Masterchef South Africa

Meet the Masterchef South Africa contestants. Images: supplied

‘Masterchef South Africa’ season five: Meet first seven contestants

Meet the first seven ‘Masterchef South Africa’ season five contestants from a rugby coach to an Accounting graduate.

Masterchef South Africa

Meet the Masterchef South Africa contestants. Images: supplied

Primedia has revealed the first seven contestants to compete in the fifth season of Masterchef South Africa, premiering on Saturday 13 July.


Primedia has announced the first seven Masterchef South Africa season five contestants. MasterChef South Africa has also found a new home on S3 (formerly SABC 3). The series will air everyday Saturday starting on Saturday 13 July at 19:30. The series previously broadcasted on M-Net (DStv channel 101).

These competitive amateur chefs all have the same goal: Impressing the critical judges and dodging the chopping board to be named the country’s MasterChef. So, what will the MasterChef South Africa winner receive? An easy R1 million in prize money. 

Take a look at the judges here.


There are 20 uber-passionate home cooks from different backgrounds and with various food-making fortes, who will be stepping into the MasterChef South Africa kitchen. So, who are the first seven contestants?


The 29-year-old is known for starring in various advertising campaigns for superbrands. Tebogo was raised in Hillbrow by a single-parent mother, and when times were tough, living in shelters was their last resort. Instead of allowing his difficult upbringing to define his future or getting sucked into the wrong crowd, Tebz determinedly decided to rise above his circumstances.

As an intern at an inner-city NGO, the joy of a cup of coffee inspired him to become a barista. One of his many achievements was opening a bustling coffee shop called Hillbrewed Café at the age of 23. He is also a martial arts champion. He was the middleweight South African Kickboxing Association title holder in 2016 and 2017.


Tinashe “Nash” Zambila (39) from Jozi’s affluent northern suburbs is bound to win viewers’ hearts with his inimitable dry sense of humour and charismatic personality. He is a devoted dad of an 8-year-old boy. Tinashe fell in love with food by watching celebrity chefs like Rick Stein and Ainsley Harriott strutting their culinary stuff on television.

As expected from someone from the advertising world, Nash is a big thinker who continues brainstorming ideas about possible new ventures after winning MasterChef South Africa. On his vision board are a chicken wing bar, a cooking channel, bespoke pop-ups showcasing up-and-coming chefs, a chilli farm where he bottles his own chilli sauce and sustainable feeding scheme initiatives.


Lucas Roothman (33) from Stellenbosch coaches rugby at school and university levels and recruits players for a rugby academy. His alma mater is Paarl Roos Gimnasium, the high school famous for producing more Springboks than any other school in the country. When Lucas, a former U/19 Western Province Union player himself, is not soaking up the sun outdoors, passing the ball to potential future sports stars, or rubbing shoulders with big-name Boks, you’ll find him in the kitchen. 


Calm and composed 34-year-old Chanel Brink’s love language is food. During Lockdown, Chanel, born in Durban and now residing in Greenstone Hills, Johannesburg, became an online foodie content creator. Little did she know how her easy-to-make comfort food and simple techniques would hit a sweet spot on Instagram.


Effervescent Ella Bella Constantinides-Leite (39) holds a Master’s degree in Dramatic Arts and Education from the University of the Witwatersrand, is of Greek descent, married the Portuguese love of her life and chose beautiful Sesotho and isiZulu names for her two children. 

This colourful home cook from Bedfordview is also a dynamic environmentalist who teaches in all corners of the country as part of the Miss Earth South Africa programme, educating children about biodiversity and preserving our national heritage.


43-year-old Naledi Matshitse from Muldersdrift is a stay-at-home mom who juggles various jobs: homemaker, family chef, family medic, family driver, sports coach and cheerleader. Despite her BAdmin Honours degree in Industrial psychology, Naledi prefers not to miss a moment of her kids growing up. As a bonus, they can have fun together in her favourite room in the house – the kitchen!   

Naledi has an insatiable passion for cooking. It all started when she became her mother’s sous chef when she was ten years old. As the first-born, she would prep dinner before her mom arrived from work, and during Easter and Christmas, they would tackle elaborate dishes from a pile of cut-out recipes. 


Refe Dimbaza is a smart, bubbly, thirty-something “small-town girl” from Thaba Nchu with an Honours Degree in Accounting from the University of the Free State. She now lives in Centurion. Her two graduation ceremonies count among the most significant moments in her life – all because of a person very close to her heart witnessing these milestone events. The proud supporter in the auditorium was her beloved late grandmother.