by Onoshe Nwabuikwu
Has BBA Star Game been fair?
Before you read any further, you should know this is not about any conspiracy theories you may have heard. It’s not about how Nigeria was schemed out of winning BBA for a record fourth consecutive time. Not because I don’t have a few theories of my own (would I be a ‘correct’ Nigerian otherwise). But it’s about one week to the end of Big Brother Africa Star Game and this looks like a good time to look back. Each new season, producers of BBA strive to come up with a show to beat the previous one. And this season was no different. Long before the May 5 opening date, viewers could hardly contain their excitement. No one could imagine how entering the house with your friend or relative would impact on the game. Yet, many expected it to be mind blowing. Have these last 80-something days been mind blowing? I wouldn’t hold my breath about many people ticking the ‘mind blowing’ box.
As to whether BBA 2012 has been fair, I don’t think so. The game hasn’t been planned to be fair. Life itself is not fair or so the cliché goes. In any case, there’s always the fall back of ‘anything can happen in Big Brother’. First example: Upville and Downville vied for the same prize with different rules. The inhabitants Upville- celebrities from different African countries- nominated each other for possible eviction while the Downvillers depended on luck as to whether their country names would get picked every other Sunday.
How was it the celebrities who had to go through nominations and not the Downvillers? Something was lost by that action. There’s the bigger issue that a winner might be produced by default. Or else how could housemates like Alex, Jannette, and Kyle have swept into Upville while more entertaining housemates were sent to ‘Homeville’ if there had been nomination in Downville? Why were partners separated during evictions when such a big deal was made about Star Game being played in pairs?
Just what was the big idea behind mixing celebrities with wannabes to vie for the same prize anyway? Experimentation is BBA’s biggest USP. But this year, that experimentation apparently went south. From live eviction entertainment where the main focus appeared to be on performers from nearly every Africa country to bad camera work with the low point being the Saturday parties which are a throwback to not so good old days. Close ups of flashing disco lights? Check. Close up on djs’ computers? Check. Abruptly cut away from an interesting scene? Check. After all’s said, how interesting was Star Game compared to previous years?
In the end, BBA producers need to conduct a poll post-show to find out exactly what viewers thought about Star Game.
Super Story: Is Apata Memorial in Abuja?
About two weeks ago I had one of my many ‘run intos’ on Super Story. A man and his wife are having problems. The wife is accusing her husband of having an affair with a woman he insists is just his business partner. Wife is so enraged that she moves out of their home in Abuja and also picks up their son from his (Abuja) school. Name of school is Apata Memorial. They leave for Lagos with wife vowing not to return home until husband comes begging. Unknown to her, there are other people bent on wrecking her marriage.
So far, nothing out of character for Super Story. One of its strengths has always been that it keeps its stories simple. It is for that same reason many keep watching.
But I wasn’t so sure that Apata Memorial is in Abuja. As an Abuja resident, I could ‘beat my chest’ and say there’s no school like Apata Memorial here. Especially because most of the schools have Academy in their names as in Capital Science Academy, Premiere Academy, etc. But then again, I lived in Lagos for 17 years and as far as I know, there’s only one Apata Memorial, somewhere in the Isolo area of Lagos. Not to mention that I know a few nieces and nephews who have attended the school.
The issue is not in passing off a well-known Lagos school as an Abuja school. It is in the over-advertisement of the school sign. Such that it became ‘visible even to the blind’ (á la Igodomigodo). TV may be make believe but the emphasis is on ‘make’. It is not ‘gbaju e’ or carelessly misleading viewers.
But then again, Apata Memorial may have expanded to Abuja. Could someone please put me out of my misery: Is Apata Memorial also now in Abuja?
MTN’s ‘pidgin’ ad
If there was one area MTN truly excelled in the past, it was in creating catchy and creative ads. That’s not such a certainty nowadays. It isn’t just about creating good adverts. You need to live up to your promises. So when MTN signs off with ‘MTN, everywhere you go’, it is not necessarily about creativity but whether in truth MTN is really everywhere you go in Nigeria.
But then there’s one MTN Radio ad which falls first on creativity or the lack thereof. I think it’s the ad for ‘Family and friends’. The jingle has words to the effect: ‘Ties go dey stronger, bonds go grow…’ Then someone signs off with: ‘No hidden charge o’.
Just in case it’s not very obvious, this is supposed to be the pidgin version of an English ad. There’s no way to say ‘ties will be stronger’ in pidgin except to do a bad photocopy of the original? Whatever happened to outsourcing the job to professional pidgin people? If the idea is to reach those who understand only pidgin, the more reason to do a proper job. Otherwise, don’t do other versions.
-Kenny Saint Best, musician, at a press conference.
No one can stop conspiracy theories. Just as no one can stop a ‘victim’, deserving or otherwise from expressing his/her emotions. But there’s some intelligence expected from anyone, especially if that someone is a public figure. If Goldie’s eviction was stage-managed, those behind it played smart. Because contrary to what KSB alleges, there are facts (available to everyone) to show Goldie had two votes (Nigeria + the rest of Africa). Ugandan Kyle had about six. This may be difficult to swallow especially from the Nigerian perspective. But where is the proof of shady dealings? The onus is on Goldie and her supporters to provide evidence that she got more than two votes.
‘You had the option of 50 cameras, I had only 2 eyes’.
-Goldie, evicted BBA Star game housemate
I always suspected that Goldie was intelligent and the above statement which is almost like a line from a yet to be released single just proves it. But if she’s truly intelligent, she should know that at this point, the best strategy may be to stay silent. Actually, there are one or two other things she could do. But what she cannot do is go the ‘ogboju pass power’ route where she’ll attempt to browbeat an entire nation with needless ‘gra gra’.
As intelligent as Goldie’s statement is, it only raises questions. Did the other BBA girls (who refused to grovel at Prezzo’s feet) also have the option of 50 cameras? Was it because she had only two eyes (surprise, surprise) that she didn’t see how Prezzo dumped her for Zainab? Was her lack of access to 50 cameras the reason she picked Prezzo over $300, 000 as her BBA prize? What did 50 cameras have to do with her kneeling to beg Barbz? Or her needless tears? Since she’s so knowledgeable about cameras, didn’t she know that those 50 cameras would pick all her cringe-worthy actions in the house? And did she need 50 cameras to hear the hurtful things Prezzo said to her face, her 2 eyes included?
Thankfully we no longer have 50 cameras to see what she’s doing now and so we cannot be embarrassed. She should let us lick our wounds without adding salt.