M-Net’s Big Brother Africa drops Rwanda and Sierra Leone

2014-09-02 17:00

Cape Town – Rwanda and Sierra Leone contestants have also been dropped from M-Net’s latest upcoming season of Big Brother Africa set to start on Sunday on MultiChoice's DStv, following the decision to drop the originally selected contestants from Ghana.

The 9th season of Big Brother Africa, entitled Big Brother Hotshots and produced by Endemol South Africa from Johannesburg in South Africa, is now also eliminating the selected contestants from Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

The South African government's dramatic and negative change in visa regulations is to blame, now majorly impacting on South Africa's TV and film industry.

The crisis is due to South Africa’s sudden shift in stricter visa regulations strangely implemented, negatively impacting on South Africa’s television and film industry and making it nearly impossible for TV productions in South Africa to fly and have TV talent apply in their own countries for visas for a long enough stay in the South Africa.

The exclusion of  two more countries from the show raises questions about how representative the pan-African reality format voyeur show is going to be without contestants from a growing number of countries where people were originally allowed, and asked, to enter from.

Since contestants only get a visa for a month but could potentially remain for 91 days in the reality house, they have to apply in person for an extension but must do so in their own country – impossibility, without drawn-out and cumbersome administrative and logistical support.

Big Brother Hotshots is set to start on Sunday 7 September at 19:00 for 91 days with highlight shows which will be broadcast on AfricaMagic Showcase (DStv 150) as well as running for 24 hours per day on MultiChoice's  DStv 197 and DStv 198 channels.

Endemol South Africa and pay-TV broadcaster M-Net last month dropped the originally selected contestants from Ghana, launching a frantic search for people from Ghana already in South Africa to rather include.

Now Rwanda and Sierra Leone's originally selected contestants are also out of the house just days before the reality show is set to start.

The confusing new visa regulations impacted on Homeland, the international and award-winning series currently filming some of its 4th season in Cape Town South Africa and which saw production and filming delayed. Homeland will film until November but would have been done sooner were it not for visa regulation changes which forced some production delays.

‘A more complex procedure’

M-Net's Big Brother Africa has become the first and biggest casualty of the new visa regulations, impacting not just the production and production values of the show but directly impacting what viewers – not just in South Africa but across the African continent – get to see (or rather not see) on their TV screens.

Endemol South Africa and M-Net says in a statement it can "confirm that Sierra Leone and Rwanda will no longer form part of the countries participating" in Big Brother Africa Hotshots.

"Unfortunately, due to schedules and logistical constraints there was insufficient time to follow the necessary procedures in order to process the required travel documentation which has recently become a more complex procedure," says Endemol SA and M-Net without mentioning by name South Africa's sudden visa regulations changes.

"M-Net and Endemol SA wish to extend their gratitude to all those individuals, organizations and parties which assisted in working to secure the inclusion of housemates from both countries".

"Whilst it is not possible to include housemates from both countries in this season, M-Net and Endemol South Africa are confident that they are able to improve the process in order to successfully incorporate housemates from both countries if there are future editions of the series”.

Read more on:    dstv  |  m-net  |  endemol  |  big brother hotshots  |  tv

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