It's a N45 million fortune and a lifeline for becoming a 'celeb', I mean who doesn't want to be one? If all I have to do is stay in an apartment with jolly good bedfellows and rant, go naked while the cameras are beaming. No privacy, smooching is allowed or if you're lucky to have a cheerful giver from the opposite sex, where you get to unleash your lust on the same bed, it's all part of the game.
#BBNaija is the Nigerian version of the popular Big Brother Show and on February 1, auditions commenced across different centers and with some unbelievable scenes. Thousands of Nigerian youths scrambled to gain entrance to venues, climbing fences like it's a Batman's series, there were Bat ladies too. Except for the fact that there were no party flags, the scenes looked more of one of those campaign rallies that looked uncontrollable.
How Did We Get Here?
Blaming Nigerian youths for a one-shot gamble at fame is not only ideal but harsh, considering the galloping unemployment rate and for the fact that others chose the escape route of crime, stealing panties for rituals to get the latest Benz as Olamide epithetic 'Logo Benz' reveals. Yahoo plus or minus, kidnapping, thuggery, armed robbery are to some, the antidote of poverty. Big Brother Nigeria is in fact a solace of comfort to the wounds of the misfortunes of the Nigerian state.
In economic terms, entertainment industry all over the world is dominated by capitalists. Profit making is the motivation. The market is free. A good number of folks are getting paid for services ranging from cameramen, cooks, engineers, TV production experts, editors, electricians, musicians, artisans etc. Programmes such as the Big Brother Nigeria is no doubt an employer of labor, while contributing to the country's GDP.
Many critics believe Nigerian youths should in fact, be politically active at this point in time, by voting for credible candidates that will change the country's fortunes. However, they underestimate the power of the entertainment industry. It has a hypodermic effect on millions of people, far greater than listening to politicians in the chambers or political rallies. When you have over 40 million Nigerians watching a TV show, voting online rather than tuning in to watch the President speak on national TV with a signature "Fellow Nigerians" salutation, then we can understand why almost every youth wants to be involved.
Capitalists know where the money is, like the predator perceiving the hiding place of its prey. They don't do business to grow you, they're in business to get from you, living more people impoverished. Except for the likes of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mo Ibrahim, Strive Masiwiya and a few others who are helping to nurture talents, develop skills, providing venture capital and seed funding for youths on the continent, we could have had more entertaining programmes for the moneybags.
Imagine TV shows such as AfricaThinks, How Enterpreneurs Think, The Next Big Businesses, Fashion Hub and so on. What about having more poetry contests, spoken words, coding, programming, and other such shows that is capable of both relieving us of stress and also has direct Impact on development and industrial growth.
The entertainment industry is contagious, it has the power to change our ways of life, it abhors deviants, it is home to perverts and the abode of controversial personalities whom we rever and honor today - Late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Bobrisky, Late Professor Pellar, as points of reference. When objects, things or actions previously tagged as 'mundane', 'unholy', 'immoral', become a reference point for people's delight and pleasurable to the youthful population, it can change a society's value system. The old norms of yesteryears, paving way for the new.
I won't go naked to earn a billion dollars because I hold in esteem the value oriented African cultural social dictates (no apologies), but I doubtless can say of many youths today who will run a mile in the market square for money and fame. A new generation of youths are rising out of the loose ends of our culture to create a society without values, whose god is money. Among these are those the continent rely upon as leaders of tomorrow, Yes, but obviously fading away today.
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