“I logged unto Instagram on a Sabbath Day to connect with an old friend only to see Nigerians on the social network in raptures over a video clip of a shambolic ‘Truth or Dare’ game that prompted one (now evicted) Big Brother Naija housemate, Coco Ice to offer her nipple live on television for sucking by her male counterpart while the other housemates applauded as she exhibited a dance of shame in excitement.
The ferocious sucking by the male housemate showed the possibility of him being weaned ahead of time by his mother during his suckling days as a toddler.
Then I asked myself some rhetorical questions; how did we get here as Nigerians? Is this lascivicious act part of our culture, values, heritage or historical background? Keeping quiet out of diplomacy is a disservice to the society.
For posterity sake, let it be on record that I, Osayimwen Osahon George used my medium as a writer to re-orientate and re-direct Nigerians whose identities and sanity of minds have been threatened covertly by the capitalist innovations of the men that be”.
When the Big Brother Africa reality game show debuted on the television screens under the platform of M-Net and Africa Magic Entertainment on the 25th of May, 2003; the imported Eurocentric initiative was re-branded to suit local realities by ambitious capitalists who were only interested in their private interests and not societal development.
The idea of bringing 12 African contestants of different nationalities under one roof was premised on the need to promote the African culture and heritage as well as encourage peaceful coexistence amongst the participants of different backgrounds and orientations who were watched by millions of people from 42 countries all over Africa. It was staged as an avenue for different individuals to showcase their unique skills and talents to the outside world.
The prize of some thousands of dollars was attractive enough to secure several applicants for the T.V show which was given rapt attention by the general public. But the paramount question is this; how well has this intercontinental programme promoted ‘Africanism’?
The Big Brother Africa reality show has posed to be of the ills of globalization with ideals that don’t conform with the African life introduced to the people. This is similar to the apparent celebration of nudity by women folks under the guise of modern day fashion trends leaving their boobs, bum, hips, tummies and other sensitive body parts bared publicly just to make bold statements at social gatherings and work places.
For holistic effect, it should be noted that it was imperative to analyse the BBA first before touching the Big Brother Nigeria which is an offshoot of the former. One of the initial failings of the BBA was the outrageous amount of money charged on text messages from the audience that horizontally strolled at the base of the TV screen and also for voting. This happened in tandem with the pornographic Shower Hour.
There was a viral tentative 2013 report that the BBA raked up to N7 billion approximately from ‘The Chase’ edition after investing N375 million. Massive turnover was raked from SMS charges courtesy of emotional fans.
Initially, a single SMS to the show cost an inexplicable sum of N100 as against the normal cheaper rates as at then. The programme enjoyed tons of text messages from millions of viewers who wanted to support their country representatives.
The anticipated Shower Hour captured the private moments of contestants in the bathroom. BBA through a VIP section created an online platform that was highly monetized to showcase the bathroom moments of housemates for public pleasure.
There were disturbing reports of under-aged children sneaking out of bed to enjoy the sight of the nakedness of the adult participants. In fact, some of the participants bared it all to win the hearts of viewers and bathing was seductively done like a strip show. The cumulative effect of this was an increase in sexual relationships among kids, addiction to porn, masturbation, sexual abuses, incessant erections and wet dreams as well as high patronage of brothels among minors.
Since the nature of in-house discussions for the period of three months was unregulated, participants refrained from all educative and constructive issues to focus on common societal vices like sex, smoking, betrayal and semi-nudity etc. BBA purposely made the romantic scenes the highlights of the day to boost the curiosity of viewers and sustain their viewership.
After 10 years of dormancy, the Big Brother Nigeria which organised its maiden indigenous TV show in 2006 returned in 2017 leveraging on the progress of the BBA according to Managing Director of MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe and the show was tagged ‘Big Brother Naija’.
It adopted the modalities of the BBA excluding the Shower Hour. The winner of the 11-week contest of 78 days will be given N25 million cash prize and a brand new Kia Sorento SUV car. The show sponsored by e-commerce company – Payporte started off on the wrong foot by de-marketing Nigeria on the continental business scene.
The organizers flagrantly moved their base to South Africa as they produced majorly for a Nigerian audience on the heels of a recessive local economy where the Federal Government is working laboriously to restore the confidence of investors in the corruption-ridden and infrastructural facilities-starved country.
High production, meeting timelines and usage of a fully equipped house were asserted as reasons for such an image-tarnishing move according to one Caroline Oghuma who issued a public statement for MultiChoice after the Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture – Lai Mohammed ordered a probe of the action.
Whatever the smoke-screen reason given for public consumption, the cryptic message was clear that Nigeria in this 21st century and almost 57th year of existence amidst abundance of human and material resources lacks the adequate infrastructural facilities to produce a common 24-hour TV show not to talk of enabling business growth.
Since the night of the 22nd of January, 2017 when the Big Brother Nigeria kicked off amidst hysteria from a large section of Nigerian youths, the seeming ‘adult show’ has taken the place of ‘soft porn’ in the hearts of people.
The level of moral decadence flaunted by participants in the course of tasks and organised games has proven to be unrepresentative of the fundamental principles of the BBA itself. In fact, the spate of immorality has been assumed to be a subtle and viable replacement of the infamous Shower Hour for the purpose of gaining popularity amongst Nigerians and other Africans since sex sells the entertainment industry nowadays.
One might be forced to ask if this was the brightest idea of ways MultiChoice Nigeria intended to “enhance the quality and variety of content available on its platform” as quoted from the Vanguard Newspaper. Is this the way the leadership of MultiChoice intends to unearth Nigerian talents like he they did with On-Air-Personality Ebuka Obi-Uchendu? Are they recruiting for the developing soft porn industry in Nigeria which a former Nollywood actress, Afrocandy and Maheeda have tried building in futility.
The ‘Truth or Dare’ game played by housemates has ended up being horrendous. The kissing, smooching, humping, fingering, sucking and other vulgar scenes have become so provocative, uninspiring and loathsome to matured minds.
In this age of unrestricted blogging and social media resurgence, the questionable incidents on Big Brother Naija are currently flooding popular sites to serve as click baits to drive traffic.
They are being sponsored by sites and put in the face of innocent and uninterested people using social media platforms religiously.
Big Brother Naija has in its own way dignified promiscuity and distrust in the society owing to the way housemates romantically shuttle among themselves without caution or iota of mortification. Yes, it’s a game, it might seem like a painless game to viewers but it puts the state of the mind at risk and that’s the easiest way to destroy a human being.
The house schedule is very simple and easily predictable. If Gifty isn’t flirting with Bally, she is with Kemen or probably flirting with both simultaneously. The next one could be Bisola narrating an erotic experience with her breasts used in demonstrating while a card game is being played at the background by other housemates. Debbie Rise might be on the next scene showing us the flexibility of her waist in a seductive dance around obviously horny young men. She could even join Gifty in twerking. Bisola and Kemen could be engaged in a kissing contest or Igwe Efe could be made her partner for presumed rotational effect.
The following highlight could be the same Bisola in another sensational French-kissing contest or she sucking the finger of Bassey to illustrate her oral sex prowess. Uriel’s boobs could make the next scene as they are carelessly cupped in her hands during a heated argument. What about the lonely nights when Gifty shamelessly switched from the beds of the evicted Soma to that of Bally? What struck your minds when Bally did a brief dance performance for Bisola in the pool with both parties scantily clad? The Unnecessary cuddling scenes of Tboss and Miyonse before his eviction cannot be left out of the picture of flagrant immorality.
What about the infamous Bally and Coco Ice kissing contest? Soma sucking Gifty’s nipples for 10 seconds, Bisola’s recent intense romance with Thin Tall during which they kissed and closely caressed each other not to talk of her tongue-licking act performed on him. Coco Ice even dared Debbie to strip naked which Coco did to lighten up the mood of the house. The transmission and enforcement of corrupt ideas goes on and on unrestrained.
It will stun my readers that the lose Gifty who hails from Anambra State – South-eastern part of Nigeria is happily married to a Nollywood movie director, David Sorochukwu Akumah but the light-skinned lady has openly dishonoured her marital union in her quest for the BB Naija prize.
Without being economical with the truth, there is nothing educative about the show except if the aims and objectives have been redefined to suit the current pornographic taste.
N25 million is a whole lot of fortune to be made shortly by one person alongside the beneficial fame and other perks associated with the reality show but we shouldn’t enslave ourselves because of the size of the funds. We should be more concerned about protecting the innocent and fragile minds of the young and also preparing them to grab the mantle of leadership tomorrow.
What does a child stand to learn from a Miyonse who abandoned his serious relationship to strike an illicit romance with another lady in the house – Tboss? He spent silent nights attempting to invade her ‘honeypot’ under the dark only to return to kissing his lover on his exit which was facilitated by his romance partner. Everybody purposely lives under the illusion that it is all a game not minding the fact that impressions of betrayal and promiscuity are being made in the hearts of people.
The human mind is a blank slate, and the society imprints on it according to the legendary English philosopher and physician, John Locke using the Blank Slate theory as a framework of analysis.
He posited validly that human minds start off empty, as blank slates, and are filled in by personal experiences. According to Locke, thoughts begin by absorbing sensation and become more complex through reflection on what is sensed.
It burns my heart that multinational brands like Legend Extra Stout and others that have failed in their social responsibilities towards Nigerian citizens are queuing behind the evicted housemates to lobby them with possible endorsements due to the media focus on them.
This is the kind of support that makes the Christian folks beg and pray for the change of the scheduled Armageddon to an earlier date to avoid colossal losses among the few souls won for Jesus Christ.
If indeed these companies endorsing the acts want to give back to the society, they could always sponsor educative competitions like the Cowbell Mathematics competition for Secondary School students, the Peak Milk Essay Competition and others to encourage formal education and discover the diamonds in the dirt. The African Independent Television, AIT constantly showcases unfortunate Nigerians with life-threatening ailments needing funds for medical attention. We urge these companies to set a good example in history by wading into such critical issues as part of their social responsibility instead of using their profits to legalize embarrassing frivolities.
The National Broadcasting Commission in the face of an erring and abusive Big Brother Naija has proven to be another government agency established to squander the state’s scarce resources. The NBC which in the past engaged in public facade operations of banning harmless Nigerian songs for the purpose of deceiving the general public about its efficiency has proven to be sicker than the President with its current dormancy in the face of a daring Big Brother Naija.
Osayimwen Osahon George writes from Festac Town, Lagos.