Uganda’s stub at Big Brother Star Game
By Nigel Nassar and Joseph Ssemutooke
You definitely know about Skizzy, that showbiz and lifestyle magazine show on Vision Group’s Urban TV, which airs weekdays between 10:00am and 1:00pm.
Well, Skizzy has this time around produced one of Uganda’s representatives in Season Seven of the famed M-Net Reality show Big Brother Africa: Star Game, which launched last night in South Africa.
Kyle Duncan Kushaba, 25, who hosts Skizzy alongside Sheila Mercedes Ssempebwa, is one of Uganda’s bets at bringing home the staked jackpot of sh750m, the other bet being Jannette Georgina Lutaaya, his friend and partner in the game.
The assortment of artillery Kyle comes with should make Uganda’s chances of winning a maiden Big Brother championship real.
The fact that he is a TV presenter means he is no stranger to the limelight. And he has shown on Skizzy that he is as free and lively on camera as anyone born for the screen, with good English to do him justice in communication.
Away from that, he is a fun-crazed character with a prodigious fondness for the entertainment world, so he won’t be boring to watch. He is also a recording artiste with the still-obscure-but-promising duo
Uptown, where his pal Remy Ratzy is partner — they are the guys behind hits like Facebook Lover and Nakuwaza. Expect to see the extroverted Kyle sing, dance and engage the house on all things showbiz and entertainment.
If one has enough doses of ‘swagg’, expect Kyle to be friends with them. Then there are the women.
“Man, I am a flirt, so expect me to do my thing. Expect a bit of kissing but no sex – my father is a man of God,” he says in an interview ahead of his flight to Johannesburg for the contest.
Now, the aggregate of all those makes Kyle a confident lad. If confidence is what wins this season, then Kyle will bring the dime. But then again it might be his undoing if contestants view that as a threat, especially since he can sometimes be argumentative, stubborn, rebellious, and disregard those he thinks don’t have ‘swagg’. So you have to keep voting to keep him in.
Born to Reverend Benon Gumisiriza Karuhinda, a globe-trotting clergyman and Juliet Tushemereirwe, a teacher, Kyle is third of six — two brothers and three sisters.
He studied at Kitante Primary and Kitunga Boarding Primary in Rwanda, his mom’s motherland. He joined Ntare School, from where he was expelled over booze, selling cigarettes kissing a girl through the school fence. He sat O’levels at Muntuyera High School, Ntungamo, before joining Kitante Hill School, where he dismissed from after a term over an altercation his Literature teacher, eventually finishing A’level at Mengo S.S. There, he was an entertainment Furniture prefect-dubbed ‘Girls’ Prefect’ for obvious reasons. Kyle has a Mass Communication degree from Makerere University.
He worked briefly with Record TV as a producer before joining Vision Group, where he started as a Features Writer before moving to Urban October last year.
And what’s his winning strategy in the house? have none, I will just free-style.”
By Nigel Nassar
She’s feisty, bright and all-out hyper. Actually, she borders on ‘crazy’, but in a good way. Which might be an undoing in a game where housemates hate those who stand out.
But then again, housemates don’t entirely decide who leaves; we the viewers do, for we have the vote. And we vote to keep the most entertaining.
If entertainment is what’s guaranteed to win Star Game, then 21-year-old Jannette Georgina Lutaaya just might bring home Biggie’s sh750m. Never mind that she’s almost little; she’s just as energetic as any other.
“See, size is not on my side, and no one ever seems to fight for me, so I fight for myself. If you annoy me, I don’t pretend — I give it to you live and in your face. I don’t know if that wins the money, but I will stay that throughout my time in the house,” says Jannette.
Not your typical known face, Jannette, a resident of Zana on Entebbe Road, will easily be placed by Makerere University Business School students and residents of Akamwesi Hostel in Nakawa, for she spends most of her time there. But she’s not a MUBS student.
The last born of four girls, she attended Namagunga Primary School, then Our Lady of Good Counsel in Gayaza from S1 to S3 before getting expelled for stubbornness.
She sat S4 at St. Maria Goretti, Katende, Masaka Road, from where she joined St. Lawrence Citizens High School, Horizon Campus for A’ Level.
“After my S5 in 2008, I got bored and quit. What I want to be I didn’t see myself getting in our school system. I love the spotlight, where I can sing, dance, name it, that’s the kind of schooling I intend to do later on,” she says.
Musician is what she wants to be. In fact, before leaving for Big Brother, Jannette would be found alone in a secluded place, trying to pen some songs. Her genre? Afro-pop with a twang of Bob Marley, and American pop with an upbeat tempo to it, the stuff that Lady Gaga, Madonna and Janet Jackson, her favourite, are made of.
Those who have watched Hot Steps, a local televised dance contest, will remember Jannette as the girl who placed fourth in 2010, walking away with sh1m.
“I so can’t wait to see her bring down the house during Biggie’s Saturday evening dance parties,” says her friend Grace Kiconco, who describes her as a “dancer through and through.”
As unpredictable as they come, Jannette didn’t even tell her parents about this whole Big Brother thing.
“My parents will be shocked, but not to death. See, they stopped getting utterly surprised by what I do; I don’t remember how often they were called to school to sign my last-warning letters,” says Jannette, whose only friend in primary school was a one Mrs Susan Serunkuuma, head of the music, dance and drama department, for she liked her performing talent – the rest looked at her as a wiseacre.
Daughter of Fred Lutaaya, a flight engineer/pilot, and Jane, a businesswoman, Jannette is in an on-again-off-again relationship. “Right now we are off – it depends on the weather,” she says cheekily, adding that she’s so aggressive, a thing guys don’t find attractive.
So is she going to treat us to a romance on TV? “I can’t tell, man, just watch me and see. There’s only one thing I won’t do though – sex. Away from my craziness, I am a self-respecting Catholic.”
And what crazy thing would she do before entering the house? “Umm, assaulting a police officer and getting a record – it sounds fun.” That’s who you are going to watch for three months. Just Keep tuned into DStv Channel 198 and Africa Magic Entertainment.
Plus, New Vision will keep you updated on the progress of the show daily.