Juna talks about BBA
Thanks to Jack McBrams for sending in this exclusive interview he had with Juna, Code’s ‘Shorty’.
I’M HERE TO STAY
Juna talks about the BBA experience
by Jack McBrams, The Nation Newspaper, Blantyre, Malawi
One of the biggest highlights of the just ended Big Brother Africa reality show was when Malawian housemate Code’s 20-week pregnant Dutch girlfriend Juna Verheji pitched up during his eviction show. Many viewers had held their breath, expecting a confrontation between the two following Code’s antics in the house with Ugandan housemate Maureen.
But now that the show is over and things have reverted back to normal, or at least, there is a semblance of normality, Juna has spoken out publicly about the whole Big Brother experience.
In an interview at Code’s Mandala house, the 24-year-old nurse, who met the 31-year-old Malawian DJ during her clinicals two years ago, said although the experience was agonising for her, she was better placed to deal with it because she understands the situation better.
“To start with, Netherlands was the first country to have Big Brother and I fully understand the concept behind the show. There is a psychological effect to the show, the colours of the bedroom walls, the amount of alcohol given and being closed up in an enclosed space triggers one to do things that they would not do under normal circumstances,” she said.
Juna said she was unable to watch the show because she was in the Netherlands during the entire duration of the show but she followed events on the Big Brother Africa website.
So how did she feel when her man started getting cosy with Maureen?
“Obviously, it’s very hard. But it’s also understandable in a funny way. As a nurse who has studied psychiatry, I can understand people’s need for company. I think most people placed in the same situation would have done the same thing as Code so it’s difficult for me to judge.
“Apart from that, I knew Code’s feelings for me and he was very vocal in the house about me. That was very comforting. I also got a lot of support from my family. They encouraged me to come back to Malawi and that says a lot in as far as supporting my relationship with Code,” Juna, who is the first born in a family of six girls, said.
She, however, said she was not the kind of person to take part in a Big Brother show.
“No, I think I would be too boring. I don’t think I am the person for a show like that,” said Juna, who disclosed that she did not have enough time to chat with Maureen or any of the housemates during the BBA finale last week.
“We didn’t have time to meet each other, the housemates had to do rehearsals and I only got to speak to them very briefly 15 minutes before the show. It was a really hectic schedule and there was not enough time to chit chat,” she said.
Pressed on her favourite BBA housemate besides Code, Juna said she would have loved Ofunneka to win the show.
“I think they all had their pros and cons but I think I would have chosen Ofunneka to win. I liked her character more,” said Juna, who confirmed media reports that she was in constant touch with Richard’s wife Ricki.
“Yes, I talked to Ricki via email. We didn’t discuss much. I think we got to be friends because we could understand each other a bit more than other people could. I talked to her mainly about things that happened in the house, our favourite housemates and other events as they happened,” she said.
Does she think Richard and Ricki are going to make up?
“That is for them to decide in the privacy of their home and not for the rest of Africa to decide, and we should leave it at that,” Juna remarked.
And what are the plans between her and Code, marriage?
“Who knows? We haven’t set any date yet. But we are talking about it. It’s not going to happen before the birth of my child. It is only when the child has been born that we will sit down and talk,” said Juna, who noted that she wants to raise her child in Malawi.
“I would love to give birth here, if everything allows it. I would love my child to grow up as a Malawian, which includes giving birth in Malawi. I am currently working on my on getting a permanent visa for Malawi because I plan to settle here. I am back in Malawi and that should say a lot. I like Malawi a lot. I’m trying to get a job but it’s difficult as you know I am pregnant,” she said.
However, Juna explained that she hopes to settle back into oblivion once the BBA hype dies down.
“I like my privacy. I am a nurse, I am not an entertainer, that’s for Code. I understand that people are interested in me right now because of my relationship with Code but I do hope that sooner, there will be less questions and interest in me,” she said.