We have been here before. We are here every year the reality television show makes an appearance. Anytime, the Big Brother social experiment hits our screens, the moral police are always there, waiting in the wings to pounce. It’s amusing to see how they are never tired of deriding a show they claim to loathe so much. I mean…if I hated something or someone, I’d pretend they didn’t exist. I’d do everything to avoid it and do a mental block. This concept is however alien to critics of Big Brother Naija.
When everyone was going gaga about Game of Thrones, it was amusing to me at first; then it piqued my curiosity. I hadn’t seen it; I still haven’t. The one or two times I attempted to find out what all the fuss was about, I was lost and not quite keen to watch any further. Yet, some people are unshaken in their belief that it is the best series of all-time.
I may not feel the same way, but I respect their opinion.
I suspect that many denigrators of Big Brother Naija are closet fans of the show. Of course, the last thing they would do is admit that they are, but for the discerning, it’s not difficult to observe. Their obsession with reminding the rest of us just how “useless” the show is gives them away.
People who do not care about a thing are numb to it. They cannot be bothered when they see something related to that thing they despise. But what we have with BBN bashers are analysts who have taken the time to learn the name of housemates and the shenanigans they got up to.
Pray tell, how does that work?
I am not a fan of basketball or cricket. Except it’s integrated into a movie or news brief, you’ll never catch me watching it, the same way some people hiss and leave the room when a football match is on display. They’ll never be able to comprehend the emotions and melodrama the Champions League or English Premier League evokes in the rest of us.
Nevertheless, they have learnt to live with it because they know it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Some of these disparagers go on a government-bashing spree. Blaming them for allowing the programme to air. First of all, Big Brother Naija isn’t sponsored by the Nigerian government. It is purely a private sector initiative, a conduit for brand visibility and profitability. What’s interesting is how something that is so much-maligned has managed to attract heavy sponsors three times in a row.
If “everyone” is averse to the programme, who then is responsible for the mind-blowing ratings it garners every year? Why hasn’t it been starved of sponsors even at such a critical time as this when businesses are struggling to survive? How come participants end up becoming overnight stars who dwarf many Nollywood celebrities in fandom and followership?
We do not need to crack a coconut or look into a bowl of water to decipher the reason for the dichotomy.
Many of those who give the show flak are secret fans.
They are the ones who cannot resist the inside scoop on what’s going on. They know the cantankerous housemate who gets into a squabble with everyone else, they are not oblivious of the flirty or fiesty ones, they keep tabs on the fashion and fights and romance and conspiracies, yet, throw tantrums on social media. Pontificating and telling the rest of us just how bad the show is.
I was going to title this piece, “Big Brother Naija and The Moral Police” seeing that these critics never fail to remind us that the show is a deliberate promoter of moral laxity. To give strength to their opinion, they point to the relegation of educational programmes at the expense of one that only serves to showcase a “bunch of lazy” youths whose sole purpose in life is to access easy money without working hard.
And this is the annoying standpoint they reiterate time and again, hoping to guilt-trip the rest of us into nodding our heads in agreement.
But ask them what the name of the winner of the last Cowbell Maths Competition winner is, and they would grasp for words. Prod them to mention quiz shows they have watched with consistency or would rather have on TV, and they’d be incoherent. But they know the same housemates they claim are indolent opportunists.
Hypocrisy is the middle name of many Nigerians.
No, you do not hate Big Brother Naija. You love it. You do.
What irks you is this epiphany; the thought that you would dare find yourself intrigued by what’s supposed to be beneath your moral high horse.
It’s why you do too much trying to deflect.