BIG Brother Mzansi has finally returned to our screens, and South Africa got a glimpse of the 18 contestants vying for the title over the next three months.
The 18 competitors will all be gunning for the Two-Million Rands prize money, and to do that - they all need to overcome numerous house challenges while also making Mzansi love them enough to vote for them week in week out.
It has been more than five years since South Africans last experienced Big Brother, but it appears that the pleas have finally been heard. The show's premier topped Twitter trends, and Amapiano singer Kamo Mphela delivered a high octane performance.
The show, hosted by multi-talented Lawrence Maleka, will be televised 24/7 on channel 198 and will see its first eviction on January 30.
Below is a quick recap of who these budding stars are and what they are about.
Adindu Asuzu aka Zino (21), Johannesburg
A self-confessed mommy’s boy, this season’s youngest housemate describes himself as both bubbly and mellow. He reckons he won’t start drama – but will be the one to end it. He says his Nigerian side won’t let people take advantage of him.
Gashwan Brandon Mthombeni aka Gash1 (28), Pretoria
Having overcome a troubled past, Gershwin is a deep thinker with varied interests and talents. He’s deeply spiritual and enjoys giving people advice and motivation.
Gugu Refiloe Bonga aka Terry (26), Johannesburg
Honest almost to her own detriment, the adult content creator says she has a very big personality and stands for acceptance and non-judgment. She doesn’t like fake people and considers herself to be very open.
Keamogetswe Motlhale aka QV (23), Mahikeng
The easy-going Keamogetswe is a sharp-shooter and straight talker, she has no interest in keeping her annoyance to herself when someone gets on her wrong side. She describes herself as a tomboy.
Libo Njomba aka Libo (32), Johannesburg
Born in Uitenhage, Libo is an avid lover of life who enjoys the outdoors. He says people are his weakness and as a result, he tends to befriend “strange characters” – but also considers himself a loner.
Luthando Mthembu aka B.U (31), Johannesburg
The aspiring musician says one of the highlights of his life was quitting his high-flying corporate job to follow his artistic dreams. A vegan, he is focused on centering himself.
Michelle Dimpho Mvundla aka Mphowabadimo (27), Daveyton
The sangoma describes herself as outgoing and kind, but says she has “zero tolerance for nonsense”. A doting mom, she is a nurturer who loves cheering people up when they’re not feeling their best.
Mvelo Ntuli aka Mvelo (28), Johannesburg
Describing himself as loud and lovable, Mvelo is a lover of people who is passionate about education. Bubbly and candid, he hides a more complex side behind his infectious humour.
Naledi Mogadime aka Nale (24), Pretoria
A self-described “fine gyal, not a sad gyal”, the model is as much a firecracker as she is calm and zen. Her strength is being able to understand and analyse people. Naledi says she might not be everyone’s cup of tea in the beginning.
Norman Nhlapo aka Norman (24), Johannesburg
The daycare worker has an adaptable personality and is a sporty person. Despite a tough upbringing, he says his life has been a “bundle of blessings”. He runs a non-profit organisation and daycare with his mother.
Rethabile Potsane aka Dinkybliss (29), Johannesburg
Fashion-loving and bubbly, Rethabile describes herself as “loud and proud” and says she can transform people’s moods and lift spirits when she is around. More of a boys’ girl than a girls’ girl, she enjoys socialising.
Thando Mcopela aka Acacia (30), Soweto
Family orientated, Thando describes herself as a free spirit and a risk taker. She’s a foodie who loves community and togetherness. She considers herself relatable and is as comfortable ekasi as she is in upmarket suburbs.
Thato Mokoena aka Thato (28), Vaal
Not one to limit herself, Thato is an accountant and TikToker who describes herself as a “world within worlds”. Bubbly and energetic, she’s bluntly honest and is comfortable with her transparent nature.
Themba Karabo Mabaso aka Themba (30), Johannesburg
The heavily inked tattoo artist describes himself as “simple”, “basic” and “normal”, and says despite his attention-grabbing looks, he doesn’t actively seek the spotlight.
Thobeka Mtshali aka Venus (25), Richards Bay
In her own words, when it comes to her “you just never know what you’re gonna get”. She embodies creativity: she writes music, makes beats and plays the piano. She considers herself to be a layered person.
Tulani Madala aka Tulz (28), Johannesburg
A velvet voiced straight-shooter, Tulani has a softness beneath his tough exterior. He says he’s single because he was badly behaved in the heyday of his radio DJ career.
Ukho Samela aka Sis Tamara (25), Johannesburg
The multifaceted and bubbly Ukho goes by the pronouns he/ him/ she/ her/ they/ them. Known as Sis Tamara, they describe themselves as “a gender non-conforming experience”. They are passionate about trans and queer representation.
Yolanda Glover aka Yoli (30), Durban
Outgoing and effervescent, Yolanda describes herself as “Berocca without the medicine”. She loves being around people and says they are drawn to her infectious energy. She can sometimes be too honest and upfront and says she’s an open book.