4 Things You Can Learn From Mmaba Molefe’s Survivor SA Gameplay

She outsmarted the show’s physical demands – only learning how to swim just before shooting began!


Nadim Nyker |

Mmaba Molefe became the 14th Castaway to leave Survivor SA in Samoa on Thursday night. But with four votes against her, she made a key mistake – trusting her alliances – all while she had an immunity idol in her pocket.

The 28-year-old from Plumstead, Cape Town is now the sixth member of the jury who will pick the Sole Survivor and winner at the end of the season. Mmaba, who came across as Survivor’s strongest socialite caught up with MH shortly after she was voted off.

Related: 10 Questions With Survivor SA’s Aquaman Danté de Villiers

She told us how she outlasted most and how she got past the island’s physical demands; with Mmaba only learning to swim in November last year – just before the show began!

One thing’s for sure, she’s smart and resilient, here’s what you can learn form her.

Trust Your Gut

Mmaba Molefe (right) talking to Steffi van Wyk-Brink (left), who played a key role in voting her off.

Perhaps the biggest lesson she took home from the show – always trust your gut, she says. With the immunity idol she took home being her everyday reminder of that.

“That has been the biggest lesson for me! I had a gut feeling, I had an inside voice and the intuition telling me I need to [use the idol]. But in a split second I did not listen to it and that costed me my game,” she says.

You have your gut feelings for a reason…and it’s really important you listen to it.

“I think that my idol will serve as a reminder going forward: you have your gut feelings for a reason; it’s there to actually guide and protect you and it’s really important you listen to it.

“Whatever in life, there’s a reason why you feel the way you feel,” she adds.

Shut Everything Out

It’s important to stay focused on the game, she says. “Once I get into that mental headspace there’s nothing else that exists outside me doing it,” Mmaba tells us on her game plan. Going into the game she shut the outside world out mentally and focused on the game ahead, something other survivors we interviewed had difficulty with.

“Going in, the one thing I told myself was to shut everything out – if it’s not in the island then it doesn’t exist. That saved me because the minute you try miss home or think about home then you go onto this spiral, ball of emotions and it’s so hard to get out of that. So I had to keep focused.”

Push Yourself Physically And Mentally

Mmaba and Steffi duel for an advantge in the game.

Her second most important lesson? You can do anything you put your mind to, she says. “There’s no greater feeling than that, and knowing that even when you think you’ve reached the end, you actually haven’t – there’s always so much still left that you can tap into.”

Mmaba learning how to swim just for the show is testament to her mental fortitude, and that allowed her to push physically during the game. With the social player reaching new physical highs and impressing herself, too.

“I learnt to swim in a swimming pool,” she says, “It’s not like I was swimming in open waters, [so when I did that,] that was crazy!”

Everyone else around me was big and strong…It’s quite demotivating and your confidence takes a knock, especially when people call you out on it.

With the physical part of the game being the toughest, she says. “The minute I got to the game, everyone else around me was big and strong and they were killing every challenge – and here I was…. It’s quite demotivating and your confidence takes a knock, especially when people call you out on it.”

Mmaba says you should keep fighting, noting mental persistence is the only way. “I learnt in the challenges that you get to a point you can’t push anymore, but you tell yourself that you have to do it. And you tap into reserve tanks that you didn’t know existed, and suddenly you’re doing it!”

She says her true potential revealed itself as the game went on. With Mmaba outlasting some of Survivor’s strongest like Danté de Villiers, Nathan Castle and Men’s Health Cover Guy and pro javelin thrower, Rocco van Rooyen.

Related: Survivor SA Gets Rid Of Its Strongest, Rocco van Rooyen

Get Your Social Game Strong

Mmaba’s final tribal council.

I am very happy with my gameplay up until I didn’t play my idol,” she says. I came onto the island wanting to play the social game, lie low, keep a low profile but build strong alliances,” she says. “And that’s exactly what I did.”

Fans will remember Mmaba for her iconic giggly smile and soft-nature. She played a great social game alongside her bestie, Geoff, and formed strong alliances with Mike Venter, Rose-Lee Smith and Seipei Mashugane.

Related: 5 Questions With Survivor SA Castaway Rose-Lee Smith

However, her weak point was not playing a strong enough individual game and she fell short of making her own moves. But Mmaba was one of the lucky castaways to win the special spa-treatment Reward with Geoff and Danté as well as the Samoan Cultural experience that Danté selected her to join in on.

For now, Mmaba will be sitting on the jury and looking for someone who could perhaps do what she couldn’t – “make bold moves, play a strong individual game, and turn the game on its head” – for the sole Survivor.

Catch Survivor SA on M-Net every Thursday at 19:00!

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