18 September 2003 | Robin Parker
A Zambian purchaser is weighing up her career options after winning the African version of the Big Brother TV show.
Cherise Makubale beat 11 contestants from across the continent to scoop the $100,000 (£63,000) prize after 106 days couped up in a house in South Africa.
Makubale was juggling a CIPS diploma with a full-time post as purchasing officer at Sonny-Zick, a supplier to the mining industry in her home town of Kitwe, when she entered the competition.
Dubbed "the African Queen" by the local media, she will field several TV and other media offers when she heads home to finish her qualification.
She told SM: "My boss was my biggest fan - when I went in to the house, she said that whether I won or not, the job was always there, which really encouraged me.
"We had to work together in the house to pass tasks, and when I get back to work I'm sure I will use to my advantage some of what I've learned about myself and the way I work with people."
Makubale said the toughest challenge was an all-night "boot camp" in which she had to endure tasks including 1,000 press-ups and sit-ups in exchange for rations of food.
She added that she was proud to represent her country - which has now made her a goodwill ambassador - especially when she walked out of the house last week.
"The best part of the whole experience was meeting Nelson Mandela, who's a hero of mine, on the closing night. He congratulated me on my win and was so supportive."