I usually never think about all the television shows going on without me. But there are millions of them! There are all these Nigerian shows, and South African shows, and British shows, and I’m sure many others that I don’t even know about. The only one that has been unavoidable here is Big Brother Africa (II). We didn’t watch this at all out here in the middle of nowhere until two colleagues in a row came visiting from another town and both of them were obsessed with it. So we started watching it. It’s better that way, because if you don’t start at the beginning, you need some introduction to the characters, which they could give us.
Four years ago, I watched the beginning of the first Big Brother Africa, the part where they are introduced and they move into the house. I remember the ruckus that was raised by the fact that there are cameras in the shower. Then I lost interest, since I didn’t have a tv and going over to someone else’s house to watch was too much work, and I only know that Gaetano from Uganda won that round. I think I watched the finale.
Now we watch the daily recap much of the time, and we tune in religiously for the evictions on Sunday nights. In fact, we’ve gotten so into it that we have extended conversations about how boring Maureen is, and my colleague and I both voted against her yesterday. He voted by Thuraya and I voted by Skype. And then she was evicted, and although I don’t know if I could have handled watching even the recap of another two hour session of her forcing another housemate to talk about their “connection” and whether or not they were losing it, I felt vaguely guilty for having voted against her.
I don’t know if our two votes really counted for much, but “Rest of Africa,” all the countries who don’t have direct representation in Big Brother Africa, voted against her. “That’s us!” we said excitedly. “Rest of