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Getting the message out with Big Brother Africa

Living in the UK I was aware of the television show Big Brother, but nothing quite prepared me for the African version, Big Brother Africa.

Whereas the show in the rest of the world is a simple country specific affair, Big Brother Africa is different. Very different. It’s the first ever version to feature contestants from multiple countries and on a completely different scale.

Now in its seventh season, the show is a continent wide phenomenon, screened 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to over 47 countries across Africa and on two dedicated satellite channels.

Hosted by Nigerian television personality I.K, this 91 day reality show features contestants this year from Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nigeria, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Malawi and Botswana.

Filmed from a secret studio in Johannesburg it really is an incredible operation with 53 cameras and 120 microphones. Impressive by anyone’s book!

So why does this matter to ONE you may be asking? Well there’s another very important difference between Big Brother Africa and versions of the show that you may have seen elsewhere in the world. Since it’s launch the show has constantly brought attention to important social causes as its way of contributing to the development of Africa and Africans.

From promoting the Millennium Development Goals, highlighting the fight against malaria and poverty and increasing awareness of HIV/AIDS, Big Brother Africa really has made an impact.

And this year ONE is lucky to be working with the show to promote an incredibly important message: That investing in agriculture is one of the best ways to reduce poverty across the developing world, but especially in Africa.

We know what needs to be done to increase the amount of food that is produced, to increase people’s incomes so they can access this food, and to ensure that children are well fed so they can grow and prosper. But what we need is action.

This is where Big Brother Africa comes in. As part of ONE’s involvement, the housemates will be taught various skills on how to affordably and easily improve their garden and crop production, via a Thrive ‘box garden’ in the house. This, along with other tasks shows audiences the feasibility of doing the same. The ultimate result, for both the housemates, and for Africa at large, is to ensure the nurturing of healthy food sources.

The ONE garden in the Big Brother Africa house
The ONE garden in the Big Brother Africa house

With the events in the Big Brother house hotting up day by day (it is Big Brother after all!) expect to hear a lot more on the ONE Blog in the coming weeks!