Few are surprised that Big Brother Nigeria season 4 bad girl, Tacha finagled her way into the top 10 finalists of the show. This is despite having rivalries with other housemates with strong fandoms outside the house and being voted up for nomination every single week since this season began.
It has become one of the Big Brother Nigeria tropes that a single female housemates is singled out as the season’s ‘Dragon Lady’ and the game skewers to put her in conflict with other housemates, stereotyping her and forcing arguments that brand her as the villain of the season. This trope is common in many reality shows, and was brought into focus by the drama that has surrounded American reality tv show, Ru Paul’s Drag Race. TBoss was the first season’s Dragon Lady, a role that Cee-C would occupy on her season. Tacha’s fame as an Instagram influencer who leveraged her sexuality and the perverse curiosity of her online followership into a successful business that subverted Nigerian expectations of morality was enough backstory for the other housemates to push her into the Dragon Lady role.
But even before Tacha entered the Big Brother House, she had already been targeted for harassment. In February 2019, months before the season began, artist manager Gochi Lambert uploaded a video of Tacha auditioning for the show. The video eventually went viral before Gochi deleted it but by then, it had already brought unexpected attention to Tacha and branded her negatively.
When Tacha first joined the house, she was willing to forge alliances and friendships. By her third ‘surprise’ nomination for eviction, Tacha wizened up and cut her alliances, re-branding herself as a ‘defiant’ lone wolf. She chose to play the game by not playing the game, by leaning into role she’d been forced into and owning it. She stopped pandering to any of the other housemates and only responded to unsolicited expressions of solidarity.
Setting herself apart in this way has freed her fans of the burden of splitting votes to ‘protect’ her alliances and ensured that she routinely gets the highest votes when she is nominated. It also ensures that barring a disqualification, Tacha will make the final three. But it has also made her a lot of enemies outside the house, people who consider her ‘rudeness’ a bigger crime, than the many instances of seuxal harassment that have happened in the house.
The Big Brother house is not a morality play. Sans physically or verbally provoking another housemate, anything else is permissible, even an unlikeable female housemate. Tacha is simply playing the game and ignoring the rules like many of the male housemates have done. And perhaps its time we investigated what it is about Tacha’s autonomy that riles so many viewers up.
Edwin Okolo is an author and journalist who has worked with YNaija, TheNativemag and the Naked Convos.