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September 04, 2003

African Multiculturalism

Africans are learning lessons in multiculturalism from an unlikly source, reality tv.

Nigerians howl at it. Botswanans scream at their screens. Ugandans watch it over cold Nile Beer, while some African politicians and clergy want the plug pulled on this continent-wide sensation.

It is "Big Brother Africa," the latest incarnation of the reality television show that started in Europe. An estimated 30 million Africans are watching, making it the most popular, and most controversial, show in Africa.

The show throws together strangers as housemates and then lets viewers watch their every move and the sparks that fly. The African variety has plucked a dozen young professionals from countries all across this vast, diverse continent and moved them into a comfortable house in Johannesburg with an oversize Jacuzzi.

At the start of the show there was an amorous Ugandan law student. An argumentative Nigerian businessman. A saucy South African business consultant who flirted with a cocky Kenyan psychology student and every other man in the house. The last one to survive 106 days in captivity wins $100,000.

Posted by mbowen at September 4, 2003 10:29 AM

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