“I MADE the choice to be good in the Big Brother house. I did not care whether being good was going to be boring or not.”
That was one of the first comments Martha Namundjebo popularly known by her stage name Lady May made on her experience in the Big Brother Africa (BBA) house at a packed news conference in Windhoek on Wednesday.
Lady May who jetted into the country on Tuesday to a hero’s welcome was Namibia’s celebrity housemate in the BBA StarGame show.
Although she did not win the grand prize, Lady May made the nation proud by being the third runner up to Prezzo from Kenya and South Africa’s Keagan Petersen who won the grand prize of US$300,000 (N$2.4 million) in Sunday’s grand finale.
Although she did not win the grand prize, Lady May feels she is a winner because she survived the full 91 days in the house despite being nominated for possible eviction almost every week.
Being in the top three was consolation enough for her and she said she was happy for the eventual winner Keagan, whom she considers a brother.
Before she went into the Big Brother house three months ago, Lady May was perceived by many Namibians as a “bad girl”.
This followed an incident where she shouted obscenities at the audience when she received her award at the Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) beamed live on national television last year.
The Lady May viewers were able to see on the reality show however a totally different side to the songstress.
Many people thought that her demeanour in the BBA house was only a façade because of her stage presence but the 25-year-old begs to differ.
“I was being myself in the house. The Lady May you saw is the Lady May I am at home with my friends and family,” she insists, adding that she is an actress on stage and she leaves her crazy persona on stage after a performance.
On whether she really works out in high heels in her normal life, Lady May says to her dancing is like working out and that’s why it easy for her to exercise in high heels because it is also part of her daily routine at home.
She now feels that she has no need to keep explaining how she is because people now know who she really is because they grew to know her over the 91 days her life was in the public domain in the house.
Commenting on the four housemates who were disqualified for fighting in the house, Lady May says the best thing anyone can do in the house was not to retaliate to provocation.
She says there is plenty of covert provocation that the viewers at home cannot see but anyone wanting to go into the house should always be calm and level headed.
Lady May feels that all the tasks they were assigned to do in the house were a good learning experience as she learnt that she was capable of doing many things she was not aware of like acting and playing soccer but one task in particular stood out for her.
The OneLove campaign has inspired her to want to do more not only for Namibia but also for the rest of the world.
OneLove is a campaign that was started in October 2008 to encourage people to talk about their sexual behaviour in this time of HIV and AIDS.
Lady May also believes that her experience in the house strengthened her as a performer and above all as an individual.
“I am more tolerant now…I have learnt to accept people as they are,” she says.
Prior to entering the house, she says she was very reserved and preferred being on her own, something that has now changed.
She says the thing she will miss the most in the house is the diary sessions she had with Big Brother.
“Biggy is very funny. He became one of my closest friends…I did not want to get any emotional connections in the house because I would have been very hurt if they betrayed me,” she explains.
Backstabbing and betrayals were very common in the house because people went to all lengths to ensure they won the grand prize.
Lady May adds that she would go back to the BBA house if given a second chance but her only problem is that they were not allowed to write anything in the house.
“A lot of ideas were coming into my head but I couldn’t write them. Rokki and I once tried to write something using charcoal but the song disappeared,” she says with a chuckle.
Nonetheless she still loved being in the house because it was one of her ambitions to go through the experience. She tried entering the competition twice before but unsuccessfully.
Jessica and Junia the two other Namibian housemates, among others in the house seem to have found love or temporary companionship in the house.
Many people questioned why Lady May did not. Reluctant to talk about her love life, Lady May gives one parting comment.
“The Big Brother house is not the right place to find love. Everyone in the house is there to win the money, they are just playing games. If you really like me, meet me outside the house,” she ends with a giggle.