An emotional Samke hugs personal finance editor Maya Fisher-French, while Absa's Liezl Squier looks on. Samke was announced the 2019 Money Makeover winner on Saturday. Picture: Mpumi Buthelezi
This weekend, the five City Press and Absa Money Makeover candidates – Nkosi, Amanda, Samke, Thuli and Tamsin – gathered at the Munro Boutique Hotel in Houghton for the finale of the six-month financial wellness competition.
Samke was the overall winner of the big investment prize, and Amanda was the runner-up. City Press personal finance editor Maya Fisher-French said what continued to amaze her was how quickly the candidates changed their financial lives by committing to the competition and listening to their allocated financial advisers.
The candidates spoke about their initial fears before starting the competition and how tough the first few weeks were. These struggles and challenges were highlighted when one of the candidates, Bafo, dropped out only two months in.
Throughout the morning invited guests got a chance to interact with the candidates and their Absa advisers while learning a trick or two about saving and investing.
Samke, this season’s winner, was overjoyed at winning the competition and said that she never expected something like this to happen to her.
“I’m still in shock,” she said moments after the announcement.
Samke won a R75 000 investment prize, and Amanda the runner-up got a R25 000 investment prize.
Maya Fisher-French listens as Amanda, who was the competition's runner-up, narrates her six month journey to financial success. Picture: Mpumi Buthelezi
Mondli Makhanya, City Press’ editor-in-chief, acknowledged that it was a competition that would see one person becoming the overall winner but said that each candidate who went through the rigorous financial bootcamp was a winner in their own right.
“Your lives will not be going backwards and the lessons learnt on this journey will be with you for the rest of your lives,” he said.
“Thank you for inspiring South Africans.”
Absa’s head of communications, Songezo Zibi, said that the candidates were all very brave and courageous for putting their faces, lives and finances in the public spotlight.
“I think that the service to the community [by allowing people into your financial lives] is something that is really important,” Zibi said.
Zibi also acknowledged the immense contribution of the advisers who helped the candidates grow and achieve their goals.
“We are really proud and happy to be associated with all of you.”
“At Absa we are not just a sponsor, there is a lot of learning and benefit by us as well.”
For more on the Money Makeover competition, see all the financially informative articles here: Money Makeover Special Report
Watch the full live stream of the finale here:
And look out for #Trending this Sunday to read the full story of how each of our Money Makeover candidates budgeted and saved their way to financial freedom.
Check out our Instagram page for the highlights from the event: