Klerksdorp’s Christo Rossouw has escaped the noose and has been named the winner of Cell C’s thrilling reality show Hangman walking away with R1-million prize money.
The 35-year-old impressed the judges and viewers with his innovative mosquito repellent lamp and beat off strong challenges from the remaining two finalists – Bonex Mwakikunga with his diabetes breathalyser and Chelsea Anne Hornby who developed the Elle reusable menstrual cup.
Thanks to the TV series, Rossouw also has a distribution deal with Fever Tree, who will be testing his products in the market in three big supermarket chains, and believes the potential for his product is endless.
“I always focus on social innovations when entering competitions,” says an elated Rossouw. “There is a huge need to provide the underprivileged with affordable and effective solutions to problems that they are facing. One of the biggest issues in the world that poor people face is malaria. Mosquito-borne diseases are responsible for close to a million deaths annually, infecting around a billion people every year.
“I was looking to design a product that would be more effective and more affordable than products already on the market. Something that would act as a social innovation, but also have market potential. My mosquito diffuser is three times cheaper than the cheapest electric heater on the market. It does not use additional electricity to work and is compatible with refills from all major brands.”
Says Jose Dos Santos, Chief Executive Officer of Cell C: “This show was a first for South Africa. The quality of the production was world-class and viewers really embraced the show and participated actively through the Cell C reality app. More so, we are delighted that we were able to provide talented South African innovators with a platform to realise their dreams.”
The Hangman “backers”, acting as judges, included economist Iraj Abedian, billionaire Quinton van der Burgh, CEO of Business Leadership South Africa Bonang Mohale, and businesswoman and entrepreneur Connie Mashaba. The show was hosted by Maps Maponyane.
A repeat of Hangman will be broadcast on e.tv on Saturday, December 16, at 13h00. It will also screen on eExtra (http://eextra.etv.co.za) on Wednesday (December 13) at 19h30 with a repeat on Thursday (December 14) at 10h00.
The complete Hangman series is also available – for free – on Cell C’s newly launched entertainment and content platform, black. South Africans, on any network, can download the GETblack Android & iOS apps using a tablet or smartphone. It is also available on a web interface at www.black.co.za.