For Africa's 'culture warriors', it's heads in hand time as Big Brother show returns

Africa's biggest reality show is a melting point of everything under the sun--not to everyone's comfort.

IT’S Big Brother Africa season all over again—that period when many African parents would rather go missing at the dinner table, and if they can’t scurry away fast enough, peek through their fingers at the television. 

The popular and controversial reality show has started its ninth season, a journey that has in the past sparked outrage and ‘African culture’ controversy just as much as it has galvanised its fans. 

Even presidents have weighed in even—Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe regularly doles out thousands of dollars to his compatriots who participate in the show—while others such as an ex-Namibian president and Malawi parliamentarians have angrily advocated its shelving.

There have been allegations of rape, assault, adultery and double standards, while raunchy tapes of participants have been “leaked” online, to go with the instances of “sex acts” and leave-nothing-to-the-imagination shower hours. 

So much so that pay TV Multichoice has again reminded subscribers that they have the power to restrict viewing using the ‘Parental Control’ option on their decoders. 

But it also not in doubt that it is a popular show inspiring bouts of patriotism, as the 26 contestants from 14 African countries turn on the antics in a battle for the $300,000 winner’s purse.

You can be sure you have not heard the last of it for the next three months.

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