It is a tight contest with six participants in the Big Brother Africa (BBA) Stargame Reality Show gunning for the $300 000 jackpot as the show approaches its final leg this week.
This coming Sunday — Keagen (South Africa), Wati (Malawi), Kyle (Uganda), Talia (Zambia), Prezzo (Kenya) or Lady May (Namibia) will go home richer.
Lady May has been a strong survivor, having escaped eviction several times. She has kept to herself for the better part of the game, a strategy which seems to have worked well for her.
It has been a long dramatic journey for the housemates, living with people from different cultures, seeing the same faces every day, out of touch with the outside world and only hearing Big Brother’s voice.
This year’s show has been tough as Big Brother tightened rules of the game. Sadly, two Zimbabwean housemates — Rockford (Roki) Josphats and Maneta Mazanhi were found wanting. One of the golden rules — the provocation rule — stated that a housemate who incited violence would be disqualified from the game.
In an interview, Biola Alabi MNet Africa managing director described Roki and Maneta’s disqualification from the game as a shame, but believed the two housemates were strong contenders for the ultimate prize if they had stayed on.
“The disqualification of the two Zimbabwean housemates was a shame because I believe they were both strong characters, who had good chances of winning. Whatever resulted in their disqualification was unfortunate, as it was unnecessary for them to fight,” she said.
She added that she could not blame them for their actions because the outside world had no idea how pressured the housemates were in the house.
Asked about the harshness of the provocation rule which led to Roki, Maneta, Zainab (Sierra Leone) and DKB’s (Ghana) disqualifications, Alabi said housemates were seriously briefed on the rules of the game.
“Disqualifications are based on the principles of the rules. Before the housemates enter the house, we fully brief them on the rules of the game and make special emphasis on the provocation rule,” she said.
Zimbabwe had a major blow this year with another representative, Teclar Mazanhi, making history by being the first Zimbabwean housemate to be booted out of the game in the first week. Over the years, Nigerians and Zimbabweans have proved to be strong contenders, but this year the countries’ representatives could not live up to expectations. Zimbabwe has previously sent in strong contenders with Wendall Parson winning last year’s edition while Munya Chidzonga missed the grand prize by a whisker two years ago.
Ola, a Nigerian housemate, had potential to win the game, but he voluntarily exited after he fell ill and had to seek medical treatment outside the house.
According to the rules of the game this year, Ola had to leave the game with his partner Chris. The other Nigerian housemate, Goldie was not a strong contender as she was too emotional and was evicted two weeks ago leaving Nigeria with no representative.
Show viewers have dubbed this year’s show the worst, judging by the increased number of disqualifications and voluntary exits. The nominating system has also come under criticism with people claiming that the system successfully eliminated the strong characters first.
But, Alabi said: “Housemates actually preferred the random-nominations machine because they said it was better to be nominated by a machine than for them to nominate each other, especially during the first weeks of the game when they didn’t know each other well.”
She added that disqualifications and voluntary exits were all caused by housemates’ failure to deal with pressure in the house.