Friday, August 22, 2008

Big Brother Africa III

There are controversial reality TV shows. And then there is Endemol’s Big Brother Africa whose third season kicks off Sunday 24th August. All the usual suspects will be there - Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The show will be shot on location in South Africa.

On the surface, the Big Brother game plan is as simple as can be. Lock up a group of disparate people in a house rigged with cameras and microphones (27 and 48 respectively to be precise) and then broadcast to the world their drinking, dancing, flirting, quarreling, cooking, showering, getting bored, sleeping, waking up – all the works. Slightly deeper it’s actually about human psychology which the viewers can see at work throughout the show as confinement and monotony take toll on the contestants. It plays on the contestants’ emotions and frustrates them to a point where their reactions are no longer what they would be in normal circumstances. To see or talk to no one except fellow housemates 24/7 for 3 months I think is the real test.

I’ve never bought the idea of contestants going in there to represent their countries. Represent their countries in what? Of what representation was Alex Holi of BBA1 and later Jeff of BBA2 to Kenya? Mwisho and Richard to Tanzania? Other than wrapping themselves in the national flag, contestants are there to have fun, promote themselves and have a shot at the grand prize. Gaetano of BBA1 for instance was thrust into the limelight courtesy of the show and is now doing well for himself. Others like Jeff promoted their books and their mushroom business, otherwise Kenya does not do her sit ups like that.

Ofunemama of Nigeria on the other hand…... of all the motherly hardworking good she may have done in the house throughout the show, the one thing people will always remember about her is finger gate - the seriously humiliating episode which biggie should have slotted in the late night uncensored show. That is if he had to air it at all. But then again it’s an unscripted show about nudity, sex, beer and romance and the contestants know what they’re getting themselves into. At least we learned something from that episode though. A girl does not drink until she’s comatose. If a girl misbehaves with a guy the big deal is on her……. not on the guy. Too bad.

The Middle East attempted their own version of Big Brother in 2004 with countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon, Oman, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Somalia, Syria and Tunisia participating. But due to religious protests it did not air past week one. I never got to watch it but I’m sure it was nowhere near as immodest as what we have in BBA and other BB versions across the globe.

Biggie promises a more wicked show this time. Let’s wait and see. I’m looking forward to blogging about it but not here. It will have a new home.


Half n Half said...

I remember at the end of Idols someone asked what you would be posting on mondays. I guess now we know!
Am the only adult I know who can't wait for the start of Being Bad 3

Shiko-Msa said...

Half and half now you know Lol. That was Kirima. But still I have to fish for articles for this space coz Being Bad 3 will be in a different blog.

Cant wait either. What is it with adults watching adults doing nothing?

31337 said...

i am a keen watcher, to the detriment of work too. so you know i have already fed your bb3 blog into my feeder.,,belch!

Kirima said...

Didn't quite follow the last one keenly pity I will back at work it would have been great for passing time

Half n Half said...

Kirima, you should organise your life in such a way that work occasionally interrupts BB3

Shiko-Msa said...

Intelligensia the belch, Lol.Thanks.

Half and Half. Not the other way round right?

Kirima I'll be working too. The glimpses in the evenings and weekends will be enough. To much of anything is poison.

Anonymous said...

If I am allowed to call a spade a spade and not a big spoon big brother Africa is just nothing more than immorality at its best.
Big Brother Show is not only immoral but a vehicle encouraging immorality, promiscuity, fornication and adultery which will eventually lead to spread of HIV and Aids. Africans who see Big Brother as a way of advancement should realize that it is that kind of "advancement" that led the so called civilized countries to the high level homosexuality & its official recognition.. even at the Church level.
BBA promoted immoral values, encouraged and rubber stamped adultery as seen with the way Richard Bezuidenhout,(In BBA 2) thou he was supposed to exhibit great concern being a married man, throw caution to the wind and had sex during his sojourn in the house. The man sure strutted around the house as though he owned all the women. Imagine the way he was pronouncing loudly "I have seen the rivers and mountains of Big Brother", and then chuckling in a very self-satisfied way. Not only did he seem very, very pleased with himself, but he boldly pronounced, almost shouted, that he had "changed strategy" and "I'm going to bump all the women in the BBA house" - not once, not twice, but a number of time. The outcome of the results Big Brother Africa II clearly showed that Immorality triumphs over Morality and Richard indeed won because he "entertained" his viewers with his immoral performances. By Watching that episode You could have been forgiven for thinking you had stumbled across a new porn channel, some viewer say it is “entertainment,” but I ask since when have immorality become entertainment?
It’s Good news to hear Nigeria’s House of Representatives has threatened to ban the forthcoming Big Brother Africa III (BBA III), from the country’s airwaves unless it conforms with country’s broadcasting codes that bar "obscene, indecent and vulgar language expression or representation, I hope the other African countries to follow suite. .
Putting immorality a side what’s there to learn or enjoy watching a group of adults sitting around, talking, eating and sleeping? I’ve never been a fan of the Big Brother reality shows and I find them boring and totally pointless…


Shiko-Msa said...

Sure Anon 3.33 you're allowed to call a spade a spade. Thanks for your opinion and your comment.

It's up to local stations to reject the show if they feel it infringes on the citizen's morality. Nigeria’s anger is understandable after Ofuneka. Otherwise DSTV has done their part by airing the show on an age restricted channel. For a successful marriage and family values, Big Bro is certainly not the show to look up to for examples.

Here’s a question that was posed to the organizers of the show:

Why did M-Net ask people from my country to enter and to watch this show that I regard as immoral?
Research has shown that BIG BROTHER AFRICA I and II were widely watched throughout the continent. Further the choice to enter the show and the choice to view the show is an individual one.

BP ONE said...

Shiko, Someone said “……My candid opinion however is that, it wasn't Richard character or his popularity that earn him the prize, but his supporters did the outside job for him. This is possible because of the voting patterns adopted by the Big Brother. All participating country represent one vote each, while the rest of Africa represent one vote…………………..To buttress my point, if Richard indeed won because he "entertained" us with his immoral performances as his supporters would want us to believed, how come his co-adjutor in the immoral acts i.e Tatiana ended up with only one vote from her own country, Angola. The fact that Ofunneka captured the "rest of Africa" vote means that, she won the heart of African people who truly appreciates moral values.” See link

Could it be true the votes were manipulated as suggested by the above article to give Richard a win ?

Kirima said...

@Anon its possibly true that Big Brother may be offensive to the sensibilities of many people (not just Africans its controversial all over the world) but I believe yoi need to excercise choice if you disagree with it don't watch it and if you have DSTV excercise parental control and block the Big Brother channel.
I however do not agree that a single TV series can be responsible for moral degradation in Africa

Shiko-Msa said...

BP thanks for the link. The author poses some questions that are worth pondering. Even I was almost sure Ofuneka would win. Pity Tatiana.

But I don't agree with him when he says: Richard's supporters resides in countries in the Southern Africa i.e Tanzania, it is easier for them to garner supports for him by traveling to the participating southern African countries, buy phone credit, and vote massively for Richard in each of the countries.

Did people really take BBA that seriously to an extent of crossing borders to vote? Tena massively? I don't think so. If there was any manipulation then maybe by MNET themselves.

Shiko-Msa said...

True Kirima.

Morality is in trouble from so many quarters. Even from the church!! Big brother here is only in it's third season and yet immorality has been around for ages.

Our local stations may opt to ban it but if they're citing immorality and vulgar language as the reason, then they have a whole bunch of programs to ban. The F word is one we get to hear a lot of even in day time programs.

The Church - I'm not even sure what to say about the church.

Anonymous said...

@Kirima thanks for your advice regarding the big brother and Dstv ,but I ask where is my social responsibility towards the society I live in? do I have to turn a deaf ear and blind eye to the ills and immorality that is visiting my neighborhood…. if my neighbor’s house is on fire do you advice me to close my doors wait and pray for the fire engine to come quickly ? Isn’t it my social responsibility first as a human being and most important as a neighbor to be a Good Samaritan and take the first step to put off the fire? Am sure the answer to that is affirmative , then why the double standards when it comes to fighting immorality?
Krima the fight against immorality has taken a global shape and many moral cautious people are trying their best if I may quote one such fight

“……Because of too much indecency in prime-time TV in the United States , the Parents Television Council (PTC) has now prevailed on the American government to set up the Decency Police for the tracking down the indecencies shown on TV. Under the cover: Has TV gone too far?, TIME Magazine (March 28, 2005) went to town with that story. In that story the magazine revealed that the PTC and Decency Police have devised ways of tracking down the TV stations showing nudity, violence, profanity, disrespect for authorities in America. Upon being tracked down, these TV stations were made to pay heavy fines. For example, in response to viewers' complaint, Fox TV was fined $1.2 million in 2004 for airing the Reality show called Married by America which featured strippers covered in whipped cream; the CBS was fined $550,000 for airing Nipplegate. Spielberg's WW 11 epic which had previously appeared on American Telly was stopped in 2004 because it contained bad language.
If the United States where human rights and freedom are worshipped as religion could descend heavily on TV stations thriving on indecency, why not Africa? Public good dictates that programs shown on our TV conform to the standards for the broadcasting industry.” See details,9171,1039700-2,00.html

If those who invented the unethical reality TV and other moral bankrupt shows are waging a war against it who are we to set back and keep quite …ama as unusual do we wait for the UN to pass a resolution banning immoral shows and we take action just like WHO came up with the Global tobacco treaty (the anti smoking treaty).

@ Shiko-msa After reading the above article isn’t it the right time we fight our local TV stations and their immoral programs starting with the F word…ama it is advisable we wait busy bring up our children to pose as the best actors and actress in the future Big brother Africa.

I wonder after the fingergate, what is the future holding for our Kids…?

Half n Half said...

@ anon: We should stop blaming Tv for immorality.. We as parents have failed our children. We do not raise our children, our children are being raised by the television..If you can not raise your children to differentiate immoral from moral shows and behaviour, we can not sit here and blame TV. Yes there is immorality on TV, it is up to you to decide what YOU LET your children watch. As for Adults, I think their label as adults says it all, and its their choice. That is why most of the programs come with an age label to them

As for homosexuality I find it curious that you have labeled it immoral, but still its all a matter of choice.

Shiko-Msa said...

ha ha Anon don’t allow TV to have anything to do with the future of your kids! Maybe the best you can do is use it wisely to educate them. There are some good edutainment programs sometimes. And don’t even count on cartoons to entertain them either. The ideas they pass are no better. Some of them are very violent. Not immoral but violent – which is another issue with TV.

A certain celeb in Hollywood I can’t remember who does not have a telly in the house. Closer home, someone else I know very well has banned TV watching in her home all day and she selects the programs her children watch and even then only during the weekends. That is how parents who think TV is polluting their kids should fight the issue. Your responsibility starts at home. Do you have a telly? Throw it out. In that case you wont even know there is such a thing as BBA. Or like my Dad did, switch it on at 9.00 for news and off at 9.30 immediately after. Although in the news these days they can still watch love triangles and condom advertisements. Back in the day our parent’s word was final. I’m told kids these days can sue for child abuse if you discipline them?

The thing is the world as a whole is rotting at a very fast rate and parents have to work double to make sure that their kids rise above all this stuff. These days Lyrics of ‘Manyake all sizes’ and such other songs have replaced nursery rhymes. Other kids have toy guns to play with even though just to shoot water – bought for them by their parents.

By Nipple gate I’m assuming you mean Janet Jackson? I think the reaction to that was overdone and hypocritical. There’re so many boobs on show in US and other countries. Lots of ladies are walking around with their cleavages out and that’s by choice. But their efforts to clean their airwaves is commendable.

And now BBA has officially started Bye.