Apart from the fact that the location for this year’s show is different (Lagos – as opposed to South Africa where past seasons have held), the foreign accents have stood out as a few of the housemates – though Nigerian- were born or raised in other countries.
Now, this has led to the argument of whether or not these “Yankee” housemates are relatable with the average Nigerian audience, but that’s a topic for another day.
Now, it’s common knowledge that the lifeblood of any reality tv show is usually its participants.
These people are expected to bring life to the show and keep their audiences as interested as possible using whatever unique qualities they possess.
As expected, fans of Big Brother who followed the show’s last 2 seasons and experienced the entertainment “See Gobe” and “Double Wahala” brought to their TV screens, expected nothing less from the housemates in “Pepper Dem”.
However, it seems as if this year’s show has delivered way below average as far as Nigerian entertainment is concerned and this begs the question; “What makes a reality show boring?” better still “Why is #BBNaijaPepperDem boring to Nigerians?”
At the start of the season, social media sensation Symply Tacha was unveiled as one of the 21 housemates, and Nigerians did not hesitate to make her a trending topic on social media as a result.
Known for posting raunchy videos on Instagram and Snapchat, fans had expected that Tacha would bring the same “pepper” she dished on social media to the Big Brother house but so far, she has been a disappointment to her fans.
Announcing herself as the strongest housemate didn’t augur well with Nigerians either.
We’ve seen quite a number of interesting housemates this season: from Seyi who is the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s grandson to Mike the recently married professional athlete, Khafi the police officer in the UK, Tuoyo the fitness trainer and part-time stripper, Kimoprah the On-air-personality, Sir Dee the banker and a host of other interesting personalities.
Apart from the obvious fact that they are all very good-looking, it’s safe to say that these housemates are all leaders in their respective fields with very promising futures and that Big Brother got it right with their selection to go along with the theme of the show “Pepper Dem”.
Frankly speaking, if I were to select friends to add to my pepper dem gang, I’d definitely be picking these housemates.
Let’s look at a definition of “Pepper Dem Gang” from peegin.com’s dictionary
Obviously, the organisers of Big Brother Naija couldn’t have gone lower than the housemates they selected to be on #PepperDem, because the entire motive is not just to pepper fellow housemates, but pepper even the audience themselves.
But Alas! Nigerians, have been conditioned to believe that since the previous seasons of #BBNaija contained sex, toxic relationships, fights, controversies etc, then all seasons must follow suit.
Of course, these are some of the things that happen whenever adults are together in a house for 90 days but just because none of these has happened in week 2, doesn’t make the show boring all of a sudden.
I like to call this season the “Bougie season”, the one where half the housemates are too far gone in life to care about doing silly things simply for the entertainment of the Nigerian audience, while the other half is trying really hard not to be peppered by the first half, they forget Nigerians also need to be genuinely entertained.
Let’s not forget the housemates with strategies that are obviously adapted from housemates of the previous seasons i.e the forced relationships, the attitudes, the long diary sessions and unnecessary fights.
It all stems from the effect of “been there, done that”, and the result is what Nigerians have termed boring.
One problem I have with the ‘boring’ tag is the fact that the more fans complain, the more they keep watching. It’s kind of like a toxic relationship that needs to end but can’t end because it offers certain benefits you believe you won’t get elsewhere.
One way to test this is to conduct a Twitter search of the show’s hashtags and what you find is nothing less than 250 tweets every hour on a regular day.
There are other days when the show and some housemates lead the trending topics on Twitter, so what exactly is boring about it?
The same fans that complain about boredom can easily identify the most visible and least visible housemates, can tell you which housemates fought, can tell you which housemates kissed, who said or did what, who dances best and who is trying to copy a housemate from a previous season, whereas these are simply behaviours that occur with humans trying to live their best lives.
The fact that Nigerians expect sex, drunkenness, french kisses, catfights, toxic and dysfunctional behaviours but aren’t getting it, does not in any way make the show boring. Pepper should not necessarily translate into these things.
Coming from someone who watches at least 2 hours of the show daily, I can say that these housemates were nicely selected with each one possessing one skill, quality (physical/mental) and achievement necessary to spice up the house.
Look at it as you watching a bunch of “middle-class” kids and “rich” kids trying to live together successfully. I personally find this quite interesting because the housemates we’d earlier predicted to act in certain ways have defied the odds so far.
Take a look at Mike; though married, we expected him to disrespect his marital vows and hook up with the ladies in the house but it’s been quite the opposite with him.
Tacha whom we expected to start a striptease movement has been the leader of the feminist movement instead. To me, these are the plot twists that make up for great television, not every time predictable actions, not every time street, not every time noise.
By – Anike Fawole