SA’s Ultimate Brand Ambassadors (SAUBA), is an initiative of the non-profit Blossom Beauty Princess Foundation. The series has an inventive reality concept, blending local community empowerment and development with corporate branding and consciousness.

An all-ladies competition, SAUBA features eleven finalists, including Cindy Seeber, a Miss SA 2012 Finalist. Identification of the contestants took place country-wide during 2012.

The ball started rolling on Saturday with nine of the eleven ladies attending an introduction to the competition’s three judges and the first shoot of the series at Faircity Mapungubwe Hotel.

Sunday morning the contingent of ladies and a film crew first had a stop at the Orlando Towers, Soweto, before travelling to a boot camp at Forum Homini Luxury Hotel, located in the Cradle of Humankind.

Activities at Faircity Mapungubwe Hotel included the ladies going through a rigorous test of brains and character before a panel judges. The judging panel includes the fashion alert and beauty conscious trio of Julian Rogers, Kerryne Nuefeldt and Ntombi Mzolo.

Before the panel, the ladies took turns to answer questions about community development and empowerment. All the ladies made clear their strategies and revealed how they would execute and sustain their charities and community projects.

Impressed by the proceedings, SAUBA jury member Kerryne Neufeldt commented: “I like the depth of character of these girls which goes beyond the beautiful bodies.”

At Orlando Towers, the ladies had to summon all their bravery to partake in the much loved but scary SCAD freefall. One by one, they were tied up and in groups they took turns to go up to be dropped in heart-stopping seconds.

There was a mixed reaction as some participants emerged from the exercise with smiles while others wept citing unusual fear during the drop. But they all concurred it was worth the experience!

By late afternoon, the ladies and film crew arrived at a boot camp and team building exercise organised at the Forum Homini Luxury Hotel. There, the ladies had to show their endurance, team work, leadership and determination to tackle obstacles and succeed in life.

With the package including a run and finding an obstacle, the mid afternoon adventure brought the best commitment and stamina out of the ladies. Donned in jogging gear, they were divided into three groups distinguished by their different attire, before running almost 2kms to and from the base camp adjacent the hotel.

They had to run uphill, reach a spot whey they had to wait for their colleagues to arrive, break a loaf of bread, down it unbuttered with purified drinking water. All this timed and supervised by the boot camp’s firm sergeant major.

A stint of press ups for the group that came last validated the boot camp’s inclusion in the weekend’s itinerary. It also impressed upon the participants, SAUBA’s serious intent in preparing them for the tough task of community development that lies ahead. A game drive right at the dearth of the day was an awaited refresher to a tough yet well meant outing!

“This prepares them for the challenges lying ahead during the course of their community fundraising and empowerment projects. They have to show strong team work, vision, stamina and action complemented by strategic planning to make them successful in the tasks they will set for themselves”, said the television series producer, Tam de Vries.

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