to see who wins the cash, how people rub along together as

the fever sets in and if Trevor Noah and Dhlomo (the pretty boys on the trip)

are having some kind of “Bromance” or if they are just isolating themselves from

the rest of the group. Find out next Sunday.

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