Arthur opens up Big Brother Africa secrets

One of Rwanda's representatives at the ongoing Big Brother Hotshots season 9, Arthur Nkusi, jetted in the country on Wednesday after his eviction last Sunday. In an interview with Society Magazine's Dean Karemera, Arthur says he doesn't regret anything and is happy to have achieved his goal and is ready to take advantage of the life changing experience to make money

One of Rwanda’s representatives at the ongoing Big Brother Hotshots season 9, Arthur Nkusi, jetted in the country on Wednesday after his eviction last Sunday. In an interview with Society Magazine’s Dean Karemera, Arthur says he doesn’t regret anything and is happy to have achieved his goal and is ready to take advantage of the life changing experience to make money. Excerpts;

Most people know about Big Brother Africa, but don’t know exactly what goes on during the auditions. Tell us about it.

You are basically asked to show unique things about yourself and for me, I danced, cracked jokes and sang among others. I did everything because when you limit yourself, you are definitely limiting your chances. It is usually in your best interest to do everything that you are able to do because some people are very talented.

Who did you consider your biggest competition during the auditions?

I considered Frankie Joe my biggest competition because I thought they would probably take a guy and a girl but eventually things turned out otherwise and I went with him.

Arthur during the interview with The New Times at his office in Kisementi. 

When the show started, how was the mood in the house the first evening?

Of course there’s pressure and anxiety but Big Brother teaches you something. Before entering the house, there’s something called The Lockdown process. Every contestant is put in a house alone for a certain period of time with no access to media, TV or radio; basically you are in the house alone with just furniture and food.

It gets to a point where you really need to talk to someone and that’s why when housemates meet for the first time everyone is shouting because they really want to talk regardless of who they are talking to or what they are saying. That makes it easier for people to immediately start interacting and of course the introduction also helps since you get to know names, hobbies, and other things about house mates.

While in the house, what was going through your mind?

The first seven days, I was trying to study everyone in the house and understand them. A person like Tayo is straight forward and someone can be easily offended if they don’t understand him. The same goes for Samantha who nominated me because she wonders why Rwanda is in Big Brother. I had to understand people’s attitudes to be able to live with them. The other weeks, I was thinking of ways in which to show off my talents one at a time and I achieved that because all I wanted was a month and I got that, two months would have been a bonus and winning would be a blessing.

Does it feel creepy knowing that the world is watching your every move?

Yeah, it is creepy and weird. You know people are watching you while you dress up, shower; basically you lose your privacy. However, I never showered naked; I was always in my boxers although some people are usually completely naked.

Arthur was presented with a bouquet of flowers as the fans chanted his name. (File)

Tell us about relationships in the house?

Relationships are part of the strategy and that’s why Sheila from Botswana and Nhlanhla from South Africa hooked up on the first day. Sheila wants votes from South Africa and Nhlanhla wants votes from Botswana but the relationship I thought was real was between Idris from Tanzania and Goitse from Botswana although it didn’t work.

Weren’t you interested in any girls?

At first I was not interested in anyone, later I got close to Goitse but it wasn’t supposed to be a big deal. Besides Goitse is the jumpy type, so I wasn’t really interested in any of the girls.

What are some of your memorable experiences in the house?

The tasks, jacuzzi moments, rehearsals, exercise in the morning, night stories and hearing Big Brother’s voice. The whole experience of being in the house is quite memorable although some experiences were actually difficult.

Like which one, for example?

The time we spent four days without food. People were constantly cooking and forgot that food is supposed to last for certain duration of time. We survived on milk alone but a real life lesson had been learned.

Rwanda’s Hotshot Arthur waves at fans upon his arrival at Kigali international airport. (File)

You didn’t go into this thing for free. It’s about the money?

They help you in terms of DSTV activations, so you get something but not money per se. They also encourage contestants to use their popularity gained on the show once they get outside, imagine how much it would cost you to get famous on the African continent?

So, it wasn’t about the money?

Not at all! As I said, winning would have been a blessing but all I wanted was a platform to show my talent to Africa and now it is time to make my own money. I did an interview with a journalist from Swaziland and he was talking to me like we are friends, asking me about an incident in the house. People already know me, so it is time to put the popularity to good use.

Speaking of which, tell us about your incident with Tayo?

Tayo is the kind who studies someone’s strength and tries to break them from that point. The Namibian housemate Permithias is a talented singer and when I suggested to him to start selling his music in the United Kingdom, Tayo started attacking him from that angle. When he said that my jokes are stale, I knew he just wanted to break me and I also kind of snapped in the heat of the moment. People usually will do anything to get headlines.

Arthur (wearing a cap) during his time in the house. 

What are Frankie Joe’s chances in the house?

I think he has good chances because right now, East Africa has only him, Ellah from Uganda and Idris from Tanzania. If East African countries support each other then he has good chances. People should understand that even though one million people vote for you, it is still considered one vote. But if people in Uganda vote, then Rwanda, those are two votes which can even be enough to save him.
Secondly, he is very humble, gentle and patient, actually newspapers in South Africa referred to us as “gents” because of the way we conducted ourselves.

Do you think your participation in Big Brother will have an impact on your career?

I believe that it will have a big impact because I was heavily involved in the preparations of most of the skits we performed in the house. I would write the script, edit it, direct the skit and by doing that, I was showing my creativity to Africa.

The most challenging task that we had was creating fashion attires for the fashion week but it had to be related to Africa. So, I made a design inspired by “Nyakasti” (grass thatched house) because I believe that they are widely known in Africa. Showing my creativity to Africa will definitely open many doors for me.

What was your reaction when your name was announced on eviction night?

I kind of expected it so it didn’t come as a shock. If I had stayed, it would have been a good thing. I had packed my bags, given some clothes to female housemates who liked them. I’m grateful that I was on the show and I don’t regret anything.

Do you think there’s a secret to winning Big Brother?

There’s no secret towards winning Big Brother but guys have different strategies. However, when your strategy becomes monotonous, Africa gets bored and you might be evicted. That is why every week I had to bring something new to the show.

Who do you think are the strongest contenders on the show?

Frankie Joe is a strong housemate and that is mainly because of his character. Macky 2 is also a contender because he has a big fan base and idris. However, I think for Idris to survive it will depend on the girls in the house because that is his strategy. He spends more time with the girls than the guys.

Would you go back to the Big Brother house again if given chance?

Unless it’s Big Brother All Stars but I cannot go for another Big Brother show. I wouldn’t want to go and show the same things again but if it is All Stars, that’s a platform to show what I have achieved since leaving the previous show I was in. Even though I’m given another chance now to go back into house, I wouldn’t because I have achieved all I had set out to achieve.

Any girlfriend?

I’m working on it

What next?

Currently, I’m working on a project that will take me through the East African countries with Luis, the guy from Namibia. He is a TV presenter and we are going to create a reality show and sell it to Multi Choice. We want to have the show ready before the Big Brother show wraps up in December. We have planned everything and are ready to kick start the project. I will continue to do comedy, drama and remain the same guy that people knew before.