By Dotun Akintomide and Sylvester Kwentua
Nigerians have condemned Nigerian Breweries and De United Foods Industries Limited (DUFIL) Group, manufacturers of Indomie-a brand of Instant Noodles sponsoring ‘Big Brother Naija’ over the public display of nudity particularly sucking of breasts by females and public display of private organs of males on a Television station.
When John De Mol created the first edition of the Big Brother Reality show in the Netherlands in 1999, little did he realize it was going to expand beyond the shores of the Netherlands in just a few years’ time. In 2001, the show first made its international debut in the USA and just like how butter easily melts on bread, the reality show became an instant hit in the USA and before time, it expanded its broadcast to other countries of the world and as of now, the big brother reality show, has recorded 387 seasons in over 54 franchise countries and regions, Nigeria inclusive.
The reality show was first produced in Nigeria in 2006 and the show which houses people for a certain amount of weeks to contest for a cash prize, enjoyed massive reception from Nigerians, probably due to the fact that the period it started recording in Nigeria, was the period reality shows became so popular. However, 11 years after the show became a hit in Nigeria, people have started questioning the moral angle of the reality show, especially as public display of intimacy and sex related behaviours have become the order of the day.
The show is now being condemned heavily for its level of moral decadences, more especially as a female contestant just last week publicly gave out her breast to be sucked by a male contestant and the whole world was watching! Nigerians became enraged, they felt offended. The high moral standard Nigerians are known for has been thrown into the waste bin of immorality just for a cash price of 25 million naira!
While condemning the open display of nudity following sundry immoral acts on TV by the Big Brother Naija housemates, in a telephone chat with Nigerian NewsDirect, the Chairman, NASFAT, Ogun State, Alhaji Alaba Olalekan said aside from God warning people to guide their eyes, mouth, hands and all parts of the body against vain things, the show content itself is immoral from a non-conformist viewpoint. He said religion should be left out of it and as Africans, comments should be passed simply on moral grounds.
“And it’s so sad that programmes like this are heavily sponsored and a large chunk of money that could have been used to develop other areas and develop the youths who are struggling to ensure they leave the country better than they met it, is being used in sponsoring program of this sort.”
Speaking on the counter-productive nature of the show, he added: “Things like this has reduced development in the country, because it makes people think any rubbish act they perform will enable them make more money.”
“As a citizen, where you perform very well to compete with other nations of the world, such heroism is neither recognized nor rewarded, except for shameless act like this,” says the Ogun State, NASFAT Chairman.
While lampooning the Indomie noodles brand and other sponsors for sponsoring such charade show on TV, Alhaji Olalekan lamented that “if such money (about N25 million, the first prize winner will be getting) is being committed to the construction of new roads in Ota and environs as part of Corporate Social Responsibility to the host communities, it would have done good to a lot of people that this immorality.”
“If Indomie sponsors quiz competition, debate activity and the likes, what do they give participants? Probably, a packet of Indomie or two, but they can commit huge resources to sponsoring an act of immortality like this, totally condemned by God.”
He said the government should be blamed through National Broadcasting Corporation for allowing such unguided footages on TV.
In the same vein, Reverend Canon, Jonathan Akanji Adeleye, an African Church senior cleric said judging by its vile digital content, the Big Brother Naija show is barbaric, horrendous and anti-God.
“It’s so sad our sensibilities have been embarrassed with no consideration to the little children whose mind will definitely be corrupted through this nefarious show irrespective of any pre-warning message or parental monitoring.”
Wondering why young people chose to unclad themselves and engage in open sexual misconduct for millions of viewers to watch around the world for monetary gains, he said: “I wonder what has gone wrong with us as a people, despite all of our multifaceted challenges, abuse to children, women and the youths, this again?,” he queried.
He said the show’s negative impact on peoples’ morals and consciousness going by its uncivilized display, far outweighs what anybody may want to term as economic gains or entertainment relief.
“I think the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation should be called to questioning on this, including those who should regulate this across various MDAs and other organs of the government like the legislature. Also, the parents who allowed their children to participate in the show should be utterly blamed.” Rev. Adeleye kicked.
Chief Louis Obi, a prominent leader from Delta state, Nigeria has this to say concerning the big brother Naija show: “first of all as a parent, I am not in support of this so called big brother reality show because it does not add value to my children! When I see people watching this program, I just pause to ask myself what they are really enjoying in watching open display of sex! Also, as a chief and a strong believer in the African values, I feel the necessary authorities need to do something on the continuous production of the big brother naija show, to save our youths from decaying some more”
Similarly, Mrs Ijeoma Oseji, a public relations expert based in Lagos also wondered what lesson is being taught by big brother naija show
“I still do not understand what morals Big Brother Naija and Africa are teaching?’ she asked
“Viewers look forward to their immoral acts every week as though something exciting” she lamented in a social media message.
Meanwhile, several attempts made by Nigerian NewsDirect to get reactions from Dufil Prima Foods Plc, maker of Indomie instant noodle through its Public Relations Manager, Tope Ashiwaju failed to yield much result, as he simply said: “I’m not following activities on the show,” when he managed to answer his call. Thereafter, he declined further comments, despite calls made to him and text message sent to his line before press time.
Similarly, when Nigerian NewsDirect called the communication Director Nigerian Breweries, Kufre Ekanem one of the sponsors of the programme, to find out if they are bothered about having their name being associated to such level of moral decadences, he told our correspondent that he is holidaying in his village at the moment but asked that any question be sent to his email address, promising to get back, a promise he was unable to do so at the time of going to press.