Archive You can't despise Big Brother and still patronise the...

You can’t despise Big Brother and still patronise the “stars” he creates? By: Kingsley Obom-Egbulem

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By the time the ongoing Big Brother reality show is over,someone would have become 25 million naira richer-a TV star or media personality or even brand ambassador.

Just in case you are wondering what’s the point of my discussion, I am trying to say that “the guys currently making out-kissing, smooching and undressing and doing anything possible on camera in the Big Brother house are going to be your next celebrities and the next set of youth ambassadors your state governors would appoint to inspire the youths in your state. And of course they will become the next gang of role models to your kids.

If you can’t deal with that, then you need to do something more serious and more redemptive than just criticising BBN on Facebook and other social media platforms.

Truth is :there’s a dearth of innovative ideas with regards to media content generation in Nigeria. The rise in the number of foreign reality show franchises and even telemundo reflects this reality. And so whatever brands can find overseas and which they feel can help reach their target market is welcome.

Like I’ve always stated, we are currently in the era where sleaz and lewdness are fast becoming some of the best things money can buy. In competing for the attention of certain brands and their sponsorship managers, it is definitely a case of survivor of the raunchiest. And Big Brother is beating everyone to the game.

And for those who think decency can or would one day outsell lasciviousness, please wake up – smell the coffee and go back to sleep.
It may never happen. Perhaps not in your life time.

Why did I say that? How many people are watching the so-called decent shows on TV? In fact how many Christians are watching their pastors or pastor’s wife’s programmes on TV? Again we ask :who needs serious moral TV shows? And if such shows are value for money why do we have less of them?

The recent debates about Big Brother Naija (BBA) and the many uncharitable words used by people in describing the show(and the counter attacks by fans of the show) makes me wonder and conclude that perhaps the only way some people would ever come out of obscurity and commence their journey to stardom would be to do some lewd, daring and crazy stuff. And BBA or BBN provides a very rewarding albeit popular opportunity to do just that.

Can you name any creative and engaging alternative? I’m not sure

Each time I think of Big Brother I think of three people: Ebuka Obi Uchendu, Katung Aduwak and Uti Nwachukwu. I don’t know what these three young men had to their names before entering for the Big Brother reality show aside perhaps their certificates, good looks and jobs.

And then… they emerged as one of the Housemates. And the next thing, they have become celebrities- in fact stars by Nigerian standards. The same Big Brother that most households and even pastors are bashing churned out these guys some of whom have become role models today.

I gathered that Uti had made few appearances in one or two other reality TV shows before BBA. But he soon became the new guy on the block after her emerged winner – the same BBA that everyone loathed as capable of misleading our children.

Today, many radio and TV presenters as well as event organisers would do anything to have Uti Nwachukwu or Ebuka come on their show.
Uti is even a youth ambassador to Delta state and tourism ambassador for Cross River state. Can you beat that?

Don’t forget, this is the same guy who was thrown up by a show loathed and despised by many. And then you wonder: what is the difference between the process and the product? Why would someone despise a show yet celebrate the people it has produced?

I can’t reconcile it! If we so much dislike BBA, BBN and all the BB series then how come we are all falling over ourselves to celebrate the “stars” they are throwing up?

As soon as the winner of the ongoing BBN is announced, you will be shocked how Nigerians would forget all the things they said about this show. And the next thing you’ll start seeing the winner appear on your TV either as guest on your favorite show or in a TV commercial endorsing/advertising your favorite beauty product or fruit juice. And starring in the next home video, musical video or soap.

The population of old fashioned people is huge in Nigeria. But for the ongoing noise and out cry against Big Brother Niaja (BBN) I wouldn’t have known. Indeed many Nigerians are not fans of lasciviousness. Let’s get that straight. Many of us have good home training and don’t like to see young people making out and sucking boobs and bathing openly on TV and feeling good about it (even if they are on their way to becoming celebrities.)

But that’s as far it gets. Indecency is now the biggest market globally. And those who have a good consignment of this product are really selling.

Unfortunately those of us who are lovers of decency and promoters of morality especially in the media are broke and in the minority. And the strength of our noise it’s not in our size – in terms of numbers. It’s about who pays the sponsorship bills and airtime.

Some brands are better sold through everything we see on BBA and such brands are dropping money there because it’s addressing the content need of a large TV viewership that would love their brand.

So, would all lovers of wholesome media content stand up and put their money where their mouth is? Please hurry now.. because I sense that on 10 years from now what we’ll be seeing on some of these shows…’our mouth no go for talk am.’

Your parents, Rabbis, Imans and Pastors can shout themselves hoarse but until they are willing to invest and put down their money to support creators of innovative, wholesome and edifying media content, the market for BBA would continue to expand and churning out “stars” for us to celebrate.

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