A few days before the 2019 edition of Big Brother Naija kicked off, Africa was contacted by the producers to join them on a media tour of the house. Whilst this was the third of the pan African show that had only Nigerian housemates, this was the first time since 2006 that the house would be situated in Lagos. I made no secrets of my desire to represent the company there and amazingly, I was nominated to attend!
I don’t have the words to explain the kind of joy that filled my heart when I got a message from my boss asking if I would like to be in the big brother house for 12 hours as a ‘fake housemate’. My heart skipped a beat! It took me a minute to connect. Whose big brother? Which big brother. You mean THE Big Brother?! I screamed with excitement.
Several thoughts ran through my mind at that moment, many thoughts came to my mind: 12 hours? Does that mean I would be a real housemate for 12 hours? Will it be aired? Will my family members see me? Will good looking men tag along?
Fast-forward to that day of taking off, I knew it was a media tour so definitely I was eager to meet the different representative from different media organizations. I met international media representatives from Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, and Zambia while the rest were YouTubers, journalists, and bloggers from Nigeria. It wasn’t hard getting to know and network with these people knowing full well we were stuck together for the next day.
We- the media professionals on tour- had no choice than to submit our phones and electronic devices and was thrown into the house to begin our twelve hours of being “fake housemates”.
Here are five major highlights from our twelve hours in the Big Brother Naija house.
OMG! First of all the house was built from scratch for the 2019 season, as South Africa had played host for the previous two seasons. We entered the house and I almost freaked out: I wasn’t ready for the intensity of lights installed in there. The house was fully furnished and we were told all the furniture and appliances in the house were locally sourced. There were cameras everywhere- the house accommodates 7x handheld cameras and 32 cue ball cameras that will capture every activity in and outside the house. There were microphones hanging from different corners, beautiful African antiques and decorations, lovely colours making love on the walls.
It felt as though I needed someone to pinch me and tell me I wasn’t really in the Big Brother house. I was super hyped and looked forward to exploring the whole place. I wanted to see the Jacuzzi, the bathroom which many steamy sessions happen, the kitchen chock full of goodies and the diary room. However, my favourite place in the house is the room designated for the Head of House. Now let me burst your head, the room is en suite. Previous HoH rooms didn’t have a separate toilet and bathroom.
For full disclosure, I am a foodie! Food gives me “foodgasms”. The kitchen was stocked with different kinds of foodstuffs and the refrigerators were overflowing with chicken, beef, sausages and other varieties of proteins. There also various types of chocolate and candies. It’s shocking that many housemates spend three months there and don’t put weight on. I know I must have added 12 kg for the 12 hours we were in there!
I initially thought there was going to be a buffet set on the table for our reception. But as housemates cook their own food, we had to as well. Hillary from Kenya awed us with a sauce from his country which we had with rice and chicken stew.
Since our phones weren’t with us, we had to make the house fun in our own way. We played some risque games such as truth or dare and shots, dancing competitions, strip teases and so on. Rotimi, one of the housemates celebrated his birthday in the house and Big Brother instructed us to converge at the lounge, sing the birthday song, and make a toast to honour the birthday boy.
I never knew I would have the best experience in the brother house with total strangers, trust me the fun I had was just too lit. I could relate with quite a number of the media guys, mingling wasn’t an issue. No fights, no quarrels of such. Everyone composed themselves, at the end of the day, we knew the 12 hours we spent was worth it. (But then we were there for less than a full day). At a point, I thought to myself if I can survive with this people for 12 hours without feeling any form of rancour, perhaps I could manage for three months… That’s it, I’m auditioning to become a housemate next year. Wish me luck!
On getting into the house, we were told Big Brother had a gift hidden somewhere in the house, you need to have seen the excitement in our eyes, our adrenaline was on a rampage. We just wanted to find our imaginary gift. we searched, searched and searched it almost felt like the ‘Gulder Ultimate search’. We realised we were pranked! it was an epic one. We innocently searched the whole house searching for imaginary gifts, silly me, I was hoping to get an iPhone.
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