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Big Brother South Africa

- Season 1 -
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Show Details

Broadcaster: M-Net DStv 
Show Genre: Reality Competition
Season Premiere: Sunday, August 26, 2001
Season Finale: Sunday, December 09, 2001
Time: 17h00 - 18h00

Show Summary

Big Brother Mzansi (previously known as Big Brother South Africa) is a South African reality competition television series based on the international format and produced locally by Endemol South Africa in which members of the public live in a specially constructed house and are viewed 24/7 by the audience, who also decide - via voting - who ultimately wins the game.

The series premiered on M-Net on Sunday 26 August, 2001. Known as Big Brother South Africa for its first two seasons, the series took a 12-year break before being reinvented as Big Brother Mzansi in 2014, at which time it moved to DStv's Mzansi Magic channel. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.

Season 1 aired on M-Net and a dedicated DStv channel from 26 August to 9 December, 2001.

About the Show

It's a slacker's dream - getting off work for a few months, lounging in a jacuzzi for hours on end, achieving 15 minutes of notoriety and the possibility of winning a million bucks.

This is Big Brother Mzansi.

A group of ordinary individuals, chosen from thousands of hopefuls, live together in a specially constructed house, isolated from the outside world, watched 24/7 by viewing audiences across the country.

At regular intervals housemates will nominate each other for eviction. The housemates who get the most nominations will have to survive a viewer vote. If they don't, they're evicted out of the game instantly.

Only the last person remaining at the end takes home the mega jackpot.

Along the way Big Brother, that infamous and legendary character at the centre of it all, introduces his own twists and turns into the game.


M-Net and format owner and production company Endemol SA introduced the concept of realty television to SA audiences in 2001 with the very first 24/7 Big Brother broadcasts in the Southern hemisphere.

Big Brother and the irreverent inhabitants of the specially-built Big Brother House immediately grabbed the imagination of the nation, frequented newspaper headlines and even inspired academic thesis and debates.

Then, after a second South African season in 2002, Big Brother ventured into the entire continent with Big Brother Africa.

Big Brother Mzansi takes place nearly 13 years after the first-ever Big Brother on African soil grabbed the attention of South Africans in 2001.

The 24-hour camera surveillance of a group of strangers living in a house, starring in a real-life soap opera, hasn't altered since then – and has proved to be enduringly popular with viewers.


Season 1: Ferdinand Rabie
Season 2: Richard Cawood
Season 3: Mandla Hlatshwayo


Note: the first two seasons aired on M-Net (daily shows) and a dedicated, 24-hour DStv channel. Viewers could also watch a live stream on the Big Brother website. The show moved to Mzansi Magic for Season 3.

Season 1

Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 26 Aug 2001 | Finale: 9 Dec 2001 | Days: 106

Season 2

Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 28 Jul 2002 | Finale: 14 Oct 2002 | Days: 79

Season 3

Channel: Mzansi Magic | Premiere: 2 Feb 2014 | Finale: 6 Apr 2014 | Days: 63

Cast & Characters

Character Actor
Himself Mark Pilgrim
Herself Gerry Rantseli
Himself Bradford Wood
Himself Ferdinand Rabie
Himself Irvan Damon
Herself Janine Orderson
Herself Lara Plumstead
Herself Leigh Bennie
Herself Margaret van der Westhuizen
Herself Nina Zani
Herself Nobesuthu Cele
Himself Riaad Isaacs
Himself Steven van Rooyen
Himself Vuyo Tofile

Related Links

- TVSA Mini-Site
- Reality Competition Forum
- Official Site

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