NO reality show on television has received wide condemnations and criticisms like the Big Brother Naija reality show. Many are even calling for its ban. Many parents have even banned their youths and young ones from watching the show.
Sexual immorality remains the major reason many people have asked the Federal Government to stop airing the programme on any of the Nigerian television stations. The epic reaction from popular evangelist, and Founder of Mount Zion Ministries, Mike Bamiloye, in 2017 comes back to mind, shortly after Efe Ejeba walked away with the 25 million naira grand prize.
On his social media handle, he said “They kissed, they romanced, before the cameras of Africa, and they were honoured and glorified. At times, the glory of this world makes the children of the kingdom look stupid. I hope some Kingdom children will not begin to envy this type of worldly glories.
“What does this teach our youths now? glamourizing and glorifying immorality before the cameras of the world can fetch you millions and make you a celebrity overnight? I hope some pastors will not begin to make reference to this as a work of God’s grace.”
A Nigerian politician, Segun Adekoya, also called for its ban in 2017, saying that Nigeria, despite her development, remained a conservative society, and as such, allowing ‘immoral’ shows like the ‘Big Brother Naija’ to aired on television could corrupt the minds of the younger generation, especially teenagers.
But there are arguments that show some advantages of the reality show, that the critics are not seeing. A few may include:
It remains the “realest” and richest reality show on television. Unlike other reality shows where contestants rehearse how to live their lives, the ‘Big Brother Naija’ show is one where housemates come as they are, and live their lives all in the open, for the period they remain in the house. There are many cameras to capture every moment and every housemate, so there is no place to hide for anyone.
Again, the stakes get higher every year the show is hosted. From the winner getting 25 million naira in 2017, to walking away with 45 million naira in 2018, and 60 million naira up for grabs for the winner in 2019, no show on television beats the Big Brother Naija show financially. This is apart from other juicy prizes housemates will walk away with from winning tasks and challenges, during the course of the show.
It has produced successful friendship and marriages: In 2014, Nigerian Kelvin Chuwang-Pam, got married to Tanzanian, Elizabeth Gupta, and they have a child in their marriage. They met in 2009, as housemates of the then “Big Brother Africa”. In 2017, Olurishe Deborah Ebun (Debbie-Rise) and Bassey Ekpeyong met in the Big Brother House. Though they are not married, but they remain close friends till date.
And most recently, on September 7, 2019, Tope Adenibuyan aka Teddy A and Bamike Olawunmi, popularly called BamBam had their introduction, as the world waits for their white wedding. They officially got engaged on August 4, 2019. They met in the Big Brother house in 2018.
Every participant of the reality show is an instant celebrity. It is always a thing of pride for one to feature in the Big Brother Naija show. That calls for the reason why millions of youths scrabble to get into the house, during the auditions.
New cultures and exciting things are learnt in the show: One major aspect of the Big Brother Naija show is the Thursday night presentation show. Here, Big Brother brings a task for the housemates, asking them to showcase the cultures and lifestyles of various cultures of Nigeria , and other parts of Africa. This is an avenue for viewers to learn one or two things they never knew from other cultures of the world.
Now hosted in Nigeria, the show will be contributing to the Nigerian economy. Though it is focused primarily on entertainment, it has an effect on other industries with significant impact on Nigeria’s GDP, which is currently worth $397.472 billion.
Again, MultiChoice has always insisted on an all-Nigerian production crew, which means, jobs will be created for Nigerians, courtesy, Big Brother Naija. With foreign cameramen, and DJs, artistes and journalists flown in to the country to perform and cover the event especially the eviction weekend, Nigerian hotels would be smiling to the banks.
But are the critics seeing this?