A 1.93m-tall model with a Higher National Diploma in Maritime Studies, Tayo, from Nigeria, certainly stands out in a crowd. He lists his favourite foods as Eba an Okra Soup mixed with fish stew, his favourite musicians as 2Face Idibia, Beautiful Nubia and D’Banj.
Tayo says his favourite place in Nigeria is Oyo Town, his place of birth. ‘That’s my home, where I started life. It reminds me of who I am now and how far I’ve come in life,’ he says. He says the best thing about Africa is ‘culture and pride’ and that his favourite place outside of Nigeria is South Africa, which he calls his ‘home away from home’.
He entered Big Brother Hotshots because he believed in himself, and was also encouraged to enter by others. ‘I like to be seen and to be heard,’ he says. Tayo says he’s not willing to change who he is or disgrace his family and friends to impress viewers or his fellow Housemates. If Tayo wins the grand prize, he says he’ll, set up his life and give himself a life of luxury.
Mozambique Trezagah Age: 31
Hip hop singer Trezagah studied Civil Engineering. He doesn’t have a favourite food, because he says he loves eating and ‘I eat everything! The classic Hardy Boys books are his favourite, while he enjoys the Discovery and National Geographic channels on TV because he likes to ‘watch crocodiles and sharks attacking’.
Trezagah was inspired to enter Big Brother Hotshots by watching previous seasons. He is both happy and nervous at the thought of having the continent’s eyes on him.He says the best thing about Africa is ‘the culture each country preserves’ and says his favourite place in Mozambique is Yofo Beach. He likes the Caribbean Islands because he’s a great fan of nature.
His role model is Jay-Z, ‘because he knows how to dress, how to be on stage, how to behave and has good business control’. His parents have played an incredibly influential role in his life because they always showed him what was right and what was wrong.
Malawi: Sipe Age: 24
Hairdresser Sipe is from Lilongwe and has an MSCE and ICM Hotel and Catering Management qualification. Her favourite foods are nshima with chicken and okra, pizza, Thai food and ‘a bit of Indian cuisine’. Her favourite TV shows include Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Say Yes To The Dress, How Do I Look?, Jerseylicious and Idols. Her favourite musicians are Beyonce, Brandy, Sam Smith and Zahara and her favourite actors are Idris Elba and Angelina Jolie.
Sipe’s favourite place in her country is Lake Malawi, because it relaxes her. Her favourite place outside of Malawi is Paris. ‘It’s the most beautiful place in the world and I always imagine spending time on my honeymoon there,’ she says. ‘It’s the City of Love!’. She says the best things about Africa are the people, the landscape and the food.
She lists Beyonce as her role model because ‘she’s hardworking and she makes it look so easy. I’d love to be like her’. Sipe’s Mom played a huge role in her life too. ‘She raised three children on her own and it hasn’t been easy for her, but she managed to see us through school. She’s a very strong woman,’ she says.
Sheilla is a student from Gaborone in Botswana, currently studying an AAT Diploma. She entered Big Brother Hotshots because she believes that ‘it’s a platform for people like me who were born for the spotlight. It puts us out there to succeed in our careers – in my case, my music career’. She’s excited that the whole continent will be watching her: ‘it is like interacting within the house with someone invisible, or a ghost, and the thought of what they think just gives you an adrenaline rush’.
She says her best quality is that she analyses things before overreacting in certain situations. She likes people who are communicative because it helps her see what they think of her and how she should behave around them. She dislikes bossy people and ‘people with similar strands of personality to me’.
She likes to eat prawns and rice, as well as pap and beef. Her favourite book is In The Meantime and her top TV shows include Big Brother Africa, Keeping Up With The Kardashians and How Do I look? She enjoys the music of Beyonce, K.O., AKA and Tamela Mann and says her favourite actors are Cameron Diaz and Dwayne Johnson. Her favourite films also include The Hunger Games, Wrong Turn, The Break of Dawn and Mean Girls.
Sheilla’s favourite part of Botswana is the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and says that the best thing about Africa is ‘the diverse but highly-principled cultures which Africans tend not to leave behind’. She says that Las Vegas is her favourite place outside of Africa, because ‘it is a crazy, forever jolly holiday destination.
Kenya : Sabina: Age: 28
Sabina is a TV & Media Personality from Mombasa. She has a Degree in Finance and is working on a post-graduate diploma in Humanitarian Studies and Diplomacy.
She says she eats everything and ‘loves mixing stuff up and making food concoctions, she’s also a big fan of oxtail, avocado, fish. Her favourite books include Joyce Meyer’s The Confident Woman and Hinds Feet In High Places by Hanna Hunard. She has a long list of favourite TV shows: UpishiXtra, Gavana, Orange Is The New Black, Smurfs, Devious Maids, Long Island, Oprah’s Next Chapter and Masterclass.
She entered Big Brother Hotshots to win the money and change her life, and the lives of others. ‘It’s something I’ve envisioned for a long time and it’ll give me a chance to show Africa that I’m a star,’ she says. ‘I can entertain, but I’m also a human with problems, just like anybody else.
If she wins the money, she’ll leave it alone for a month before buying a house, spoil her family with a holiday, build her Grandmother a house, save towards her daughter’s education, support her adopted charities and invest in her business.
South Africa: Samantha: Age: 29
Self-employed former law student Samantha is from Potchefstroom in South Africa’s North West Province. She loves sushi and Indian food and her favourite TV shows include 2 Broke Girls and Person of Interest, and she likes the music of Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Davido and Drake.
Her favourite films include Ica Age, Madagascar, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and This Is Forty, with Angelina Jolie her favourite actor because ‘she’s strong, yet feminine and an amazing actress’.
Her favourite place in South Africa is Johannesburg, and she says the best thing about Africa is ‘the diversity of the people and the cultures’. Her favourite city outside the continent is Jerusalem, which she calls ‘a beautiful place’. Samantha says her sister is her role model, because ‘she’s inspired me to be so much more and has played a huge role in my life’
Samantha was inspired to enter Big Brother Hotshots, something she’s wanted to do for ‘a very long time’ because she finds cultures fascinating ‘and the thought of spending time with so many people from so many backgrounds is awesome.
If she wins the grand prize, Samantha will help the orphanages she volunteers at and take her sisters on holiday, before investing the rest.
She describes herself as ‘adventurous, random, witty, caring and honest’ – the final trait being her favourite. It’s also something she values in others, despising dishonesty and rude people