Last night the ninth season of the hit TV show Tropika Island of Treasure took to our screens and set the scene for what looks to be a beautiful and incredibly exciting next few weeks! 

In episode one, celebrities Kay Sibiya, Simphiwe Ngema, Bouwer Bosch, Nadia Jaftha, Siphesihle Vazi and Ntando Duma descended upon Curaçao, a stunning Dutch Caribbean island that serves as the backdrop for this season where they will be living their best lives – with a whole lot of challenges thrown in. 

Located 64 kilometres off the coast of Venezuela and 12 degrees north of the Equator, the 64km-long, 12km-wide island of Curaçao represents a lively amalgam of different cultures. Curaçao, easily reached with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, was once a booming trade hub for merchants in the Dutch West India Company. Today, travelers stroll along Willemstad’s Handelskade Street, lined with sherbet-colored homes that resemble Amsterdam rowhouses, and stay in former Dutch colonial buildings now reimagined as luxurious beach resorts. With over 35 palm-lined beaches, 65 dive sites to explore and friendly locals who represent over 55 cultures, Curaçao is quickly garnering appeal as one of the most progressive and pristine islands in the Caribbean – and will be the picture-perfect backdrop for the next few weeks while Tropika Island of Treasure is on our screens.

In last night’s episode, we were also introduced to the six smoooth fans who were paired up with a celebrity to fight for their chance of winning that shared R1 million prize and the fame and fortune that comes along with it. The contestants are:

·   Caldine Wyngaard, 26 years old, actress and presenter

·   Siphosethu Colo, 27 years old, Digital content creator/marketer

·   Janeske Rademan, 24 years old, aspiring actress

·   Darren Solomon, 22 years old, marketing student

·   Siyasanga Mfenyana, 27 years old, actress and presenter

·   Trevor Lagerwey, 34 years old, athlete and entrepreneur

The celebrities and contestants did not meet before heading to the island and so their first encounter was upon arriving in Curaçao – during their very first challenge. This challenge saw the celebrities and contestants competing against each other in an obstacle course of epic proportions, where the contestants ultimately came out victorious! This win meant that the contestants would have the power to choose which celebrity they wanted to be paired up with, and the pairings were as follows:

·   Kay Sibiya + Caldine Wyngaard = #TeamPeach

·   Siphesihle Vazi + Darren Solomon = #TeamMangoPeach

·   Bouwer Bosch + Janeske Rademan = TeamOrange

·   Ntando Duma + Siphosethu Colo = #TeamPineapple

·   Simphiwe Ngema + Siyasanga Mfenyana = #TeamTropical

·   Nadia Jaftha + Trevor Lagerwey = TeamCoolRed

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 that shared R1 million prize. 

Will there be surprises? Yes. Will there be drama? Absolutely. This season will not simply be about winning challenges. The celebrities and contestants will also be challenged with strategy and social skills outside of the games, which will bring about some unexpected twists. You’ll have to tune in weekly as more surprises unfold…

Catch Tropika Island of Treasure Curaçao on SABC 3 every Tuesday at 19:30. There will be a new episode every Tuesday – don’t miss it!