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Suited up for the hunger games

Survivor in its entirety is one of the most anticipated reality shows to air, and we watch with anxiety to see who will be on the island and which island they will be on. Who will be the weakest, who will play the smartest, who will be the back stabber and the underdog. Survivor SA adds to the anxiety, due to the fact that someone you know, a friend, a colleague, etc might be living on an island for 39 days, fighting for their will to live.
In case you missed it, season six had a glorious immunity special, where the island dwellers were treated to a full Steers experience. Steers flew onto the island, in the Philippines and rewarded the contestants with the full Steers menu, ribs, burgers, milkshakes, ice creams. The whole South African experience, which brought them to literal tears as they had a real hunger for real food, and who else but the home of South Africa’s real beef burgers to fuel the dwellers.

We speak to Pheko Phetoe, after being on the island for 33 days, nearly grabbing the win, to find out about his experience on the island, and put it up against the day to day struggles and triumphs in the "Concrete jungle” Johannesburg.

Q: Your initial decision to become one of the island dwellers?
A: I had always been a fan of the show and thought of Survivor as an amazing social experiment. I thought it’s the perfect challenge for the person I’ve grown into.

Q: How did he feel when he finally landed on the island?
A: Landing on the island was such a thrill. I was nervous and excited. Kept reminding myself to not come off as too much of a threat too early in the game. I had many egos to stroke.

Q: First five days in, what did you miss the most outside?
A: First five days were horrible. At this point our shelter was leaking and it was raining everyday. More than food I missed peace. I missed love. I missed music.

Q: How did your lifestyle shift, from clothes, fun, food choice?
A: First of all, I’m a new age African man. I need electricity and a phone. On that island I had to live like my ancestors; making fire and constant human interaction. I also had to repeat my wardrobe, after washing it... in the ocean... without soap.

Q: Your strategy to survive on the island?
A: My strategy was to assign an alpha male who can initiate my suggestions. In this way I can accomplish goals without getting a target being on my back.

Q: Your strategy to survive on the island compared to real life?
A: In retrospect, Survivor really is like real life. We engage in social experiments every day whether we like it or not. The only difference is that in life, an immunity idol can’t save you from being outed. Don’t be a jerk and you’ll be fine.

Q: Has being on the island changed your perspective on life?
A: Being on the island has changed me in many ways. I don’t mind if I skip breakfast, or any meal. And I value spending actual time with people, without prejudice. Also, I don’t mind load shedding anymore. lol

Q: If someone wanted to go on the island what advice would you give them?
A: If you want to go on the island - APPLY. Don’t ever doubt yourself. Someone tells you “You don’t have what it takes” - that’s your first challenge. Prove the world wrong. Dig deep and achieve your greatness.

Q: The most precious moment on the island was...?
A: Without a doubt the greatest moment on Survivor was when after I’d gone four whole days without a meal, I make it to merge and get a Steers merge feast. I cried. A king looking right into the face of a King Steer burger... Man tears.

Q: Would you do it again?
A: I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I’m a better player than before. The world deserves to see it.

Q: Finish the sentence: "Hunger games got me suited up for..."
A: Hunger games got me suited up for real moments, because real moments are earned.

Hunger is the source of bravery and leads to victory when tackled strategically, and Pheko Phetoe is an examples of this. Entries are now open for season seven of Survivor.

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