Monday, September 02, 2013

The Chase In Cleo's Own Words

Zambia’s Big Brother Africa (BBA) 2013 first runner-up Clementina Mulenga a.k.a Cleo in the BBA house says she needs time to think things over concerning her future with boyfriend Zimbabwe’s Hakeem. Below is an exclusive verbatim question and answer interview she granted the Sunday Mail’s NOMSA NKANA, courtesy of MultiChoice Zambia, the local BBA partners.

What did it feel like getting a call to go into the Big Brother House?

It felt great; obviously I was excited to meet the house-mates and talking to biggie himself. I was grateful to God.

Were you expecting to be selected?

Well, I would say I’m always expectant of good things. Each time I was auditioned I was expectant, even this time I was expecting it and lucky me, I got it. So yeah, I was expecting to be in there. I said to myself, come rain come sunshine, it’s me who is going into the house this year.

When you went into the house, who are some of the first people you got to befriend?

Some of the first people I got to be friends with were Koketso from South Africa, O’Neal from Botswana, LK4 from Uganda, ummm Hakeem from Zimbabwe, obviously(she pauses and laughs heartily). In the first few weeks I think that was just about it but as time went on I got close to a lot of people Selly, Bassey, obviously Sulu, Dillish and I got very close, Melvin, Elikem, Angelo oh my God.

Who really was the first person that struck you as someone you could be close to in the house, since the rest got to be your buddies down the line?

I would say the first person was Selly, that was in the Ruby house and in the Diamond house it was Bimp. I think this season, we were all very close; none of it was fake and that’s what made the game very difficult to nominate each other. So we’ll definitely maintain our relationships.

There was a lot of sex going on in the house did you participate in it?

No! I didn’t.  I actually only discovered certain things after I came out of the house. I was there for a full ninety one days so we all discovered everything so late as to who got with who. All I knew was about Betty and Bolt. I just heard about it. Other than that, there were rumours flying around about Selly and Nando but Selly was my friend so I asked her and she told me a categorical No. I got her story and believed it despite what people said until I came out of the house when many things came to light for me as well.

I don’t know who else got involved; I haven’t been digging around so I don’t know what’s true and what’s not.

There were some real relationships but there were also some who were just there, I don’t know if for the game or strategy but there were some real relationships.

Did you have a boyfriend before coming into the house?

No I was single before I got into the house.

Tell us about your relationship with Hakeem. Is it real? Many relationships in the house eventually fizzle out.

I think what causes that is that, it’s a very controlled and artificial environment. The only real thing in that place is yourself, your feelings and the next people. Everything else is unreal. It’s just a house, even the mirrors are not really mirrors, and it’s insane. We are closed off in one place and we are forced to get to know each other and it’s a long time. It’s human nature so it will happen that people will get close, it’s your reality at that time, you can’t escape your feelings, it’s a reality human nature.

I had no strategy when I went into the house; I was that girl who said no guys until the end. You can plan but you can only plan so much. When it happened for me, it just happened. My feelings for Hakeem were very genuine and the time that he left I was much crushed. Also it was the type of thing where I was questioning myself ‘am I doing the right thing?, will my country be happy if I get into something like this, if people don’t like this whole relationship business then I don’t want to be a part of it,?’But I couldn’t hide from my emotions as well so I thought I’m better off being true to myself and its better for people to love me for who I am than love me for being a fake person. So when he left I was obviously devastated and crushed but the game had to go on because if I kept it low, people would have said ‘looks like she would rather follow her boyfriend’.

So I had to keep strong, I had to focus my energy on the game and when I came out of the house I was thinking this is the only world I know what’s going on? I’m being watched but am not watching anyone so you cocoon yourself and you become close to each other that’s how the top five Beverley, Melvin Dillish, Elikem and myself became close.

To myself, I was thinking what’s going on with Hakeem is he okay, has he been good or has he been bad? If he’s been bad I will be hurt, and I was not clear if he was  loving someone else out there or not, I was going crazy in that house. Even when I came out on stage I told myself, let me play it cool. I was hopeful that we could start afresh because the love was discovered in the house and outside the house its more than love that we would need to survive in the relationship since we had  already established that we love each other so what next after that?

This is the real world and we have to be realistic so at the moment; I’ll ask for time before I make a decision about my future with Hakeem coz when I came out here I found the HaCleo team and honestly I didn’t expect any of this.

I would need time because we are not going to behave as if we didn’t see what he did just before I came out of the house which is for me an unacceptable but am being lenient about the whole issue because it’s not just about me and him but also about HaCleo Nation and everybody else.

So I’ll just ask for time to think about what I want and how I feel about the situation. For me it was like two crushes, me not getting the money and coming out and finding all these underlying issues. So I thought let me experience something happy, seeing my daughter the reception back here made me joyful.

From there I’m hoping everybody will understand I need the time (she clears her throat) to think about my love life. Even if I had to make decision, I wouldn’t want to have cheer leaders for the rest of my life. At the moment, I can’t say much about my future with Hakeem.

What would you have done with the money had you won it?

The idea was to chill a little bit before rushing into any decision. I did want to buy a house but also invest the money so that it can grow. I also would have taken care of immediate needs for my family and invest back. That was my main aim after that I didn’t know what I was going to do. I was going to give back 20 percent but what next?

What investment did you have in mind?

To buy houses both in South Africa and here of course. The rest was going to go into my music.  I would want to have my own studio. I’ve had a management team before I went into the house and even if we didn’t win the grand prize we will continue were we left if anything, we now have a huge fan base.

What were you feeling on the final day when you remained with Dillish awaiting announcement of the winner?

It was a moment of happiness and nervousness. The feeling was great, two females, all the guys are out it says a lot about the Chase, two women at the top me and Dillish can you imagine that? It’s so crazy. The feeling was great but the sadness was there after my name was called to leave but it was a split second of sadness and then I began to think forward. I’m happy for Dillish she was a good friend of mine, she was like a young sister.

via Zambia Daily Mail


  1. Congrats Cleo u tried babygal,love u lots! Please get a man and forget Hakeen all know he was busy with Huddah at Babylon...

  2. Is that correct?Cleo you are inteligent . Naija-Clor-POCOBIA

  3. I wished she won instead of dillish no hard feelings tho!

  4. Good luck with every thing Cleo stay + in all.

  5. Cleo, you did great. You are strong- before the end of this year I pray you find a man who will love you and your daughter and who is gentle, hardworking and intelligent. FORGET HAKEEM!!!

  6. Honestly Cleo, used 2 lyk Hakeem bt nw, I don't when I heard dat he was involved wit Huddah. Feel lyk slappin him cos he's wicked. Hw cud he bhave lyk dat? I dnt even want 2 imagine wat transpired btw them. Wish u well girl. Take good care of urself nd don't tink much.

  7. I would have loved to see with a man like oneal he seems like hard working guy but am sure u get a nice man.plz for ur own gud forget crykeem.luv u

  8. love you Cleo, but plzz try n forgive wat ever Hakeem must have done. you guys make a good couple....

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