Lucky man: Winner of Big Brother Nigeria, Efe, pockets N25m cash and drives home in an exotic Kia SUV machine
Check This Out First
Big Brother Africa - $300000 (N48m)
Big brother Nigeria - N25m
Maltina Dance All - N10M
MTN Project Fame - N7.5M plus SUV
Etisalat's Nigeria Idol N5m with a multi-million Naira contract
GLO Naija Sings N5M PLUS SUV
Gulder Ultimate Search N10M PLUS Endorsement plus SUV
But Now Read This
Cowbell Maths Competition N100K
Lagos Spelling Bee N50K
Who Wants to Be a Millionnaire: you can hardly go beyond N250, 000
Later they'll say Education is the key... while the padlock has been changed to ENTERTAINMENT...
This was part of arguments that trended on the social media in the immediate aftermath of the popular (?) TV show known as Big Brother Nigeria, a home version of Big Brother Africa, last Sunday, April 9.
The winner of the show which lasted for three months was one EFe from Warri. Only last year, he was a youth corps members serving in Nibo, Anambra State. But today, barely a year later, he is a millionaire with an impressive looking Kia SUV that is worth N15m. can you beat that? All Efe did to win this at a time his mates and other Nigerians were jumping into lagoons was to stay in a house with other mates to eat, sleep, chat, exercise, participate in occasional debates and flirt with the girls in the house. Indeed, a particular house mate was seen getting too familiar with one of the girls while she slept or pretended to sleep. He was eventually disqualified, not for what he did, but because the girl, when asked about it, said she was unaware of his touches. What does that mean? If she had been aware, which would have meant she enjoyed it, the guy would have remained in the house and who knows? He might just have scooped the awards just for doing what we call smooching.
In the wake of the guy's act, some Nigerians had come out in a torrent of condemnation of the entire show, describing it as immoral. Indeed, previous shows, especially in the wider version, had shown the roommates taking their baths naked. Now, ain't that bizarre? If there is one thing most people don't want, it is being seen taking their bath. But the show gleefully showed them and the viewing public, especially the younger elements, smacked their lips in sheer delight.
The bathroom stuff was aside from the daily kisses and caresses the roommates were involved in all through the three months. That there was more of immorality than other ennobling actions was not in doubt. But some people tried to defend the show as educative.
I recall the arguments I had with such people in one of the Whatsapp forums I belong to. To them, there was more to learn from the show than the dark sides. They readily pointed at the debates and whatever, as things that ennobled the show. But I asked and still ask: if the essence was to treat us to mind boggling debates, must it be mixed up with those dirty aspects I talked about? At one time, one of the girls, was seen being massaged by a guy while lying completely naked. Perhaps, that was a new kind of education or even debate.
While I conceded to them that one had a choice to either watch the show or not, I told them clearly that my grouse was the huge amount of money wasted on something that was clearly inane. Splashing such money at a time when hard working Nigerians were dying of frustration and the army of the unemployed daily swelling, it was clear to all, except the pretenders, that it was a monumental waste of resources.
What indeed is the rationale for an Efe who was adjudged the winner of the Big Brother Show, to smile home with millions and a brand new exotic car, while a smart student who came tops in a national essay/debate competition, goes home with a paltry N100, 000? What kind of society are we trying to build by such a brazen show of disparity? Why would any young person want to spend at least sixteen years in school and come out to behold an uncertain future, not prefer to jettison school and go for an immediate fix that pays millions?
To worsen matters, some Nigerians who feared that Efe would not win, had lined up N25m and a car for him. They said whether he won or not, he would claim their gift. Now how many times have those people extended the same gesture to bright students? You can be assured that those emergency philanthropists may never have been involved in any scholarship scheme in their lives. Yet, they were ready to splash millions in a venture that couldn't have added any real value to the lives of many Nigerians except the immediate beneficiary and those they may choose to give anything to.
Sometime last year, my son won a national essay competition. He had to pay his way to Lagos to collect just N50, 000. Now, after watching the Big Brother Show, would anyone blame him if he loses interest in scholarship?
As I pointed out, I am not against any such shows taking place (I recall enjoying some past editions of the Big Brother Africa), but what I want is for those who distinguish themselves in academic work to also be given such huge sums of money and other gifts. They are, after all, the ones the country will hope on to take us to the next level.
But that isn't being done. The result is that our society continues to degenerate, with the wrong role models being thrown up each day. Yet, the country continues to bemoan the absence of quality leaders. How can such leaders emerge when they are not encouraged in their prime?
The Big Brother Show is part of the decay bedevilling the country. Beauty pageants are another aspect of that decay. Young girls who should be studying are ready to do anything to be crowned the most beautiful girls, a position that comes with cash, a car and travels to foreign countries. You can bet that many of those girls, if not all, perform badly in their academic work and will readily submit their bodies to randy lecturers to get high marks, even higher than genuine, heart working students.
In a country which places much value in paper qualification, those girls will tomorrow occupy important positions in ministries and private firms. Is it still any wonder to you why the country has continued to take one step forward and several backwards?
The truth is that these shows and pageants have introduced a culture of laziness and quick fix to today's youths. Everyone wants to be successful but no one wants to go through the ropes to achieve that. Thus, armed robbers, kidnappers, ritualists and the like, lurk in the corner to deal with hard working Nigerians and live off their sweat.
No matter what government does to stop this, it will remain an exercise in futility so long as the youths are made to believe that hard work doesn't pay.
Even lecturers are involved in this. Go to many higher institutions today and the first thing you will learn is that you can do what you like and still pass well as long as you sleep with lecturers if a girl, or you pay your way through (they call it sorting), if a boy.
Even when they graduate, it is the girls who get plum jobs. The poor boys will be only too happy to be employed in government ministries after years of trying. Even the ministry jobs don't come easy as they often bribe their way through. Isn't it such a vicious cycle?
This is how our society is encouraging a culture of laziness and indolence. It has now permeated everywhere, including the Church. The role models are now the rich; not the educated or those who sweated to be what they are. It is all about singing the praise of the money bags and splashing money frivolities. The stupid ones are today the ones that work hard, the ones that are patient and the ones that are genuine.
The wise ones simply enjoy themselves either in the Big Brother House or in school. Their rewards are prompt and juicy. They come out driving the latest cars and they are eulogised. The young ones watch and take note. They grow up copying the wrong people and end up as empty as those they have copied. After that, some people will come out and complain that standards are falling; that the leadership has failed. They say these things even when they know that they made them happen.
Mind you, I congratulate Efe on his Big Brother fortune. He is a nice guy who deserves what he got. My only problem is that what is sauce for the goose, should be sauce for the gander. The money splashed on Big Brother Shows and winners of beauty pageants should equally go to young, promising Nigerians in colleges and tertiary institutions. The money should also be splashed on researchers whose findings can save mankind. I am not asking for too much.