How is Big Brother uniting Africa?

During the routine press conference organised by MultiChoice Ghana for Selly, the evicted Ghanaian female housemate to the Big Brother Africa reality show to share her experience during her 50-days stay in the game, yours truly asked her if she was aware of a rolling camera in the house.

Selly replied that yes, she was aware of the cameras but what she did not know was that the videos were being uploaded online for the enjoyment of viewers.

When I told her later that I had in my possession a video of her bathing with her two nipples smiling glaringly at the world, I noticed her facial expression changed suddenly.

She appeared as if she was being prevented from saying something though there was nobody around. It didn’t take long for me to understand her. I understand a fat contract binds all housemates from giving out some information until two or three years after the shows.

For someone like Selly, it is obvious that she went into the game to try her luck to win the cash while she bonded with the rest of Africa. African unity, you may say, but where is the unity?

The disgraceful lies Nando told about Selly may not necessarily affect any diplomatic relationship Ghana and Tanzania share. Nando may have been kicked out of the show but that cannot change the fact that, he now hates Ghana just as many Ghanaian viewers hate him especially when he was also involved in a plot to harm Elikem with a concealed weapon.

So where is the unity in this? Surely that doesn’t sound like uniting Africa or am I seeing things too much from a negative perspective? When I sit down and cast my mind back to some of the things that has happened in the Big Brother Africa show, I ask whether the show is really about uniting Africans as the organizers tout. I doubt it!

The Big Brother Africa reality show is not an original concept but a reality show created by John De Mol in 1997. The idea of the show is that a group of people are made to live in isolation for weeks and try to avoid being evicted by the people with the aim of winning a prize.

The African version, Big Brother Africa was launched in 2003 as the biggest reality show on the continent. After eight editions, it’s still the biggest show to hit the African continent – entertainment wise.

This year’s edition was launched on May 26 with 28 housemates representing 14 countries who are chasing $300USD. It will come to an end on August 25 with Ghanaian housemate Elikem guaranteed a place in the finale after winning Head of House for next week.

The overwhelming interest in the show has grown with several Africans on the continent staying glued to their television sets to watch. This same interest has led viewers to ask questions about the show.

Going back to the original concept introduced by John De Mol. The Big Brother show is purely a game and only entertaining housemates are left in the house whiles the boring ones are sent home. One thing for sure is that, an entertaining housemate can obtain votes from every corner but not necessarily from the town or area that, he or she is representing.

It’s little different from the Big Brother Africa, especially with this year being the worst in trying to unite Africa with the show. This year’s edition is plagued with hatred which has made many people ask, what’s so uniting about one Africa Region when Africans rather hating on each other because of the game?

Instead of perhaps voting for the housemates who are fun and therefore make the show interesting, housemates now nominate each other along regional lines and the African public also vote along country lines?

Unless something is done by the producers of the show to curtail that growing hatred, it will continue and develop in the coming years. When that happens, the aim of uniting Africa will never be achieved.

Beverly Osu, one of Nigerian’s housemate has become like a public number one enemy from her own people back home because of her association with Angelo from South Africa. All over the internet, she has become a subject for discussion with some even branding her as ‘National Whore’. Nigerians on the internet are hurling all sorts of insults on the South African for bonking Beverly. Clearly this is not the picture; Big Brother wants to paint as a unification of Africans.

Like their disclaimer messages, the producers cannot be blamed but then if care is not taken, it will defeat their aim. How do they hope to unite people when they have opened the floodgates for people to show their hatred against each other and certain people?

Uniting Africa is not putting grown-ups isolation for months, bath together, curse, have sexual intercourse with complete strangers and at the end of the show win a whopping 3000USD. There should be more to that.

By Ebenezer Anangfio/Graphic Showbiz/Ghana

eanangfio@hotmail.com or tweet @anangfio

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