The Big Brother show, no matter what region of the world it airs, is regarded as a social experiment. As is known to everyone who watches the show, a number of contestants are crammed into one house to see how they interact with each other.
During a specified time frame, they are cut off from the outside world and are made to play by a set of rules that are dictated by the figure head Big Brother.
The Big Brother Naija show has followed this model and as such, created some of the most intriguing and fascinating content on Nigerian television. We’ve seen a number of personality clash during the show’s history, just as we’ve seen human incompatibility in its rawest form, but what we rarely see on the show is a difference in mental health.
By now, we know what to expect when an honest person is made to interact with a dishonest person. We know what to expect when a drunkard is lumped in the same house with a nephalist. We have a clue on how an introvert will communicate with an extrovert and we know how hopeless romantics liaise with cynics, but how a mentally stable person reacts with someone with mental health concerns is yet to be seen.
This remains yet to be seen though as Kayvee who was struggling with his mental health voluntarily exited the show, before any of the housemates could truly get through to him.
Earlier today, Big Brother had the head of house, Pere, deliver a message which read that Kayvee had been advised to withdraw from the show due to health issues. The housemates were in shock and couldn’t believe that he would take such a drastic measure. However, they would be remiss and completely dishonest to say they didn’t see it coming.
From the onset, Kayvee was a contestant who would typically keep to himself. He did have moments where he interacted with everyone else but typically, he preferred private conversations over group discussions and would be seen for long stretch of time on his own.
Last week, his withdrawal from other housemates became even worse. It got to the point where he just had to air out his emotions. On more than one occasion he alluded to not feeling welcomed by other housemates, noting that they were not being open to him and didn’t make him feel like a part of the team. He equally mentioned that perhaps, because of his ‘street’ personality, other housemates are distancing themselves from him.
On one occasion, he yelled at Queen because she asked him to come join them in shopping for their groceries. On another, he had an altercation with Sammie based on the same grocery issue.
There was an entire ordeal with Angel, who told him that she is not getting back with Sammie but eventually did; making him see her as dishonest. He had also told Michael, Tega, and Saskay, that some housemates probably considers him as a liar. There was also his melt down this morning during the workout session.
He had a meltdown during this Monday’s workout session and at the end of the day, it culminated in his voluntary exit. All we can do now is wonder. Did the Housemates truly give off a negative energy towards him or was he not receptive enough to the friendship they offered?
It is worthy of note that the Big Brother Naija show is infact still a game show, and so, the housemates are more of competition to each other than buddies. With this, it’s a wonder how much the passive aggression in the house and toxicity played in pushing Kayvee away.
These questions are difficult to respond to and only Kayvee himself can let the viewers into his mind – let them know the emotions he typically experiences in and outside the BBN house.
The screening process for the show may have to be reviewed also. Putting someone with a history of mental health issues in the house seems like a recipe for disaster.
We wish Kayvee sound health and speedy recovery.
For Chinedu Okafor, its all about making an impact with words, creating a profound impression on the audience with the intended narrative.