Photo: Big Brother Africa
Meet the 20 housemates of 'Big Brother Titans'
The buzzed-about return of Africa’s top reality show brings in housemates from Nigeria and South Africa.
Another year is here, and true to form, so is another African iteration of the widely-watched reality TV show, Big Brother. Titled Big Brother Titans, it’s a calculated mashup of South Africa and Nigerian versions of the franchise. With a 24-hour live feed broadcast from Johannesburg, the show will see 20 hopefuls from both nations go head-to-head for the ultimate prize of $100,000, and the opportunity to become the latest star to emerge from the much-loved television show.
Selecting contestants from these countries is no surprise. South Africa and Nigeria are cultural powerhouses, translating as strongholds for Big Brother since its inception, with a legion of viewers cultivated along the way. In the franchise’s history, it’s a never-seen-before set up. But it’s nostalgia inducing, harkening back to incarnations of the show in the early 2000s, with contestants from all over the continent.
The show's premiere gave fans a first look at the contestants, and who to possibly cheer on as their favorite to win in 10 weeks’ time. In light of this, we are introducing the housemates of this bigger edition. So get familiar with them, as they are set to be a fixture on our TV screens and social media timelines for a while to come.
The first Big Brother Titans housemate introduced, Khosi Twala is a 25-year-old journalist, broadcaster, and self-confessed adventurer from South Africa. Originally from KwaZulu-Natal, she lives in Johannesburg presently and holds academic degrees from the University of The Free State, Bloemfontein, and the University of Johannesburg. Khosi has competed in beauty pageants in the past, from Miss Free State SA in 2017, to the Biogen Face of Fitness in 2020, and Miss Regal International South Africa in 2021. Khosi is also a fitness aficionado, regularly sharing pictures and videos of herself working out across her social media platforms. Khosi says she is single but open to romantic relationships while on the show.
Yemi Cragx is a creative multi-hyphenate from Lagos with origins in Ekiti State. He's also worked as a model in the past, and tried his hand at various entertainment-related gigs, ranging from acting to event hosting and digital content creation. Of all these, he admits being most comfortable as a fashion designer and intends to bring some of his unorthodox fashion ideas to the Big Brother Titans show. The 30-year-old also anticipates that he’ll be involved in a love triangle during his stay in the house, and has already shown an affinity for fellow housemates, Yaya and Khosi.
24-year-old Juicy Jay (born Siyamthanda Jwacu) is a semi-professional rugby player from the Eastern Cape, South Africa. While not much is known about his personal life and family, he is a big fan of music and Xhosa culture, sharing pictures of attending weddings and functions at home with family members. Jay’s love for rugby saw him undergo surgery for a playing-related injury on his left knee last September. But he’s determined to focus on the positives and bring his energy and humor to the Big Brother Titans show, using the reality contest as a pedestal to launch a professional rugby career.
Olivia is a 23-year-old actress from Imo state in the southeast of Nigeria. She describes herself as a fierce competitor who isn’t scared to return whatever energy is directed her way. Prior to coming into the Big Brother house, Olivia worked in the entertainment space as an actress, brand influencer, model, and content creator but she’s always been focused on her dream of being a star since her time studying at the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede in Owerri State where she was a popular figure on campus. She’s single, but not necessarily looking for a romantic relationship in the house.
Born in Durban and raised in Cape Town, 25-year-old Nelisa entered the Big Brother Titans show because she thinks she is interesting to watch, and her pre-show life as a socialite and free-spirited party host give credence to this. Nelisa just wrapped up a course in digital marketing and music before the Big Brother Titans show started, and she describes herself as an alcoholic whose relationship status is a bit chaotic, depending on how she feels at any given moment.
Blaqboi, born Victor Panwal, is a Nigerian storyteller from the Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau in Nigeria’s middle belt. He graduated with a degree in Theater and Films Art from the University of Jos, and has worked as a visual content creator, director, and filmmaker before becoming a contestant on Big Brother Titans. The 26-year-old is also a popular TikToker, regularly sharing memes and parodies with his audience of over 1.4 million people on the platform. He's also said he's not dating anyone presently.
Mmeli Khumalo is from Hillbrow, one of Joburg's most notorious suburbs. The 25-year-old model is a big fan of fashion and has followed the Big Brother brand all his life, with an eye to making an appearance on the show. Mmeli describes himself as a seasonal conspirator who's keen not to get drawn into the spicy plotlines and drama that make the Big Brother shows an intriguing watch. But he says he came to the house to have some time away from the regular flow of life, and to have a good time. Mmeli won the inaugural head-of-house challenge.
22-year-old Nana is an entrepreneur and student hailing from Kaduna State in Northern Nigeria. She studied Mass Communication at Kaduna State University for a while, and is currently studying Tourism and Hotel Management in Cyprus. She owns a business called Nana’s Empire, dealing mostly in fashion wear and accessories, as well as aphrodisiac products. Nana is a self-confessed lover of body art, tattoos, and piercings. She has also been open about the troubled nature of her relationship with her father growing up, and sees winning the Big Brother Titans show as an opportunity to achieve financial stability. When it comes to the potential for starting a relationship while in the house, she says she's open to that.
Ipeleng Selepe is a calm, confident housemate hoping to make her mark on the Big Brother Titans show, and willing to creating bonds while in the Big Brother house. Ipeleng was born and raised in the North-West of South Africa but is currently based in Gauteng. The 25-year-old describes herself as an introvert, and suffered from social anxiety while growing up but is overcoming that by putting herself in front of more opportunities as she grows older. Presently, Ipeleng is a law student, content creator, and YouTuber who makes video explainers and reviews revolving around skincare and lifestyle.
Marvin Achi is a reality TV star and chemical engineer who has taken part in reality TV shows like America's Got Talent and The Circle USA. Born and raised in Port Harcourt, he currently resides in Houston, Texas. The 29-year-old gained a degree in chemical engineering from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, and has since risen to fame as a serial reality TV star and body transformation expert. Marvin is also an entrepreneur, and owns the fitness brands, Zindu Transform and Zindu Nutrition, as well as a sportswear store called Elephant Sport. He has said he's single but hasn't specified if he's looking to get involved in any romance while in the house.
Thabang is a single 21-year-old South African who joined the Big Brother Titans house on the recommendation of his mother. He hails from Soweto, and has tried his hand at a number of businesses, working on promotions for events and dealing in sneakers, at different times. Presently, Thabang works as a sports analyst and hopes to use some of the exposure he gains from Big Brother Titans to pursue more of his business interests. Thabang used to play the violin growing up, and is a big fan of amapiano music, naming “Tobesta” by Ftears, Myztro, and ShaunMusiQ as his favourite song.
Jaypee is a Nigerian professional nurse who doubles as the life of the party. The 25-year-old has worked as a model, party host, and actress since her tertiary education days. Jaypee has also stated that she’s not in a serious relationship outside the Big Brother Titan house, as she was seeing a number of people before she came onto the reality TV show. Jaypee’s biggest dream is to become a renowned actor and work on blockbuster Nollywood productions.
31-year-old housemate Yaya is a make-up artist, body positivity activist, aspiring actress, and model living in East London. Born Yamkela Mwanda in the Eastern Cape, she is single, and interested in changing the narrative around conventional beauty. Yaya has been modeling since 2014, and has worked with publications like Drum Magazine, Essentials Magazine, Essays of Africa, True Love and Bona Magazine, as well as acted on shows like The Queen and Scandal.
Ebubu is a 28-year-old Nigerian model and creative based in Lagos. He attended Lagos State University, and graduated with a degree in Theater Arts. He has worked as a vixen on a number of afropop music videos, and describes himself as a creative enthusiast with an interest in music, painting, and acting. Ebubu says his hidden talent is mimicking accents from across the world, and is a big Wizkid fan who hopes to use the Big Brother Titans platform to launch his creative career to the next level. During his intro, the creative said that he's single and definitely looking to mingle.
Lukay is a 31-year-old South African sales executive from KwaZulu-Natal who is fiercely proud of his Zulu heritage. He moved back to KwaZulu-Natal to reconnect with his parents, and is in the Big Brother Titans house to compete for the prize money after missing out on being selected last year. Lukay is confident of his chances of winning, despite social media chatter about his age and suitability for the show. He has kept his relationship status under wraps.
Born and raised in Chicago, Jenni O traces her origins to Imo, Nigeria and has a master’s degree in public health from the University of Georgia. The 25-year-old, born Jennifer Okoro, is single and worked for an American pharmaceutical corporation before moving to Lagos in October 2022. Jenni O is an ardent listener of afropop and reviews the music she listens to on her podcast, JenniSpeakz. She is a keen beauty enthusiast and has a serious phobia of snakes.
Tsatsii is one of the South African housemates in the Big Brother Titans house. She is a student from Pretoria studying engineering, biotechnology, and microbiology, who describes herself as expressive and fun to hang out with. She has been an avid follower of Big Brother over the years, and her darkest secret is that she has cheated on three exams in the past without being caught. Born Motsatsi Wendy Madiba, the 24-year-old is single and a big fan of electronic music but loves to listen to afropop when she’s in the mood to dance.
Kanaga Jr. is an actor, stylist, and model based in Lagos state with origins in Abia state. The 23-year-old takes style inspiration from his late dad, wearing an ensemble from his dad’s wardrobe for his introduction to the Big Brother Titans audience. Kanaga Jr has made appearances on Netflix Nigeria’s first original series, Far From Home, and hopes to establish his fashion brand post-Big Brother.
Justin Peters is a 21-year-old South African contestant. He’s on Big Brother Titans to provide representation for the Maui people after years of following the entertainment industry without seeing people that look like him on TV screens. Justin is from East London, South Africa, and works as a photographer and content creator. He also hopes to win the grand prize in order to assist his parents in paying off their debts. He's currently single and wants to travel across the world, and document diverse cultures.
Yvonne is a 27-year-old Nigerian model, video vixen, and entrepreneur. She hails from Akwa Ibom state, and hopes to use the Big Brother house as a launchpad to establish herself in the entertainment industry. Yvonne was the muse for Nigerian musician Phyno’s music video for “Never,” directed by TG Omori in 2020. She is insistent on avoiding any relationships in the Big Brother Titans house to ensure that her brand remains solely hers after the show ends.
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