Saturday, June 11, 2005

Apprentice TV Show South Africa

Thursday night’s TV viewing just got a lot more interesting. The much anticipated South African version of Donald Trump’s hit American TV-show “The Apprentice” starts airing on SABC 3 on Thursday, 9 June 2005 between 20h30 and 21h30. Renowned South African businessman, Tokyo Sexwale will assume the role of the Executive Chairman of this reality television show and Vodacom is sponsoring critical business communication solution tools for the up-and-coming business executives featured in the series. BlackBerry handhelds, essential mobile communication tools that enable the user to always be connected and receive email on the move. In addition the Vodafone Mobile Connect Cards were sponsored by Vodacom to enable contestants to have mobile high-speed data connectivity from their laptops.

Says Sexwale:” I am delighted to be involved in the South African version of ‘The Apprentice’. We are part of the global village and need to develop and sharpen our business skills in order to compete in a highly competitive global market. I see this show as a vehicle to raise awareness and sharpen the skills of our own entrepreneurs and look forward to unearthing some bright young talent.”
As a well known astute businessman, Sexwale is committed to adding value to the production by sharing his business ethics and experience with the contestants. He strongly believes that a good business is built on integrity, joie de vivre, compassion, accountability and courage.
“We consider this an important educational programme for the stimulation and development of business ideas and entrepreneurship as more and more South Africans get closer and closer to the world of business, both in South Africa and internationally.” Quite clearly this programme, having been undertaken by key business leaders in other parts of the world, such as the Middle East, the UK and Finland, has got its own importance for the enhancement of entrepreneurship in South Africa with the distinct understanding that in our country we’ll have to do it our own way with African characteristics” says Sexwale.
Vodacom’s technical equipment sponsorship includes a BlackBerry handheld and Vodafone Mobile Connect Card per team. Vodacom’s Chief Communications Officer, Mthobi Tyamzashe, points out that Vodacom’s 3G technology which provides users with high speed mobile wireless data access literally opens a new universe of communication and differentiation for the business user.
Says Tyamzashe, “In order to succeed in business, whatever the industry, it’s extremely important that the best tools are utlised to support and complement basic business skills. Being at the forefront of the latest developments in telecommunication and innovation affords Vodacom the opportunity to provide the contestants with the latest in wireless technology, enabling them to stay ahead in the game.” The BlackBerry communication solution will assist contestants to operate effectively and efficiently, as their corporate email is immediately pushed to their BlackBerry handheld, giving them real-time access to crucial information to which they can respond in record time putting them in a more competitive position. The BlackBerry handheld with its full QWERTY keyboard is also a cellphone, integrating mobile data and voice communication seamlessly in an easy to use device.
The 16 episode series is an unscripted drama, making it that much more interesting. Sixteen candidates between the ages of 22 and 35 have come to Johannesburg to face the business challenge; to win a top position and a salary to boot in one of Tokyo Sexwale’s companies.
Just as in the American version of the show, the contestants live together in an apartment and have set tasks each week that test their business sense which will demand out-of-the-box thinking in order for them to stay in the game. “We understand that South Africans hold business success in high regard and see this programme as key to a progressive and successful economy.” says Hannelie Bekker, Head of Programming on SABC 3.
In conclusion, Sexwale urges viewers to stay at home this Thursday for “The Apprentice” - it makes for edge of the seat entertainment with a real social value.


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