The season of giants – BBTitans

06 April 2023
With the dust finally having settled, it’s time to review the inaugural season of Big Brother Titans and what it has come to represent.
An image with all the housemates under the title, "The Season of Giants".

The announcement was made last year – DStv viewers would be treated a brand-new show in the Big Brother format. With housemates from South Africa and Nigeria, Big Brother Titans would be the fusion of two of Africa’s biggest markets in a joint venture that would be broadcast around the world.

The show kicked off with a massive launch on 15 January, which is when viewers were introduced to the first 20 housemates. From the jump, it became apparent that there was going to be a wide variety of personalities on display, and audiences were suitably excited.

There was, of course, another character that needed introducing, a character that would be with us throughout the season, immune from eviction but also barred from winning the grand prize of US$100 000 – the house. It’s always exciting to see what the producers have done to customise the place to the show’s theme, and audiences were not disappointed.

The 20 housemates quickly hit it off, although they would have struggled to find space with all of them crammed into that house, and that problem was only going to get tougher, because Biggie had an early twist in store: four new housemates.

So, an already-full house just got a little bit fuller, but – once again – the new housemates were welcomed with open arms (some of those arms more open than others, but more on that later). After the housemates had settled down for a bit and had a chance to get to know one another (again, some better than others), Biggie dropped yet another twist.

From the point on, the housemates would be competing in pairs, each with one man and one woman, one Nigerian and one South African. Basically, there would have to be some teamwork going on.

This, really, speaks to what the show was all about: an opportunity for cultural exchange. The housemates would need to learn about their partners’ backgrounds, worldview, and goals, and viewers would need to do the same. Basically, nobody could vote purely on the grounds of nationality.

The housemates seemed to get the memo. There have been numerous occasions when they have actively tried to learn more about the two countries, swapping stories about music and food, and sharing knowledge about where they come from.

Food, obviously, was a big deal. It always is, in Big Brother, but when the participating countries have the culinary diversity of Nigeria and South Africa, you know something is cooking.

The 78 days in the house were not all about cultural exchange, however. There were tasks to be completed, Head of House games to be contested, and games to be won. In these, some housemates fared better than others. Tsatsii won Head of House a leading three times (both in her own right and as one half of Royals alongside Ebubu). Unfortunate, each of those reigns coincided with a loss at the weekly wager task, so her aptitude for victory might not have been a boon for the house in general.

Ultimately, the game needs to end with a single winner, which means those 24 housemates we mentioned need to get whittled down. While the viewers make the ultimate decision about who stays and who goes, the housemates are on the hook when it comes to nominating potential evictees. Sometimes, this process came easy. Other times, not so much:

There always needs to be a bit of strategy when it comes to nominations, however, and this came to the fore when Kanaga Jnr used his veto power to put Marvin (his bestie) up for nomination. Speculation was rife as to his reasons, but the issue was never fully resolved by the time Marvin had to take his leave.

Ultimately, the pairs were officially dissolved and the housemates began to compete as individuals. It was clear, however, that many of them remained close: Justin and Yvonne, for example, as well as Ipeleng and Blaqboi.

Okay, you stuck with this article for a while, now, so here’s your reward: the thing that gets the most tongues wagging amongst Big Brother audiences are the relationships, and there were plenty of those to go around.

One of the longer relationships was between Kanaga Jnr and Tsatsii, mostly because both of them made it to the very last day. While the exact nature of their bond baffled viewers, housemates, and the presenters, Lawrence and Ebuka, it certainly got off to a steamy start during the first week of the game:

Another ship to sail early was the one between Khosi and Yemi. Theirs was tumultuous, to put it mildly. They regularly argued, played mind games, gaslit, made up, broke up, and put on assorted public displays of affection. Oh, and they always accused each other of being less than faithful. In fairness, that’s likely because they were less than faithful:

Here’s Yemi moving in on Blue Aiva during a brief hiatus of their relationship:

Here’s Khosi confronting Blue Aiva about the matter:

Then, there was Miracle OP. It was clear from the outset that he had something of a crush on Khosi, which would be bad enough, but his animosity toward Yemi Cregx (which was reciprocated), didn’t make things any better. While his relationship with Khosi was never romantic (at least, not from her side), it was complicated enough to lead to issues in their partnership, Khosicle.

It was not just the threat of Miracle OP that got Yemi’s blood boiling, though. Her close relationship with Thabang was also a sore point, and the guy may have had reason for his suspicions: she was always cuddling up to him, always whispering. Oh, and she and Thabang hooked up pretty soon after Yemi’s eviction, so there’s that.

Oh, and pretty early in the season, Khosi dropped the news that she, in fact, has a boyfriend in the real world, and she hoped he wouldn’t be upset. Lucky guy.

But there were other ships for viewers to use as gossip fodder. Ipeleng and Lukay got very physical, very early:

There was Nelisa and Mmeli:

But the bit that sticks out the most is the ship that didn’t sail. Despite Jaypee giving Marvin the most obvious “go ahead” signals in the history of courtship, Marvin did not take the hint. We’re not sure if he simply wasn’t interest (which is allowed, of course), or if he managed to miss the unmissable:

Finally, we got to the finale, and the announcement of the winner. During the double length show, Biggie took a moment to give his closing address and his final words to the six finalists. It certainly got their emotions up.

Despite having been nominated at almost every opportunity, viewers kept Khosi in the game right to the very end, and then voted her the ultimate winner.

Life, however, does not stop when the lights in the Big Brother house are turned off. For the finalists, and for Khosi in particular, it’s only just starting. We’re sure we’ll see them all over our screens in the coming years. There are more ways to win the game than merely winning it.