What do the viewers exactly look for in a housemate? Entertainment? Aesthetically pleasing? A reflection of what being African is all about? A housemate who has the ability to play the game like chess?
Preference is subjective, hence viewers are drawn to certain housemates. Now, what does it take to win Big Brother? Studying the past winners, there’s no clear indication of what trait the winners have in common. Besides trait, what’s common with most of the past winners is that they have a pen1s.
Your mom has been complaining about you lying on her sofas all day, so you decide you’d rather lie on someone’s sofa who won’t only not complain but pay you to do so. Someone like, Biggie – so you decide to enter the show. Or perhaps, entering the show has been your dream ever since you watched the show.
This is a guide to being a Big Brother Africa housemate.
If you have a pen1s, congratulations, you are already a step ahead of your counterparts.
Step 1: What to bring
You have to cook the best story about your family and background. Add all the great spices in the world. How you grew up poor that sometimes your meal was your imagination. How you never met your father and you apparently heard he’s of West and East Africa descent. You need those regional country votes.
Bring a pair of All Stars. Make sure your All Stars were on the roof for a good two weeks, your aim is to make them appear old and evoke, “Oh shame” reactions from the viewers.
Pack fancy Saturday party and eviction outfits. You don’t want to be too fancy or people would think you’re privileged. Pack I-went-to-a-prestigious-school-but-my-mother’s-employer-paid-for-it type of fancy clothes.
Bring family photos, mostly photos with family members looking worried. Photos that suggest your family was so poor, they were even thinking about their next meal in pictures. Also bring photos with your friends, where the camera angle is doing you justice while failing your friends.
Also bring your alter ego, that mostly comes out when you’re drunk. Dancing on tables and swinging on chandeliers.
Step 2: How to deal with questions
You must get used to being asked questions. If the twitter Questionnaires and common sense had a baby, it would be Big Brother. From the presenter right to Biggie, they ask a lot of questions.
Here are some of the famous questions and what your replies should be.
Do you have a game plan?
“No. I’m just going to be myself because I’m too lazy to be someone else”
Why did you enter the show?
“I want to learn more about other African countries and cultures because the library and Google don’t have much information”
What would winning the money mean to you?
“A lot since I spent 91 days proving to people that hard work pays off – even if it’s limited to certain square metre house”
What will you do if you win the money?
“Give some to charity like the winners always say. Although the only charity getting my money is the revenue services”
Who’s your favourite ex housemate and why?
Mention the worst Big Brother housemate that comes to mind then say, “They inspire me to be like them but even better”
What’s your secret talent?
Step 3: Making friends
I’m sure you’re well acquainted with the dynamics amongst fans on social networks. Every season is the continuation of the Montagues and Capulets feud, also known as South Africa vs Nigeria. You have to be strategic when making friends in the house.
Befriend that loud Nigerian housemate. Even adopt their lingo. Stretch those muscles, open your mouth wide and pronounce those vowels. “Chinekeeeeeeee” and shoki your way to the hearts of Nigerian viewers. In no time, your Nigerian friend will bestow you with a Nigerian name.
Befriend that South African housemate, don’t forget to also befriend the housemate from the biggest province in South Africa, Botswana (joking). The country votes from these countries are always coupled, good for you. You’d want to date the housemate from Botswana (for real). When you look into their eyes, you’ll probably see hundreds of enthusiastic fans waiting in the airport. Or their pupil dilating.
Also befriend that fashion designer or upcoming musician housemate from Ghana. Azonto your way to Ghanaians’ hearts.
You’d want to rake in East Africa votes via Kenya. Befriend a housemate from Kenya, try to impress them by showing them how much you like everything Kenyan. “Alek Wek was my favourite on 12 Years a Slave”.
Step 4: Be well spoken
Most people mistake having a twang with being smart. If you have a twang, good for you – if not, you can always get a hold of the twang dealer who deals with Big Brother housemates.
You would be talking cow dung but your execution would be lavender, that’s one of the twang privileges. Throw in random big words to make yourself sound smart.
“I’m having a metamorphosis day, Biggie”
“The mood in the house is so impetuous”
“That’s a rather, grandiloquent statement Biggie”
When two housemates are arguing, shout, “Expelliarmus, wingardium leviosa!” in hopes of breaking the fight. Nobody will know you just said Harry Potter magic spells.
Studies show that people with a great command of the English language are ten times more likely to be listened to.
Step 5: Pursuit of being a “true African”
You’re already an African but it’s still a long way to go until viewers on the strap (and on social media) dub you a true African.
What is this “true African” tag, anyway?
Well…If you are a curvaceous woman with an ample bosom, wide hips, a substantial butt and domesticated. You are ideally the image of a true African woman.
If you are a man who constantly excuses his actions with being an African man and police how women should behave, you are already a true African man.
If you are not the above, then you need to go on pursuit on being a true African. How? Well, firstly, don’t mind that you’re in a Western imported show that’s always shamed for its poor representation of being an African. Secondly, you should wear your ignorance blissfully.
While the other housemates are gyrating on one another, voice how the housemates have a weird way of restoring the dignity critics criticise.
Remind the housemates to not throw away the Rama containers because they will make a great tupperware set. Don’t forget to put some rocks and orange sack in the bathroom.
Try to cook more traditional meals, there will be messages on the strap praising you for not losing your African roots in this Western reality show masquerading as African.
Whenever you engage in debates, always state how much of an African you are. “As an African, I find twangs un-African”.
You will be the truest African of them all in the house.
Step 6: Grow a religious bone
You have to have a religious bone when you enter the Big Brother house. Or at least grow it. The only time you should be on your knees in the house, is when you’re praying – or cleaning.
When you get nominated, pray. Before the eviction show, pray. When you feel bad about being drunk, pray.
I always imagined, this is how God listens to someone praying from the Big Brother house.
When they’re praying to be shown the light after blacking out like every other Saturday.
When they’re asking to be crowned the winner.
Step 7: Be f̶a̶k̶e deep
If f̶a̶k̶e deep had a mascot, it will be none other than Sulu. One of his famous quotes from the house include, “People come here with, ‘I’m going to be myself’, what if yourself is stupid?”
How can we forget the wisdom he drops on twitter? “The reason the economy is dying is because people think they’re more special than others”.
You’d want your quotes to make it to the Big Brother quote book. Don’t miss an opportunity to be deep when talking to the housemates or Biggie.
Housemates like bonding, in between the bonding session, chip in, “Sometimes you realise that you didn’t realise”. That will leave some housemates baffled.
Remember, Sulu once tweeted that no one is special. Go in the house and practise Sulu’s philosophy.
Step 8: Have a sob story
If you go to the Big Brother house without a sob story, you are a disgrace to all those who have graced Biggie’s house. What else will you say to emotionally blackmail the viewers and make them pity you?
If you don’t have a sob story, make up one. I mean, how hard can it be? When you finally make up one, be prepared to piggyback it.
Climb Biggie’s wall, sleep on the dinner table, sing in the shower, do cartwheels in the house, laugh at your own jokes, stash alcohol, play pranks on your fellow housemates, bed hop – just have the time of your life.
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