Countdown to the seventh season of the biggest reality show on the continent, Big Brother Africa (BBA), has begun. Thousands of Nigerians no doubt will besiege MNET offices across the nation to pay for their monthly subscriptions as the BBA show graces Channel 198 on May 6, 2012.
In the first season of BBA in 2003, excited viewers watched for 90 days as housemates fought for votes. Cherise Makubale, the 24-year-old Procurement Officer from Zimbabwe won the cash prize of $100,000. Fans believed that the Zimbabwean housemate took the cash home because of her motherly disposition to fellow housemates.
She had a scandal-free stay in the house which was traceable to her abstaining from romantic liaisons. Ejiro Okoro, a BBA fan who is a Jewellery entrepreneur recalls: “Cherise was my best housemate and I don’t think she deserves any less from Big Brother.”
Due to the buzz generated by the first season and subsequent editions of the BBA, the number of participating countries increased from 12 to 14 in the last season. The new season will see the addition of Sierra Leonne and Liberia to the 14 participating countries - Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, and Mozambique.
The anticipation for BBA 7 has already reached a feverish pitch. This is because unlike past editions, each country will produce a dynamic duo where friends, lovers, neighbours or mothers will pair up with a partner.
“My friends and I cannot wait to see the pairings for this edition of the show. It is indeed a novel idea and I will really love to see how it works out,” said Ada Orji who works in a second generation bank as she awaits the showdown.
The sixth season tagged “The Amplified” ended on July 31, 2011. It was the first ever series of BBA to unveil 26 contestants with two winners. Karen Igho, the 27-year-old Nigerian and Wendall Parson, the 23-year-old Zimbabwean to get the cash prize of $200,000 each.
The concluding episode of the BBA was filled with tears, laughter and mixed emotions. Housemates became more bonded than in the beginning. Malvina Longpet did not have a friendly relationship with Karen, but managed to endure till the end.
Luclay also called Mr. Otono was a free spirited young man who loves being himself. He had a good time in the house even if he did not go home with the cash prize. He highlighted how some housemates had maintained that they wanted to work with certain charities, yet they hadn’t lived the part in the house. Although many ticked him as favourite for the star prize, unfortunately for him, that never came to be.
Karen Igho was the most difficult of all housemates in terms of relating with other housemates. Most of her discussions with fellow housemates usually ended in misunderstandings. She was never in good talking terms with Vina, but they tried to manage themselves probably because they were from the same country. Wendall Parson was more passive than active in the house.
BBA took fans by surprise when he was mentioned as co winner with Karen Igho. He mentioned Vina as one of the fake housemates in the BB house. Sharan O” Nalukenge and Hani Mekura were the beauty queens of the house.
For this year’s showdown tagged the Stargame, housemates must double up to compete for the star prize at stake; that is, mother can pair with daughter, father and sister, grandmother and nephew... and the cash prize is $300,000 for one winner.
Auditions took place in various African countries and Lagos witnessed the auditioning of a grandmother and her nephew; a mother and her daughter, best friends and lovers.
Expectations are high, and many viewers across the continent are already looking forward to how mothers would betray daughters; friends, neighbours and lovers would betray each other in order to be the winner. It is going to be tough and a ‘must watch’ season as this is the first of its kind.