BBAII : The Ultimate Fan Weblog
Eat. Sleep. Breathe Big Brother.

More inside info on the BBA house

Here’s an article, by TashiTagg, from TVSA who spent a night in the Big Brother house as a test-run before the show launch:


I’m aliiive and sane! I’ve made it out of the Big Brother house with the knowledge of what it’s like to be a contestant as I’ve always wanted!

I spent Wednesday night test-driving the Big Brother Africa II house and it was hysterical. It wasn’t until I actually got there and was standing outside the two big closed doors leading to the garden and reality prison that I fully realised that one of my lifetime dreams was coming true.

I’ve been to the old house just before it was demolished but going into a new house and living it all out as a housemate was such a trip-fest.

Big Brother Africa II starts this Sunday on M-Net AfricaMagic (channel 102) so to give the press an idea of what it’s like to be on the show M-Net invited us to experience the house for a night.

The house is situated at Sasani Studios in Jozi (it’s where they film Egoli too) and I have no perspective on whereabouts the place is properly – it’s in a place called Island North which I’ve never heard of before. The Balfour shopping centre’s just behind it – I couldn’t see the shopping centre – I just heard that that’s a landmark.

There were twelve of us housemates in total – the group included actress Pam Andrews for entertainment and lispy DJ Sbu who proved to be verry useful when he ended up being one of the only two people who cooked supper and dryed the dishes.

I’ve always suspected I would need to be extra cautious when it comes to kitchen things in BB if I hoped to stay in the game and I was right – I would suck. As soon as we arrived I looked at all the uncooked ingredients in the fridge and shelved the thought of cooking completely.

As we made our first entry through the big front doors and strolled across the garden towards the house I laughed all the way and oggled everything madly so I could remember it for you as much as I could.

There was just no ways I could get a camera in – we weren’t even allowed cellphones – I’ve always thought it wouldn’t worry me not being in contact in the house but it did.

Having nothing that can connect you with the world was odd and even scary – like I kept feeling I needed to phone my close family just to make sure things were in order in case … – but I didn’t know in case of what.

What’s so kooky is that I had this feeling and it was only one night of isolation so I had fun multiplying it by 98 days while I guzzled down champagne (they gave us welcome treats like they give the housemates) and then I strolled around the garden trying to work out how I’d climb the walls.

The Garden

You could never get over the walls of the house itself but the garden walls are very do-able with a good human pyramid or cunning placement of furniture. The walls have lights and camera‘s on them as well as on top of them and one of the wall’s has a big, bright artsy type map of Africa.

The garden’s exactly 15 footsteps wide and between 22 and 24 foot long. (I walked the length three times and got a different number each time.)

As you walk into the garden you can see the open patio doors of the house at the end of it and if you look through them you can see the very back wall of the house that has the bathroom mirror. It’s 50 footsteps from the beginning of the garden to the back of the house.

The garden’s got cacti on the one side, a lounge situation on the patio with earthy chairs and a jacuzzi that almost killed me.

The Jacuzzi

As you can imagine the moment I spotted the jacuzzi I was delighted and couldn’t wait to give it a try – the trouble is the water was so stinking freezing it took about six hours for a couple of us to pluck up the courage to get in.

At about 1am enough was enough so I got on my cossie, went sauntering across the garden, took off my mike and hung it up as they always do. As I was stepping into the jacuzzi I stood on a side section that covers up the area that has the pump and mechanical type things and the entire thing collpased under me leaving me in the actual control box with the sides bruisingly battered into my ribs.

The idea that I had impressive BB scars pleased me so much I managed to get myself sorted out in two shakes, plunged into the water and spent about a half an hour playing footsy-footsy, smoking ciggies and watching the cameras twist and turn to snoop the action.

The Cameras

There are 28 cameras and 64 microphones and there’s no place to hide. There seriously are cameras everywhere and anytime you remember that they’re there you feel as though they’re staring up your nostrils.

Throughout the house there are the regular fishbowl windows that the cameras look through and the glass is all mirrored so everywhere you look you freak your brain by seeing yourself.

The surprising thing was that I forgot about the cameras much more easily and quickly than I thought I would. As soon as I started talking to people I forgot about them to the extent that each time I remembered they were there I’d think: “Ooh did I say something that I shouldn’t?”. I thought this feeling would happen during talking but it didn’t at all.

The time you’re hyper aware of the camera’s is when you’re alone. It’s like you decide to do something or need to get something and suddenly you find yourself alone in a room and very much with yourself.

But not just by yourself – you become fully aware that you’re being watched and then don’t quite know if you need to change something about what you’re doing. It’s that same self-consciousness you get when you know someone’s watching you generally.

What makes it more druggified is thinking about the whole of Africa watching you doing it.

Shower Hour

Trust me when I tell you that this feeling all gets amplified by 100 percent when you have a shower.

You’ll be pleased to know that the showers are open plan behind a glass wall and full of wishful thinking ‘cos there are two showers in one. The showers are right next to the loo and basin so anyone doing any obluting can see whoever’s in the shower.

There are also two huge camera windows in the shower itself which made it impossible to go starkers. I wanted to try but I had my cossie and putting it on seemed like waay less effort. The camera windows are literally about a half a metre from where you stand in the shower, see you from all sides and every moment feels like there are eyes digging into you.

As for going to the loo – I tried to go as little as possible. Firstly, there’s a camera that gets the whole loo which gives you stage fright. It’s there for if two people go in and have conversations, plottings, sex etc so it’s permanently turned off for regular use but I was verry suspisicous it was on. I kept not trusting it wouldn’t be and took about ten times longer doing everything so I could hide as much as possible just in case.

Also, your mic’s turned on permanently so I also spent copious amounts of time trying to be as quiet as possible. Once we were out of the house I asked one of the directors for goss about how the camera works and was relieved to discover that the production takes all these concerns into account.

Only the bigwig in charge of the session of filming has access to turning the camera on, the monitor that brings it to life is protected by a cover and it definitely only gets accessed when there’s action between contestants.

The colours & design:

The house is a mix of pastel and very bright colours ranging from green to pink to red to purple to orange. One bedroom’s pink, the other’s purple and both suffocate you in claustrophia and air conditioning. There are no windows in either of them, the bright, harsh fluorescent lights beat down on the bunk beds and the mattresses are hard foam.

There are a million chairs and things to sit on everywhere – including bits of designer wood stools – and every sitting surface (except for the hammock outside) is crap. The chairs are either made from grass stuff that scratches you or they have half-backs.

There are different graphic type canvases on the walls ranging from naked backs in the bathroom to a guy with a crazy shit hat to oddball fish bones and carcasses in the lounge.

The lounge floor’s got a groovy semi-spacey design on it – you can see it clearly in the pics and there’s Astroturf that’s bizarrely placed on the roof of the kitchen and around the kitchen sink floor.

The Appliances

The appliances are all that silver fab stuff – except only half of them were working – I think it was a problem with the electricity being connected or something. There’s a stove, Smoothie maker, George Ormon grill thing and a microwave that doesn’t look like one.

There’s no dishwasher which didn’t impress me and most of the appliances are a brand I’ve never heard of – they’re all something like S C U M or S M U M – except for the smoothie maker which is Kenwood. The manuals for them are on the counter in a plastic envelope thing next to the coffee and sugar.

Big Brothththther!

I almost forgot about him – in much the same way he almost forgot about me. I was the last person to get called for a Diary Room entry at about 2am and was distressed before it happened.

I was dying to speak to him so I kept ringing the Diary Room doorbell asking if I could be let in, asked directly why I hadn’t been called yet numerous times – but he kept ignoring me.

When it eventually happened I went beserk, dashed in, sussed out the chair – it’s Alice In Wonderand size-wise – plonked myself on it and didn’t stop talking.

It’s the ideal place for me in that you never get the feeling that you’ve spoken too much and you really feel as if you’re being listened to. Also, it forces you to think about what your strategy would be and made me consider what I’d do if I were playing and what my strengths and weaknesses would be.
For instance one of the questions he asked was: “What would one of your biggest challenges be?” and I decided mine would be trying to balance six alliances involving plottings for as long as possible without being an open book.

After my diary room entry I continued talking until I was forced to collapse at about 5am and was very chuffed with myself when I managed to defeat that stupid siren wake-up by sleeping right through it.

I slept on the top corner bunk of the purple room so I’ve decided that whichever contestant sleeps there’s gonna get one extra chance from me during the show. I’m thinking that if they’re a Pig I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt in one situation only – out of mock empathy for them being lunatic enough to try sleeping there for 98 days.

Must-know facts about Big Brother Africa 2:

The show premieres on Sunday, 5 August at 19h00 on M-NetAfrica Magic (Channel 102) – it’s a two hour show. The 24 hour action will be on Channel 37, which includes changing to different rooms etc.

There’s a daily half-hour highlights show on Africa Magic every day of the week at 20h00. The first episode goes out on Monday (6 August).

You’ll be able to find all the latest news and info about the contestants on TVSA on Sunday evening.

Keep a lookout for our BB coverage next week!

10 Responses to “More inside info on the BBA house”

  1. I am glad BBA II is here. I just want to know if Comapct Subscribers will get the 24/7 shows.

    Thank you

  2. Greetings Michael. I think M-Net has mentioned that Compact subscribers will also have the 24/7 live stream… Not too sure. Have a look on their website… 🙂

  3. Thanks for a lovely site you really are on the ball cant wait for tomorrow only thing is that it will be on channel 102 here in SA and not mnet not same quility as mnet hope they will sort it out.

  4. Wow! It’s coming it’s coming it’s coming….

  5. i’m still waiting, maybe i should sleep early this nite so tomorrow would come quickly LOL. :=)

  6. I have another doubt.

    How can I know what hour is in the BBA zone? Because I have found this image (, but in the BBA countries there are 4 time zones (Ghana), (Namibia, Nigeria, Angola), (Botswana, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe) and (Kenya, Tanzania).
    I’m from Spain and I have very doubts with the time zones.

  7. Well Eduardo, I’m not really sure myself. But what normally is the case is that East and West Africa are always an hour ahead or behind us (Southern Africa), or something like that… M-Net normally screens its shows using Central African Time (CAT)… That’s as much as I know. Sorry if I didn’t help much, but I’m just as in the dark when it comes to the whole time zone thingy… 😦

  8. I have found that in South Africa is the same time zone that Spain. 🙂
    Only 1 day! Although I will have to hope a little to know who will be the housemates.

  9. It is cloudy and looks like rain later on lets hope it does not rain but at least it is not freezing as it can be this time of the year here in Joburg.

  10. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t rain… That would just spoil a good launch… 😦

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