ZIMBABWEAN Chipo became the first castaway ousted from Survivor Africa during the second episode last weekend of the debut season of Survivor Africa. An interviw with her follows:
Q: How are you feeling about your elimination?
Chipo: Surprised, I didn’
t expect it at all.
Q: Do you feel betrayed?
Chipo: I don’t feel betrayed. I am still trying to get past the surprise. We all discussed it as a tribe so it was with a sense of shock that I saw my name come up even once, let alone four times… But betrayed: no.
Q: You said in your interview before the game that you would be embarrassed to be voted off first — is that how you are feeling now?
Chipo: Embarrassment doesn’t come into it any more, it’s strange. I am still trying to get past the surprise — that’s the major factor.
Q: Any regrets? Would you do anything differently if you could start again?
Chipo: Absolutely not. It was a beautiful adventure — I am glad I went for it. I would do it again. It was never really much about the money. I am not very materialistic.
Q: Why do you think you were voted out?
Chipo: I have no idea. We became a tribe — a family — over three days. At the time it felt like a really long time. You spend three days with people and you think you know them, but ultimately we are all strangers. I have no idea of how I was projecting. I have no idea of what they thought of me.
Q: Before arriving, you described yourself as a king-maker. Can you explain what you meant by this how did it play out on the island?
Chipo: I make a very good second-in-command; leadership doesn’t sit easily with me, [but] I do have the skills to unite people. You find often with leaders that they need to have a strong sense of self-worth, which I can help with. I found when I was there [on the island] that it was not actually possible to do that because there was actually no one leader. You had three strong males and three strong females. I never actually saw any of the females trying to take on a leadership role. We were all still trying to get along with everybody else. We were very democratic. Everybody’s idea was taken up without much clashing. There was no clashing at that stage…
Q: Do you think a leader will emerge, and if so, who will that be?
Chipo: I think a leader should emerge, but I don’t think [one] will emerge. Right up to that moment at Tribal Council, we had a democracy and I was the first to voice the fact that we needed a leader. And I don’t think anybody will emerge — we are still at the diplomatic stage.
Q: Do you think that in the absence of a leader, you found yourself stepping up a little above the station of king-maker and perhaps taking charge yourself?
Chipo: The mother role? It wasn’t so much about taking charge as looking after everybody: picking up after everyone; keeping clothes dry… I think I became sort of the house-keeper. The house, well it wasn’t a house — it needs to be clean if we are going to survive on the island. I have this dread fear of dirt and disease, not being wet, and we were wet the first night and the chances of getting sick were very high. I didn’t plan that -— it sort of happened. I am a mother: I automatically do that.
Q: What were your weaknesses and strengths in the game? Where did you contribute and where not?
Chipo: I didn’t contribute much in the actual looking for food and I think by day two I still wasn’t hungry… My mindset was that at that point it wasn’t critical to look for food. The fire I believe was more important, health was more important, so I tended to stay more with the shelter than to go out and look for food.
Q: Was it daunting to go into that jungle?
Chipo: Extremely so. I have always thought that fear is God’s way of looking after you. I emphasised to the other members that I really wasn’t keen to go into the jungle.
Q: What was the worst part about your stay on the islands in Survivor?
Chipo: Lack of sleep. I can’t function very well when I haven’t been sleeping, and for three nights I think I had one hour’s sleep. At nights it was hot, humid and wet.
Q: Who do you think stands the best chance of walking way with the $100 000?
Chipo: He’s got the personality; he’s an all-rounder; he strategises… I looked across the way [during the games] and I could see Derrick was the leader. They automatically gather around him. He seems to be a very forceful personality, and that I think is important.
Q: What did being on Survivor Africa teach you?
Chipo: I discovered I was stronger than I thought. I always thought I was strong and after Day 2… I found I was willing to go on: I am a lot stronger than I thought. After three days I wasn’t exhausted, I wasn’t hungry, and I wasn’t disheartened.
Q: So you were actually ready to carry on and give it a go?
Chipo: Oh, absolutely.
Q: How do you think your family and friends will feel about your Survivor experience?
Chipo: I think most of them will be amazed I got onto the show in the first place.
Q: What do you think will make Survivor Africa unique?
Chipo: I think we Africans, I think tend to unify under adversity. We may have our disagreements but they tend to be diplomatically solved. It doesn’t reach the point of a mini-drama. That will be the major difference. —www.mnetafrica.com