Travel show opens up new terrain

Innocentia Taliwe says the reality show got her out of her comfort zone to experience things she wouldn't normally do.
Innocentia Taliwe says the reality show got her out of her comfort zone to experience things she wouldn't normally do.

It has been a life-changing adventure filled with excitement for Innocentia Taliwe, one of eight contestants on a reality television show battling it out for a cash prize of R250000 while tackling extreme obstacles in a 4x4 bakkie.

The reality show, Spirit of Mzansi, is hosted by comedian and actor Mpho "Popps" Modikoane and premiered on Mzansi Magic last month.

Taliwe, 28, a market development executive for Barcadi rum spirit in Johannesburg, said the show has helped her get out of her comfort zone.

"I was so shocked when I got a call back after the auditions in May, but I was excited because I had never been involved in something like it. The show is a bit like Amazing Race and Survivor and truly was the survival of the fittest. It has helped me get out of my shell, and experience things I wouldn't normally do.

"I don't have an overbearing personality, but with the show I found I had to adjust myself and get out of my comfort zone to engage with the other personalities I was with. The show has tested my thinking and I had to overcome my fears and weaknesses, especially driving the 3.0 V6 Amarok."

The contestants go through timed races that test their driving and endurance skills as they explore different terrains in various parts of the country.

Taliwe said being a Hyundai i20 manual driver, she was intimidated at the thought of driving the powerful bakkie.

"It was so scary, so powerful and overwhelming in my first experience in the bakkie, but it was also inspiring, in that I never thought I could drive such a big car with all that power and go through the trails I went through. The show has made me a better person."

In a statement issued by the channel, head of Volkswagen commercial vehicles Mark Handley said the German car manufacturing company partnered with the show because its bakkie was ideal.

"The V6 Amarok Extreme is an aspirational bakkie that comfortably bridges the gap between urban city trailblazer and off-road prowess. The Mzansi audience have to traverse all types of terrain in their lifestyle and this is what makes the Amarok a great partner for their adventures."

M-Net director of local entertainment channels Reneilwe Sema added: "South Africa is blessed with some of the most striking routes in Africa, and what better way to showcase our beautiful country and its unique people? It's certainly a race of epic proportions!"

The show airs Wednesdays on Mzansi Magic at 9.30pm.