On Friday 19 July, the Diamond and Ruby houses will merge. In addition, six fake Emerald housemates will join The Chase during the Airtel Arena Showdown and will stay on for a few days to spice up the game and will bring lots of excitement and intrigue.
Their objective is to confuse the other housemates and convince them that the Emerald house is real. The housemates are: Sophie (Uganda); JJ (Zimbabwe); Jazz (Kenya); Busi (South Africa); Eveva (Zambia) and Alusa (Kenya).
TV Entertainer Alusa is a married father of two. He has a Diploma in Communications and hails from Nairobi. He lists Sauti Sol as his favourite musician and his favourite screen star is Denzel Washington, because “he’s an intense and passionate actor”.
Alusa says the best things about Africa are the diversity in landscape and culture of the people. His favourite places in Kenya are his village – Kakamega – and Mombasa. Outside of his home country, his favourite place is Greece, because of its rich historical culture.
His role model is Bishop TD Jakes, because “He’s not only a religious leader but also a smart and influential businessman in the modern world”. The achievement he’s most proud of? Being nominated for an Emmy award for a radio drama he directed: ‘Songo Love’.
Alusa says having Africa’s eyes on him 24/7 will be “a bit intimidating and very challenging”. He warns viewers to “expect the unexpected” from him, and promises “mad fun & energy”. He says his strategy as an Emerald housemate is to “pretend, pretend, pretend. I have so much information on them so I know which buttons to press.”
Busi (South Africa)
Third year BA Marketing student Busi describes herself as “spontaneous, opinionated, open-minded and friendly”. She feels she can strike up a conversation with anybody and also express herself and her opinions without holding back. She values honesty, friendliness and open-mindedness in others.
Busi’s favourite book is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and on the small screen, she enjoys watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians, The Vampire Diaries, Modern Family and, of course, Big Brother Africa. Her favourite actors are Leonardo di Caprio, Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet and Kate Blanchett – no wonder Titanic is one of her favourite films.
Her favourite place in South Africa is Rosebank in Johannesburg, and the thing she likes most about the continent is the way its people pull together in support of a common cause. Away from home, she loves New York because of the fast pace, opportunities and the way people can express themselves.
Her mom has played a major role in her life, guiding her through every disappointment. In her time as an Emerald housemate, she promises to deliver entertainment, confusion, a fashion extravaganza, openness, laughs, drama and intrigue for viewers.
Massage therapist Eveva is from Chipata and enjoys music by Bob Marley, Rihanna, Shakira and Espee and her favourite actress is Julia Roberts. Her favourite book is The Secret and her favourite TV show is The Oprah Winfrey Show.
She lists her mom as her role model, praising her as “a strong woman”. She is inspired by Russell Simmons, because of his business savvy. The achievement she’s most proud of is opening her own massage parlour, because she has always dreamed of running her own business.
Eveva’s favourite place in Zambia is Livingstone and says the best thing about Africa is that the people are very loving and friendly. Her favourite place outside of the continent is Holland, “because the people are open-minded”.
She feels “honoured and blessed” that Africa will be watching her 24/7 in the Big Brother house, promising viewers entertainment and lots of drama, her strategy in the house is “ to be herself”. Asked to describe herself in five words, she lists: “hyper, hardworking, efficient, outgoing & crazy”.
Copywriter Jazz describes herself as fun, lovable, humorous and cute. She considers herself to be a friendly person who enjoys comforting people and making them feel special & loved. Jazz likes people with a sense of humour and openness – “whether bad or good, at least you know who you’re dealing with”.
Her favourite TV shows are Modern Family and Game of Thrones, with her recent favourite film: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. She has a number of favourite actors, but singles out Bill Nighy as one.
Jazz says the best things about Africa are the weather, the people and the wildlife. Her favourite place in Kenya is the Shaba Game Lodge, with Australia her favourite place outside the continent.
Her mom is her role model, because she raised her and her two brothers alone. She says her family has taught her to be who she is today.
She’s excited and nervous to have the continent’s eyes on her in The Chase, but says: “I was born to do this!” her strategy is to shock and surprise the current housemates.
Harare-born JJ is a singer and songwriter from Zimbabwe, with a National Diploma in Media. His favourite books are 48 Laws of Power and The Secret and his favourite movies include American Gangster, 300 and The Vow.
He describes himself as “fun, ambitious, happy, loving and warm” and says the thing he likes most about himself is his “chilled quality”. JJ likes “happy, smiley people” but dislikes people who are “full of themselves”.
JJ cites his dad as his role model and says the best thing about Africa is its people and his favourite place in Zimbabwe is Nyanga, “because of the fresh air”. Outside of Africa, his favourite place is Studio 25 in Manchester, which was a roof over his head “when times were tough”. The achievement he’s most proud of so far is the release of his first single – internationally – this year.
His strategy as an Emerald housemate is to confuse the current housemates and use reverse psychology on them. He says that viewers can expect “laughs, jokes and fun times” when he’s in the house.
Nicknamed “Little One”, Sophie is a freelance jewellery and clothing designer from Kampala. She describes herself as “tolerant, candid, silly, real and loud”. Her favourite personal quality is that she’s not easily angered and doesn’t bear grudges. She dislikes people who are rude, dishonest or hypocritical.
Sophie lists her favourite TV show as Shameless and she likes the music of Lady Gaga, Liquideep, Nas, Asa and Jason Mraz, while her favourite movies include A Bronx Tale, The Lion King and The Dictator.
She says the best thing about Africa is the people: “Africans are warm, welcoming, full of life and smiles despite their everyday struggles”. Her favourite place in Uganda is a small town called Kilemba – she calls it “a little piece of heaven”. She also loves Venice, despite never having been there, calling it “truly beautiful”.
Sophie cites her mom as her role model. “Her devotion to my sister and my wellbeing is just inspirational – everything she has done was for our comfort,” she says.
She says viewers can expect her to be “real and different” and her strategy is to stick with her fellow Emerald housemate on their mission as fake Big Brother housemates.