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Going on eight years now, Big Brother Africa seems to specialise in bringing us some of the most shocking, hilarious, sobering and disturbing moments on camera.
But BBA is just the catalyst; the contestants are the ones who are filled with the drama and intrigue. East Africa has fielded contestants that did their best to bring home the cash but didn’t quite succeed. Save Tanzania’s Season 2 participant, no East African has been the last man (or woman) standing.
Cheeky, competitive and Kenya’s entertaining representative, Nicholas Wangondu was a TV Producer who made his mark in BBA Season 6. He was the 8th housemate to be evicted after surviving 49 days. Nic is currently hosts Mashariki Mix on AfricaMagic Entertainment.
Uganda’s Hannington Kuteesa has been on BBA’s Season 4 and 5. In his first attempt, Hannington, along with his Ethiopia’s Yacob, became the first pair to leave the BBA house. His second attempt was tainted by his ejection after getting into a bout with female housemate, Lerato.
8. Annabel Mbaru
Annabel aka Anna Banana stole the hearts of both Kenya and the rest of Africa with her smile and smarts. The 24-year-old student and fashion designer lasted 9 weeks by surviving 4 nominations in BBA Season 8.
Ethiopia’s curly-haired Hanni Mekuria made it to 6th place. The singer and law student was her nation’s representative in Season 6. Hanni, who has a passion for Reggae music, is actively pursuing her music career.
Before he entered the BBA house, Uganda’s BBA Season 7 participant Kyle analysed the show as having the ability to test one’s patience levels. It seems the journalist managed to keep his cool long enough to earn a 5th place finishing.
Sheila Kwamboka of Kenya made it to the house twice; staying longer the second time during the BBA All Stars segment. In that year, her friend and brier romantic interest Uti of Nigeria took the cash home. Loud and talkative, Sheila’s humourous character is being put to good use on Kenyan radio.
Tanzanian contestant Mwisho Mwampamba holds the record for having the most days spent in the BBA house. These 197 days were accumulated during two stints on BBA; 106 days in Season 1 and 91 days in Season 5. A bit of a BBA bridesmaid, Mwisho came close to clinching the prize through 2nd and 4th placing, respectively.
Gaetano Kagwa aka Guy-Five, is Uganda’s strongest representative in the history of the show. Liked for his solid character and levelhead, Gaetano is also at the centre of the show’s longest-running (and best) romantic tryst on BBA Season 1. Finishing in 4th place, Gaetano went on to briefly host a reality music show. These days he seems to call both Uganda and Kenya his home.
He was charming, shy and very popular. Therefore it came as a shock that Ethiopia’s Bimp didn’t make it past the penultimate week on BBA Season 8. The 23-year-old student is probably still riding high on his new-found fame and with a 6000-strong Facebook fanbase, he might make a return to the screens fairly soon.
He was a divisive figure both in the house and in the minds of viewers around Africa. However, no one can deny that as the pool of contestants shrunk, Kenyan Season 7 contestant Prezzo grew larger-than-life. He came second to South Africa’s Keagan.