Following the publication of the much-awaited Big Brother Naija reunion show of the lockdown edition, people were indeed looking forward to a lot of drama, revelations, and also theatrics across all fan bases. It was indeed expected that there would be occurrences that the camera failed to capture or the organizers decided not to air.
But to most people’s expectations, they felt that the first few episodes were great. But despite the fact that it is a reality show and one that is rated 18+, there is still a level of decency expected especially from the girls who naturally, the society expects to exhibit a level of decorum and inhibition.
Also, while the issue of equal rights is continually on the front burner of topics discussed every now and then, it is not advocacy geared at counting scores on escapades but a platform to ensure women and young girls have the same opportunities as their male counterparts to explore their potential and attain great heights without being sabotaged because of their gender.
However, the drama at the just concluded reunion show is one that has broken all records and given the show an all-time image as a show that promotes immorality. In time past, some of the housemates had tried as much as possible to cover up moral lapses, but this year seems to be one that has housemates that seem like they do not care what the result of their utterances may be on their teeming fans, many of whom are still impressionable young people that have turned them to mini gods and are willing to follow in their footpaths.
The drama and controversies keep rising and the more the ladies try to show how civilized and unbothered they are in their sexual escapades within and outside the house, the more many viewers, even the liberal ones, cringe at the seeming degeneration of morals and decency in today’s society. One can say that invariably, to the audience, the show was made to look like a reality show to see who can sleep with who and move on without any feelings or shame. In the end, only a few of the housemates achieved the aim of using the platform to propagate their profession and themselves
HOW BBN HAS PORTRAYED BOTH MORALITY & IMMORALITY
There is an unending question of morality tied to the Big Brother Naija reality Tv show. Suffice to know that in this debate, there are normally 3 sides to the coin.
There is a group that posits that BBN is inappropriate and should not be aired at all. The second group is of the opinion that although they don’t watch it probably because of its unsuitable content, it should not be barred for others who may actually enjoy it. However, the third group argues that BBN is an entertainment program, which necessarily must not have a positive effect on society, and thus it can and should be aired.
And these bring to fore, the notion of morality, its role in national building, its relationship with the law, and in this view, how moral or immoral, should dictate the tune of behavior.
To begin with, we must understand what morality truly entails, why it should matter at all, and to whose benefits.
To be very honest, morality in itself is quite ambiguous and easily dismissed. But regardless, it is agreed that there are natural laws, forming a part of morals, which are quite explicit on their own. But then again, who says I can’t want what I want because someone somewhere doesn’t like it? Well, to answer that, it is not just someone, it is everybody in general and nobody in particular. It is called ‘society’. Thus, philosophers and human scientists call it the Social Contract.
It is said that there are unwritten laws of conduct that you automatically sign up to once you are a member of a community that provides you with the basics needed as a human.
So, even though it might sound repugnant, you are bound by it. You go against the rule of engagement, you are cut off and termed social defiant.
Unfortunately, we witness a lot of times especially in this age and century, when people choose to forsake morals. I think it is often so because the benefits are usually not spelled out. It comes more like a marching order with no reason as to why I should obey.
A land with no rules is one with no transgressions and as such, in a constant state of anarchy.
So, morals are put in place to command social order and to keep the peace. You can only be peaceful when your neighbors are at peace with you, so the holy books say.
But owing to a lot of prevailing factors in recent decades, it has been a difficult job for societies to instill these morals in the young ones, who, pardon me to say, are “coconut heads”.
Young ones are exposed to a variety of attitudes and lifestyles across borders of different cultures and orientations; the BBN (not mutually exclusive), being one among several others in Nigeria.
A fog of decadence is polluting the country’s moral ecology. From the publicity and celebration of divorces and infidelities to baby mamas, sexual objectification in films, novels, cartoons, and adverts to sexual exploitation and harassment in workplaces and religious houses, and some ask, is it not just hypocritical to the campaign that BBN is a major cause?
And I ask back, is it not just hypocritical to dismiss it as a cause at all—for a program that comes every year with its marathon scenes of young adults engaging in amorous affairs, kissing competition, and random sex?
Mind you, there is a thin line of friction between the relevance and morality of this show. BBN definitely has its economic ripple rewards for the contestants and the society at large but the same can’t be said at the other end of the pole. This so-called economic benefit is even one major reason why many still canvass for it especially our young girls, seeing that their female counterparts engage in the various immoral acts on television and come out celebrated, honored, and rewarded. ( Take a quick peep at Chindima Ojukwu and Usifo Ataga’s case) Who wouldn’t forsake morals to jump at such an opportunity acknowledged by society?
These female contestants are all glam in the media with no viable known source of income. Some are even certified sex workers, who grace the show to promote their brand, getting sponsored by politicians who have also looted the nation’s treasury. It’s a vicious circle.
It is worthy of note, however, that the BBN has brought on a narrative that women can compete with men squarely and can achieve whatever they set their heart to regardless of a society built around men.
But the contents of transmission remain a huge challenge.
So, the question is, why have a reality tv show that compromises the already fractured societal framework?
HOUSEMATES THAT HAVE CONSCIOUSLY CHANGED THE NARRATIVE
Coming into the big brother’s house some people have it at the back of their mind that there is a need to apply their home training and endure whatever temptation or urge that comes their way. However, there are still some of the housemates that do not care about whatever they go down in the house as long as they are there to have fun and enjoy themselves.
People idea of the show is that it does not portray good value and home training but there are some of the housemates that changed this narrative, housemates like
Nengi: The big brother Naija lockdown housemate is one of the determined ones on the show, she stayed true from the beginning of the show till the end and she had it in mind that she only came for one thing which was the prize, she never entangled herself with anything sexual while she was in the house and this made her gain high esteem value from fans all over the world. She portrayed herself in a very lovable and respectful manner to every other housemate in the house also.
Ozo: The big brother Naija lockdown contestant is one of people’s favorite because of his calm and diligent lifestyle which he portrayed in the big brother’s house. Ozo who was calm and friendly all through the show defiantly had his own policy of doing the right thing at all times. However, there are a lot of times he received insults from fans and his fellow housemates due to his calmness over and how he handled the situation between him and Nengi. He was definitely one of the contestants that came to the house with his home training and not falling for temptations that came his way. Ozo certainly had his way of handling things which was one of the best things to watch during the lockdown edition as he usually tells the remaining housemates that he wants to be half of the man his father is and he also got most of his attributes from him.
Prince: This is also another housemate that changed the narrative of the show, aside from being a peacemaker, Prince sure has his ways around situations that kept coming against him during his stay in the house. Prince seems to be a man of principle. In as much as he got into entanglement in the house, he tried his very best act right and he never gave the viewers what they wanted to see on the show.
FUTURE IMPACT OF BBN SEX ON HOUSEMATE’S CAREER
The Big Brother Naija season 5 reality Tv show ended sometime in September 2020, and truly, we missed every moment from the biggest reality tv story. However, the faces of Nigerians lit up when the announcement of the reunion of the last season hit the streets of social media.
Meanwhile, during the course of the show, there were lots of romantic and sexual moments behind the scenes, although some were envisaged, others happened behind closed doors. A large chunk of Nigerians blames the official cameraman of the season, Kayode for leaving out some scenes from the viewers.
Thankfully, the truth came to play during the reunion show and we did find out that not only did one but about 6 of the housemates had sex in the house. The news came as a shock to many of their fans as no one saw it coming. The most we had in our heads was nothing beyond the surface.
However, the recent sex plays amongst the housemates have raised concerns over the future moral status of youths in the country and of course, on their careers. This set of housemates seem to have set a new standard for the next season and have seen their sexual exploits as achievements rather than think of the implications on their individual career paths.
The 5th and 6th episode of the Season 5 reunion has to be the episodes that broke the camel’s back, after Ka3na, and Tolani Baj proudly revealed that they have had sex on the show, and even Dorathy admitted to giving Brighto a blowjob. These housemates saw it as a thing to brag about and made it a point of duty to ridicule the men involved, adding that they underperformed.
As much as these ladies tried to put up the “we conquered the world act”, it is being viewed by the outside world through the lenses of immorality. Each of these housemates has successfully painted themselves in an absolutely different light and we already know how the public feels about this.
These ladies need to remember that they do not only represent themselves but also the platform, as well as, big-name brands who may find it unfit to continue to have them represent them in the market. Apart from the existing brands that they may represent, future partners, who may want to invest in their businesses or have them represent their companies may get discouraged and pull back.
Although Ka3na brags about being a self-acclaimed boss lady which subjected her to severe backlash during the reunion show, she risks losing huge deals with well-represented companies. And if she truly is the boss lady she claims to be, she should know how much hard works she had to put in to attain her current status and know better than to throw caution to the wind.
I think it’s safe to say the BBN show is a necessary evil in today’s society seeing how much sway it holds over people’s attention span.
When the show is on, everyone is either watching, getting the gist or relaying the gist. It’s apparent that the reality show is getting woven into the fabric of our society, seemingly without filters and something needs to be done about it.
The dwindling morals among Nigerian youths isn’t a function of the BBN show. In fact, it can be argued that the show on its own had nothing to do with it, considering that Nigerians always had issues with dwindling morals even way before the show started running.
Although some of the housemates may have been shortsighted as to the ripple effects of their actions on the show, the economic benefits of the reality show outweighs its concerns of morality. And Nigerians should look for another solution to solving the morality problem instead of hanging Big Brother for it.