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Zambia's Cherise Makubale wins first 'Big Brother Africa'

By Wade Paulsen, 09/08/2003 

In the first edition of Big Brother Africa, the winner turned out to be pre-show popularity poll leader Cherise Makubale from Zambia. In popular voting, which was conducted as "one vote per country," Cherise received six of the 13 votes and was the only finalist to win more than two.

Each of the finalists won his or her home country, illustrating the nationalistic fervor that the show triggered throughout Africa. Cherise also won in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Namibia (whose houseguest Stefan placed sixth). The next three finalists each received two votes. Runner-up Mwisho Mwampamba won his native Tanzania and Malawi. In third, Zimbabwe's Tapuwa also won Angola. Botswana's Warona finished fourth, also winning the "foreign" vote (the votes from countries that did not have a houseguest among the original 12). Finally, winning only his native Uganda, Gaetano finished fifth -- and was reunited upon exiting the house with South Africa's Abby, his on-air lover who placed eighth.

According to the BBC and the Lugasa Post, Zambia's vice president hailed Cherise as a "role model" displaying a "high level of morality," as crowds mobbed the main streets in Zambia's capital Lugasa to celebrate. This, despite the fact that a group of Zambian churches had petitioned the government to cancel the show, one of the many African religious and political groups offended by BBA's "low morals."

Richard Hatch, eat your heart out.

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