Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Big Brother Africa: Debasing Self For A Fee

By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye  

Recently, Big Brother Africa (BBA2) reality show ended in South Africa amidst much din, slimy scandals and lingering controversies, and the only coherent statement it was able to make was that in this our very unfortunate and bankrupt age, money has acquired an even greater and awesome powers, and its capacity to compel otherwise rational human beings to gleefully part ways with every bit of their honour and dignity, be disdainful all considerations for decency and self-esteem, and enthusiastically indulge in several nauseating, self-debasing acts, has exceeded what anyone had  thought was possible in decent society.


I am not a fan of the Big Brother nonsense, and all such shows, like beauty pageants, where people are paid and cheered on to throw their honour and dignity as human beings to the dogs, to satisfy the depraved taste of irredeemable voyeurs. In fact, if there were no generous reports about these events in the media, which one occasionally glanced through, I may never have known that anything like BBA2 ever took place. But I am a grateful that I read some of those reports, because, it would never have occurred to me that some murky-hearted fellows, with excess cash to spend, could go all out to turn their fellow human beings into a little less than animals, confined in some glorified human zoo, where the most depraved among them could go as wild and immoral as he or she could, to dishonour and make a very big fool of himself or herself, before millions of TV viewers in Africa and beyond, in order to earn $100, 000. 

While this lure of lucre endures, do these fellows ever stop to think that the footage of their disgraceful outing in South Africa would survive tomorrow, and that they would have children and grandchildren whose sensibilities would be perpetually assaulted by the awful pornographic footages they were gleefully producing in their blind rush for $100,000?


According to reports, the Housemates took their bathe together during what they called “Shower Hour,” and while the boys stripped to their boxers, the girls bared everything, not just before the boys whom they had never met until they were selected and confined in the Big Brother zoo, but, also, millions of viewers out there, which may have included kids from their households and neighborhoods! (Forget the age-restriction crap). Imagine the kid brothers and sisters or tender nephews and nieces of the Housemates seeing their big aunties they once held in high esteem flaunting their stark nudity on the screen with every brazenness and shamelessness. What in the name of all that is decent and noble can we possibly call this?
 
Well, some of the girls, however, occasionally bathed with their underpants on, and only bared their chests, but that, no doubt, did not diminish the grave obscenity the whole thing still constituted.

Now how would these clearly bird-brained fortune hunters rejoin and face the same society before whom they had shamelessly and grossly cheapened themselves, by flaunting the pride of their womanhood before every willing eye? Should even  $1billion dollars be enough to compel anyone to indulge in this madness? 
profile_tatiana1.jpg
Tatiana(Angola): Her Debasing Immoral Acts With  
Richard ( a married man!)  Scandalized  All Persons  Of 
Decent  Disposition
Indeed, Feminists and Women Rights activists would never protest this clear debasement of womanhood, because this is not the kind of advocacy that attracts juicy grants.  This should not be surprising to anyone because it is still from the same cabal that prosecutes these obscene shows that the major bulk of sponsorships flow.

Although virtually everything about BBA was horrible, revolting and scandalous, a consensus exists that the most horrible scandal it yielded, now popularly known as “fingergate,” reportedly, took place on Saturday, 27 October 2007. I first read about it an article by Ms. Bolanle Aduwo. Please permit me to quote her account of the obscene incident:

…Biggie had provided plenty of booze (undiluted, Russian vodka) and what resulted was an incident that will definitely go down as one of the most scandalous moments in Big Brother history.  The housemates became crazed, drunken zombies and engaged in acts better suited for a porno movie. The evening eventually ended in what many call a possible rape! Or how do you explain the actions of Richard, the 24-year-old Tanzanian film student and the only male occupant of the House fondling and ‘fingering’ a comatose, blind-drunk Ofunneka, a 29-year-old Medical Assistant from Nigeria?” 

This incident had provoked serious outrage across Africa. A Women Rights group in South Africa had called for the footage of the incident, only to announce later, after viewing it, that it agreed with MNET, that what happened between Richard and Ofunneka was consensual. Nigeria’s House of Representatives, groping for some form of self-redeeming tasks, after Ettehgate, had also waded into the matter, something I had thought was an entirely private misadventure between the girl and the South African prurient millionaires who produce it. But why does it seem Africa has suddenly awakened from its moral slumber just because  fingergate happened? 

richard.jpg
Richard (Tanzania), ‘Winner’ of BBA2: Rewarded 
for Moral Irresponsibility And  Unremitting Waywardness? 

Well, if you ask me, the matter is very simple: Even if there were no “fingergate,” all the people who participated in BBA2 had irremediably soiled their honour and dignity, even though the lower press are not helping them to fully grasp that! What sort of girls would gleefully strip themselves nude to bathe, not only in the full gaze boys, but also before more than one million TV viewers across Africa? (If the boys wore their shorts and the girls chose to bare everything, what kind of statement were they making about their gender?) Just the other day, while gathering materials for this piece, I stumbled on a blog where a photograph of Ofunneka was posted holding her towel apart and proudly baring her not particularly appealing chest for all to see! So, even without “fingergate,” was that not self-demeaning enough?

On Monday, I visited a website, www.ofunneka.com, where all sorts of hate posts were heaped on the doorsteps of “Richard the rapist,” who “stole the crown.” All sorts of stories were dredged up to rubbish the Tanzanian, as if he did not rubbish himself enough while in the BBA zoo. But while countless sympathizers were out there condemning MNET for the indecent show and calling for Richard’s head for “sexually abusing” Ofunneka, the “innocent, well-behaved, but stone-drunk symbol of decent African woman,” the girl was at the other side of town addressing a press conference, apologizing for what happened and dismissing reports that she was raped. 

Saturday PUNCH of November 24, 2007, quotes her as saying: “I will say that I let down my guards a little, but then I am human.” 

I am seriously touched by this girl’s predicament. It is painful to imagine that she might carry the shame of her disastrous BBA appearance all her life. It must be clear to her now that whoever counseled her into the BBA folly has done her a grave harm. The most noble job she must engage herself in now would be to always dissuade any other person she encounters to avoid BBA like a plague despite the money.
ofunneka2.jpg
  Ms. Ofunneka Molokwu (Nigeria)  
       
In this internet age, it should not surprise her that countless blogs would spring up tomorrow, attracting serious traffic to themselves with footages of “fingergate” and some of her nude pictures from Shower Hour at the Big Brother zoo. A costly mistake has already been made by going to the BBA house, and a costly price must be paid. But, if by her own painful predicament, other young Africans are able to learn that it is practically impossible to safeguard one’s honour and dignity in such a morally bankrupt enclave like BBA house, created solely to promote obscenity and depravity, to service the vulgar tastes of prurient men and women, she should consider the sacrifice worthwhile. Who is even sure that “fingergate” was not scripted and directed by MNET, to diminish her rising profile in the media as the symbol of true African woman, which would have created serious problems for MNET when eventually Richard was declared the “winner”? 

By awarding "victory" to Richard, what statement has MNET succeeded in making? That it was alright for a man who was married to suddenly “fall in love” with another woman he had just met on a reality TV show; engage in open and revolting adulterous acts with this new lover or concubine on satellite TV, knowing full well that his wife was at home watching; and then while in the same bed with his new lover, he engages in wild sexual acts with yet another woman, on the same bed! 


And after it all, according to a report in the newspaper,  Namibian, of October 29, 2007, he excitedly pronounced: “I have seen the rivers and mountains of Big Brother…I’m going to bump all the women in BBA house.” 

What a vulgar celebration of hideous conquests! With all the nauseating exploits of Richard’s, which earned him the prize, what MNET is saying is that for anyone to win the next BBA (assuming this won’t be the last), he must simply become an animal like Richard, because it is only animals that that can do what Richard did to win the MNET price; yes, such a person must regard and treat women as mere playthings. 


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Maureen (Uganda)Another Housemate

Now the point has also been regularly made, namely, why watch BBA if you know it would offend your mind? Indeed, amateur porn channels and websites like BBA abound, but they do not attract generous positive, promotional reviews from “serious” newspapers as BBA does. MNET can afford to inflict its violent obscenity only on interested viewers if it could check its invasion of our newspaper pages the way it does. 

Nor should the government show more than a passing interest in shows like BBA, as the Nigerian House Assembly or the Federal Government did recently. Now, I have no problems with the Information Minister, Mr. John Odey, offering a job to Miss Ofunneka Molokwu, as he reportedly did the other day, if that would console her, but he has no right to declare that by appearing on that reprehensible show, she has “represented us well” and has, today, become “the Heart of Africa.” Excuse me!
meryl.jpg
Meryl (Namibia): Reportedly Relished Flaunting Her
 Nudity Before The Cameras — What would her children 
say tomorrow when confronted with those pictures?
No doubt, it must be clear to the Information Minister that he was speaking for only himself, and I insist that he makes this clear immediately. In fact, President Umar Musa Yar’Adua must call him to order before he uses the stain of BBA to further rubbish his ailing regime. On no account must the Federal Government appear to endorse such a horribly obscene show that has offended many decent people in Africa and has even been banned by some African governments.

Since Mr. Odey appears to have excess time to squander, he should have merely consoled the girl, assuaged her pain over the BBA misadventure, but more importantly, used that opportunity to urge other Nigerian youths to shun such shows no matter the huge prize money they dangle, if they do not wish to encounter such tragedies like “fingergate.” 
And I think I am right.
---------------------------      
February 18, 2008
scruples2006@yahoo.com 

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