Big Sister Salone was the nation’s first live 24-hour reality TV show that brought together 12 Sierra Leonean women in a house for a period of one month, each vying for an opportunity to stay in the house at the end of every week after a public vote. This show was the brainchild of the ex-Big Brother Housemate and international model Zainab Sheriff.
Zainab’s career straddles movie production and music as well as modeling which is her launching pad into stardom. She also provides mentorship for young girls in all spheres of entertainment and gives them a platform to excel. For her, Big Sister was a dream comes true. For Sierra Leoneans, for the first time in their entertainment history a reality show featuring compatriots was gracing their local screens.
This generated special interest and unprecedented popularity for the show. The women who entered the house as ordinary women gained some nurturing and became overnight celebrities and attracted votes from hundreds of thousands of Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad. Celebrities from Nollywood and across Africa took turns in endorsing the Housemates while people in Europe and America celebrated them.
The show was meant to bring out typically Sierra Leonean behavior patterns and provide an opportunity for Sierra Leoneans and outsiders to weigh in on them.
The theme Ella Koblo Gulama Drama was deliberately chosen to depict the virtue of an empowered Sierra Leonean woman like Madam Ella Koblo herself. As a Sierra Leonean Paramount Chief and Politician, she became the first woman to be elected in the House of Representatives (Parliament) in Sierra Leone and Sub-Saharan Africa. She was re-elected in 1962. Presenting a model worth emulating and giving young women the platform to be empowered like her is what Big Sister is all about. At the end of the show, it is expected that the housemates will have a platform to launch out into stardom and the winner is expected to reflect this status a little more.
While the first edition was an exclusively Sierra Leonean affair, Season 2 will include Sierra Leone and six other countries in the sub-region, viz Liberia, Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Gambia while maintaining the African traditional setting.
The theme for this edition is No Woman No Cry. A total of 25 women randomly selected from these countries will participate in the village. The show will last for one month, during which every week will see the crowning of a new Mammy Na Power.
The Mammy na Power of the week will sit in the throne, housed in a ‘court-barray’ like hut. She will be the leader of her colleagues for that week until a new Mammy na Power is crowned. Each weekend will witness the elimination of either 3 or 4 women until the fourth and final week where the winner will be determined from among six women.
The women will be presented with a topic every Monday morning, on an issue that is pertinent to women’s empowerment. They will discuss the topic throughout the week and do a presentation on it over the weekend. The presentation will be done in front of four judges who are experts in that subject. The judges will decide on the presentation as well as the fans, via voting. The women will also vote on the presentation to finally determine the New Mammy na Power. The Mami na Power will be the head of the village till the next weekend when a new leader would emerge. The Mammy na Power is immune to elimination.
The Big Sister will be in a separate room where the women will come and confide in her, in a Court Barray-like fashion. They will talk about the village, their feelings and expectations etc. Big Sister will always be there to discuss deeply with the women about their upcoming presentation and the subject of the week. The women will do the following:
- Perform fun tasks to entertain viewers.
- Engage in cooking competition.
- Do African cultural dances and songs.
- Wear African inspired cultural costumes.
- Receive Celebrities from across Africa who will take turns in entertaining the audience upon their visit to the village.
- Receive a female role model every week.
Every weekend at least three women will dramatically exit the empowerment house.
At the end of the Big Sister Show all 25 women will be empowered, while three of them will emerge as winners with enough capital to live successful lives filled with purpose.
The star price is USD 50,000. Before entering the village the women will be made to sign a one year contract with ZedZee Multimedia Consult to serve as brand ambassadors for the latter after the show. This is to ensure that they get proper management in their new status as celebrities.