Finally, it’s over. Wives can now cook for their husbands again, food can stop burning in the kitchen and drama can resume full time from the National Assembly. Even for those of us who weren’t interested, there is no doubt that Big Brother Naija really got the attention of Nigerians. Even Zee World and Telemundo must have noticed they had lost viewers. Well, it’s all done. Efe has won N25 million and an SUV as the BBN winner (added to a possible N50 million and a car he was reportedly promised by a Nigerian billionaire) effectively making him richer than a lot of Nigerian celebrities (Skales, we’re looking at you with side eyes). Oh, and Warri is trending on Nigerian Twitter! We only expected that to happen if President Buhari suddenly took off his agbada and decided to become a Niger-Delta militant based in Warri.
While the buzz is still on and before people forget about BBNaija like Tonto Dike’s acting career, let me just say a few (I mean a lot of) words on what I think about the reality show.
NIGERIA NEEDS WORK
No, I’m not about to criticize those of you that watched the show…..yet. I mean, there’s lots of other things that could be occupying our minds but that’s not what I meant with this. From the onset, BBNaija has been basicually about Nigerian contestants and it was focused primarily on Nigeria and Nigerians (marketing and promotions-wise, I mean). So it was extremely weird that a Nigerian show wasn’t even held in Nigeria. I’m not about about to bash on the show’s sponsors or producers because, let’s face it, it would have been waaaay more expensive to host the show in Nigeria. And imagine they keep taking light in the house and one of the tasks is for the contestants to switch on the generator. It’s just sad. And increasingly, I’m realizing that shows hosted outside Nigeria run more seamlessly and are of better quality than the ones hosted in Nigeria. Remember The Voice Nigeria? It was also hosted outside Nigeria! The bottom-line is that hosting a quality show in Nigeria is expensive and for Africa’s so called giant, that’s pretty belittling. Our government needs to put in more effort into making sure that running a business in Nigeria doesn’t put you more into deb than it makes you profits or force business owners to cut corners and come up with a shoddy product just to break even. The country needs work and WE THE PEOPLE need to make sure that our government works for us. And talking about we the people….
APPARENTLY NIGERIANS CAN BE UNITED…..JUST NOT FOR THE BEST THINGS:
So I’m done with ragging on the government; now the people. Efe won; big whoop (actually really big whoop. If I had a quarter of that money in my account, I probably wouldn’t be ranting on a blog at this time of the day). Fact is that a large number of Nigerians supported either Efe or Bisola to win and neither side was bothered if their side lost – we pray the same happens when the next elections come around. But it’s not just that it seems that more Nigerians were more invested in a show that doesn’t have any particular bearing on their lives, their future or generations to come, but also that we don’t put in the same commitment to making sure our country gets better. I mean people tweeted, argued, pleaded, shared money and airtime to get Efe (or whoever their candidate was) to win but when it comes election time, everyone goes “meh, not interested”. Yes, I know, elections are not fun and you’re not likely to see someone giving someone head at a presidential debate but it’s this seeming inability to show the “ruling class” that we own this country as much as they do that allows them do whatever and get away with it. Efe has won, that’s done. He’s rich now and I hope he spends that money and uses his newfound fame wisely. But in the grand scheme of things, the country is still poor and we’re not making the push towards making it better, towards getting our leaders to be accountable and this NEEDS to change.
ENTERTAINMENT IS ENTERTAINING, LET’S NOT FORGET THAT:
While I find it ironic that BBNaija, a reality show about some Nigerians just living life in a house came with a N25 million cash prize and a car and extensive media coverage while people with real skills and talents that can shape the future of our country don’t get any show or prize money. I mean, it’s great to know we’ve got amazing singers in Nigeria but Project Fame isn’t going bring constant power supply or proper health care. That said, let’s face it, these things are entertaining and are an essential part of life. Life without them would be pretty boring. I mean, what would a reality show about civil engineers be like – who would build a bridge the fastest? How much fun is that? Life needs seriousness but we really shouldn’t take life all that seriously, after-all it will still end either way. We need to sit back and just enjoy some things even if they aren’t exactly going to create a better society. That being said though….
THERE’S NO REASON WHY SKILLS AND TALENT SHOULDN’T BE REWARDED AS MUCH AS ENTERTAINMENT:
I saw a meme that someone posted about some of the more popular Nigerian reality shows and the prize money for Cowbell Mathematics competition and how much some students get for graduating as the best students in their schools. The difference was as stark as the difference between a Nigerian politician’s belly before and after winning an election. Some might say “but if you’re brilliant you can get a good job and eventually earn as much as and more than whatever people win as prize money on reality shows”. Fair point, but do you realise it would take someone twenty five months of hard work to earn what Efe just won if the person is earning one million a month. That’s two years to earn what someone made by just “repping the streets” in eleven weeks. That’s just under three months for those of you who don’t want to do the math. And if the Warri billionair keeps to his words, you can add another N50 million and we’re not even counting the cars. That’s how much Efe gets AT THE VERY LEAST. There will be endorsement deals asides these and other perks. So now do the math: How long do you think it will take someone who worked hard in school to get a good result to catch up? The answer is – that person may never catch up. It’s these values that make Nigerian youth of today see schools as nothing more than a place to get certificates. I’m not saying stop rewarding those that entertain us – by no means, they too work hard in their own way to do what they do. I’m just saying it needs to be balanced so anybody can be in any field and still be financially successful.
Well, there’s that. Now Nigerians can get back to moaning about Nigerian. I’m going to bed jere. Goodnight!