Before entering the Big Brother Africa (BBA) reality show, a lot of negative sentiments had been expressed about Roki, the Chidzoka hitmaker-cum-BBA Zimbabwe VIP housemate, but many people hardly cared to try and understand him or even hear his side of the story.
Roki’s controversy has largely been centred on substance abuse, and womanising, but the musician has decided to use the BBA platform to his advantage to show people the “real” Roki.
Roki’s manager, Bybit Areketa exclusively told NewsDay Roki was deeply affected by the way he was misunderstood by people.
“One of the main reasons Roki entered the Big Brother house was to try and change people’s perceptions about him by showing them his true character while in the house. He felt people did not understand him, hence his decision to go on TV so they watch him daily while he lives his life,” she said.
Indeed viewers who know or have heard Roki’s stories, would have been shocked by his behaviour in the house.
He is intelligent, smart, an entertainer, caring and responsible; some qualities people never thought they would see from Roki, who had been portrayed as a hooligan.
Areketa said she hoped Roki’s BBA experience would be a major turnaround for him.
“Roki has had so much negative publicity and I hope people are seeing his true colours while he is in the house. I also hope people will start appreciating Roki’s talent as he is quite a talented artist,” she said.
On Saturday Roki told fellow housemate, Prezzo (Kenya) that one of the reasons he entered BBA was to promote his musical career.
“At least when I walk out of this house, it will be easier for me to approach other African artists for collaborations as they will have heard some of my music being played here and also know me. I am also getting to know some other artists from Africa too,” said Roki.
She said Roki had been devastated after failing to make it through to the show last year.
Fortunately for Roki, he did not have to apply to enter BBA this year as he received a golden telephone call from Mnet officials inviting him to audition as a VIP housemate.
Thanks to his manager Areketa who prepared him mentally for the auditions and he managed to make it.
“Roki could not believe that he had made it and it took time for him to absorb the news,” she said.
Roki embarked on a stressful crush programme recording music and videos for his fans to listen to during the period he would be in the house.
He released some of the singles a week before he left for South Africa and performed one of the tracks, Ndichakupa Nguva at the Miss Zimbabwe beauty pageant.
The track features Pauline and SK Military. The other track he released is Dandaro which features MC Chita. In order to look good in the house, Roki’s designer, Tatenda Chose Shoniwa, designed some clothes for him.
He has worn some of the clothes on Sundays for the eviction shows.
Asked about Roki and Maneta’s relationship in the house, Areketa said Roki was a sensitive person who did not want people stepping on his toes, so he could be clashing with Maneta because of that.
She said she was impressed with Roki learning to deal with his issues well in the house.
“Generally, Roki doesn’t like fighting, so he usually goes away if he notices that a fight might start. I can see he is trying not to let his anger get to him and I am proud of that,” she said.
Roki’s manager released promotional T-shirts, posters, CDs and DVDs to the public so as to get more people supporting him.
So far, fan pages have been set up on social sites to support him. Some of the pages on Facebook include Big Brother StarGame ROKI which has over 17 000 followers and Support & Vote For Roki on Big Brother Africa Stargame which has over 4 000 followers and Masasi aBaSky.
Areketa said she hoped Roki would win the game as he was performing quite well and putting on a good show.
She also thanked fellow Zimbabweans for continuously supporting Roki.
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the nation for showing amazing support for Roki. Thank you Zimbabwe,” she added.