By Francis Ewherido
I stopped watching Big Brother after the episode where Ebuka Uchendu featured. He was not notorious and carried himself with dignity throughout his stay in the Big Brother House. He did not win the prize money, but he is arguably the most successful of the lot in that episode since after they left the house.
This shows that you do not have to be notorious to get viewers’ votes. I stopped watching the show when I got to a point and I felt that it did not suit my spiritual wellbeing. Moreover, as I grow older, my interest is shifting to issues relating to physical wellbeing and health, not forgetting life in old age and retirement, God willing. In addition, as my children were growing older, I also felt the contents were not good for their formation.
For over a year now, I have even stopped my subscription to DSTV. It started as a personal observance during Lent, then Arsenal’s inconsistent and miserable performances in the premiership enforced it before my children met and came to me that they do not want DSTV again, and that I should just add money to the subscription money and give them 24 hours internet subscription (this serves the purpose of helping them to do their school work online and enhance their individual passions). I obliged and that was the end of DSTV in my house, at least for now.
So, my narratives on the Tega and Boma saga in the Big Bro House are from press reports, not eyewitness account. So if you see any misrepresentations, pardon me. According to the reports, Tega, a married mother of one, went under the duvet with Boma. What truly happened here is only known to the two of them, but that is inconsequential. What is consequential is that it should not have gotten to that extent. The handshake clearly went beyond the elbow. When a man gets to that stage with a woman, his brain has gone on recess and the only thing that can bring him back to his senses and give him satisfaction is sex and ejaculation. So those arguing that nothing happened have a lot of convincing to do. The reports said Tega was also in the mood and when iron and magnet connect, what happens? Her earlier acts in the house do not help matters. The reports also said that she once brought out her breast for another male housemate to suck! But she has since come out to say there was no sex, by which I guess she means no vaginal penetration. I am not moved. She went beyond boundaries by going under duvet with Boma.
In truth, what attracted me to the story was the name, Tega, an Urhobo name. My mind went to stories I heard when I was growing up and what I saw. Erivwin (consequences of abominable acts) was very strong in Urhobo land. A married woman must report to the husband if another man held her hand or waist (inappropriately, I guess), my mum’s relative lost two children to erivwin because the wife committed adultery. The deaths would have continued and subsequently consumed her if she had not confessed. The most bizarre story of erivwin my mum told me was a housewife going on her own. She was pressed and wee-weed by the side of the road. She did not know her admirer who was obsessed with her was stalking her. After she left the spot, the secret admirer got to the spot. He brought out his penis and used it to touch the spot where the woman wee-weed, consoling himself that if he could not have sex with her, at least let his penis touch her wee. Weird?
Anyway, the woman fell ill. She was told to confess. She said she did not commit adultery. So, they performed some rituals for her. If she was guilty she would die, if not, she would survive. Of course, she got well, but the stalker became ill and bloated and started dying gradually until he confessed and that was how the story became public knowledge. The man was fined a goat and other items that were used to make sacrifice to “appease” the gods. That was Urhobo culture before Christianity and modernity diluted it.
Even though, Tega was born and grew in a liberalised era, her actions still did not make sense to me. Now some Urhobo people are denying her that she is not Urhobo, but only adopted the name. Does it matter? Even if she adopted the name, she is one of us. If she had done a glorious thing, we would have said she is Urhobo. But whether or not Tega is Urhobo, she crossed the boundary. I do not think any culture in Nigeria accepts such irresponsible behaviour. That she was voted out with Boma confirms that. Nigeria is still a very conservative and traditional society, even if it is tainted with a huge dose of hypocrisy.
There has been hue and cry from Christian and Muslim groups about banning the show. I do not share that view. Nigeria is a secular country. Moreover, it is your choice to watch or not to. I exercised my freedom by stopping my DSTV subscription. Exercise your freedom. DSTV has over 100 channels. You can continue to subscribe and avoid Big Brother channel. If you do not have the discipline, suspend your subscription while Big Brother is running.
Some people also say that married people should be stopped from participating in Big Brother. It is up to couples to decide, but if you want your spouse there, then you must be ready for the consequences of your decisions and your spouse’s actions in the house. Many housemates behave like Nigerian politicians after getting into government. They forget where they are coming from until they leave government and reality hitsthem. There was one Richard, a housemate with a monster dick in the Big Brother House in those days. He was close to a female housemate from Namibia called Titiana. They were suspected to also have had sex under the sheets. Once the show was over and he came out of the house, he started shouting I want to see my wife.
All humans have a limit of endurance. Tega went to house with the consent of her husband. I have no sympathy for him. He was simply naïve, foolish or both. They put fame and fortune ahead of their marriage. He should go and mend his marriage and he has promised to do so. This too shall pass. Worse things have happened in other marriages. They should withdraw from the public scene for nowand concentrate on mending their marriage. Their story will stop trending soon. Nigeria is dealing with many issues and stories hardly trend for long.
For others coming behind, infamy and nudity might have brought Kim Kardashian and a couple of others in the local scene fame and fortune, but the road from infamy to fame is filled with landmines. I do not recommend it for anyone.