BBNaija and the Loss of African Cultural Values

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By Anachunam Ifeoma

Recently I got a text that read “Ban big brother in Naija for nudity and pornography” and it is an invitation to sign up for its ban. Big brother Naija or BBnaija as it is fondly called by its fans is a reality Television show in which 12 to 21 contestants live in an isolated house and compete for a cash prize of millions of naira at the end of the show, by avoiding being evicted from the house by the viewers.

At moment, Big brother Naija season 4 is ongoing and while some people are enjoying it, others are clamouring for its closure. Why is it so? Why the divided opinion? I think it is because most of us have lost not just our African values but also our moral values. So, they see the show as just fun as they called it. Those who still retain something of their African values and morality were the ones who are agitating for its closure.

Big brother Naija as Obi Asika said, is meant to promote Nigerian talents in music and entertainment industry, and now that purpose seems to have been defeated, what is the matter retracing back to original concept of it. Why settle for less even when majority of the citizens are complaining and lamenting over what has become the outcome? I think the answer is obvious, it is because majority of the Nigerians especially the youth has lost sense of decency and morality.

The 21st century youths have no sense of decency, no commitment to values and no dedication to a fulfilling life. Hence, BBNaija is like the manifestation of what St. Paul said to the Romans in Roman 1:26 “because they do this, God has given them over to shameful passions……” and again in the first letter of St. Peter 3:3 he said “first of all you must understand that in these last days some people will appear whose lives are controlled by their own passion (lust)….” There are majority whose lives are controlled by their passions, and they have no other ambition except to satisfy those passions. The western life-style is so to speak the idol they worship. How can such ever see anything wrong in BBNaija when he/she sees her culture, his root, values as second class, while promoting the western culture as the best. The western culture that has been undergoing moral decadence, that’s what we Nigerians who are expected to have a deep sense of the Supreme Being is promoting.

As a matter of fact, one of the distinctive values of an African is Religion, and Nigerian are not exempted from it.Values are those things we price as useful, important or something of worth. They are those things that we as Africans (Nigerians) hold in high esteem and are devoted in teaching to our younger ones. We are culturally religious, we are so much conscious of the Supreme Being. This consciousness is expressed and is embedded in our way of life; deep sense of moral life which express itself in the way we dress, talk, dance and behave in public. But today, what has become of these values. True, westerners uses every means to project their culture to us as the best, but must we swallow everything, must we take everything as gospel truth? We are well aware that still deep down something tells us that this is not our way of life.

African culture is embedded in strong moral considerations, we know that some patterns of life bring blessing while some bring curse. There are style of dressing and life-style in our culture that depicts irresponsibility and are seen as a bad sign. Unfortunately, these are the very things that the society nowadays uphold as the best, so much so that if you refuse to behave or dress in such a manner, you will be addressed and treated as “Archaic”. What then becomes of our values, especially moral values. It is now regarded and treated as second hand. In as much as people are questioning the morality behind the show others were busy calling on the Nigerians to enjoy the show. How then will they get the vote for the move for its extinction? I think rather that what we should begin now to do is to go back to our root, to reawaken in our youth and young ones the importance of our cultural values especially the moral ones. When this is done, when we get the young ones to accept, cherish and live our moral values, things like BBNaija and other indecent acts will reduce if not end.

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