The very fact that I have to type this out disgusts me. That I have to sit here and actually explain some of the most basic common sense on this planet makes me feel soiled; soiled like I’ve been racking through the muck at the arse-end of the Internet, and have just come out into the sun only to be pissed on by an elephant that just drank a swimming pool’s worth of Chibuku after a curry dinner. Soiled.
First of all, let me get this out – Big Brother Africa is a game-show.
It’s not a national endeavour. It is not a competition among nations. it is not the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games (remember those?) or even the International Maths Olympiad.
Big Brother is a game-show, and that is ALL it is.
BBA contestants are not picked by David Coltart’s Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture. They’re not selected in a national referendum, and are certainly not sent there by some national selection committee to “represent” Zimbabwe.
These people are picked by BBA themselves, the Endemol Worldwide or Multichoice people or whoever, using their own criteria, for entertainment value.
Big Brother will tell you that they’re “representing Zimbabwe” so that you, Mr & Miss Lowest Common Denominator (LCD), feel special. You feel involved, invested … important.
There is also the notion going around that sure, even if they’re not nationally selected and it’s just a gameshow, they actually DO represent all Zimbabweans by virtue of being “ambassadors” on an international stage.
They are not ambassadors. They are there representing themselves, and even if their behaviour causes a few other LCDs to think less of Zimbabweans in general, that is not my problem.
The notion that every single Zimbo is responsible for every other Zimbo’s behaviour is ludicrous in the extreme. We are people of free will, and if someone else’s failure or success in a gameshow causes me to feel either shame or pride, the character flaw is purely mine.
The burden of judgement for other people’s behaviour is one we choose to accept or reject, and if someone says “Zimbabweans are idiots because Pokello was twerking on TV” then, well, I won’t dispute that because the idiocy is clearly not mine.
Finally, the fact that I’m actually typing this ridiculous, high-horse shit is an indicator of who has actually won this whole debate.
Endemol have won.
Their greatest victory was not in creating Big Brother, but in turning Big Brother Africa into a perceived contest among nations.
That notion of national pride being at stake translates into the one thing that fucking matters in all this – United States Dollars.
As a Zimbabwean, if you feel invested enough in your pride or shame at what Pokello or Hakeem do on BBA, you can vote up to 100 times in each voting period.
I’ll let you do the maths, using whatever low-end estimate you want for the number of times each Zimbo votes, each week, in total, then South Africans, tally up Nigerians, then all the countries watching and voting, then total that over three months.
Don’t tell me your figures, but I bet it was way more than the $300k the winner is taking home. Yes, that’s home, not back to their home country’s reserve bank or fiscus. Not to your fucking house, or mine. To their home.
By all means, enjoy Big Brother Africa. If you wanna vote, do so. Complain, bitch, Facebook and Tweet all you want. It’s fine, you’re free to do so.
But saying that so-and-so “represents” you? That’s a marketing gimmick that probably earned someone a fuck-load of bonus money at that entertainment company.
Free your mind.