July 30, 2003

Discussion on “Big Brother Africa” at the TV

Namibian President Sam Nujoma has told the national broadcaster, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), to stop airing the Big Brother Africa (BBA) show. The Namibia Press Agency (Nampa) reported on Monday, July 28, that Nujoma said the NBC should concentrate on screening educational films and documentaries about Namibia instead. The President made the statement at the official launch of an atlas on Namibia in Windhoek.

Nampa reported that after noting the invaluable information the atlas contained for students, tourists and investors, the President cast his speech aside, wagged a finger at the NBC cameraman, Ronney Hoebeb, and told him to give proper coverage to the launch of the new atlas. He then took aim at the broadcaster for screening BBA. “I would like to call on the NBC to stop showing this so-called Big Brother Africa and to start showing the history of Namibia,” Nampa quoted the President as saying.

When contacted for comment by The Namibian, the NBC’s Director General, Gerry Munyama, said he had not viewed the recorded tapes of the speech, but had only heard about the President’s comments from someone who attended the gathering. “I can’t comment at the moment. I don’t know if it was just an expression,” he said.

Last night NBC’s daily BBA update was screened as usual, as has happened since the reality show started two months ago. Munyama said the corporation was aware of the President’s wish to see more locally-made programmes aired on NBC and that they “are working hard on this”. “It is true that we lack local content with about 90 per cent foreign programming,” Munyama told The Namibian.

The NBC intends to launch a new programming schedule on September 1, which will include more local content. At present, NBC re-broadcasts 30 minutes of daily highlights from the BBA house in Randburg from Monday to Friday. On Sundays when nominations and evictions take place, an hour is devoted to the popular reality show. Namibia’s contestant Stefan Ludik has survived a nomination and is currently the show’s most popular housemate. (The Namibian, Windhoek)

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