She was never the likely winner for Season Eight of the AfricaMagic reality TV show, Big Brother Africa – The Chase. In fact, she didn’t even win a single head-of-house task, let alone outdo herself by throwing her weight behind house chores like many did. But 22-year-old Dillish Mathews, one of Namibia’s two representatives this season, pulled off an upset last Sunday, beating 27 contestants to the coveted jackpot of $300,000 (about sh773m), and becoming the third female to ever win Big Brother after Zambia’s Cherise Makubale and Nigeria’s Karen Igho. Out of 15 country votes, Dillish got five, Cleo four, Elikem three, Melvin two and Beverly, the fifth finalist, got one. So what ace did this psychology student, arguably the most beautiful this season, have up her sleeve? And what’s in her love life? NIGEL NASSAR interviewed her by phone after her win. Excerpts.
Hey Dillish, congratulations on bagging Biggie’s 300 grand. How does it feel?
Thanks, man. But hey, I honestly can’t believe I won. This is the greatest achievement in my life ever, and I am still trying to get used to it. Thanks to Uganda for being one of the five countries that voted me. I don’t even know why Uganda kept voting me each of the five times I was nominated.
I know why. It’s because you and our contestant Denzel sort of had a romance brewing, and we were ‘kinda’ counting on you to be our wife, so we kept voting. Plus, Denzel kept vouching for you on his radio and TV shows…
Oh, that’s so sweet of the entire country to love me so much. Denzel and I were close, and I am glad our closeness paid off in the end.
So will you marry him then?
Hahaha, you are weird. What Denzel and I had was just a friendship, nothing more. He and I are both goofy and weirdly funny people, so we ‘kinda’ connected. I actually can’t wait for him to give me an invite to Uganda so I come meet my fans. But get it right, I have a man, and it’s not Denzel.
After Denzel left, you and Nigeria’s Melvin got closer. How far did you go?
Why does everyone think Melvin and I had a thing going? Look, Melvin and my country-mate Maria, who happens to be my best friend, were attracted to each other. So by default, we just had to connect, especially after Maria left because Melvin needed a friend. I needed a friend too after Denzel’s departure.
How did it feel when your boyfriend Steven showed up on stage to congratulate you?
I didn’t even know Big Brother had invited him, so it was a pleasant surprise for me.
Now that you are loaded, are you going to propose to him?
Hey, Steven is more loaded than I am, so he should propose.
What if he had proposed during the live show, would you have said yes?
Man, I actually feared he would propose, especially when he pulled out from his back the tiara he crowned me with. I thought it was a ring and had freaked out. I would have said yes, but hey, it wouldn’t have been right. After Big Brother, you are not in the right state of mind, so someone can’t be proposing. Having been away for 91 days, I would need time to settle in, no what’s been going on outside, etc. So thank God he didn’t propose.
So, are you guys getting married soon?
We are going to take things one step at a time. See, we are both young; I am 22, he’s 28, so rushing things might not be a good thing. But let’s see what happens. But I do hope we get married.
So what are you going to use your money for?
A lot. See, I am the first born in a family of five children, and things haven’t been rosy for us. When my parents divorced, my siblings and I didn’t get a chance to live together anymore, as the resources couldn’t allow it. Our mum went her way, while we were divided across different relatives’ homes. With this money, I am going to build a house for us and our mother to stay as a family.
Your country-mate and best friend Maria filled out your entry forms. Aren’t you going to give her some money?
I will definitely give her some. Before going to the house, we agreed to share a certain fraction of it in case either won. And I will come good on that, although I can’t disclose the fraction. However, it’s a good amount, it can at least buy a car and a few other things.
Did you ever see yourself winning?
Not at all. I was actually the underdog from the beginning. But when I survived eviction all the five times I was nominated, a bit of me started giving it a thought.
What went through your mind when show host IK Osakioduwa evicted everyone else and left just you and Zambia’s Cleo?
Excitement. At that point, Cleo and I were proud of each other, especially since it was going to be a female winning this time. It didn’t matter who. I got prouder of myself when I nailed it, especially since I was the very first for my country.
But all you did in there was look pretty and dodge all the housework. Actually, housemates complained you didn’t like cooking. So why do you think Africa voted for you?
Well, there were always many cooks in the kitchen, so why increase the traffic? But that is not to say I really enjoy cooking. So I stayed real and didn’t pretend about it. Maybe the looking pretty bit worked for my fans.