For the past seven weeks (every Friday), fans of the insurance reality-type show, The Insurance Apprentice have been glued to their screens, following the top eight finalists battle it out for the number one spot.

The Insurance Apprentice 2019 (season 5) came to a close on Tuesday, 26 March 2019, where HTI Insurance Brokers’, Colin Lunsky was declared the winner!

The spectacular winner announcement evening, which was sponsored by CN&CO partner, Innosys took place at The Venue Green Park overlooking the Sandton skyline.

Hosting the finale was none other than the host of Survivor South Africa, Nico Panagio. With his natural charm, the resident MC kept the crowd captivated all the way through to the end of the event.

Editor of FANews and champion of the Insurance Apprentice, Rianet Whitehead, was called up to the stage where she expressed gratitude to all the sponsors, judges, guests, fans of the competition, as well as the finalists for all their support. Also mentioning how the finalists have grown since the beginning of the competition, which is exactly what the Insurance Apprentice is about – empowering the leaders of tomorrow.

The final eight contests of the #TIA2019 with FA News’s Rianet Whitehead

Followed by Rianet, Executive Head: Digital Distribution at SHA Specialist Underwriters and Head Judge (AKA Judge Dread) of the Insurance Apprentice, Simon Colman took to the stage to give the guests some behind the scenes moments and in it, we got a glimpse at his personal brand of humour we all love so much.

We also learned the amount of work that goes into putting the scenes together to ultimately deliver the show that is The Insurance Apprentice.

Adding another great element to the event, the finalists all reunited on stage for a Q&A session, where they had the opportunity to revisit highlights of their journey through the competition – give insider info on the explosive moments and spill some beans on the unseen drama that might have unfolded.

Nico posed some questions, which they each had a chance to answer. The finalists all had some interesting moments to share.

When asked if they would advise other young people in the industry to enter this competition, Ditebogo Mokgalaboneundoubtedly, said yes, and that the competition is for anyone seeking an opportunity to build their character and to learn something outside of what they know.

Jake Pennacchini, as the youngest to compete in season 5 also mentioned that the competition exposes you to a whole lot more than you might have known. Which goes to show that industry is not as limited as many might perceive.

Mitesh Lakha said it was an overwhelming journey. Though he learned (from sometimes being in the losing group) that most learnings come from failure and that they should be embraced and not feared.

The finalists all highlighted what they took out of the competition to apply themselves personally or professionally.

After this special feature, Nico awarded the finalists with trophies of achievement, which followed by the moment we have all been waiting for, the announcement of the winner.

Coming in third place, was Palesa Mochane (Hollard). In second place, was Mitesh Lakha (Discovery Insure). Mitesh was also awarded with a R10 000 cheque for the most improved apprentice during filming week earlier in the evening.

And of course, Colin emerged victorious among the Top 3 finalists. Making him the first apprentice winner to take it for KZN region.

Along with being crowned the winner, Colin also walked away with an exciting opportunity to visit the home of insurance, Lloyds of London and dinner worth R5000 during his stay in London sponsored by Hogan Lovells, a bursary valued at R75 000 from Inseta (of which Colin generously donated to the school where they filmed episode six), a cash prize of R20 000 from Graduate Institute of Financial Sciences (GIFS), R15 000 from Hollard and an Apple watch sponsored by Genasys Technologies.

Colin was also presented with the opportunity to attend The African Insurance Exchange 2019 in Sun City. This was presented by CN&CO MD, Gianluca Tucci on behalf of the Insurance Institute of South Africa (IISA)and the South African Insurance Association (SAIA).

Congratulations once again to all the finalists, sponsors, the FA News team, film crew and all who made it possible.

Watch Colin’s speech below:

[Feature image source: The Insurance Apprentice Facebook page]