Magda Wierzycka, believed to be South Africa’s richest women as CEO and co-founder of JSE-listed Sygnia, is set to take on another high-profile role.
She will be in charge of an all-new season of the hit reality TV show The Apprentice South Africa, in 2021.
This was confirmed by production company Gray Matter Media in a statement on Wednesday. The group’s founding partner, Matthew Gray, is set to be executive producer of the show, after his company secured rights to produce it.
“Magda Wierzycka, CEO and co-founder of Sygnia Limited, a publicly listed financial services company, has agreed to join the show as the CEO, the role previously held by Tokyo Sexwale in the first South African series,” Gray Matter Media said in its statement.
“Wierzycka, one of the wealthiest and most successful businesswomen in South Africa, has spent more than 20 years managing money and building companies…. (Her) forthright approach and her commitment to the fight against corruption and the promotion of ethics in business will make for riveting South African entertainment,” it added.
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Commenting on her added new television role Wierzycka said: “There’s this whole very exciting world of investing for the good of humanity. I want to invest in people and companies that can potentially change the world for the better, this is why I am excited to play the role of executive chair in the new series of Apprentice South Africa.”
She believes that the “important educational programme” will help stimulate business ideas and entrepreneurship, especially as many South Africans turn to business post Covid-19.
“This new South African Apprentice has its own importance for the enhancement of entrepreneurship in South Africa and the redesign of the South African economy post Covid-19.
“We need people to stay here, to contribute, to work, to grow the economy to create jobs,” said Wierzycka.
Gray, who was part of the team that produced the first edition of The Apprentice South Africa in 2005, said he has always been attracted to the show for the way it combines nail-biting entertainment with real social value.
“I see The Apprentice as a vehicle to raise awareness and sharpen the skills of home-grown entrepreneurs and look forward to unearthing some bright young talent filled with social consciousness,” added Gray.
“We are moving into a new era, the changing of an age, a journey into the unknown, a virgin landscape bursting with unlimited opportunity. It’s the perfect time for a new Apprentice, one determined to challenge the backbone of the past to build the spirit of the future,” he said.
The long-awaited new season of The Apprentice South Africa is expected to go into pre-production in September 2020, start shooting in early-2021 and be on screen by the middle of the year. It is set to be shot in Cape Town.
“Selected candidates from across the country will converge on the mother city, Cape Town, to face the biggest business challenge of their lives, with the hope of winning a sizeable salary and a leading position in one of Wierzycka’s companies, or start-up capital invested by Magda into their own,” Gray Matter Media noted it its statement.
The company is yet to give details around how candidates will be selected and on which television channel the show will be broadcast. Sexwale’s show, shot in Johannesburg 12 years ago, was shown on SABC 3.