My mother is a wonderful woman. She is blessed with a multiplicity of kids around her who call her mummy, or grandma. Many of my friends and acquaintances who have been chanced to meet her refer to her as “mummy’. Thinking of her and her warm heart, I suddenly have an understanding of why hardly any African language has a single word for cousin. Or nephew or niece, for that matter. Most African languages simply classify all relatives as brothers and sisters. A good example is igbo, which refers to all relatives as “Nwannem” or literally, “My Mother’s Child”. Do you know why this is?
In traditional African societies, the entire community was responsible for the raising of the child. A child who was misbehaving would have to be very sharp indeed, to evade the eyes of not only his/her parents, but every adult or older person in the neighborhood, because the punishment would be serious, and if the parents got to hear, the punishment would, in all likelihood, be repeated. This means that everybody was somebody’s big brother, and discipline was not the exclusive preserve of the immediate family.
Coming nearer home, my own big brother was, and still is, a more handsome specimen, taller, broader, and generally more impressive, with a heart that I think gets played on too many times as a result of its softness. He is the kind who will beg you to allow him help you, and only very occasionally will he put on the bossy airs and try to keep errant younger ones (me, actually) in line.
Hearing at first of a program called Big Brother, I imagined it would be about a bossy big brother trying to keep rowdy younger ones in line, or something of the sort.
You can imagine the folly in my heart.
I opened the big brother site to find young people doing anything and everything, but mostly nothing.
I have tried and tried, but the problem seems to be with me, because I have never been able to understand the allure and the appeal that programs like Big Brother hold for humans. While on one hand, I understand that entertainment has no real obligation to you other than to, quite simply, entertain you, it need not be deep, or philosophical, or the elder brother to the book of revelations in the Christian Bible. If it can make you laugh, loudly and mindlessly, and take some of the edge off you after a long hard day, I guess it should count for something. I also admire and respect the fact that it requires absolutely no talent, skill, or gift to be able to apply for it. Just be human, be Nigerian(or a citizen of whichever country the show is being held for, as it applies), and be absolutely willing to make a fool of yourself a little (or a lot, from what I hear), and disregard whatever vows or affiliations you got yourself involved in. because you will get tempted. And when you fall, ensure that you fall very hard, because what is worth falling for is worth falling hard for. And having said that, if you must indeed break a vow or suffer marital discord (for those foolish enough to go for something as “interesting” as big brother when you are married), then please try and go all the way, have sex, do not restrict yourself to mere blowjobs and lapdances. Something must kill a man, or end a marriage. In a manner of speaking.
Honestly, I have nothing against Big Brother, or any of the reality shows we are being fed on a daily basis. The organizers know that sex sells, and they are cashing in on that to make a killing. There is nothing that beats packing fourteen healthy humans inside a house, males and females, and setting up cameras to catch and record all the sexual tension and release that goes on among them. It is strong foolishness to assume that healthy males and females packed together in confined quarters will not get down. The part I have a teeny bit of a problem with is the craze with which Nigerians, the vast majority of whom are unemployed and underemployed, chase the big brother bug, rushing to subscribe to channels they can not afford to keep up with gist that does not help them in any way. And the way they peddle the gist! Perfect strangers bond over how fake Gifty is, or how sneaky Thin Tall Tony is, or how Uriel is a calculated and manipulative drama queen. But who can blame them? With all the shit the government puts us through, we all need the stress relief and decompression, and to each his/her own, to seek and find relief. You, dear reader, have come here for your own bite of stress relief. Oya, tell me what you think in the comments section.