The recent BigBrother Naija television reality show has come and gone, but Nigerians are still talking about the positive and the negative aspects of the show that engaged millions of Nigerians and others while it lasted. Initially, I was among those that did not reckon with the TV show because of its lewd contents.
I was converted to watch the show after a colleague enlightened me to see it as a game and the intrigues of those involved in the drama show. Watching the BBNaija reality show or seeing it as a game in which someone would eventually emerge as a winner makes it interesting. The beauty of the game is its being real and watched live throughout the 100 days or more it lasted.
Those who play games like scrabble, ludo, chess, whot, joker and even the local Igbo game known as ncho, will appreciate what goes inside the minds of the dramatis personae in the BBNaija show. The game, like any other game, has to do with logic and reasoning as well as much thinking. The game tests one’s talent as well.
Essentially, BBNaija is a talent hunt show and not an immoral show as seen by some people. BBNaija is also a veritable platform for self-discovery for the participants. The games and tasks given to housemates show the intellectual aspects of the reality show. The housemates were exposed to tasks they didn’t imagine they could do. The game promotes oneness and friendship. It unites all Nigerians. Like football, all Nigerians were hooked to it.
The reality TV show was a big relief for many Nigerians who are tired of the situation of the country and the inability of our political office-holders to fix the economy. Nigerians are tired of broken promises of our politicians. The BBNaija offered them the escape route to forget Nigeria’s many problems. However, the entertainment side of the show cannot be lost. It is also a good platform for the sponsors of the show to sell their products. They, too, must have laughed to the banks.
And in every entertainment show, some participants may decide that watchers see some parts of their beauty. This can lead to undue exposure of their bodies, especially the parts that ought to be concealed. But do not worry so much. Don’t weep more than the bereaved. After all, traditional dancers and entertainers do the same thing. It is part and parcel of any reality TV show.
One common denominator in such games is the elimination process. In the BigBrother Naija House, watchers of the show and the participants always look forward to who and who will be evicted each Sunday. It is a great moment of suspense for the viewers and the housemates and their relations. The Saturday party was a delight to watch, too.
Once you are evicted, you are eliminated from the game. Every game, including the BBNaija game, is based on rules and the survival of the fittest. It is a competitive game. It tests one’s intelligence, perseverance and ability for teamwork and how one relates with others in a group. This can explain why the BigBrother wielded the big stick against Tacha when she had a brawl with the eventual winner of the 2019 edition of the reality show, Mercy Eke. There are so many sides to the game.
The BBNaija reality show is not seen the same way by all the people. It is like the proverbial elephant and the six blind men. While some see the good in the game, others see only the ugly side of it. From the spiritual or religious angle, the BigBrother represents a higher power that sees everything every housemate does and can query any housemate over his behavior in the house.
His eyes are everywhere and can see everything every housemate does. His ears are everywhere that he can hear what every housemate says. This is why housemates dread the diary session. This aspect reflects the reality of human existence. We are in constant fear of the higher being, who sees everything we do and will stand before us in judgment. The Housemates are afraid of the BigBrother who they call Biggy with great respect and love.
In the BBNaija House, the BigBrother is very powerful and dispenses justice according to the rules. Nobody can query the Big Brother’s action in the House. His verdict is final. In his case, there is no appeal. He is everywhere in the House. The electoral umpire, INEC, can learn some lessons from the BBNaija show. One lesson is that Nigeria is ripe for electronic voting. All the votes in the BBNaija show came through e-voting and there was no allegation of rigging. The winner emerged through e-voting and everybody was happy thereafter.
As the host of the show, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, kept to the House rules, INEC officials should do the same during elections to reduce the number of election matters at the tribunals. It is not good that the courts should decide the outcome of many elections in the country, including the all-important presidential election. The reality show promotes the image of the country as the entertainment capital of Africa. It promoted some aspects of Nigerian cultures.
This can possibly explain why some hip-hop and Nollywood stars visited the housemates and share their experiences with them. Jidenna Mobbison, the Nigerian-American musician, known for his hit, the classic man, was in the House, too, to share his experiences with the housemates.
One of the criticisms against the reality TV show is that it is not educational; another is that it is a waste of money and that it is corrupt. Those against the game say that putting young boys and girls together in one house is likely to promote sexual immorality as some housemates were reported to have done during the show.
I think they have a strong point here. The organizers of the show should do something to check this. Because of this charge against the show, they advise that the sexual exposure in the game should be eliminated or toned down because of the young ones hooked to it.
Although only people from 18 years and above are allowed to watch the show, the reality is that even many below 18 years watched the show. It appeals to their sense of being and the housemates are those thy can easily relate with. Children also like entertainment shows. In future, the organizers of the show should factor more educational tasks for the housemates. The questions some of the housemates failed on current affairs demonstrate lack of intellectual rigour in the show. This should be addressed in subsequent editions of the show.
Indecent dressing, especially among the female housemates, can be minimized in future editions. The moral content of the show should also be enhanced. Since BBNaija is a reality show, the housemates exhibited how they behave in real life. It is never a Nollywood film, which is make-believe.
Those calling for the scrapping of the show might have as well missed the point. I say this because the show gives some insights into what happens daily in Nigerian social life. It mirrors the behaviours of the average Nigerian youth. The BBNaija show should be seen as an entertainment show pure and simple. It is equally an intriguing game. However, there is still room for improvement.