In a bizarre twist of events, producers of the Big Brother Africa (BBA) reality show recently organised new auditions in South Africa to re-select candidates to represent Ghana at this year’s edition.
As a result, various media and followers of the show in Ghana are accusing organisers of having rejected the selected four candidates from Ghana on the basis of the Ebola scare in West Africa.
The Ebola disease has killed over 1,000 people from West Africa since it broke out and serious measures are being taken to ensure it is not spread to other countries.
But a statement issued this week by Endemol – co-producers of the BBA show – debunked reports that the Ghanaian candidates were rejected because of the current Ebola pandemic.
“The producers of Big Brother Africa IX would like to state that contrary to information on various Ghanaian media platforms, the Big Brother Season 9 candidates have not been rejected by MultiChoice Africa or Endemol due to the Ebola scare.
“Due to challenges with visa acquisition by the four Ghanaians selected in the Accra auditions, organisers were forced to select candidates in South Africa,” read part of the statement.
According to Endemol, the shortlisted Ghanaian candidates had applied for visas to travel to South Africa for the final stage of auditioning, but their visas were not processed and issued on time unfortunately.
“The SA Home Affairs now requires all applicants to submit their own applications personally and the visa process takes a minimum of 10 working days.”
The statement further stated that delays in processing additional documentations for the candidates left Endemol with no option but to take the necessary measures to ensure Ghana was represented in BBA 9, hence their decision to hold fresh auditions.
“Due to this development, the production company had no option but to find alternative Ghanaian candidates to audition in South Africa, as they could not hold up the processes that lead up to the show.”
The new audition was only open to Ghanaian nationals living in South Africa.
The decision to hold fresh auditions came as a blow to hopefuls who had attended auditions in Ghana hoping to take over from where last year’s representative, Elikem Kumordzie had left. Kumordzie was one of the last standing housemates and made it to the BBA finale. He came out a big winner as he won the heart of Zimbabwean lass, Pokello Nare.