Big Brother is known to be one of the most controversial, diverse, fun and interesting reality shows in Africa. There is always drama, a housemate who is just nuts and a concoction of characters and personalities for the whole world to see. What could possibly be better than that? Big Brother Africa is another story when it comes to keeping people glued to their seats. All through the editions, Africa has been privileged enough to meet beautiful faces and intelligent minds from all of the countries of Africa, and we’ve loved and hated contestants through the various editions for reasons best known to us.
Over time, the show has been moderated adjusted and re-appraised to make it better for the participants and the organizers. It started out as Big Brother Africa 1, then 2 and 3. When it came to four, talents have been unleashed and celebrities were born on this platform. The show is associated with glamour, kinky behaviours, tempers and interesting twists and conversations. We’ve seen contestants who were quick to speak their minds in arguments and others who displayed maturity in all situations. It’s hard to deny that we’ve enjoyed their presence and that we have had fun. BBA is very popular and many viewers look forward to it. Statistics have shown that the number of people involved in it and that of those who watch it has risen steadily through the years.
There are many things that go on inside the house, most of which we are lucky to see and some not so lucky since a lot of material does not make it to our television sets. Some people who are “so reserved with holier than thou attitudes” will say it is a raunchy and immoral show for the most part of it. The die-hard fans that have been at it from the first edition and can still remember the names of contestants will attest to it being the coolest show ever. Well, no matter how much of a fan you are I bet there are many things that you don’t know concerning you favourite show; both the previous editions and the one that’s currently ongoing.
1. There have been nine instalments of the Big Brother Africa show so far. The latest was held in 2014. The initial cash prize was $100,000. This amount rose to $200,000 in the 3rd edition and later $300,000 in season 8. MNet and Endemol are the producers of this show. Both houses are well-known and respected big names in the film and production industry and they have never failed us in terms of quality.
2. The Sesani Studio which is located in Johannesburg has been housing contestants for 9 straight years. The hotshot’s house got damaged in a very bizarre incident and was completely wrecked on the 2nd of September 2014. This was just 5 days away from the scheduled opening of the house for BBA Hotshots. The show was set to start on September 7th but it had to be postponed after the tragedy. Because a lot of damages had been done to the house, another location was found and the show was quickly set up as had been planned. Season 1 was definitely the longest running and it lasted 106 days.
3. Every show has 26 housemates all being representatives of 14 African countries. 164 contestants have been featured to date plus an extra of 2 international participants who were swapped. Overall, 85 females and 78 males have vied to earn the set cash prize. Out of all the winners, only 3 of them were females. It has mostly been a male-dominated contest. Three winners were 27 years old at the time of their win making them the most senior winners. The youngest winner was aged 21.
4. Mwisho Mwampamba from Tanzania is the current record holder for spending most days in the house. He spent 197 days in total and was a runner-up in his season. Ikponmwosa Osakioduwa popularly known as IK is definitely the host who has been on the show longest after having hosted 6 seasons starting from season 4. In all seasons, 7 housemates in total walked out and another 6 were disqualified. Goldie Harvey is the first alumni of Big Brother Africa to, unfortunately, pass away at age 31. She supposedly had a thing with Prezzo who was a Kenyan contestant and there isn’t much clarity on whether they were an item or not before her untimely death. Goldie who was a Nigerian singer was just gearing up for more success and her musical career was going places.
5. The official Big Brother Africa Facebook account has nearly 2 million likes. The likes have been accumulated over the period the show has been running and the number is still growing. Big Brother has produced unions and joined couples. Four babies have been born as a result of their parents meeting and dating during or after BBA.
6. During the show, all doors leading outside are always locked as is the rule. Housemates who choose to leave can do so whenever they please but they aren’t allowed to return. Doors can also be opened in case of emergencies.
7. 2014’s BBA Hotshots was the shortest ever in the history of BBA. The show that began on October 5th only ran for 63 days much to the dismay of many ardent viewers who have definitely seen longer seasons. It had only 13 countries represented unlike the normal 14 after Angola pulled out. Rwanda was the new country and was represented by Arthur Nkusi and Frank Rukundo.
8. Among the 26 housemates in the hotshots season, the oldest was Melvin Alusa. He is Kenyan male aged 33 who unfortunately faced eviction in the early stages. The youngest contestants are 21-year-olds Tshegofatso Sheilla Molelekwa from Botswana, Zulmira Miguel Andre Ngobo from Mozambique and Idris Sultan from Tanzania.
9. The newest and freshest idea in season 9 has to be The Extravaganza. It occurred on Saturday nights and housemates were required to form 2 teams as chosen by the weekly Head of House. Each team was given its own specific theme and they must rehearse and perform before Africa to impress their voters. Africa voted for the best performers and the team that won gained the week’s immunity. The team that lost as always, faces nomination. It was a highlight for many viewers as all contestants showed Africa what talents they had.
10. BBA has taken a different title every year since 2009. Season 9 had been very talent specific from the start. You must have had some talent to bring into the house, not just good looks and a bubbly personality. Having those was a plus but it mainly concentrated on talent which I feel is a great thing. Every participant had a title to their name. It was aired on channels 197 and 198 on Dstv.
Big Brother Naija
The first edition of Big Brother Naija took place in 2006 and like Big Brother Africa it quickly garnered several fans and several others who disliked it. Big Brother Naija, however, took a long hiatus, coming back only last year. It is now in its 3rd season. The third season of Big Brother Naija started up with 20 contestants from Nigeria and quickly heated up. It is aired on DStv channel 198 with ex-housemate Ebuka Obi-Uchendu from season one as the host.