Zimbabwe – Gone are the days when many reality show fanatics used to know that the month of May is associated with Africa’s reality show Big Brother Africa.
Well things have changed as we are left guessing on when the show might start.
Back home since its inception, the Big Brother Africa reality show has seen some Zimbabwean representatives rubbing shoulders with some of Africa’s top socialites, artistes and personalities in the Big Brother house all vying for the top spot.
The show calls for grit, acumen, flair and to some extent flamboyance in one’s personality and Zimbabweans have come to love the show big time. This has also sharpened their analysis as they follow the goings-on in the house with a keen eye.
While they have rallied behind their fellow countrymen in the house, Zimbabwean fans have paused one of the most pertinent questions about these representatives regarding their success stories after having taken a shot in the reality show.
The question that is often asked is: “What do these celebrities have to show for their appearance or participation in Big Brother Africa?”
Some have gained fame, money, popularity while others just go and come back, then back to square one.
Does the show destroy the career of contestants or what?
This week The Herald Entertainment traced the lives of some of the most talked about contestants:
Although she failed to land the top prize, 2014 representative in the house Pokello Nare is one person who has utilised her stint in the Big Brother house to buoy her business venture and social status. Today, she is a successful Zimbabwean and African businesswoman and socialite, thanks to her dance and flare in the reality show. She recently launched her show label Pink Bottoms and it seems it’s doing well for her as close sources say she wants to open another shoe shop in Ghana.
It seems the girl was determined to make the most out of her time in the house when she also used the opportunity to ignite a love relationship with Ghanaian representative Elikem Kumordzie. Above all the two are still dating and fans are still waiting to hear about the wedding bells after the engagement. Or are they already married secretly? We still wait to know. Earlier this year the couple said they will release a new reality TV show called “Our World After” and fans are still waiting anxiously.
In 2012, the urban grooves star Rockford Josphats popularly known as Roki had a go in the BBA house. He sailed well only to bow out unceremoniously after he intentionally provoked Maneta by pouring water over her head. Since then, Roki reverted to his usual self and it is clear that his stint in the house is now a forgotten chapter since the artiste has failed to utilise his time in the house to further his career. Although he later collaborated with fellow BBA housemate, Zambian artiste Mampi, little in line with the BBA stint has been heard of Roki.
She also had an ungracious bow from the show following her eviction together with Roki and was at one time holed up in South Africa taking time to lick her wounds following the unfortunate episode. The stunning beauty had the potential of landing the top prize had Roki not caused the incident in the house. The last time that we heard from Maneta “Minaj” – who was a law student at the time – was when she announced that she was back home and unemployed. She later became a video vixen after featuring in Buffalo Souljah’s music video.
Born and raised in Zimbabwe, a graduate of politics, philosophy and economics, Vimbai Mutinhiri was one of the housemates on the sixth edition of the Big Brother Africa game-show in 2011, which had Karen Igho as winner. She didn’t bring any money home but her modelling background saw her striking some deals in Africa. So far of all contestants who represented the country in the house, she is one of the biggest success stories as she landed a top job as a co-host on a daily entertainment news show called “Star Gist” on Africa Magic Entertainment. Recently, she co-hosted the first edition of Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, alongside IK Osakioduwa, in Lagos, Nigeria. In an interview at the awards she said was now venturing into acting. Sources said in months to come she is set to feature in a Nollywood movie together with Denrele Edun and Bryan Okwara.
Rated the most popular BBA housemate during his stint in 2010, the Zimbabwean actor emerged second the same year and returned home to be greeted with a red-carpet. So popular was the Diamond Boy – his chosen moniker in the house – that he was rewarded with a $300 000 purse for lifting the country’s flag high. After BBA, Munya immediately used this opportunity to market his image both as an actor and socialite, something which reaped dividends for him. However, he seems to be quiet these days. Lately, he was involved in some not so successful comedy acts and close sources said he is working on a new movie project with some top local producer.
He represented Zimbabwe in 2011 together with fellow Zimbabwean Vimbai Mutinhiri who was evicted. Wendall walked away with the coveted $300 000 prize money and received a further $50 000 from President Mugabe while Vimbai received $10 000 from the Head of State. However, his arrest in 2013 in a car insurance scam in which he was suspected to have forged documents as he lodged an insurance claim after being involved in an accident while driving his Ford Ranger, somehow forced the star to retreat from the public limelight as little or nothing is heard of him these days. He was however acquitted of the case and is now more of a private figure than the public personality that he used to be during his running in the BBA show.
The first contestant to represent Zimbabwe in the popular show managed to take third place with Cherise from Zambia walking away $100 000 richer after 106 days of real life drama and anxiety. Since then little is known of Tapuwa and some fans said she is now based in South Africa and is now into some businesses.
We have our fingers still crossed to see if Zimbabwe can produce another winner and the race has begun. Who is likely to be this year’s housemate considering that the season is heating up.