Komani fitness fan battles it out on island TV challenge

UNREAL CHALLENGE: Siyasanga Mfenyana from Komani is on the new season of 'Tropika Island of Treasure'
UNREAL CHALLENGE: Siyasanga Mfenyana from Komani is on the new season of 'Tropika Island of Treasure'

A Komani fitness enthusiast and aspiring actress is gunning for the R1m cash prize awaiting the winners at the end of the new season of Tropika Island of Treasure.

Siyasanga Mfenyana is among six South Africans who have paired up with six celebrities to compete in the ninth season of the SABC3 reality adventure show.

The show, shot over two weeks on the island of Curaçao, in the Caribbean, kicked off on Tuesday last week with the six SA “fans” competing against the celebrities and, after winning, getting dibs on which celebrity they want to partner with for the rest of the show.

Mfenyana has teamed up with singer and actress Simphiwe Ngema on #TeamTropical — the only all-women team.

The co-founder of fitness lifestyle brand Girls With Gains, Mfenyana  said she had faced a bigger challenge than she had anticipated in the two weeks of shooting the show.

“I said earlier last year that I wanted to do something that would physically challenge me, but I didn’t have Tropika Island of Treasure in mind.

“Even when entries for  the show were open, I never thought of trying out until about two days before entries closed,” Mfenyana said.

“When I said I wanted something that would challenge me, I definitely didn’t mean something that intense.

“That was the most challenging thing I’ve ever had to do.

“I injured my finger on episode one and I was in pain from that injury for the rest of the episodes.”

While the actress in the making has been on a television set on Mzansi Magic drama The Queen, Mfenyana  said reality TV was  a different ball game.

“It’s different from acting and this particular competition is very hard of the body, the mind and one’s emotions.

“But it really exposed me to my ability to find alternative solutions when  something doesn’t work out as planned,” she said.

Mfenyana worked behind the scenes on The Queen and appeared briefly as an extra.

She then secured a bigger acting role on Ferguson Films’ action production, Kings of Jozi, that is yet to be aired.

“I don’t think reality TV is something I want to do again, but if I had to do Tropika Island of Treasure again, I would do some things differently,” she said.

She said viewers could expect a dose of drama and suspense with each episode.

The second episode in which the teams of two started competing against each other aired on Tuesday.

“Reality TV is full of so much drama that I sometimes looked at the things that were happening in disbelief and asked myself ‘is this really happening?’" Mfenyana said.

Season 9 consists of 13 episodes, 12 of them pre-recorded, and the final reunion episode set to be filmed live in Cape Town.

Over the next few weeks, the teams will compete in various challenges with the goal of emerging victorious so as not to be eliminated and to win the shared R1m prize.

Mfenyana  has been a fitness enthusiast since attending Balmoral Girls’ Primary School in Komani.

She later became a cheerleader for the Cheetahs rugby team.

Tropika Island of Treasure Curaçao airs on SABC 3 at 7.30pm on Tuesdays.