Opinion: Why BBNaija is on and schools closed

By Egboka Victory

The shaking of head in sadness and in pity is that the government allowed a reality show and disallowed the resumption of educational institutions. The government claim that the coronavirus pandemic is still rife and they need to protect the students from contraction. But then they allow Big Brother Naija reality show.

“That’s evidence of a decayed government, the foolishness of a government that place nonsensical, amoral show over the preparation of its youth for tomorrow.”

All these sound right, thoughtful, but the truth remains that our problem with the event isn’t the government nor their decision; our problem is with Big Brother Naija. If there were no pandemic, the world isn’t looking unfamiliar, students are in schools learning, and Big Brother Naija started, we would still call it nonsensical and amoral, we would still shout that the government shut it down, we would still ask why the money and sponsorship poured into the show isn’t directed into a more meaningful concept like mathematics contest for youths, we would still dig up the forgotten Gulder Ultimate Search and other meaningful reality shows that did not last on screen, and we would ask the reason why we can’t have things like them.

But the coronavirus pandemic is here, schools are closed, and the reason they are so isn’t Big Brother Naija; they are so because they happen to be so.


And we should know, the argument about priority placement—schools and Big Brother Naija—doesn’t fly; that shouldn’t even make an argument.

Here is list of precautionary measures the organizers of Big Brother Naija took before the commencement of the show: testing of the housemates for coronavirus, two weeks isolation of the housemates, disinfecting of the nooks and cranny of the house, provision for weekly testing of the housemates, and visitors(outsiders) are not allowed to into the house this season. This is one amongst reasons the NBC allowed the reality show to air; they met the precautionary requirements. And the reason schools are not allowed to open, yet, is that none on the above list is feasible in schools. Do not argue that the government can achieve them, that we have the resources to; they wouldn’t, because the list is plainly unattainable in educational environments with overflowing population.

And we should know also that Big Brother Naija is a business, a non state business, and the way our companies, our shops, our kiosks, run everyday amid the coronavirus pandemic, Big Brother Naija strives to run. Our family/personal business can’t be running and we sit behind keyboards wanting someone’s else shut down. So the government is not playing deaf to our rage about displaced priority, they are giving every business fairness and equal opportunity to strive, and that is good governance. In diaspora, businesses are opening, economies are restoring. Football federations continue their leagues, hence the players are tested and isolated, and no spectators. Those are measures, and Big Brother Naija are taking theirs.

And the world, Nigeria, needs a distraction. We have seen, experience enough in 2020, and Big Brother Naija just provided a suited distraction. In less than a week of the show started, half the population of Nigeria and other African countries have forgotten about a pandemic that came and still there. All we think, talk, shout, laugh about now is Dorothy’s breasts.

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