It is not uncommon to see Big Brother Africa contestants strutting proudly into the Big Brother House on day 1, with a cape of their home country flag cascading on their backs.
Many of the housemates also choose to walk out of the house on their eviction waving their national flag, but glaringly, on Tawana Lebani’s eviction last weekend she announced, while draped in the national flag, beer bottle in hand, “I love d*ck.”
This is after the 31-year-old conducted no strings attached relationships with Munya, 22, and Ricco, 21.
Considering that contestants join the reality TV show in their personal capacity, Tawana managed to attract the wrath of many Batswana who feel she misrepresented the country and Batswana women.
Phandu Skelemani, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, also brought up her Big Brother escapades in parliament last Wednesday when immorality and alcohol abuse were discussed.
Sunday Standard took to the streets to hear what bothered Batswana so much about the young Motswana woman who reportedly went into the house for a lifetime experience.
A 30-something-year-old woman who declined to be named but is, however, very passionate about the national flag declared that she has been scandalised in the past by the sight of a tattered flag on Btv that was been raised in Pitsane.
“In my opinion, national flags should not be used in social activity games that have no order, such as Big Brother,” she said. “Contestants should rather use scarves or clothes in their national colours instead.”
The woman says by uttering the infamous words frocked in Botswana’s blue, white and black flag, “Tawana implied that she represents the country but lost the plot.”
Puseletso Mnqibisa, a 40-plus woman says that “the flag talks, with the water represented in blue and the black and white, it is a symbol we should all take pride in”.
Puletso, who is a great fan of Big Brother Africa, adds that though she would love to believe that, on the whole, young Batswana women are conservative, ”many might want to experiment, temptations di teng”.
It would be better, Puseletso says, were that show nationalised like BB Nigeria, BB Botswana, BB South Africa, etc because “we wouldn’t risk international misrepresentation”.
A twenty-four-year-old man Biggie, says Tawana was out of line.
“She should have been conscious all the time that viewers in Botswana were watching, and also conscious of the values they uphold, o ne a itebetse,” he clipped.
When asked how he would respond should a sexy older woman propositioned him, he retorted, “I would be wary of such an offer.”
His friend, Kagiso, also 24, added, “I wouldn’t mind, in fact, many people prefer such arrangements nowadays.” Kagiso, however, widens his eyes and says he would not be so sure if the same proposition came forth while he was on Big Brother.
“Well, that would be bad I would be painting a bad picture of Batswana.”
At a press conference held by Multichoice on Thursday, Tawana, on her part, admitted to her penchant for putting her foot in her mouth.
“I behaved as I would have on the outside and apologise to my parents, particularly for having hurt them unintentionally,” she said.
She adds that in the past she has passed judgement while watching previous instalments of BBA shows, but conceded that “it’s a different story when on the inside”.
“Once in a while you do forget that more than 50 million people are watching.”