I am almost peeved as at the time I am writing this. I normally hold an aloof position on such issues. The issue I am concerned with here has to deal with this entertainment concept known as The Big Brother. This is a popular programme made popular in The United Kingdom and some parts of Europe.
The funny aspect of the whole issue is that, most of these countries have as a matter of fact, placed this programme into the dustbin. I think, it was recently resurrected again in The United Kingdom. I might be wrong here because I have not really followed this for so many years now.
Big Brother is an entertainment module, where people are selected randomly from all spheres and strata of the society and are placed in a closed house where they have no access to television, telephone, newspaper, etc. Infact, it is a hermit kind of a thing if you are lucky to be selected to be in there. It then becomes an affair of intrigues, sex, booze, scheming and all sorts to make sure that, a contestant is the last man standing.
I must confess, I was a fan of it when it was initially started in Africa then. That was because I have seen the one from The United Kingdom and so the interest was there to see how such a programme will pan out on the continent. The catchy part was that, the contestants were drawn from across the continent and so it was more of a country representation.
This has been sustained for a long time and I can see that it is becoming a must see for most people across the continent. You turn on the radio (or on the internet for some of us), and the news segment is dominated by this Big Brother Africa.
But in life, when you don’t shift your position and perspective, you never get to see the folly in which one has been operating in. Having lived in Europe for quite some time now, it really pains me that we are still in the business of trying to copy the Western World without recourse to our traditions, norms and mores. It is such a painful thing to see.
On Twitter. On Facebook. You are bombarded with news of Big Brother Africa. It is a testament of how much things are changing on the continent and that and this is where I really have a very big concern. Because as a people, as a Nation forcefully and greedily divided, this is not what we really need to push on. We have not reached that strata where we think we have arrived and can do just as they do over here. It is like having a size 7 shoe and saying you want to wear size 10 shoe. No matter how much you try to walk in it, it will always give you out as not having the right size on.
I am not totally against this. I like entertainment. Everyone loves to be entertained. But then, I think, things need to be placed in proper perspective and until we do such soul searching exercise, we are not moving in the right direction.
That we choose citizens of different countries to come and live under one roof with no access and stuff makes it interesting. But the overlying and underlying reasons are so much defeated and very unlike us. I was expecting more from the producers of the programme to make sure that the contents reflects a positive image of the continent. Use it to showcase the rich cultural heritage we have as a continent. Use it as a means to empower youths in standing up for the right things. But that was not the case.
People spent money, or paid extra money to see the housemates having sex. Paid money to see the housemates taking shower in their complete nakedness. Yet, governments of the continent are blamed everyday of not doing the right things. The general chorus is that, things are hard. So I ask, if things are that hard as some are ready to jump and shout, where do you get the money for such an irrelevant thing?
We have serious concerns as a continent. We need to build the right foundation for the ones coming through. We should be serious and know how to channel our resources and energy into the right things. For how long can we keep on copying things and be wallowing in poverty and failure?
It is time the youths in Africa define their destiny. Big Brother Africa definitely is not ONE of the issues to help us move ahead.