Big Brother Africa, Week ONE

Last week ONE partnered up with the Pan-African reality TV phenomenon Big Brother Africa for an exciting week.

As with previous Big Brother Africa seasons, the producers of the show sought out an issue, coupled with an organisation to dedicate a “task week” to, and this year it was ONE’s Thrive campaign.


To make sure we took advantage of this amazing opportunity we enlisted the help of the Nigerian music sensation 2Face Idibia to be our ambassador on the show.

He started off his week with ONE by being interview by The Times newspaper where discussed his reason for being in South Africa and the work he would be doing with ONE.

Big Brother Africa’s “task week” for the housemates begins on the Tuesday of every week, and so early in the morning Big Brother introduced the task, giving the housemates a brief about food security and the need for agriculture as a way to reduce poverty. As part of their brief housemates were told that they had to go hungry from morning to evening in solidarity with the millions of people on the continent who do not have enough to eat. They were told that the only vegetables they could use had to come from the ONE garden hey had been told to look after for the past 6 weeks. To round of the brief housemates were given ONE merchandise, and asked to help grow a new vegetable garden to show viewers how it can be done.

Towards the end of the day housemates were given a pleasant surprise, when 2Face entered  the house. Unspringing housemates were thrilled to engage with him, as he spoke to them about ONE’s Thrive campaign and our work. Just before leaving , he told the housemates he did not come alone, at which point a video shout out from ONE’s co-founder Bono, was played on the TVs in the house. It was clear from their reactions that this shout out really meant something to them, with even one of the housemates saying “…man I feel like a rock star”. After this, 2Face said his good byes and left the house mates to soak in all the happenings of the day.  Big Brother also introduced the housemates next task, which was to design a t-shirt that represented the Thrive Campaign and communicated the important message of the need to end hunger and famine in Africa.

2Face capped off his day with an interview with Channel O.


The day started off, the way the previous day ended with media interviews for the singer who is affectionately referred to as Tubaba. From the ONE office in Johannesburg 2Face was interviewed by Kenyan radio station Capital FM, Nigerian radio station Rhythm FM and The Guardian Nigeria.  After these interviews he headed off to the Pan-African radio station Channel Africa for a series of interviews to cap off his morning of media.

In the afternoon he paid the Kliptown Youth Programme a visit, where he learnt about their fantastic work. 2Face spoke about food security and the Thrive campaign and was treated to the legendary Gumboot dance performance, and closed out his visit by helping out with the youth food programme.

Before Tubaba could call it a day, he had one more stop to make at Metro FM for the Touch Down with Touch radio show.  As the two knew each other from before, Touch and Tubaba joked and laughed while still touching on the important issues 2Face was on hand to discuss, and even fielded calls in from the public.

All while 2Face was keeping busy outside the Big Brother House, inside the housemates kept themselves busy as they continued to work the garden project and their t-shirts. Throughout the day, they were treated to more surprise video shout outs of from Zolani of Freshly ground, the actor Michael Ealy and in-house DJ for the Ellen DeGeneres show Tony Okungbowa. All the shout outs were received well, but the Hollywood heartthrob Micheal Ealy made a notable impression on ladies of the house, who were clearly missing the outside world!


In the Big Brother house, housemates were treated to a morning shout out from Kenyan music sensation Nameless. They then spent the rest of the day preparing their own individual presentation on what the Thrive campaign meant to them, with a focus on creative expression of their thoughts.  And in true Biggie (Big Brother) fashion, he kept the housemates entertained with more shout out from well known faces, this time with back to back shout outs from legendary rapper Nas and singer Melanie Fiona.

Outside of the house, Tubaba picked up food prepared by the Big Brother house mates that was to be delivered at a children’s home down the road from the Big Brother House in Johannesburg. After delivering the food 2Face made his return entrance into the house to watch the housemates’ as they gave some insightful and very creative presentation on what the Thrive campaign meant to them. Mr. Idibia said his final good byes and he exited the house, leaving Big Brother to draw a close to the Thrive task week.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Even though the ONE tasks were over housemates continued to tend the two gardens in the house wearing their ONE merchandise. It was fantastic to see that the Thrive campaign had really hit a cord with them, and as if to reward them Biggie had one more surprise up his sleeve. To the delight and surprise of housemates, Big Brother played a shout out from the Queen of Hip Hop Soul; Mary J Blige, where she called out all the housemates by name. The week ended with the Big Brother live eviction show, Big Brother’s most watched programme. During this, the Thrive week was recapped and was highlighted for those who may have missed week’s great moments and activities. A fitting way to cap off a fantastic and impactful week!


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