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BBNAIJA: THE LESSONS

 

We all dismissed it as a show that gloried and elevated depravity and all its appurtenances to Olympian heights. Not a few of us dismissed the reality show with the wave of the hand especially the hyper religious folks.

On more than one occasion, some clerics and ‘concerned’ Nigerians spoke out against the continued televising of the reality show. They called for its outright discontinuation.
But their seeming intervention fell on deaf ears. On the one hand were Nigerians that spoke vociferously in support of the show, on the other side of the divide were those that saw no value whatsoever in it. To this latter group, the show, at best, projected all what the average Nigerian does not represent. But did all these arguments for and against affect the followership of the show? I don’t think so.

Back here in Akwa Ibom State, the social media space roared when it was discovered that a son of the soil, Kemen, was in the running for the big prize. This, to a very large extent, got many to sit down and pay attention to the show. Many still remained unrepentantly obstinate. To its army of followers who did so with religious inclination, the question was: “who cares’’? So, we had two camps – one finding nothing wrong in it and the other finding everything wrong with it.

But as the show dragged on especially when Kemen showed signs of keeping an eye on the ball, the show won many fans here. Need I waste space on how the bug caught up with us to the level of some turning it into an ethnic, political and family war? I won’t even furnish you with the gory details of Kemen’s better-forgotten-way of exiting the house. If his exit was fit for the front pages, tell me why any clip of him was not shown at the grand finale on Sunday when a flashback was done.  Did you notice it? As side attractions and reminiscences of the show that lasted for three months rolled on screens, one could see virtually all the house mates engaging in one scene, action or the other.  But curiously, Kemen never got a flash of the camera. He was missing in action. It’s possible that the organisers of the show saw his exit as degrading hence one had better not show his face in order to let sleeping dogs lie. Sad!

But does that really matter? Yes. Forget that Kemen, on his return, was received with pomp and panoply in Uyo at a gathering that had a coterie of entertainers and the crème de la crème of the high society in attendance. It was only but a show of patriotism and a way of not throwing away the baby with the bath water. If it were to be for the heavily-built dude to promote the dakkada spirit in the average Akwa Ibom child, then one, as we say in Pidgin English, “u don enter one chance.”

This piece is not meant to further tarnish the fallen high image Kemen set out to build at the show. No. I cannot be that uncharitable. After all, how many of us would have stayed that long in a house that many gave their all? So, a little pat on the back for him and also saying it as it is without any attempt to smear or present myself as saint isn’t a bad idea. Is it? But there is no way I would have done a second piece on the BBNaija show without a mention of Kemen. Will there have been anything wrong if he won the princely sum of N25million plus the SUV? No. Even if the money could not have reached us, it would have boosted his account just as Efe’s. His family would have had a good share. Things would have changed. His stock would have rose to great acclaim. If he’s single, he would have thought of marriage in spite of the pressure he would have faced from a bevy of wannabe babes who would have flocked around him. Winner or not, we know he won’t’ still have problem here. An average Nigerian babe falls head-over-heel for a celebrity. It doesn’t matter if she is the only one in the man’s life. Just identifying with him as a friend is enough. Let him just get me between the sheets. Let it be on record that I was also ‘kemened’ by Kemen. Crazy folks. The Holy Book says it all in Isaiah 4:1.

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As I pointed out in the first entry of this piece, my intention is not to judge the show on its ethical or moral contents. If I want, I can put out my opinion on that but that is not really the thrust of this piece. In every negative thing, if one looks deeper, there may be a little positive that serves as the silver lining.

About twelve contestants went into the house with the top prize on their mind. Alas, and as it could be expected in any contest, one person took home the gong much to the admiration of all. Efe Michael Ejeba, a 24-year old graduate of Economics from the University of Jos, Plateau State edged out others to the top accolade. The man who has now popularised the “based on logistics’’ lingo won the hearts of many with his unassuming personality and simplicity. While in the house, Efe chose to be Efe. At no point did he morph from his true self to the faded world of pretence. In him, fans saw a true son of Delta State and Nigeria. If it were to be in a contest of the most handsome dude, tall, fair, grammar dexterity, connection and all that, I don’t think Efe would have stood a chance. I fell in love with him the day I chanced on the show. His mastery of Pidgin English got me mesmerised. Add to his realness and hairstyle, he just got me attracted to his personality.

Little did I know that he was the favourite of fans. So, many had also gone haywire for him. He was not one to compete in weight or size. He was slightly built. Bore the marks of a street chap unabashedly. One could be sure of this when he hollered after he was left with just Bisola: “who I be’’?This line alone surmised his simplicity and humility.

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So, like play, like play, in this crunch times, we have a 24-year old dude whose account is now buzzing with a princely sum of N25 million plus a brand new Kia Sorento Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). Call it destiny. Grace. Luck. Anything and you won’t be further from the truth. Many did not take this show serious, yours truly did not. But as it entered its closing stages with many becoming aware of the prize that was at stake, many became engrossed with the show.

Momentarily, Nigerians forgot the recessionary times and all its effects. Instead of the harsh effects of the times, many took solace in the refreshing oasis brought by a Warri dude who braved all odds. Many serious national issues took the backstage. Even the protracted case of the confirmation of EFCC boss, Magu by the senate waited for Efe. The Hameed Ali intransigence over wearing of the uniform of the institution he presides over as Comptroller general got lost under the weight of BBNaija. We even forgot that another Nigerian took a deadly plunge the other day into the now popular suicide site in Nigeria, “Lagos lagoon.’’

We all left Buhari alone. The Katsina born embattled President must have heaved a sigh of relief that Nigerians’ attention turned away from him. In the past weeks, no word was spared by Nigerians to drive home the point that the change he promised has veered off course. Even the suspended Abdulmumin Jibrin (remember him?) found a voice after being given a sucker punch by the Saraki led Senate. He boldly asked Buhari to resign. Days later, he denied it all saying he was misunderstood. Poor folk. Ex Governor Attah’s recent camaraderie with Udom and Akpabio may have also been lost on us as we feasted on the BBNaija show.

Now, if I were president Buhari, I would set up a committee on entertainment with express mandate to ensure that the BBNaija show is done quarterly. Yes. To serve himself from much attention from a wearied populace, why not have this show regularly so you can deflect attention and breathe some fresh air in this country? Won’t it be good for his failing health? Won’t it engender more focus on the shortcomings experienced by Nigerians since the change train landed here? oga “Bubu”, as some of my mischievous friends could say, think in this direction and save yourself the strain of being given endless punch in the face, joint, jaw, everywhere (except, maybe, your staff of office) by citizens who bargained for more than what your administration has brought to the table. I digress.

To the kernel o this piece, it is apt and fitting to say that Efe’s victory is captured in one word or sentence as the case may be. Simplicity. He was real, not the fake life we now parade on the streets as if we are related to Donald Trump, Dangote, Bill Gates, Adenuga of Glo and people of their ilk. Was it much of a surprise the joy that lit up the sky when T.Boss, (Kemen’s nemesis) was evicted? No. She had supporters just as others. But those against her winning the prize were more than those who wished her well. The reason is not farfetched. Here, we were not happy since he caused Kemen to leave the house. Add this to her seeming brash and rash lifestyle, T.Boss had many turning against her.

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This was on display when she was evicted as hundreds of people including ex housemates watching the show from the screening centre in Lagos collapsed into a rapturous celebration when she was evicted.

They pumped the air in ecstasy as
T.Boss exited the house with a ‘measly’ N500, 000 as against her wish to win N25 million that she would have squandered in one week! So, with only N500, 000, will that amount even take her home? A cheeky folk said the money will finish at the airport. Poor T.Boss. A moment of crass display of flamboyance and prodigality increased the ranks of her foes that were already fade up by her showiness, tattoos, piercings and the garb of controversy she wore and flaunted with gay disregard. At a point, she could not sing the Nigerian anthem. But she did not go empty handed though. She was declared winner of Friday Payport arena games with a take-home pay of N500, 000 just for shopping.

For Bisola, Derbie-Rise and Marvis, they showed the stuff a true Nigerian woman is made of. Bisola was the runner up having fought Efe till the very end. She was an amazing character all through. Bisola won the One Campaign prize. She will be in New York at the United Nations Assembly to speak further on educating the girl-child. She rightly deserves the accolade and recognition. Bisola may have lost the top prize, but she was able to show the world the stuff she’s made of. Her versatility, incredible talent and maturity spoke volumes. She wowed fans.

Efe’s victory is a function of hard work and focus. Being real and not the fake life we flaunt these days. He became a national hero. The centre of attention and attraction.

His state governor has congratulated him along with other prominent Nigerians. When he went to the house, did anyone care? No. But in victory, friends and emergency friends have showed up. Girls are falling over themselves over Efe. A Facebook chap captured it thus: ” even girls that turned EFE down years back…
Be like…”My Boo is winning this”
My Sister, You are like 6524 in the queue…
See? No Hope For you!”
The male folks also claimed a space. “the game is Big Brother Naija not Big Sister Naija”, another social media freak insisted.

You may not have been a fan, follower of this reality show, but know that some one has carted home huge cash plus a posh ride!

Now, will those who aim to be another person other than themselves learn any lesson?

By Kenneth Jude

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