I first noticed that South Africans had stopped calling it ‘Big Brother Africa’ when I went on one of that country’s biggest entertainment websites ‘justcurious.co.za’ and noticed the talk about ‘Big Brother Nigeria, starting last year. I thought it was hilarious but they had their points. There had been two Nigerian winners back to back at the time (Karen had not even won it then) with a Nigerian host and a lot of Nigerian visitors to the various forums that existed for the show. It was almost impossible to ignore how strong a Nigerian influence there was.
After last year’s edition when a Nigerian won it for the 3rd time, and a South African (Luclay) was supposedly robbed in favor of a Zimbabwean (Wendal), many viewers from the host country didn’t take it lightly. They wanted the show to move elsewhere as they couldn’t understand why they had hosted 6 editions without producing even half a winner. Thankfully, it wasn’t a Nigerian housemate getting the heat this time.
Well, a new season starts this Sunday again and no one cares whether you are a fan of the show or not. The truth is that if you are Nigerian, you can almost not run away from Big Brother discourse in the coming months. It is that serious. For some, it is the only time they get to pay their DSTV subscription in the entire year. For fans that dislike football, they feel like it is their time to pay back football lovers who endlessly make noise for 9 months about the beautiful game. But most importantly, it is a life changing experience for the housemates.
This year, there will be more than a handful in that house. First we were told that 14 countries would be bringing in 2 housemates each in pairs. Then this past week, we found out there would be an additional 7 celebrity housemates. Yeah, you would be excused if like me, you feel like 2 houses may not even be enough this time. 14 countries multiplied by 2 plus 7 already means we could have as much as 35 housemates. That, ladies and gentlemen is officially scary. It already feels like it would be tedious to concentrate on that many housemates. But the guys at Endemol always seem to know how to work it out so we wait.
From a Nigerian perspective, it would be interesting to see who the two housemates are. But we already know that there is also a celebrity from Nigeria. That means there will probably be 3 Nigerians. Goldie is as crazy as they come and for a show like Big Brother, she definitely should bring all the drama they want. I already can’t wait to see what she would be wearing at the opening show. She also has a strong personality seeing that she carries on with her life not caring what people think about her choices generally. I’m definitely rooting for her.
But hold up, did I say there might be 3 Nigerians? Sorry, make that 4! Babalwa Mneno, the celebrity from South Africa is definitely Nigerian too. Okay, not really. She is South African but I kid you not, that girl probably speaks Pigin English better than some Nigerians I know. She is a model and runs a salon in Johannesburg. Her Brazilian weaves are and will be a signature. I’ve known her for about 6 years now and seeing her going into the house definitely shocked me. She loves Lagos like crazy and throws Yoruba slangs around very easily. And boy, does she have drama in the kind of way the viewers would love. I can’t wait to see how Nigerians react to the South Africanigerian housemate.
Big Brother has definitely evolved from the early days when it was a big deal to even steal a kiss. Back then, it was an even bigger deal when there was the occasional fight considering how infrequent they were. People generally played it safe. These days, there seems to be a battle to out-shout and out-fight and out-‘gra gra’ the next housemate. Everyone is slightly coo coo and wants everyone to know. Knowing two of the 7 housemates already revealed, tells me that the organizers definitely want a lot of ‘crazy’ this season.
For non-fans, the worst 3 months of your life are about to commence. For the fans, enjoy it but don’t irritate the rest of us. Remember that other channels also exist so we would like to change from 198 on the occasion. And to those wondering if a Nigerian can make it 4 in a row, I say why not? With 4 Nigerians (okay 3 and half) Nigerians in the house this year, you already know our chances are super bright so don’t bet against it… Let’s go!