They came. They sang. The danced. But, like the baboon, the BBA housemates could not see the ugliness of their own buttocks. Africa saw all the good, the bad and the ugly. No thanks to the battery of spy cameras and microphones monitoring their work-a-day shenanigans
By TOMISIN OYELERE
By the time the final curtain is drawn next week Sunday on the Big Brother House, it would have been 91 days of the good, the bad and the ugly displayed by 26 contestants from 14 African countries, captured with 54 cameras, 120 microphones and broadcast to millions of viewers across the world.
This is the story of Big Brother Africa Season 6 otherwise known as BBA Amplified. As it approaches its final week, the show which took off on May 1, had only three contestants, namely Vina, Karen and Sharon O sure of getting to the finals and having a real shot at the $200,000 grand prize. This is because the trio was not up for possible eviction on Sunday, June 24. But they would not be the only three to have a shot at the grand prize. Of the seven slated for possible eviction, those who were able to scale through last week Sunday, June 24, would also have a shot at the grand prize.
For these contestants, getting to this stage of the competition is a journey fraught with a lot of intrigues, backbiting, backstabbing, betrayals and sometimes simply playing outright dirty. It was indeed an admixture of the good, the bad and the ugly.
And they were all in good supply. For instance, after a few bottles of vodka, it is not unlikely to see Karen, the 27-year-old Nigerian housemate misbehave in the House. When she is not picking up a quarrel, she is either weeping like a baby and breaking plates or getting horny with the guys in the House. She is not alone. There is also Luclay, the 28-year-old South African who also gets drunk often and then picks up a fight. In fact, he almost pulled off Karen’s pants on one of such occasions of drunkenness.
If that is bad, then the case of 24-year-old Zeus and 37-year-old Confidence, a Ghanaian in the House can be described as worse. While the Ghanaian contestant who is also chief executive officer of a multimedia company and Aphrodisiac Nightclub was in the bath tub, the duo was caught in an awkward situation with Zeus seen cupping the mammary glands of Confidence in his two hands. This is yet another situation inspired perhaps by drunkenness.
Beyond the drunkenness and there is also the case of Kim and Nic who were seen more like a couple in the House. In fact, they both shared a bed almost every night. But at a point trouble started. Kim, a 25-year-old beautician from Zambia became unhappy with the friendship between Nic and Bernadina, a 22-year-old Namibian lady. To put a stop to the newfound love between the two, Kim decided to do something drastic. She nominated her boyfriend in the House for eviction. As it turned out, Nic was evicted. A similar scenario played out between Ernest and Bhoke, two lovebirds in the House. As it turned out, Ernest was the one who eventually nominated Bhoke for eviction.
Betrayal is however not the only constant factor about relationships forged in the Big Brother House. There are also instances where romantic relationships outlive the House. A good case in point is that of Kevin Chuwang Pam, a Nigerian and Elizabeth Gupta, a Tanzanian, both housemates in the fourth edition of the BBA. The lovebirds recently tied the nuptials in Abuja. Viewers of the show are eagerly looking forward to the relationship between Alex, a Ghanaian and Weza, an Angolan both Housemates in BBA 6, also ending up in marriage.
Such, says Uti Nwachukwu, a Nigerian winner of the BBA All Stars edition, is the unifying power of the show. Besides that, Uti says the show also went a long way in enhancing his music career. He says the show has connected him with other entertainers and opened several doors for him.
In spite of such testimonials, Seun Fadulu, an undergraduate of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, MAPOLY, Abeokuta, Ogun State sees nothing positive about the show. “I don’t watch the show because they don’t teach any moral lesson and if it is the intention of Big Brother to teach what happens in our real world during our absence, then the show doesn’t have to come up because every one on earth already knows what it looks like with the things happening around them,” he said.
Kunle Adegbenjo, a father of two, supports Fadulu’s views. He told the magazine that until he got married, he used to view the show but had to stop because of his children. “BBA is not what children should view because it can destroy their minds,” he said. Ayo Adeya, a banker and resident of Ketu, Lagos described the show as a celebration of idleness. Adeya said, “I wonder why a set of young adults will be put together in a room, without having access to the real world and they are served drinks, hard drinks for that matter and they get drunk to the fullest and you expect them to still remain their normal selves?”
Uti would however have none of that. “BBA is very un-apologetic, it shows you what is really happening in Africa. It is a little representation of life, so we have to accept it. BBA operates on urban Africanisation. We have to accept our flops and our good parts. It is part of our human rights and we should not be deprived of it. What I will advice those on the show and others who will participate is to be themselves and be real,” says Uti.
He finds support in Jide Labinjo, a software engineer who is also an ardent fan of the show. “It gives opportunity to learn how to handle pressure and know yourself better along with some forms of entertainment,” Labinjo said. He also lamented the fact that some Nigerians have argued against the shower hour.
BBA as a concept started in the Netherlands in 1999 on the Verinica TV station. It was replicated the following year in Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Portugal, United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and Indonesia. So far, over 70 countries have participated in the programme. As far as Uti is concerned, “the programme is very relevant, it’s like a prototype, you learn there is love, hatred and lots more. So it’s a lesson, it shows you what happens in the real world.”