Malawi reached the final stages of the Big Brother Africa reality show four times. However, it is only Hazel Warren who ended up as runner up. With an announcement that auditions for Big Brother Africa 2013 have begin; and that the show’s Season 8 is dubbed Superstar, the big question is; has it assisted representatives in any way since 2002? Yvonnie Sundu writes.
For the DStv provider, MultiChoice Malawi Limited, it has been a worthwhile experience for Malawi as a country on the BBA show.
“Malawi’s music has been exposed because people can now know the likes of Maskal, Theo, Tay Grin, among others, through their performances at the BBA stage,” says MultiChoice sales and marketing manager Chimwemwe Nyirenda.
He said being the 10th year; Season 8 is special to them.
“We have learnt a lot and this year will be better. As the norm, we shall give out details when time is ripe. But, what is important for Malawi is not just to participate, but rather to win the $300 000. We have been in the finals for four times and honestly time has come for Malawi to be the eventual winner,” he added.
Many at times a Malawian loses despite being a strong contender as evidenced from the past series because contestants feel inferior, according to Nyirenda.
Commenting on whether or not those who have represented the country at BBA series have benefited, he said: “What has happened to Malawian representatives is the same with other countries. Not all of them have been lucky in countries like South Africa, Zambia, Angola, for example. ”
Random interviews with people vindicate that the show has only helped market Malawi’s music talent, culture and allowed people get connected to DStv.
Any benefits for contestants?
But have actual representatives benefited from the show and what is it that they have to show the public?
While many of Malawi’s representatives have disappeared into oblivion, it seems Lomwe and Code are moving in the right direction.
“I have been busy establishing Code Productions, a fully fledged media house, offering media solutions to help the business community grow. BBA All Stars gave me an opportunity to re-brand. My plan was to build my portfolio and showcase my skill to an international audience and platform as it were,” said Code.
Code notes that the Malawi business community should wake up from that long nap and realise that BBA housemates and local celebrities have the power to move figures if they are granted the opportunity for endorsement deals.
Lomwe also hailed his appearance on Big Brother.
“My being in the house gave me amazing exposure which you can’t get anywhere else because it’s the biggest show in Africa. I have been doing live shows and trying to establish my brand in SA,” he said.
The first show in 2003 saw Malawi perform dismally as its representative Zein Dudha, got the boot just three weeks into the game. Popularity ratings for the show soured after a two year break. But when Code represented the country in 2007, the show was a must watch.