Last year during South Africa’s Big Brother Mzansi season on the Mzansi Magic and Big Brother channels, a male contestant was removed after hitting a woman in the show. M-Net called this “an isolated incident”.
In April this year, the latest Big Brother Mzansi season exploded in controversy over alleged rape when a male contestant bragged how he “dipped her” when he allegedly had sex with a drunk and passed out female contestant who was horrified about what she was told happened.
As many Ugandans may remember, in 2003, the then country representative Geatano Kaggwa is said to have had sex with a South African contestant. Big Brother has always survived on controversy and thus news of its cancelling was shocking.
According to a South African newspaper, the show failed to attract sponsorship this year, thus being forced to pull the plug on this year’s edition.
Tina Wamala, MultiChoice Uganda’s PR, in an email noted that the show will not take place even though it’s sister shows like Mzansi and Angola have been held.
This is of course a big blow the the fans of the show though good news from the moralist that have wanted Big Brother off air since 2003.
Biggie as it is popularly known is credited to have created African stars like Geatano, Uti, Vimbai, Tatiana and Kacey MO among others.
Many hope M-Net and MultiChoice will now channel the energy and money into promoting African art.
“It’s good we are not going to have to go through that brothel treatment this year,” said one commentator on social media.
If it comes back, this won’t be the first time the show has gone on a haitus, in 2003, after the inaugural Big Brother Africa, they went on a three year break that saw them only return in 2007 with a new presenter and concept.
Onorchie Orgor, a Nigerian viewer said that the show had stayed beyond the sell by date and was adding nothing to entertainment and African pop culture.
The show suffered a setback last year when the house gutted fire only days to the premiere and it seems that even that attention didn’t help on the ratings, and then the bad reputation of violence and rape were just enough to send sponsors the opposite way.
However the show’s producers are not settled and hope to make a comeback in 2016.
Uganda has in the past had contestants like Maureen Namatovu, Ernest Wasike, Sharon Nalukenge, Denzel Mwiyeretsi, Lugudde, Morris Mugisha and Stella Nantumbwe among others.