I learned that a State Commissioner for culture and tourism sent out a memo, urging people to vote for a certain Big Brother Naija housemate who is from the state. I also heard that another State Government has launched a soft campaign for another housemate to win the contest. So there we have it: it’s now an inter-State Government affair where everyone’s looking out for their own.
I’ve listened to, and read strong arguments proposing that people vote for people from their State. In fact, some people criticize their governments for not supporting housemates from their State. These people have a point. Someone said if a housemate from his place wins the N25 million prize, it will empower other people from that State, no matter how few or remotely, and that’s fine with him. But then again, tribalism with BBNaija? Please, no.
The Big Brother show is a reality TV show in which contestants submit themselves to public scrutiny. Viewers are expected to be entertained by the true characters of housemates, and vote accordingly. Whoever gets the highest number of votes from viewers is most loved and saved from eviction; and whoever is voted for least, is the least loved, and so is evicted. This is essentially a matter of likability of personality. If you’re fun to watch, you get to stay a while longer. If you aren’t, you’re let out.
You’ll notice that the housemates were not originally 32, representing each state. They were actually twelve, and later joined by two more. It never was about their State of origin; they aren’t representatives of their States, and aptly so. If a person’s character trait is questionable, for instance, like Kemen who was ejected from the house, because he ‘sexually assaulted’ Tboss, it doesn’t mean people from his State behave that way. And so, they cannot be supported or despised by people from, or not from, his hometown.
If any government cares so much about their indigene in the BBNaija house, I’m sure N25 million won’t be a big deal to give that person, if they don’t win.
You can’t say this is one of those events that brings unity and support from a people to one of their own, because it’s not. That’s for sporting festivals and competitions. The BBNaija show is organized by a private business for the sole purpose of profit. Unless a government or an ethnicity has an economic interest, it’s unideal, and a misplacement of priority to campaign for the support of a housemate in there.