via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Big Brother Africa cancelled after house burned down 03 September 2014 by Melissa Mpofu
n an unexpected twist of events, the Big Brother Africa (BBA) reality show launch on Sunday has been cancelled after a shattering fire engulfed the BBA House.
The house which is located at the Sasani Studios in Highlands North, Johannesburg, South Africa, was meant to be home to aspiring housemates drawn from 12 African countries including Zimbabwe. Fortunately, the housemates who are already camped at a hotel in South Africa had not yet entered the house as they were waiting for the Sunday launch. However, no one was injured in the blaze.
A statement issued by M-Net, organisers of the show, yesterday stated that the cause of the fire which erupted and plunged the production into further crisis was still unknown.
“M-Net and Endemol SA advise that due to a devastating fire at the Big Brother house on 2 September 2014, Big Brother Hotshots will not launch this Sunday (7 September) as scheduled.
“The cause of the fire at this stage is unknown and investigations will commence as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Sasani Studios which are mainly used for reality television shows, sitcoms and photo shoots had been responsible for delivering Big Brother Africa for the past four years with little or no glitches. The studios are also technical partners to Scandal and Rhythm City. The house which had already been furnished, ready for the launch had close to 200 cameras and microphones.
However, all hope is not lost as both M-Net and EndemolSA are urgently looking for an alternative Big Brother house in which to film the production.
“However, as this production has highly technical infrastructure, camera and edit requirements, an alternative house is not immediately available. “Every effort will be made to find a solution as quickly as possible to ensure that Africa’s biggest reality show will continue,” further read the statement.
The burning of the house has come as a huge blow to BBA fanatics who were waiting eagerly for the show to launch. Over the years viewers of the show have questioned organisers why the show has only been held in South Africa and the response from then M-Net managing director, BiolaAlabi was: “it’s because of the costs involved in the hosting of the show. The house is a studio inside another studio”.
An avid follower of the show, Tanya Musonza said it was fortunate that the BBA show had not started saying there would have been chaos if it burnt with housemates inside.
“It’s sad that M-Net lost their house but thank God the housemates were not staying there. During the show, housemates are always locked up 24/7 and it was going to be difficult to evacuate them because of Biggie’s doors which are always locked and the high durawalls,” she said.
However, the burning of the house came at a time when the show had already been marred by controversy after multiple production changes. Due to stringent changes to South Africa’s visa regulations, Endemol South Africa first had to dump the originally selected contestants from Ghana and start a frantic search for Ghana residents already living in South Africa to put in the show. This week again the producers announced that they had dropped Rwanda and Sierra Leone after their housemates travel documents had not been processed on time.