Saturday, February 3, 2024

More Big Brother Mzansi uproar as contestant Liema is warned over spitting and threatening physical violence.

by Thinus Ferreira

Controversy continues to swirl around the latest season of MultiChoice and M-Net's Big Brother Mzansi reality show on DStv with another contestant who got a first warning for spitting on other contestants and threatening physical violence.

On Friday afternoon, the voice of Big Brother in the Red Pepper Pictures show told the 22-year-old Liyema Phantsi, known as Liema, that she is getting a first warning or "strike" for spitting on two other contestants, threatening violence and using offensive language.

It follows after Liema physically slapped and shoved Harriet "Mpumi" Mthimunye and then spat in Jareed's face.

DStv subscribers wanted her gone a week after a liquor-fuelled party from the producers that led to Lindokuhle Nsele known as BRavo B getting disqualified and evicted, while Tshepo Tau known as Makhekhe got a first warning following a discussion in which they decided which women in the house they wanted to rape first since the women were allegedly drunk.

The camera-filled house show, executive produced by Natalie Bleksley, is in its 4th season under the Big Brother Mzansi moniker and the 10th season overall of Big Brother done by M-Net in South Africa according to the Banijay format.

In 2008, Channel 4 and Brighter Pictures in the United Kingdom evicted contestant Dennis McHugh from the 9th season of Big Brother UK after spitting in another contestant's face and in 2017 another Big Brother UK contestant was banned for spitting.

Following the events of a week ago, MultiChoice on Friday was asked whether it believes the show is problematic or has no problem with it. 

The pay-TV operator declined to answer the question but said "Big Brother takes all the house rules seriously and if there is any unruly behaviour in the house that deviates from the rules in place, he will take the necessary disciplinary action".

Big Brother Mzansi main sponsor LottoStar didn't respond to a media query made Friday asking whether it's happy being associated with the show and the behaviour of the contestants wearing LottoStar branding.

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA), similar to last week, told TVwithThinus that by Friday afternoon it hadn't received any properly articulated complaints from viewers that could be referred to MultiChoice for a response.

Before the start of the latest season Shirley Adonisi, M-Net director of local entertainment channels, said that this season known as Big Brother S'ya Mosha would be "a disruption of the norm" and would be "the most memorable season for disrupting and breaking away from what is expected".

Previous seasons of Big Brother Mzansi, as well as the Nigerian version, Big Brother Naija, have been mired in multiple scandals involving incidents of physical violence including gender-based violence GBV), threats of violence and drunken brawls over the years.