Following the introduction of the top show, Big Brother Titans, many Nigerians have expressed worries over youth participation in the impending democratic activity as the 2023 general election draws nearer.
A mix of benefits and drawbacks come with binge-watching one’s favorite television show.
Outside of the real-time aesthetics of entertainment, there are sentiments that it can stifle someone’s desire for political engagement.
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The reality show host and media personality Ebuka Obi-Uchendu said at the Big Brother Titans premiere in December 2021 that “Nigerian youths are very capable of going out to vote and also coming back to watch whatever they want to watch,” despite the fact that some Nigerians have expressed concern about the program in light of the upcoming election.
The BBTitans, a three-month edition unlike others that will run from January 15 to April 2023, would feature a mix of South African and Nigerian housemates. Ebuka Uchendu and Lawrence Maleka, both from South Africa, will host the program.
Some Nigerians have expressed concerns regarding youth participation in the election as a result of the attention that the reality television show frequently generates.
Shina Peller, a federal member for Oyo State’s Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Kajola, and Iwajowa district, expressed his concerns while also urging the youth to put as much effort into the 2023 elections as they would the Big Brother Naija reality show.
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But in response to this, the majority of the youths lambasted him on social media.
Usman A. Ariori: “Simple, put all the presidential candidates or governorship candidates in one house, and we do the voting as it happens there. No INEC, no ballot box hijacking, no godfather, just big brother dictating.”
Chukwu Emeka: “Don’t reference BBnaija. Talk about the energy in EndSars. Stop giving the dog a bad name.”
Akintewe Michael: “Our vote counts at big brother but not in the Nigeria election.”
Akujinwa Oliver Ekene: “BBNAIJA is the only show that drives the youth into happiness. The political class has failed them. They are now finding succour in irrelevancies.”
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Emmanuel Cephas: “Big Brother Naija is known to transmit results online while the federal governments believe in the ancient days method of ballot boxes and you expect any reasonable youth to go and risk his or her life to vote in a polling centre. Make the election transparent. Then you will see massive interest from the youths to vote. We are just sick and tired of voting, and it will not count.”
Political analyst Dr. Sam Amadi highlighted that BBTitans will lessen the fervor and intensity of young people’s political participation in an interview with Newsmen. He called the reality show a significant entertainment undertaking.
“This would affect the election to some extent because of the combination of the South African and Nigeria housemates. Once BBNaija gets on the way, and it’s interesting and compelling a lot of activities, there would be a kind of dulling in terms of young people getting out to get involved politically.
“And maybe if they are yet to collect their PVC by now, it’s more unlikely, but we can see a reluctance of people to hang out too long, especially when there are some editions that will involve a particularly popular person on the show or when there are some expectations and anxiety regarding what’s going on in the house.
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“Yes, it will constitute some distraction, but we don’t know how much. But it’s just going to affect the quality time that the young people spend on political issues.”
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