Big Brother Africa is back
SOUTH African model Babalwa Mneno was one of the 35 people from 14 countries who entered the Big Brother Africa house yesterday.
The seventh season of the television show has housemates from Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The show, called Big Brother StarGame, has a mix of 14 couples that will live in "downville" and seven celebrities who will live in "upville" for 91 days.
Mneno is among the celebrities living in the "upville" house and says she is there for the exposure. "I entered to rebrand myself and remind people of who Barbs is," she said last night.
The South African contestants are friends Keagan and Lee, both 22 years old. Keagan admitted that he had never watched BBA before but was excited at the challenge.
For the opening show, 27-year-old American rapper J Cole entertained the crowd. The other performance was by choreographer Somizi.
For the third year in a row, Channel O's IK will be hosting the show and will be joined by Ghanian Flavia.
IK said: "You walk in normal and come out as a shining star."
He said that the addition of the seven celebrities added a "VIP vibe".
"Violence and alcohol intake will be monitored strictly. Thousands of people auditioned for this opportunity. It was an intense process."
The upville house is glamorous and stylish but a bit smaller than the downville house where the normal contestants will be.
Other celebrities include Ghanaian comedian and TV presenter DKB and the Lady Gaga of Nigeria, Goldie. On coping for three months without intimacy, Goldie said: "Self-service is the best in terms of relationships."
The contestants will compete for US$300000 over three months.
The show also has a new nomination system. Contestants will not nominate each other for eviction.
Similar to the lottery, last night's random draw had the Tanzanian and Zimbabwean couples selected as first nominations for eviction.