Last week, I wrote about the triangle between Laycon, Kiddway and Erica in the ongoing Big Brother Naija season. A few friends have utterly condemned the show and feel some of us ought not to give it any attention. Apart from religious people, I am quite surprised that a number of people believe that the show is a waste of time and doesn’t add anything to the growth of the Nigerian youth who we all know watch the show religiously.
In fact, a few years ago; someone I sort of regarded with respect wrote something incredibly condescending about the Big Brother Naija show. It was scathing and damning and encouraged everyone not to watch it; as it was contributing to the moral decay of the fabric of our society.
Recently, Reno Omokri also decried it, saying that most countries (including where the show originated from) had scrapped it.
He made some points.
- The Big Brother Naija show was not creating jobs.
- Nigerian people were being exploited because the show reaps huge profits by making people to vote. (Haha, no one is being coerced. People do it willingly).
- The show produces nothing.
- No tangible physical value is being created.
- There is no ‘treasure’ in the venture, only pleasure. (How creative! He even did the motivational speak rhyme there).
- The Big Brother Naija show promotes sex.
He did his math and claimed that to put the show together cost 2.5 billion naira. Further, he stated that 1,000 youths should have been empowered with 2.5 million naira each as seed capital; with which to start a business.
He cited other reality shows like The Apprentice and Deal or no Deal and Dragon’s Den; as shows that would build up youths mentally and inspire them to be entrepreneurial.
To be honest, I tried to read his argument with an open mind. Because, he aptly described the economic problems this nation is facing and rightly brought to note youth apathy to the state of the nation. This apathy is what makes the youth cold on real issues and take to social media with hashtags; fighting for their preferred housemates. Also, you have to admit, the housemates do not hide their sexuality/sensuality. They kiss and make out. Sometimes, it even looks like they are actually having sex under the sheets. So yes, sex is a major theme that drives the Big Brother Naija show.
Is Reno right? Should this show be banned?
Is this show encouraging young people to be frivolous and seek fame at all costs? Is it making the youths more predisposed to experimenting sexually? Does no one apart from the investors benefit from the show?
Reading the article Reno wrote, I can say it sounded like he was saying the right thing.
But standing back and examining the whole debacle by myself; I can see that it was a mixed trail of information and misinformation with a lot of conjecture. He deliberately omitted whatever merit the show may have to discredit the show. This is what they call giving a dog a bad name to hang it.
What good comes out of Big Brother Naija?
First off, it is a TV show. It takes a lot of people to get this show off the ground and running. I can’t even imagine the number of vendors such a show needs. So, you have tons of people that earn an income from this show. Scrapping the show will not guarantee that someone will come out of the woodworks to provide seed money for investment in untested entrepreneurs. Investors are about making money. Not funding sentiments. Scrapping the show will for sure snatch income from a lot of people.
We are Nigerians. We do not get handouts or favors. Jobs are hard to come by.
MultiChoice, the company behind the Big Brother Naija Show, pays billions of taxes to the coffers of our government. They employ tons of Nigerians. They have given Nigerians a huge platform for Nigerians to showcase their creativity, precisely on their AfricaMagic channels. I personally was on the writing crew of a TV Series currently airing called “Halita”. I can tell you first hand that they spend a lot of money for the content they air. -I am speaking about Nigerian producers, Nigerian directors, Nigerian actors, Nigerian cameramen, Nigerian story developers… etc. etc.
This company is on ground in Nigeria, making money and also giving to the society. It is a business that must make money. When it makes money, Nigerians make money.
People talk about funding mathematical competitions and other cerebral shows to add value. But the same people will ignore these shows when they air. A show is all about viewership and so ratings are important. People are interested in BBNaija and they are watching. What investor will continue to dump money on a show that people are not watching for the sake of looking morally upright? Money doesn’t work that way.
The former contestants of the show have found the show as a stepping board to building their lives and being successful. Some have had TV careers and acting careers that started because they were on the show. Granted, not all have been able to do this. However, that would be more of an individual failing or a lack of imagination on their parts.
You sight examples of a few Nigerians that have had entrepreneurial success as why youths should jump into the same boat. But you forget that loads of youths are out there doing nothing. So if a few are taken out of the space, it isn’t a bad thing.
A program like YouWin is what will take care of providing grounds for brilliant minds with a plan. A friend benefited and did quite well. I think it has been scrapped. It is not the work of investors to build the minds of the youth. Shocking right? But it’s the truth.
I also know that MultiChoice is not a charity organization in as much as it adheres to mandated corporate responsibility in the community.
What Reno speaks about is truly a government failing. A government that cannot create jobs. A government that has left Nigerian youths feeling hopeless and fatigued from the number of things that need protesting. They are fallow ground for light entertainment. A distraction from how awful this country can be and how badly they want to go to Canada.
Nigeria created this. Big Brother Naija did not do this.
Morally, it is laughable when people bristle that youths are being sexual. Did you not all go to universities and polytechnics? Did all of you marry as virgins? All of us did the math and realized most of our first-borns were conceived out of wedlock.
Sex always has been and always will be. Being comfortable because it is hidden is hypocrisy. Our youths are probably even more sexual that we were. Just type XVIDEOS and see everything that is possible for human beings to do to each other…At a swipe or a tap by a finger, every youth has access to this.
Addressing the over-sexualization of youths is not a scrap Big Brother Naija conversation. If anything, BBNaija, offers you a toned-down version of what youths are doing already.
Censor the show from young kids. Or do not subscribe at all. Let us not get ahead of ourselves by leaving the actual problems of the country to major on minors.
Lastly, I really wish MultiChoice paid me to write this…