When the fourth season of M-NET Big Brother Africa was launched earlier this year, it was clear that this was going to be the biggest season yet. For starters, the initial casting took place in 18 cities across the continent in search of eligible candidates 21-years-old and up who were fluent in English, possessed valid passports, and were citizens of any of the participating African countries.
The final twenty-five contestants, or housemates, as they referred to on the show, represent fourteen African countries: Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. There are twelve women and thirteen men. The show, which will run for four months, kicked off on September 6 and a voting audience will choose a winner during a grand finale in December.
The structure of the Big Brother Africa show is simple—put twenty-five strangers from different parts of the continent under one roof and let them live ‘normal’ lives under 24 hour surveillance by several cameras and microphones. These cameras and microphones broadcast live to a continent-wide audience, who has the power to vote for housemates to stay in the house. In previous years, audiences voted against contestants they wanted to be evicted, but this year voting can only be done in favor of those that audiences want to stay. The show runs live on DSTV channel 198 for 24/7 nonstop, thus viewers have unfettered access to what the housemates are up to at any given point in time.
The winner of the show takes home a grand prize of two hundred thousand US dollars, which is twice the amount in previous editions. Several housemates have already been evicted, and with less than two months to go for the big finale in December, expect the scheming and conspiracies among housemates to amplify, as each seeks a breakthrough for that prize of a lifetime.