The curtain finally came down on Big Brother Africa All-Stars’ last Sunday.
But it has left a bad taste in the mouths of many Zimbabweans and other fair-minded African fans of the reality television show.
The country’s representative, Munyaradzi Chidzonga, is coming back home with nothing, after an unprecedentedly good run in the show that should have easily seen him landing the top prize.
After a gruelling three months in which he showcased himself as a strong contender for the grand prize of $200 000, Munya, who successfully captured Africa’s imagination, had to watch Nigerian Uti Nwachukwu land the prize money.
While we understand there was always going to be one winner in this game, our concern lies in the manner of voting, particularly the unnamed swing voter called the “rest of Africa”, which ended up spoiling Munya’s party.
Munya and Uti got seven votes each: Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria and Uganda voted for Uti, while Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe preferred Munya.
Then entered the spoiler called “rest of Africa” to swing the vote in Uti’s favour.
The question is who is this “rest of Africa”, which cannot be broken down into concrete countries?
The fact that there was so much Nigerian representation in this year’s edition of Big Brother is in itself a pivotal point of concern.
Could it be that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and one of DStv’s biggest customers, unfairly swung the pendulum in its favour?
This year’s Big Brother presenter, IK, is also Nigerian.
Besides, M-Net has heavily invested in Nigeria and runs shows like Tinsel and Naija Sings on popular Nigerian networks.
When looked at in this context, it becomes understandable there has been widespread condemnation of the show’s eventual outcome among Zimbabwean fans of the reality television show.
Winning, however, is not all about money, but is based on the performance that one would have put up.
What makes the show a farce is that after surviving a record nine times over 13 weeks, Munya comes back home empty-handed.
Clearly, Munya has not lost any of his fans, but Big Brother has no doubt lost some of his, (or is it her?) credibility after robbing the Diamond Boy of his well-deserved victory.
Or is it, with hindsight, part and parcel of the show to make it more exciting?
Then if this is the case, it leaves a taste of ash in the mouth!