Keagan Petersen is grateful to all his supporters for making him the winner of the Big Brother Africa Stargame. What did he do – or not do – to win the $300,000 star prize? BOBOYE ONDUKU reviews the South African’s game in the recently concluded show.
Keagan's Twitter handle @TheRealKeagan had over 2,300 followers when it debuted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 by 6.50am. By 3pm the next day, the followers had more than tripled to 7,494. All of these people were responding to just one tweet ‘Thanks for all your support guys!’ Nelson Mandela and John Legend are the most popular of the 12 people he follows on the handle. The intern manager with the CapeTown coloured-accent is unarguably the new star-on-the-block in Africa’s entertainment industry.
Focus and good fortune
The 22-year old did not stumble into the Stargame by accident. No, not with the way he played his game. From sending out a clear message to all Downville mates after a bust-up with Tanzania’s Hilda in the early days to asserting himself as the de facto head of the coalition against Upville mates, Keagan knew exactly what he wanted.
Biggie’s $300,000 prize was never going to elude him as long as he stayed out of the nomination table. By focus and some good fortune he never was on the eviction table throughout his stay in Upville. His focus on seeing Head of House as a means to an end ensured that he got the position six times. That was a Big Brother Africa record for the entire seven seasons!
Good fortune took over the very few times he was not Head of House. When he was randomly nominated to be evicted from Downville, it was at his nomination that Biggie decided that two housemates would need to be upgraded! And he garnered just enough country votes to cross over to Upville alongside Namibia's Junia.
When it seemed imminent that Africa would have a chance to have a go at him two weeks before the finale, good fortune stepped in again! This time it was Ugandan housemate Kyle, who saved him from possible eviction by swapping him with Kenya’s Alex. That was that – the stage was perfectly set for his August 5, 2012 payday.
Misdemeanours and ‘sexcapade’
Junia, the Windhoek receptionist received a fair amount of the ugly side of Keagan. There was a water incident in Downville between the duo. When both were Upville mates, there was no love lost between them. The prankster in him saw him team up with Ghana’s Keitta and Malawi’s Wati, as they unsettled many housemates. Nigerian diva, Goldie Harvey and Zambian graphic designer Talia Hayward were very notable victims.
With Talia, things gradually built up. From bathing her in water on her birthday while she was in bed, hiding her towel while she was in the bathroom to sleeping with her on national TV (with live cameras), Keagan had a field day. They were both branded ‘Kealia’ after his ‘sexcapade’ with Talia three days before the grand finale.
Before his daring act, he was the heady Keagan who enjoyed using profanities at any point and time. "What the f**k?" was a popular profanity he enjoyed using at will.
Accent and ‘entertainment’
For many across Africa, Keagan’s accent was a turn-off. It was pretty difficult for them to grasp what he had to say, due to his Capetown coloured-accent. Many Big Brother fans took a swipe at him and thrilled themselves with the ensuing responses.
‘Sherioushly’ was his favourite mantra and even Biggie caught up with the fun. Many fans thought his accent was more of an Indian one. Others felt he was a Pakistani or Turkish citizen masquerading as a South African. They got plenty of funny responses from whichever tag they placed him.
But he had his own idea of entertainment and this was what propelled him to build a resentment of Upville VIPs amongst his co-surviving Downville mates. The backdrop was his instigation of the consecutive four-week nominations of Namibia’s Lady May and Kenya’s Jackson ‘Prezzo’ Makini. He is at home with describing himself as ‘crazy’ and ‘stupid’.
Fan base and support
The fan base of Keagan, going by his 7-country-winning-vote haul is impressive. He got crucial votes from West Africa - Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria. There were votes from the Rest of Africa, too. Angola was there. He did not miss out on Botswana and home country, South Africa’s support. No way.
@Amuhope , a Pretorian, believes Keagan is a true legend. In Garki 11, Abuja, Ivy Ullam is proud of Keagan’s achievement and thinks they have got something in common. Josy Ukpong , a chartered accountant, in her Twitter handle @AngelJossy sees a matured man in Keagan. Nozipho Zulu promises to make a plan with the aim of being Keagan’s accountant even without possessing an accounting degree. Other Twitter fans like @jesuspinkin advised him not to have an affair with Talia. Sthe Goiwakae, a Sowetan enjoins him to ‘take it easy and plan properly’.
Though many ardent fans of Big Brother Africa are still in shock that the man they gave little chance to win emerged winner, Keagan rules Africa. Could Africa have done less?