Tuesday, November 13, 2007

BBA: May Be U, But I’m Not Proud

So the Big Brother Africa is over and the Tanzanian “representative”, Mr. Richard Bizubenhout, is declared a winner. Well, the amount of dough, $100,000 is not a cheap change. That could very well clear a huge portion of someone’s mortgage. So go ahead and spend that money wisely, Mr. Bizubenhout.

The saddest part is how a Tanzanian cartoonist, following Richard’s victory, wants to portray Richard’s “ex-wife” (and women in general for that matter) as cheap and stupid, to the extend that they are willing to sell their values for money. I don’t know if that is how the cartoonist (who recently got married) views his mother, sisters, nieces, and even his wife.

Please see the cartoon above.

What prompted me to write this article is what Richard said in a press conference following his victory. Fred Ogot, the Guardian writer, quoted Richard as saying that he has made Tanzanians proud by winning the BBA top prize. Well, may be he has made other Tanzanians proud, but not me.

You can refer to Fred Ogot’s article here.

I am not a values police, and I am not trying to be. Nevertheless, I believe that there are certain things people would only do if and only if, their moral sensitivity is going down the drain. I am not speaking for all Tanzanians (because there are folks already planning parties to congratulate Richard), but this much I know – the BBA show is nothing more than a product meant for folks who are unable to evaluate values imparted on them through a television tube.

Given my location, I did watch any of the BBA shows. Nevertheless, I can only presume the show was another soft pornography transmitted for unaware Tanzanian minds to wholeheartedly consume. And they did. Well, while Richard is regarding himself as a hero, others are regarding him as a “rapist”. Read on. And that is what Tanzanians should be proud of ?

Folks, television and movie producers will always tell that their work is only capturing life. Well, I got news for you. Movie and television producers want you to see life through their own eyes. In other words, television producers communicate their values through their work. Well, let’s just look at the mind behind the Big Brother show, for instance.

According to wikipedia, Big Brother reality television show is a brainchild of Johannes Del Mol. Del Mol, not surprisingly, happened to be a native of one of the most liberal countries in the world, Netherlands. It shouldn't come as a surprise then that sex and alcoholism is the cornerstone of the Big Brother show.

I know, I know, I sound like a grandpa. Nevertheless, I would rather sound like grandpa than being stupid. You know, sometimes wisdom is needed in discerning what is good from what is a bunch of crap. Television, just like any other medium of communication, could be used both positively and negatively. Television could be used either to build or to destroy values. I wonder if average folks understand how imagery could distort our understanding of life and even who we are.

So for any Tanzanian who is soooo proud that Richard became a winner of the BBA show, just be informed of this: you just made Mr. de Mol a few bucks richer, while consuming his personal values and convictions. And I am not very sure if those values align well with conservative, Tanzania values.

There are plenty of Tanzanian folks out there, doing meaningful things that I am definitely proud of. Richard, unfortunately, does not make that list.
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Photo Credit: Michuzi

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow! that was nasty! did the show go live in TZ too? which Tv station aired it? I am certainly not proud of him and he did not represent me as TZ either. ihyak!!!Shame goes to those ladies too drinking that much and let loose of their valves. Why do they call this show big brother anyway? Who are they big brother to? he is not my kinda' of big brother...i hope the wife(ex) did not open the door for him... shame!shame!

Jaduong Metty said...

@Anony 2:21PM
I believe the show was aired in Tanzania through MNet. Just like you, I also wonder who these people are Big Brothers to. But I am sure I have absolutely nothing to admire from the show.

stephen said...

Metty I respect your views and like you said you did not watch the entire show. The show which went on for three months was, in my view, very very entertaining.

The rape issue which people are complaining about is very controversial, because the victim , was not forced to do anything, neither did she make a complaint, and even people reporting on it are not even sure what really happened, I can tell you one thing though......nobody was raped.

There were scenes of the women in bikinis and sometimes naked taking showers, but that happened without any use of force, I am sure the contestants weer warned about the cameras and if they did take their clothes off they did it out of their own choice.

"African conservative values" please metty mention a few and then fill me in on how many africans follow conservative values. There was an issue with Richard and his married and status, and the fact that he was openly "flirting" with one of the house mates, the issue was not confined to richard alone it sprung up with other housemates too, i.e who had relationships out of the house and were engaged in relationships inside it.

Richard was the viewers favorite, thoughout the show he played it real, pouring out his emotions for his wife, fighting back the tempting tatiana, falling for her and speaking his mind. Man the dude was entertaining. The rape issue is not an issue because the boy, being in the situation he was in "slipped" and for chrissake how many of us "slip" I have watched plenty of programs on televison that are against moral and ethical values, apparently shows that protray life as it really is are always a huge hit....e.g sopranoes and the wire. That is what viewers like.

As for richard viewers rewarded him for the way he was able to entertain them throughout the show and behave like the person who he truely is......not act for the cameras. I think his victory in anyway does something to at least make us known to the rest of the continent, and i wish the guy all the best.

Jaduong Metty said...

@Stephen
The central theme of my article wasn't HOW Richard won. He definitely won because he competed according to the rules. I am not disputing that.

My contention was whether Richard made me proud or not, whether the BBA show is in alignment with my values or not.

If you think I am the only one questioning the issue of values, there was an article from IPP Media. I am presuming the writer is a Tanzanian also, who believes in a "typical" way a decent Tanzania should act.

Entertainment should be an excuse for compromising one's values.

Anonymous said...

Metty I couldn't agree with you more . I was equally annoyed with the way Kipanya depicted women in his cartoon . The idea that women are so cheap and willing to compromise their values for money is below the belt. Kipanya is better than that , to make a long story short he owes women an apology.

timmy said...

metty , u have spoken like a true african. this big brother thing is nowhere in line with our culture and values as africans. i am nigerian and the way richie conducted himself is being viewed worldwide as an african thing and the misguided young man in response to allegations of sexual misconduct was quoted as saying 'this is africa'. Well, richie i agree with u, this is Africa! and that is precisely why we will not stand for this alien show of shame. winner indeed, i would only agree if the contest was for the most disgusting, uncultured, unscrupulous and indecent 'wanna-be african' who has the misfortune of being alive in an age where he can display all his shameful attributes globally. thumbs up metty ! down with richie and his kind! as for those who say he was the favourite, i suggest u hang ur head and cry over africa, if we have come to the day when africans would prefer pigs and he-goats to human beings!