Tanzanian Big Brother Africa winner Idris Sultan ‘overjoyed’

Big Brother Africa winner in 2003 holding up a suitcase with the prize money


The winner of Big Brother Africa, Idris Sultan from Tanzania, has told the BBC he is overjoyed to have won the reality TV show staged in South Africa.  The 21-year-old photographer, named the winner on Sunday night, will take home a prize of $300,000 (£192,000). He beat 25 housemates to the money over nine weeks, gaining the nickname “Mr Lover Man” from fans because of his sexual behaviour in the house.

Big Brother Africa is one of the most popular reality shows on the continent.

Mr Sultan told the BBC: “It hasn’t settled in yet that I won. It’s a lot of money and I need to think really hard what I’m going to do with it.

“I know I want to give back to Africa though.”

Asked about his immediate plans, he said: “I just want to reconnect with my loved ones. I’m making plans to spend time with everyone. I’ve really missed them.”

‘Real me’

He said the hardest part of being on the show was knowing that he was the subject of so much attention. “Africa was watching me 24/7. I’ve never experienced anything like that,” he said. “There were a lot of perceptions of me in the house, a reputation for playing with women’s feelings, but I don’t think I would have made it as far as I did if that was true.

“Africa voted for me because they saw the real me and I am happy about that.” Under the show’s format, each week the housemates secretly chose two people to be put up for elimination and explained why they wanted them ejected.

Those with the most votes go forward to a vote by the audience, who have the final say in whether a housemate can stay or must leave. Nigerian contestants have dominated the previous eight series of Big Brother Africa. Many viewers posted on social networking sites to say they were pleased that a contestant from somewhere else had won on this occasion. The start of the series had been delayed by a fire, which destroyed the original Big Brother house at Sasani Studios in Johannesburg. No-one was injured but the show’s producers were forced to build an alternative set.

Mr Sultan, who originally comes from the city of Arusha in northern Tanzania, is expected to spend several more days in South Africa before returning home.