“I was excited to be chosen for the game show, thrilled! Who doesn’t want to be on TV? The lights and cameras were intimidating, and so was the fact that the nation would be watching. But that feeling didn’t last long for me; it completely faded right after I won the first round and went on to spin the wheel.
Honestly, I enjoyed the entire experience. Maybe it’s because I’m a naturally optimistic person, but being on Your Next Million is something I don’t want to forget in a hurry.
The day leading up to the show I was excited, not nervous. I know that’s unusual, but I was staring at a chance to win R1 million! I didn’t, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy with my R50 000. I felt ecstatic.
Afterwards, I was a celebrity for a while; people were calling me, looking me up on Facebook – I was overjoyed at the attention.
The game-show money hasn’t got me to my goals immediately, but I think it will in a roundabout way. I want to go into property. It’s my dream to start something that will be mine forever and that will leave a legacy when I’m gone. If I’d won the million, I’d already be doing that, but now I’m focusing on my studies. I’ve paid off my honours in education and have partially funded my masters. The plan is that I’ll get better-paying jobs once I’m better qualified. Then, I can put more money away towards my dream, my property business.”
“Your Next Million is helping me achieve two big goals – they’re linked.
I’m using some of the R90 000 I won to renovate my house. This will increase the value, but the main reason is because I want to start my own business from home, probably a community-based convenience store. It sounds like a simple dream, but to me it means financial security, being able to provide for my family and – most of all – maybe being able to create work.
I come from a very impoverished community. The young people have little hope – it feels like there are no prospects. Tik is a big problem. I don’t think it has to be that way. I’m part of a group called The Crossbearers. We visit the less fortunate to donate clothes and food, and sometimes to just spend time with them. The company I work for also hosts career days for the kids in our area, so they can figure out what they want to do and work towards that. It’s important to have dreams.
You need to lead from the back, though, when trying to make a change. You shouldn’t be the main player. If you lead from the back, you’re helping, you’re supporting people to make choices they can be proud of. Young people have great ideas; they’re always thinking of new things. They just need help to find the right direction. Maybe when my own business takes off, I can show them there’s a better way.”
“I lost my dad in December last year. With his passing, the responsibility of taking care of my mom fell to me as the oldest in the family. I know she won’t be comfortable living on her own. I have to move her up from KZN to Jo’burg; I’ve been living here for five years now, renting a two-bedroom apartment.
Prior to December, I wasn’t thinking about buying a house. Had I not lost my dad, I would probably be on a shopping spree right now with the R250 000 I won, but life hit my family like a ton of bricks.
We need a house now: my apartment is too small for me, my mom and my brother who’s staying with me while he figures out his own way. The money I won came at the right time. It’s such a blessing, because buying a house is no small feat; I’m going to own property, I’m going to be a homeowner, I’m going to provide for my family and take care of my mom. That really means so much – to be able to provide for her now when she’s provided for me for my entire life…she can stop worrying now.”