BBA: Consider other regions!

IT’S official and it’s already happening. Big Brother Africa (BBA): The Chase is upon us amid a lot of controversy.

By Nkululeko Dube.

In Zimbabwe, it courted a lot of criticism even before it started, as many a Zimbabwean hoped that this time around the representation would at least take into consideration that Zimbabwe has many regions.

This did not happen and as before, there was never an explanation why. As one of the BBA fans, it was until the last minute that I believed that comedian and socialite Babongile Skhonjwa was not in the show.

Even when he posted on his Facebook page that he had not made it into the final housemate selection, I didn’t believe him. I thought he was just being Babongile the comedian. When the housemates were unveiled, it was then that it dawned upon me that the wait was not over. The problem in my country is that there is always a thin line between saying something is not fair and being labelled a tribalist or regionalist!

That won’t deter me from saying the truth.

It is high time other regions had representatives in the $300 000 game. It’s water under the bridge now and the show is on. Multitudes are glued to their television sets every day to watch the reality show while remote control wars dog homes day and night. I have noted with so much concern that our society has become obsessed with controversy and nudity.

Each moment we watch the show hoping somebody will fight somebody, will drink and be crazy or even take off some article of clothing! Even Big Brother himself tends to feed on our appetite for sex and nudity evidenced by the rise in dating tasks in the show and the amount of alcohol used to intoxicate housemates.

On one of the BBA fan sites, VIP membership is advertised as follows: “Imagine uncut footage of your favourite housemate in their birthday suit. Yeah, we said it — as bare as they can be, wet and dripping in the shower. As a viewer of great importance, a dignitary who commands special treatment, you are a VIP — a Very Important Person. Once you’ve earned those stripes, you get all the bragging rights because of the exclusive content that you’re exposed to. We’re talking about everything that happens between the sheets during odd hours of the night, the moans and the groans.”

In summary to watch the housemates in their nudity makes you a VIP and you have to pay for this! Bring it on Biggy!

Exciting times are also here for our entertainment industry. The introduction of Southern Eye offers us another avenue and perspective to present ourselves and our work and we applaud the effort. Contrary to a cliché that has always haunted our region claiming that Bulawayo and the rest of the region are dead when it comes to entertainment, I tend to differ. The region continues to produce artistes of international recognition and calibre. Mokoomba are topping charts in many European countries. Umkhathi Theatre works just returned from a very successful tour of the United States.

It was heart-warming to watch them on morning television shows, in the news and read their raving Press reviews. In the US!

Christopher Mlalazi, a local author, is currently the guest writer of the city of Hannover, Germany. His latest publication, Running With Mother published by Weaver Press, has been doing well and will soon be translated into German and Italian.

Locally, there is increased cultural activity too. Just recently there was the Bulawayo Culture festival. The city also hosted the “Bulawayo Comes Alive”.

Intwasa Festival is coming soon. The truth is that a lot is happening out there. Artistes are working very hard and my challenge to the general public is that it’s time we started to go out and support our own in the same manner we support acts from outside the country and region.

I also challenge promoters to come up with more family-friendly events.

This has been the outcry from most of our music fans that while they respect the venues where we all hold our shows, there is a general lack of family-friendly, alcohol-free, sit-down-relax-and-enjoy type of events.

The fans have a point and we must respect it and come up with solutions.

This shall be the platform to inform everybody on what is happening or what happened and I invite your contributions.

Nkululeko Dube is the founder of Iyasa

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