Big Brother Africa “Hotshots” kicked off on Sunday, October 5 but there was a marked difference in the line-up due to the current Ebola Outbreak in West Africa.
The ninth season of popular reality show, Big Brother Africa, is currently ongoing after an official launch which held on Sunday, October 5 but it was surprising to see that Sierra Leone has no representatives in the house.
This year’s show includes 26 contestants from 13 countries across Africa with Rwanda being re-added as a participating country.
However, despite calls for intending participants to appear for auditioning at The Country Lodge Complex in Freetown, Sierra Leone on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, no housemates were picked from the country.
Sierra Leone is currently battling a severe Ebola outbreak which has reportedly killed 879 people within its boundaries and is ravaging across the land despite numerous efforts to check the spread.
Pulse.ng reached out to the Public Relations Manager of MultiChoice, Ms. Caroline Oghuma to find out if the exclusion of Sierra Leone from Big Brother Africa “Hotshots” had anything to do with the disease outbreak.
Oghuma explained that no Housemates were picked from Sierra Leone because South African authorities had placed travel restrictions on the West African country.
“There are no housemates from Sierra Leone because the Department of Home Affairs placed travel restrictions on Sierra Leone. That’s the sad fact”, Oghuma said in an e-mail correspondence.
South African Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi announced the travel ban in Pretoria on Thursday, August 21, 2014 saying:
“We have banned citizens from travelling from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia except if it is absolutely essential,”
“We implemented the ban to assure SADEC [Southern African Development Community] because most people travel through our country,”
Big Brother Africa 2013, aka “The Chase” featured 2 housemates from Sierra Leone; Businessman, Bolt and Bassey, a student, actor and model.