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'Big Brother' sisters doing it for themselves

SISTER SISTER: Hannah and Deborah Agboola

IT’S DIFFICULT not to be swept up in the positive vibe exuded by the Agboola sisters when they visit The Voice newspaper offices to talk all things Big Brother.

True, the Channel Five show is not as popular as it once was, but if you’ve managed to catch this year’s offering there’s no way you couldn’t have seen Deborah and Hannah.

The east Londoners were an integral part of the fly on the wall reality show, bringing that black girl magic in bucket loads as well as being at the centre of the most controversial moments.

They didn’t win – that was the preserve of Isabelle Warburton who stole the hearts of the British public – but the sisters did finish third and sixth, flying in the face of all the naysayers who believed their expressive demeanour in the house was a turn-off.

Talking to The Voice about presenting themselves in a positive manner while in the house – as well as educating some of the other residents about their own habits – Deborah said there were some challenging moments.

“The aim was to make sure that we were not labelled in that house – I am Deborah and she is Hannah,” she said.

“When we came into the house, there was a bit of a dispute when we moved our hands and raised our voice.

“The automatic reaction was, ‘Oh, you’re moving a bit aggressively’, and we had to shut it down quickly because we didn’t come in there to label anyone in the house. So when they start using the word aggressive and labelling me, people are now seeing an aggressive black girl, and that’s not what we came to do.

“We may have used our hands, but we are passionate – we are African. In my house, if you talk too quietly, you will be asked to increase your volume.”

When one incident the sisters were involved in ended with security running into the house, Hannah said while it took everything not to lash out at some members of the house, she says she would never have put hands on anyone as that would have signalled she had lost control.

“Mumma didn’t raise no fool,” she said. She added:

“Between me and my sister, we don’t fear anybody – except our mother. So when security came in it was more of a case of, ‘Okay, they have come to intervene’, but one thing me and my sister would never do is put our hands on people.

“If it doesn’t ever hinder my growth, my family or my finances, to be honest I would never put my hands on you, because you don’t know what others could do.”

Both sisters congratulated the winner of this year’s show, with Deborah describing Isabella as a “deserved winner who came with a goal to inspire people”.

However, they believe despite the fact they don’t officially wear the crown, they won irrespective of the result.

“We’re proud because we never expected to make it that far,” said Hannah. She added:

“That means we we’re able to show people what we were able to do.

“We actually came on this platform to make people aware of people like us, if you haven’t seen people from east London like us. It was more about inspiring people, and we did that.”

Deborah added:

“We won because we went in there with the stigma and perception about how black girls can be, and we defied that. Yes, we come from an area that’s a bit rough, and we are a product of our society, but we won, and they didn’t expect us to get that far.”

Hailing from Stratford, a stone’s throw from London Stadium, Deborah and Hannah attended school in Forest Gate. Both extremely ambitious, Hannah is no stranger to the limelight having won Miss Nigeria UK, while Deborah is a human resources university graduate and a mother-of-one.

Looking forward, the pair have hopes of using their newly established platforms to shine a light on issues close to their hearts.

“We laid a foundation that lets people know that anything you want to do, you can do,” Hannah said.

“I’m very active on social media, so I want to inspire those who watched me help to motivate them with whatever they want to achieve.

“Eventually, we want to do a youth show or youth club to bring the community together. In the future, I want to be an actress, and hopefully you will see me on Hollyoaks or EastEnders.”

Deborah added:

“I’m all for the mums because there is a challenge for mums, especially single mums. They don’t have as many opportunities as people might claim there is. So I’d like to help training and supporting them, creating programmes that will allow them to go back into working life.”

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