The classification of entertainment varies with people, but where do we draw the line? Should a country sacrifice her conscience, morals, values and culture on the altar of entertainment, and to what extent should we go in pursuit of pleasure regardless of its detriment to society? Majority of Nigerians are caught in the Big Brother Naija fever, but should we?
The reality TV show put together by Multi Choice - a South African company, owners of DSTV and GoTV is in its third season dubbed DOUBLE WAHALA. The show continues to receive backlash from various quarters calling for sanctions claiming that it’s adult content, nature and western orientation is not suitable for a country like Nigeria which pays significant attention to morals and culture. Those calling for the ban of the show have cited strong language, violence and sex as the major reasons behind their dissatisfaction in the way the program is packaged and managed; but it appears these calls are falling on deaf ears as the show continues to air and readily available on family bouquet plan on both DSTV and GoTV.
According to the organizers, who have been able to pull some serious sponsorship deals headlined by Payporte, a leading e-Commerce company in Nigeria; has promised to award cash, vacation, SUV and electronics all valued at 45 million Naira and a brand new SUV to the winner. This they say is their way of “identifying and rewarding talented Nigerian Youths”. This however, is a far cry from what the show truly projects as housemates do nothing but live day to day in a locked apartment dotted with cameras without undergoing training, mentor-ship or classes which should have been the case if discovering talents and empowering youths was the real reason behind the reality show.
Scenes from the Big Brother Naija 3 Reality Show
Without rules and proper engagement, the housemates see nothing wrong in all the wrong things. They use vulgar language, fight and worst of all engage in sexual intercourse right before the cameras. It is like real life pornography and this is totally unacceptable, especially since children and young adults can have access to the program which has placed the promotion of sex and immorality at the forefront of its campaign.
Apart from the scenes of sex and immorality, the case by the organizers that the show is targeted at youth empowerment must be questioned. How many youth leaders has the show produced in the past and how have they impacted society till date? Also, why is a show believed to be targeted at Nigerians, having Nigerian contestants and sponsored by Nigeria brands operating from South Africa? Is this show a worthy representation of Nigeria and her youths to the world? Does it promote civic responsibility, culture and values which Nigeria stands for?
Surprisingly, the Nigeria Broadcasting Cooperation (NBC) and the presidency which is believed to operate on a zero tolerance for indiscipline have kept mum on the issue despite the countless petitions by Nigerians for proper sanctions on the organizers to regulate the contents of the reality show. Why will the NBC which is quick to ban indigenous music from public airways on the premises of strong language and bad influence keep mute on a show that promotes societal vices and immoralities?
The Deputy Executive Director of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FOEN) while speaking to journalists recently expressed disgust over the remarks credited to the special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on social media, Lauretta Onochie who had wrote on her twitter handle over the persistent calls for the federal government to sanction organizers of the Big Brother Naija show that “government has no power to move against immoralities in the show”. Does this mean that Nigeria has become a dumping ground for uncensored content by international organizations?
A scene showing Miracle (winner of the show) making out with another contestant in the shower
Most prominent among those calling for the ban of the popular reality show are two top Catholic Clerics – Archbishop Anthony Cardinal Okogie and Archbishop Alaba job, who termed the show ‘immoral’ and called on relevant authorities to take it off the airways as soon as possible. Speaking at an event organized by the Catholic Artistes and Entertainers Association of Nigeria (CAEAN) in collaboration with the Catholic Secretariat of Nigerians (CSN), Archbishop job said “The TV reality show has no single positive impact on Nigerians citizens, neither does it have on its dwindling economy” He added that the reality show only celebrates obscenity, immorality, criticism and idleness.
In the same vein, a Lagos Law maker, Mr. Segun Olulade has advised the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on the negative implication the reality TV show poses on the nation’s youths and culture. According to him, the content of the program is completely foreign to the Nigerian culture which forbids immorality.
There is no doubt that the contestant, their family and fans who dream of the 45 million naira prize will think otherwise but is it worth it? Should individuals trade their privacy, moral and personality for financial gains? Wouldn’t it be more profitable if the organizers and sponsors of the Big Brother Naija show regulated the show to promote talent, youth empowerment and entrepreneurial ventures which will not compromise the values of the nation and her citizens?
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