By Bimbo Amao
Three things catch the fancy of Nigerian youths. Love/Romance/sex, comedy and football. These are the things we have chosen as worthy entertainment. Ask movie producers and scriptwriters, they will let you know that the Nigerian audience is not for deep intellectual stuff. It has to be light, flirty, sexy or out rightly stupidly funny. For some, these things are beyond entertainment, our internal energy is channeled towards them. A Chelsea fan will passionately hit an Arsenal fan, and a Liverpool player knows not to walk alone after banters with an angry Chelsea fan. We have claimed these clubs to be ours.
These are the things we live for.
We love pettiness and unserious stuff.
We do not love to think. Thinking is hard work. We cannot be bothered that much. So we say “Que sera sera”.
We do not understand our national economics. We have no understanding of important public policy issues, none of how the economy, with all of its moving parts works as a whole. What are the sources of long-term economic growth? Why are some countries richer than others? How are inflation and unemployment affected by policy actions of the Federal Government? What are the consequences of the national budget? Why do we have this high rate of unemployment, recessions and exchange rate? We really do not know. All we know is that Buhari has failed us and a dollar is N500. The I-know-better-than-you argues with the what-do-you-think-you-know folks at the vendor stands, buses and the offices daily trading blames and pointing fingers and we continue to gloat in ignorance .
We are not bothered by our security or lack of it. The Ibibios can’t be bothered about Southern Kaduna killings, and for every bomb that goes off in Maiduguri, the Yorubas can only sigh and state “It is well”.
We have no grasp on technology. Our hustle is to buy the latest Apple and Samsung products. We go to Dubai, Europe and tour the whole of the world, nothing says to us to copy a working technology or design to come paste in the most populous black nation. We are just there for the fun and leisure. We are the selfie queens and kings. There’s only one life, and a typical Nigerian will live it out happily , maybe purposelessly, but happily.
That we have been tagged one of the happiest nation on earth is double edged sword. We are happy sometimes because we are masking our cluelessness. We do not know what to do most times, we do not ask enough questions, we do not want to thoroughly process anything, so we laugh, we dance, we merry, we bury our heads in entertainment and more entertainment.
Since the NFA and Super Eagles have connived to ensure our flag isn’t flying in Gabon at CAF, Big Brother Naija is the sole rave of the season. It has been one week of many cameras following 14 adults nowhere, this is going to last for 90 days and the winner goes home with 25 Million naira. We do not know the winning task, maybe one who is able to have the loudest sex, or is able to do the most intimate of lap dances, may be the babe with the perkiest boobs, the one who bullies the most, or cry longest or the baddest beer guzzler. We shall see.
Forgive me, but I judge everything about this show silly. I do not find it interesting that all housemates are from the media and entertainment industry. They are not so fresh also, many of them have been into one contest , reality show or the other. We are recycling like Nigeria politicians. If over 4,000 people auditioned for BBnaija, how come only people from these industries were chosen?
Then I watched a bit over the weekend. They were taking turns to toast T.boss. How great a task! Such creative innovation, especially since there is so much to learn from the toasting experience. Aren’t we tired of toasting each other? I caught up with them at some time eating roasted winged termites. And there was the Gifty who claimed never to have seen these things or tasted them before. Gifty, Igbo girl who schooled in Accra has never seen or heard of Aku. I bet she never saw these insects in Ghana or Anambra, though they are in droves during the rainy seasons in Lagos. She’s a proven screen actor, just living out the role in the BBnaija House.
Uriel was not the girl one wants to associate with at the eviction nomination, she didn’t rehearse her self- written script well. “Biggie, help me”. “Biggie , save me”. “Biggie, I’m nervous”; the performance came out flat. I am yet to ‘see gobe’ in this first week. Not Kemen and Uriel’s Lap Dance, not T.Boss’ perky boobs or Efe’s tipsy outburst.
I will not find the show interesting, we have been along this path before. It will be sex, betrayals, bickering and inanities for 90 days . What do we expect of young adults all locked up together for weeks without any tasking challenge? And how am I to find watching young adults loafing around interesting? The only twist to the game is that the seemingly intelligent ones get evicted real fast because the audience gets to decide who entertains them the most. And since we do not want any deep stuff, out goes the intellectual. BBNaija is the making of a dimwit celebrity going home with a whooping 25Million Naira.
This is what we call entertainment, our very interesting entertainment.