That this year’s Big Brother Africa housemates are savvy was evident during opening show last Sunday. Some of the men reeked of testosterone as they sauntered like WWE wrestlers onto the podium to be interviewed by Big Brother Africa 2 host, Kabelo ‘KB’ Ngakane, and announcing that they will definitely be showering in the buff.
The women strolled leisurely swinging their hips, coquettish smiles playing on their lips and making eyes at the host. They are evidently eager to make a head-start in playing themselves up as dominant personalities for the viewers for the next 98 days.
Botswana representative, Justice Motlhabani, a final year media studies student at the University of Botswana, making perhaps the most striking first impression in being the shortest housemate, as he scurried his 1.52m height into the house. Justice, who is a debate enthusiast, has his hopes pinned on a sponsorship to study at Oxford or Sidney Universities as his task reward, because they have the best debating societies worldwide.
The stakes are high at US$100 000, and alliances are forming, with constant recreations of characters who enjoyed popularity in past shows. Code (Malawi), Kwaku (Ghana) and Maxwell (Zambia) have ‘bonded.’ While Jeff (Kenya) appears to enjoy his loner status, Richard (Tanzania) and our Justice hang out on the fringe.
The relationship dynamics have between the female housemates changed as they took a while longer to warm up to Lerato, who initially gelled with Meryl as they played up to the men’s attention.
Romantic allies are also forming as Meryl has volunteered a back rub to an appreciative shirtless Kwaku from Ghana. Some bold flirting has also been taking place between South Africa’s Lerato and her ‘Baby’, Maxwell.
Though Justice has griped during diary sessions that he feels misunderstood by the other housemates, who poked fun at his height. The Big Brother Africa 2 website has reported a fleeting camaraderie between him and Maxwell. He also gained the favour of Tatiana (Angola) who is a model and actress who has described him as ‘out of this world’.
On Friday Tatiana taunted a resistant Justice to give her a kiss as she lolled about in a pink micro mini skirt and one stiletto healed shoe on. Soon enough the other housemates had joined in the revelry, with South Africa’s Lerato urging, “o seka wa tlhabiwa ke ditlhong Justice.”
During the week, there had also been some debates on rape and HIV/AIDS that revealed Maureen’s dark secret as she broke down during her presentation: she had been raped by her high school teacher as a teenager and never reported the matter to her mother, she said on live satellite TV on Thursday. To which Max Code and Lerato responded by escorting her out of the room to clam her down.
We will have to see what curveballs Big Brother throws the housemates this evening.