This blog post was originally published on ONE’s Africa Blog.
This week, ONE has been a recognizable presence within the Big Brother Africa house. In weeks past, we have been in the backyard, in the THRIVE garden where the housemates harvested vegetables and produced compost. But that all changed early on Tuesday morning when the contestants were told to fast an entire day, save for what they had produced in the Thrive garden. This challenge was set to symbolize the millions of Africans who suffer from hunger and malnutrition everyday while also emphasizing the usefulness of farming one’s own food.
Although the Big Brother housemates weren’t exactly ecstatic at the idea of going without food for a day, they took the task seriously. And they were duly rewarded with many personal shout-outs from ONE celebrity ambassadors, such as South African songstress Zolani Mahola, Kenyan music sensation Nameless, and even ONE’s co-founder Bono. These messages encouraged the housemates to stay hungry for change”—words that they definitely took to heart.
Taking things to the next level, Nigerian superstar 2Face Idibia made a personal visit to the house, and gave everyone the shock of their lives. Although at one point Ugandan housemate Janette got 2Face to sing her a few bars from “African Queen”, he made sure that the conversation stayed focused on the issue at hand. Right now, 31 million Africans and 12 million children can be saved from poverty and stunted growth respectively by 2015. This can be achieved by raising awareness, making smart investments in agriculture, and holding African leaders accountable, all significant aspects of ONE’s Thrive campaign. While in the house, 2Face made sure to communicate this message to the housemates and answered all of their questions about ONE and the campaign.
In the wake of 2Face’s visit, the energy and enthusiasm among the housemates was palpable. The housemates have been busy preparing food that will be hand-delivered by 2Face to a children’s home in the surrounding Johannesburg area. Their energy is also being harnessed towards designing their own ONE t-shirts, all of which are distinct, creative, and sporting inspiring messages. One of the designs will be selected, and the housemate who wins the competition will not be disappointed with the reward we have in store.
All in all, the Big Brother Africa contestants are demonstrating that it’s possible for anyone to make a difference by supporting the Thrive campaign towards the eradication of hunger and malnutrition on the continent.
They are definitely hungry for change. If you are too, join the movement by signing our petition.
Stay strong, stay committed, stay hungry for change.