Big Brother Africa Criticized By Women’s Rights Activists – Women’s rights activists have strongly condemned producers of Africa’s version of Big Brother because they did not evict a housemate who punched a female contestant on live television.
Hannington Kuteesa punched Lerato Sengadi after a row inside the Big Brother house in Johannesburg on Tuesday. However, according to M-Net spokesman, they had also received complaints about Sengadi for insulting Kuteesa during a discussion about malaria before the incident.
Angry viewers have continued to flood the show’s website with messages condemning Kuteesa.
Sengadi’s family is planning a protest to demand his removal from the show. According to women’s activists, the show’s actions may perpetuate the belief that African men have the right to hit women.
According to Lebo Marishane from Women’s Net, the punishment for Kuteesa was not enough. Television is a powerful medium which reaches to millions of people. Keeping Kuteesa on the show perpetuates the dangerous stereotype that men can abuse women and not be punished. Many women in Africa and South Africa do not report abuse because parts of society still believe that women who get abused somehow asked for it. This belief is really sad to accept.
The show Big Brother Africa is broadcast across the continent on satellite TV and some terrestrial channels, and is one of the continent’s most popular reality TV programs.