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You know you are getting old when you can remember last year’s mid-year events today as if they happened yesterday.
When we went to Big Brother Africa’s house before the start of last season, we thought it would take a whole year before another season came along – but it feels like it happened just yesterday. Even the sixth season left us with so many memories we can still recall how names such as Luclay, Karen and Weza shot to fame overnight.
As usual M-Net selected a few members of the media (thank you, thank you) to sample this year’s house to see what it would feel like to be in the contest.
Although there are two houses, we were stationed in the the bigger home, now known as Downville. Flooded in 1960s pop culture paraphernalia, the atmosphere was homely and the company friendly.
Two dormitory-styled bedrooms were neatly furnished in pastel colours.
The spacious lounge area had a lot of leather, on the couches and the scattered mats on the floor.
After seeing all of this, everyone’s attention went to the kitchen, where a few bottles of the good stuff awaited us.
After the toasts and some fooling around it was time to explore the house further.
But before we could do that, “Biggy”, as some contestants call Big Brother, announced we had a task to perform. An array of balls, including basketballs, tennis balls and plastic kiddie balls, were put in a transparent box and we had to count them without touching any.
We came up with 133, but Biggy said we had failed because he wanted to know how many of the balls were made of plastic.
Discouraged, we had a few more sips of what was available and tried to remember each other’s names.
Khuli Roberts, as usual, played mother and started making a meal from the bacon and eggs that were supplied without cooking oil.
Inkaba’s Matshepo Maleme was great company as she dropped the acting veil and relaxed along with the rest of us.
As we did not have any tasks lined up, someone came up with the idea that we form groups and sing. My group comprised the lovely M-Net publicity co-ordinator, Michelle Esau, and my good friend and fellow journalist, Molife Kumona. We agreed to do an a capella version of Killing Me Softly, with Michelle in the lead, Molife on bass and yours truly as soprano.
Although we did not win, our very competitive peers gave us a standing ovation. So now we are talking about possibly dropping a single. Seriously.
Then, when things were getting really blurry, Biggy bellowed yet another command. Without our watches we had to sit still and count up to 17 minutes! So that meant mimicking the traditional clock’s second hand accurately.
I did not get this right either.
Night came quickly – and so did morning, when we were awakened by an enthusiastic fitness trainer who shook the toxins out of our systems. By the time we said goodbye to her, we were wide awake and livid. Not that it bothered her.