My Facebook friends seemed obsessed with the newest installment of Big Brother Africa (BBA)- The Chase so I wanted to know what the fuss was all about. I was disgusted with what I saw as the degradation of African culture and values for the sake of money. It was prostitution on the big screen and wondered what self respecting person would watch this trash religiously? More importantly I wondered where the adults were with all this happening in Sub-Saharan Africa. What kind of future were we creating with these kind of young people?
The series is riddled with vulgar, morally degrading behavior and I could not help but wonder is this what independence for the African continent means? Political leaders like Robert Mugabe the president of Zimbabwe have been a strong supporters of the show which makes me wonder if he has even seen the show at all. Many young people are being pulled into this maze gazing at the screen and being polluted with these negative images of young Africans.
It is irresponsible of the contestants and the station M-Net which is exploiting these young lives for the sake of fame and money. The fact is that M-Net will not stop because their show is one of the most highly rated shows on satellite so they will not stop take advantage of these mis-educated, misinformed young people. Given that most of the participants are young, I always wonder where are the adults who will lift up a standard. M-Net just wants to make money at all costs, so they have reduced Big Brother to a televised and glamorized brothel.
I suppose a lot of young people in post colonial Africa have it better than the generations before them that it has clouded their judgment. I believe in modernity and most of its advantages that have made my life easier. I am after all aware that if not for modernity I would have been married to some polygamist and spend the rest of my days in the fields baking in the African sun. I am glad that I have had the opportunity to go to school and to make responsible choices about my life paid by blood, sweat and tears. What I find troubling in how many Africans confuse modernity and westernization with immorality.
If participants on Big Brother Africa think they are acting American then they are sadly mistaken. Americans are far more conservative than what Hollywood portrays on television. People in Hollywood act that way to make money and Africans should in no way emulate behavior they see on television. The average American would not have sex on television to win $300,000. I think its time for Africans to speak up against immoral behavior being screened on television to corrupt the future leaders of the continent. Parents should actively discourage their children from viewing and voting for young people whose only accomplishment is to take off their clothes and have sex on television. Our political leaders should not be found associating with these young people. HIV-AIDS continues to ravage Sub-Saharan Africa but we sit back and applaud young people showing no regard for their future on television. Africans are a lot more than the sexual promiscuity being portrayed on M-Net. Where are the Leaders, Pastors, Teachers, Politicians, Parents who will speak out against the lousy portrayal of youth on Big Brother Africa?
By Anna Mosi-Oa-Tunya 2013