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Big Brother Mzansi FAQs

Wed, 29 Jan 2014 18:00
Big Brother Mzansi FAQs
1. When does Big Brother Mzansi begin?

Big Brother Mzansi begins at 19:00 on Sunday February 2, 2014. The live two hour launch show will be screened on Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161). The live two hour launch show will also be streamed on the Big Brother Mzansi website (

2. Where can I watch Big Brother Mzansi?

Big Brother Mzansi will be available to DStv Premium, Extra and Compact subscribers live 24/7 on DStv channels 197 and 198 though ALL the live Sunday shows (including the launch and the finale) will be screened exclusively on the Mzansi Magic channel (DStv channel 161).

The weekly nomination show will be screened every Monday at 21:30 on Mzansi Magic. In addition you can watch daily highlights shows at 21:30 (Tuesdays to Fridays) and every Saturday you can watch a round-up of the week’s highlights at 17:00, also on Mzansi Magic.

3. Will Big Brother Mzansi be screened only in South Africa?

Big Brother Mzansi will be screened throughout Southern Africa, including South Africa and neighbouring countries on the IS 20 platform.

4. Are all Big Brother Mzansi housemates South African?


5. How long will Big Brother Mzansi run for?

Big Brother will only reveal the duration of the series to fans on the day of the show’s launch so stay tuned!

6. Why has Mzansi Magic decided to create a new season of Big Brother, a program which I find vulgar and immoral viewing?

Big Brother has always generated controversy, and viewer opinions on the show vary widely around the world. Whilst you may find it unacceptable, many viewers love the emotion, excitement and drama of the show. In light of the above, as well as the success of previous editions of Big Brother Africa among Mzansi’s South African audiences; and the desire of these audiences to view a local version of the show, M-Net’s Mzansi Magic channel has now created Big Brother Mzansi. It is important to note though that the choice to participate and the choice to view Big Brother Mzansi is an individual one.

7. I want to watch Big Brother Mzansi on DStv channels 197 and 198. However I do not want my minor children to have access to the show. How can I restrict this channel from them?

You can limit viewing of Big Brother Mzansi on the age restricted 24/7 channels by utilizing the parental control feature on your DStv decoder. For more information on how to do this, visit

8. Will Big Brother Mzansi promote social awareness for key issues facing South Africans today (employment, literacy, poverty)?

Big Brother Mzansi was created, first and foremost, as an entertainment offering. However, as responsible corporate citizens both M-Net and Endemol are aware of the power of the show’s platform and, as they have done in previous seasons, will use it to highlight social causes pertinent to its viewers where possible and relevant within the context of the show.

9. Why are the live Sunday shows not being simulcast on DStv channels 197 and 198?

Given that DStv Premium, Extra and Compact audiences who have access to DStv channels 197 and 198, also have access to Mzansi Magic, there was no reason to simulcast the live Sunday shows on all three channels.

10. If I want to subscribe to DStv to view Big Brother Mzansi, how can I do this?

Simply contact your nearest MultiChoice office or branch. Alternatively visit for more information. Please be advised that you will not be able to subscribe to these two DStv channels (197 and 198) only. You will have to subscribe to either the DStv Premium, Extra or Compact packages, on which these two channels are available.

11. What is the web address for the official Big Brother Mzansi website and what information can I find here?

The URL for the Big Brother Mzansi website is
The full website will launch on the night of the show’s launch (February 2) and will include profile information on each of the housemates, video and news from the house, plus information on how to vote.

12. How can I interact with other fans of Big Brother Mzansi?

To join in on the Big Brother Mzansi conversation, make your voice heard on Facebook:; Twitter @BBMzansi and WeChat - ID: bigbrothermzansi.

You can also send messages to the strapline that runs on DStv channel 197 and 198. Viewers can send messages to TV in four easy ways:

• By using their twitter account to send ‘messages to TV’ with the hashtag (#BBMzansi)
• By going to the ‘message to TV’ page on the mobile site and using their Facebook account to send ‘messages to TV’ directly from the mobile site
• By sending their SMS ‘message to TV’ to the short code 34626. SMS messages are charged at standard operator/network rates. Please note that SMS messages are moderated before being screened and any messages containing unsolicited advertising messages, defamation and bad language/profanity will be excluded. Further dependent on the volume of messages received at any specific time, some messages may not be screened.
• By downloading the Wechat app and adding the bigbrothermzansi account

13. Why does the word ‘OK’ pop up on screen while I am watching Big Brother Mzansi on DStv channels 197 or 198?

Whilst watching Big Brother Mzansi on DStv channels 197 or 198, you will find a button that appears on your television screen that reads ‘OK’. This means that by simply pressing the ‘OK’ button on your DStv remote you can access extra text data on the show (including housemates’ profiles and daily news from the house) directly via your television.

14. What is Big Brother VIP?

If you’re looking for exclusive Big Brother Mzansi video and you are over the age of 18, simply hook yourself up with a VIP membership online at the official series website when the show launches. Pay a once off fee of R70.00, valid for the duration of BB Mzansi 2014, and get access to exclusive web video. All you need is a valid credit card (Visa/Mastercard) and a valid DStv Connect profile. The BB VIP ‘members only’ content package includes two live streams from within the shower (Monday to Friday), exclusive video on demand clips and exclusive uncut material.

15.If I am already paying a DStv subscription, why do I have to pay an additional fee for access to the VIP section of the official Big Brother Mzansi website?

As with DStv Box Office where a fee is payable prior to viewing a movie, should an existing DStv subscriber wish to access a service from the DStv Online commercial offering, then there is an additional fee payable. This is because your current DStv subscription specifically enables access to satellite television content and not to additional content available online. Big Brother content has been available, for a minimal fee, on the DStv Online website for the past two years during both Big Brother StarGame and The Chase. Further the requirement that an individual pays via a valid credit card acts as a safeguard against this content being accessed by younger audiences who whom some of the footage on the VIP site is not intended.

16.Will there be Shower Hour on Big Brother Mzansi?

Yes, Shower Hour will be included on Big Brother Mzansi. There are 2 shower hour sessions a day (Monday to Friday) – one in the morning and one in the evening. Both sessions will be available to Big Brother Mzansi VIP online subscribers, however only the evening session will be broadcast on DStv channel 197.

17. Where is the Big Brother Mzansi house?

The Big Brother Mzansi house is situated at an access controlled Studio facility in Highlands North, Johannesburg.

18. How big is the House?

The House has a large living space and two communal bedrooms and is attached to a spacious garden. It also has one large open plan kitchen area, plus a bathroom, toilet, diary room and storeroom. As there are only two communal bedrooms, housemates will have to share. However the House may have sections incorporated into it that Big Brother may choose to reveal at his discretion.

19. How many cameras and microphones are there in the Big Brother Mzansi house?

The Big Brother Mzansi house will have 102 microphones and 62 cameras. This includes the microphones that housemates will wear on their person. In addition, the camera line-up includes cue-ball cameras and infra-red cameras that can still film when the bedroom lights in the house are switched off at night.

20. Is the entire Big Brother house covered by cameras?

Yes, the entire Big Brother house is covered by cameras. There is also a camera in the toilet but footage from this camera will only be screened if the housemates are using the toilet for a purpose other than that for which it was designed (example: to meet and discuss other housemates).

21. Did race or religion play a role in the selection of contestants for Big Brother Mzansi and if so, why?

While M-Net’s Mzansi channel is conscious both of the need to reflect the diversity of South Africa as well as the demographic breakdown of the country’s population in the selection of housemates, the prevailing factors driving housemate selection on Big Brother Mzansi have always been, and remain, as follows: the ability of housemates to fully grasp the format and the challenges inherent therein plus their ability to engage positively with one another and with television audiences watching at home. Further, it is important to note that producers were restricted to selecting housemates from the pool of entries received – if individuals of a certain race, age, gender, community or any other grouping did not enter, or the choice of entrants was limited, the producers were therefore limited in their selection. However it is of paramount importance to note that housemates on Big Brother are not representatives or ambassadors of any particular community. They represent ONLY themselves in the house.

22. Why is/isn’t there a homosexual, bi-sexual or transgendered housemate included on Big Brother Mzansi?

An individual’s sexual orientation was not part of the selection criteria for Big Brother Mzansi. Big Brother respects the rights of all individuals and encourages tolerance among housemates for fellow housemates regardless of race, religion, political affiliations and/or sexual orientation, in line with the democratic principles that govern South Africa.

23. How many housemates will be in the Big Brother Mzansi house?

To find out how many housemates will be participating in Big Brother Mzansi, viewers must tune in to the launch show on Sunday February 2 at 19:00.

24. Why is/isn’t there a housemate who is HIV positive included in the Big Brother Mzansi house, given the high rates of HIV in South Africa?

Housemates underwent extensive medical and psychological evaluations prior to their arrival in the house. This is to ensure that they are physically, mentally and emotionally capable of living in the Big Brother house, which can be a demanding environment. The consulting doctors would have recommended to housemates if, given their mental and physical condition/s (whatever these may be*), they should or shouldn’t take on the challenge of the Big Brother house. However the doctor/s can only advise housemates. The final decision rests with the individual themselves and should an individual choose to disregard the doctors’ advice and continue to participate, the production team will ensure that any medications required during their stay would be provided to them, as has been done on previous editions of Big Brother. (*Medical conditions could include but are not limited to high blood pressure, pregnancy, vulnerability for cardiac arrest, cancer, HIV, etc.).

25. Will housemates on Big Brother Mzansi be restricted to speaking English only?

Given that this is a 100% South African version of Big Brother, and South Africa has 11 official languages, housemates on Big Brother Mzansi can speak in any of these languages although Big Brother himself will primarily communicate in English.

26. What is the prize for the winner of Big Brother Mzansi?

The prize for the winner of Big Brother Mzansi is R 1 million. In line with South African law, this prize will be subject to taxation by the relevant authorities.

27. Will the other housemates on the show, who do not win, take any prizes home?

At this time, Big Brother Mzansi is a winner takes all format and only the winner, as voted for by television audiences, will take home the grand prize.

28. Are Big Brother Mzansi housemates paid for their appearance on the show?

No, housemates are not paid to appear on the show.

29. Are there rules that housemates must follow on Big Brother Mzansi and if yes, what are these?

Yes, Big Brother Mzansi housemates are expected to abide by the rules of the house. There are several rules governing their stay in the Big Brother house and among the most important rules is the rule strictly prohibiting violence in the Big Brother house. Any housemates who is violent and/or provokes violence in the Big Brother house will be immediately disqualified from the show. Big Brother Mzansi housemates will have access to the Big Brother Mzansi house rules at all times.

30. Why are housemates of Big Brother Mzansi restricted from accessing their computers, telephones, the Internet and other information services/devices during their time in the house?

The Big Brother show is built on the premise that housemates live in a bubble within the Big Brother house and have little to no contact with the outside world during their participation on the show.

31. Are Housemates allowed any contact at all with their families’ e.g. written correspondence?

No verbal or written communication is allowed with anyone outside the House, unless a Housemate has an urgent family crisis and this is still subject to Big Brother’s discretion. Producers may choose, at their discretion, to allow contact for task and / or rewards purposes.

32. What happens if a Housemate falls ill while in the house?

In the event of a Housemate becoming ill, they will be given first aid or may have a nurse or doctor called in to attend to them. If their condition is serious, they will be admitted to a hospital accompanied by a member of the production staff and security personnel as it is strictly within the conditions of Big Brother to maintain minimal contact with the outside world. However, should their illness mean that they have to be away from the house for a long period, it is unlikely that Big Brother will allow them to return.

33. What kind of tasks will be assigned to the Housemates?

All tasks are reasonable, and involve team play. They are for Big Brother to know, and for Housemates to find out, but Housemates will never be asked to perform anything outside acceptable ethical and moral standards.

34. How do the Housemates get food provisions in the house?

Housemates are given a healthy daily allowance of basic foods. This diet includes vegetables, carbohydrates such as rice and maize meal, meat, poultry and fruit. Anything outside these foods is regarded as a luxury item, and may be ordered from a special shopping list provided by Big Brother. Their luxury allowance budget is directly linked to their performances in their Task. All meals in the house will have to be negotiated and agreed with by the other housemates.

35. Are Housemates allowed to leave the Big Brother house if it gets too much?

Housemates are free to leave at any stage during the process, on the understanding that they cannot return and may be replaced by someone else. A minimum of 24 hours’ notice is requested by Big Brother to make departure arrangements. Housemates will be obliged to provide a reason for their exit to Big Brother in the diary room. Housemates requesting a voluntary exit would also need to explain to their fellow housemates and the viewers’ why they have decided to leave the Big Brother game.

36. Are Housemates locked into the Big Brother Mzansi house?

Yes, all doors to the outside are locked, but housemates are free to leave at any stage as long as they explain why and understand that once out of the House they cannot return. In the event of an emergency Big Brother can open the doors at a moment’s notice.

37. Will Housemates be allowed to practice their religion?

It is one of the prerequisites of joining the house that all members are tolerant, and any practices housemates wish to follow will be tolerated.

38. Will Housemates see anyone else apart from their fellow housemates during their stay in the Big Brother house?

Housemates will not see anyone else except for a psychologist, doctor or dentist should they request or require one. In certain instances, housemates may be asked to entertain or host a special guest.

39. Can Housemates buy stuff while in the house?

Housemates can only influence the group as to how they all should spend a communal budget. No individual purchases are allowed.

40.Who produces Big Brother Mzansi?

Big Brother Mzansi is produced for M-Net’s Mzansi Magic by Endemol.

41.I would like to attend a Big Brother Mzansi Sunday Show. What should I do?

Should you wish to be part of the Big Brother Mzansi Sunday show audience, please call Tsitsi Ramakoni on 011-719 4174 or email Please note that that dependent on availability, you may get either standing or seated tickets.

42. Who is the presenter of Big Brother Mzansi?

The presenter of the first ever Big Brother Mzansi is Lungile Radu. An actor and presenter, Radu rose to fame after he presented the popular programs Kasi 101, O-Boma, Set It Off and Shout it Out on Channel O, Africa’s first ever music television destination. No stranger to reality TV, the talented television professional previously hosted Fear Factor and recently starred, alongside Thomas Gumede and Siya Ngwekazi, in the aspirational, inspirational Forever Young on Mzansi Magic, a program that he is also responsible for co-creating and developing. Previous hosts of Big Brother series in Africa include Kabelo Ngakane, Mark Pilgrim and IK Osakioduwa.

43. What other countries in the world will be running Big Brother series at the same time at Big Brother Mzansi?

Big Brother is a popular international reality TV format and other countries expected to have Big Brother series on air at the same time as Big Brother Mzansi include Brazil, Canada, Denmark and Italy.

44. I want to play the Big Brother Duel game online? How can I do this?

The Big Brother Duel game will be available for download, at no cost, at the Apple App store and Android Play store.

45. Will there be a second season of Big Brother Mzansi?

At this time both Mzansi Magic and Endemol are focussed on the first season of the show. Should there be a second season confirmed, this will be announced in the press and on air in due course.

46. How does Big Brother Mzansi decide which performers will be featured on the live Sunday Shows and which DJs will play at the Channel O parties held every Saturday evening in the Big Brother house?

Show producers Endemol SA will, in consultation with the Mzansi Magic channel, decide on which performers and DJs will be included on the show based on a variety of factors including availability, popularity and most importantly, within the context of the show theme.

47. I know that the Big Brother Mzansi Sunday Shows will be screened on the Mzansi Magic channel. What other programs can I watch on this channel?

Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161) includes other great programming such as the much loved soap opera Isibaya, Cula Sibone, Zabalaza, Kota Life Crisis, Ka-Ching, UVelaphi, Kabelo’s Boot Camp, Wang Verstana, Sifun’ukwazi, Daily Sun TV, Hot Plate: Catering Ekasi, Road To Miss SA, Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots and a variety of home-grown movies from the popular Lokshin Bioskop.

48. My company would like to advertise on Big Brother Mzansi. Who should we contact?

In order to advertise on Big Brother Mzansi, please contact DStv Media Sales (

49. What is the policy that will be employed when it comes to nudity on Big Brother Mzansi?

Big Brother Mzansi has a PG 18 rating and is aired 24 / 7 with the intention of covering all housemates’ activities, all the time. Housemates will be filmed at all times, whether in the nude or fully clothed. Housemates are free to be nude whilst in the house, as long as their actions do not infringe on the rights of the other housemates and cannot be deemed as sexual harassment in anyway. What is aired is at the discretion of the producers, who ensure that all coverage is in line with the standards of the BCCSA and do not infringe on the rights of any of the housemates.

50. Who is Big Brother?

Nobody knows, but he sets the rules for the house, and housemates will want to be on his good side at all times whilst staying in the house.

51. What will happen if housemates have sex with each other on the show?

There are no rules prohibiting consensual sexual intercourse in the house. Big Brother however strongly encourages housemates who engage in sexual intercourse to practice safe sex and will ensure that condoms are available to housemates at all times.

52. I am aware that the public will be voting to decide who is evicted weekly and who the overall winner of the show is. Where can I vote and will the votes be audited?

Yes, the public will decide who is evicted weekly and who the overall winner of Big Brother Mzansi is. Voting information is available at . Votes will be verified weekly by an established auditing company and details of this company will be confirmed and announced shortly.

Tags: FAQs | Big Brother Mzansi |

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