‘He asked me to apologise for nominating him!’ – Maureen
Uganda: BBAs Last Day
New Vision (Kampala)
24 November 2007
Posted to the web: 26 November 2007
After her return from the Big Brother Africa II (BBA) finale in South Africa last Sunday, Ugandan representative Maureen Namatovu sat down with Lillian Nalumansi for an exclusive interview
What was your reaction after Richard was declared winner?
I was very happy because towards the end it was him that I wanted to win. I had predicted that he would win.
Richard was in your group which was considered by the Untouchables to comprise underdogs. How did they (the Untouchables) feel when he won?
The socalled Untouchables (Meryl, Bertha, Kwaku, Lerato and Maxwell) were very disappointed that Richard won. Even at the finale, it was obvious that the division they created between them and us (Tatiana, Richard, Ofunneka, Code and myself) is not yet over.
(Maureen reveals that on the Monday night after the finale, there was an attempted robbery at the Don Suite Hotels where all 12 housemates were staying. It happened just after Richard, Ofunneka and Tatiana returned to the hotel from a press conference.)
You mean thugs were coming after Richards money?
I think so, because this happened immediately after the three returned to the hotel. It was between 9:00pm and 10:00pm. I was in my hotel room when Ofunneka called frantically asking me whether I was okay. She told me robbers had come to the hotel in two beamers (BMWs) posing as guests and had pointed guns at the receptionist. Shots were fired and I am told one or two guests were robbed.
You must have heard the shots.
I did not. That hotel is so big and I was in my room. It was a brief incident and the Police later came to the hotel. After that I freaked out and stayed put in my room.
How was Richard?
I did not speak to Richard about the incident, but I am told that because of it, he returned to Tanzania on Wednesday and not Friday as was expected.
I thought the differences between the two groups in the Big Brother house ended in the house, but I read on the BBA website that you had said that Lerato and Maxwell had refused to respond to you when you greeted them in the van you all travelled in to the show?
It was a very tense moment when we met Lerato and Maxwell again. I saw them on Friday evening at the hotel. We were supposed to travel in the same van to the studios. I was already in the van when Lerato came downstairs from her room. When she saw me, she remained outside and lit a cigarette. Maxwell later joined her and loudly asked Justice (the housemate from Botswana) who was then in the van with me, to lend him the Tshirt inscribed with the word untouchable that he had given him. Maxwell had come down wearing an ordinary Tshirt, but I think after he saw me he thought it necessary to make a statement with his Tshirt. He went back to the hotel and changed. When he and Lerato got into the van, I greeted them but they did not answer. They had a CD and passed it on to Justice who they asked to pass it to our driver to play. It was filled with lyrics about the Untouchables. Justice loudly wondered why we could not listen to another CD.
So we should give up on any hope of reconciliation?
I would not say that because I was surprised that Lerato, Meryl and Bertha spoke to me at some point. I really did not have a problem with Meryl. Kwaku was also very warm towards me when he saw me again. He even said we needed to talk, but we never got round to talking because he had Meryl and Bertha competing for his attention. While in the studios, Bertha asked me to help her wear her necklace which I did, while Meryl asked me to help her pull up her zip. Maxwell has clearly never gotten over his being evicted because at the finale, he had the audacity to ask me to apologise for nominating him. He said he was shocked that I had nominated him considering that he gave me a chocolate on his return from the penthouse. I told him there was no way I was going to apologise and reasoned that had Africa wanted him to remain in the house, he would have stayed, considering that it was viewers who had the final say.
Has Kwaku still not decided whether it is Bertha or Lerato he will stick with?
I cannot speak for him, but what I saw last week was very interesting. There he was with these two girls competing for him. What I know though is that he spent his nights with Bertha. However, it seems Meryl has no ill feelings towards Bertha. Bertha had a hangover from Saturdays nights partying and Meryl was looking after her.
And how were Richard and Tatiana?
They were together for most of the night when we had that party at Latinova Club. However, I think Richard has not yet gotten over his wife Ricki. The first thing he told me when he saw me after he left the house was: ‘Sikyayina mukazi (I no longer have a wife).’ Although he was happy, you could see that the possibility that Ricki had left him was at the back of his mind.
If you were in Tatianas shoes, would you have saved Code?
Definitely not. I would have saved myself.
I noticed Code’s girlfriend Shorty was not taking any chances at the finale. She came with him. How did you feel?
No hard feelings because me and Code were over the moment we got out of the house.
Did you and Shorty talk?
Code introduced her to me. She greeted me with a certain attitude. I noticed that she followed him everywhere. She also kept looking at me wherever I was. But even with all this tightmarking, Code found a way to speak to me. She need not have worried because I was not going to do anything with Code.
Did you and Ofunneka talk and did she apologise to you for biting your lips (in an attempted kiss)?
We spoke, but not that much, about what happened that Saturday. She told me she cannot recollect what happened. However, we are still great friends and I am giving her some time to sort out her tight schedule before we can have a good chat.
What were your highlights at the finale?
Realising that Egoli and Generations star Shaleen was my big fan. When I was on the dance floor at Latinova Club, she reached out to me and told me she was my great admirer. We were together the whole night and conversed a lot. Shaleen recounted to me all my activities in the house! Man, that was so cool from such a star and to know she loves me made my day. We are still in touch. The other highlight was when I was mobbed by South African fans when I went with Justice to a shopping mall on our arrival from the airport. Our chaperone had advised that it would not be good for us to walk unescorted, but we would hear none of that. I wanted to change money and Justice wanted to have a haircut. We should have listened to our chaperone. I was chased by starstruck fans and had to stop every minute to sign an autograph or take a picture. It was a humbling but also scary incident.
How many dollars did you return with?
That I cannot talk about now, but I will update you at the proper time.
Any deals coming in yet?
Yes, there are a couple of things but I cannot speak about the opportunities now because they are still in the infancy stage. Endemol and my manager in South Africa are handling my bookings right now and any contracts. Its too early to speak. Although I have a South African manager, Ugandan companies should not fear to approach me to discuss business.
Are you going to continue with fashion designing?
Yes I am. I am going to relaunch my label and the public should anxiously await the new products that are going to appear under my Glammassic label.