11 November 2012

Zimbabwe: BBA a Springboard for the 'Unknowns'

Photo: Big Brother
Downvillers

Although the rest of Big Brother Africa (BBA) contestants, besides winners, walk away empty-handed, the reality show has become an important stepping stone to showbiz for participants.

While taking part in the show has, at times, led to unfortunate incidents like loss of employment and social disgrace, many participants have launched successful careers after BBA.

The common celeb platform for BBA contestants so far is in the broadcasting and film industry.

Some of M-Net's most popular faces were first seen on BBA. The awesome opportunity, coupled with natural talent, has seen BBA stars doing amazing things on TV.

First was Ugandan BBA1 housemate Gaetano "Gae" Kagwa who got a role as co-presenter of the programme 53 Extra (then Studio 53) immediately after the show.

Gae was so popular that he went on to present a few series of M-Net's Comedy Club: Live in Mombasa.

He is also hosting the inaugural Comedy Club: Live in Kampala every Monday at 6:30pm on M-Net East.

After Gaetano, was Nigeria's Uti Nwachukwu who returned to the BBA house for BBA All Stars in 2010 after first entering the show in 2007.

This was the turning point of his career as winning the competition shot him up to stardom.

The Nigerian housemate is now a co-host for Jara, a programme which gives viewers the current gist straight from the hub of Nigeria's dynamic film industry.

The programme is broadcast on the Africa Magic Entertainment Channel on Wednesday and Saturday. Uti has also starred in Elvis Chuks' all-star Nollywood movie titled True Citizens as well as productions like Tinsel, Bursting Out and Fear Not.

For his career achievements, he has won several awards including FAB Model of the Year 2011, Leadership Young Person of the Year 2011 and City People Most Fashionable Celebrity of the Year 2012.

Uti said BBA had opened so many doors for him.

"All I wanted was a platform, the avenue to be seen so that the producers or whoever is responsible for hiring actors, musicians, models can see that this boy is good at whatever he does," he said.

Nick Wang'ondu only made his television debut last year as Big Brother Amplified's Kenyan representative. He is now a host on Africa Magic's Mashariki Mix, a 30-minute weekly lifestyle series.

Last year, Zimbabwe's Big Brother Amplified housemate, Vimbai Mutinhiri scored big on Africa Magic after landing a co-host role on the new entertainment magazine show, Star Gist.

The show, which is broadcast weekly, features African entertainment news and celebrity lifestyles.

Vimbai had always wanted to land such a role and her dreams came true after the exposure from BBA.

"Zimbabwean entertainment, like the rest of the continent, is growing well. The quality of our productions is improving, and we are also starting to build a strong identity," said Vimbai.

"Through Star Gist, I've been fortunate enough to get insight into entertainment industries across the continent, and I am happy to discover that we are uniquely talented and we can compete with the rest of the continent."

IK, the BBA host, started off as a Studio 53 presenter and has been at the helm of two other M-Net Productions, Temptation Nigeria and The Comedy Club: Live in Lagos, which are broadcast on M-Net West.

Chidzonga launched a film career after BBA

Munya Chidzonga, who was in the BBA house twice, also launched his film career after the show. After Big Brother All Stars, Munya hit the big screen and released two movies, Lobola and The Gentleman. The Gentleman has already scooped various awards.

Munya, who is currently producing a television show for ZBC titled The Sparrows said BBA assisted him in building his profile in the entertainment industry.

"I can't really say the Big Brother platform launched my television career because I was an actor before I entered the house. What BBA did was to basically build my profile and I'm grateful for that as it greatly boosted my career," said Munya.

Besides the breakthrough by housemates, BBA host, IK from Nigeria landed top roles after featuring on the BBA stage during the last three seasons of the show.

Big Brother Africa

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