By Victor Akuma
Big Brother Naija is back. BBNaija is so many things to so many people. Some see it as a crazy idea, others find it fun-filled while a number of others find it offensive but for the organizers, it is a means of diversion from the many worries of the society while still looking out for the profiteering side of the coin.
The show which engages persons of Nigerian origin popularly known on the programme as housemates, lasts for no fewer than three months.
In the course of their stay, the housemates are demanded to live out their normal lifestyles without hiding a thing. It is believed that the more realistic ones attitude is on the show, the better chances of such person scooping a good number of votes which in turn could possibly place him or her as the winner.
For the 2020 edition, the organizers (Multichoice), announced recently that auditions for the sensational TV show which is already on, will last till the 30th of May.
The audition however was said to take place online on the BBAudition website where interested participants will have to fill out their online registration forms and upload a two-minute video of themselves stating why they should be picked to be a housemate in season 5 of Big Brother Naija.
The online audition, is also said to be free and open to interested male and female participants who are of Nigerian nationality with a valid Nigerian passport and must be at least 21 years of age by 1st June, 2020.
Reactions however have threaded this new development. While others see it as an opportunity to escape the lingering worries of coronavirus, others consider it insensitive to the country’s health realities.
#BBNaijaAuditions close this Saturday. Don't miss your shot at fame.
— Big Brother Naija (@BBNaija) May 25, 2020
CRISPNG samples some of these opinions:
Obidigbo Ifunannya, a student of University of Nigeria, Nsukka says the move by the organizers is a welcomed one to help people think less of the pandemic.
“In as much as this is the least of Nigeria’s problem right now, this lockdown has made people to be lonely and depressed, this is an escape for them. As far as they take precautionary measures by the NCDC they are good to go, besides they are staying in a house and entertaining us. At least we all can be talking about another thing aside this pandemic.”
Adaeze Onovo, a Mass Communication student of UNN supports the thoughts of Ifunannya as she said if the housemates can maintain all the rules by the NCDC, they should go ahead.
“The corona virus has not stopped so many activities around the world. It hasn’t stopped the media from disseminating information and entertaining people. Why should BBN be an exception. If they can maintain all the precautionary measures, I don’t see the reason why it shouldn’t hold.”
Lending her voice to Ifunannya and Adaeze, Oluomachi Nnamani stated that it is necessary to use the programme as relief to people amid the virus.
“I think it is very okay not because I’m a fan, I’m actually not but we know it is a programme that a huge percentage of Nigerians follow with passion.”
“After all the headache associated with thoughts of the pandemic, it is necessary to use it as a relief to people. At least for them to take their minds off what is happening for a while.”
“Some people may condemn the move on the ground that the nation is going through crisis, so everyone should wear a solem attitude. But when you go on social media, you see lots of memes making fun of the situation. So, you see, the people condemning it on this ground are probably not fans.”
“As far as I’m concerned, if it was put to vote, majority of Nigerians would vote for it to hold.”
“For the organisers of the show also, it is their business, their source of livelihood, that’s where they get their own money from. So as the government has eased the lock down on businesses and offices, the organisers of this show should not be condemned for doing their business.”
“The only thing for the organisers to do is to ensure that before any housemate is allowed into the BBNaija house, there has to be a thorough testing of them .”
However, Victoria Kanu, a graduate of Biochemistry, Imo State University, holds a contrary view as she said it is wrong for such programme to hold sway at this point the world is battling such pandemic as coronavirus.
She also said even though the first category of the audition will take place online, it is possible there will be a physical auditioning when the names of those successful for the first stage are shortlisted.
“I went through their page the other day, the organizers said it’s going to be an online registration but come to think of it, after the online registration there’s going to be a physical audition for some chosen persons. Now this is where the problem lies because there’s going to be an audition in Lagos, that means people from all works of life are going to be there”
“So how are they going to get tested before the audition and how are we even sure that the judges are free from Covid19?” she asked rhetorically.
“The question is, will they really maintain all the precautionary measures?”
“In situations like this, they may just do it haphazardly and when these persons are picked (without proper testing maybe because they had no symptoms) they would surely spread the virus in the house (and it’s going to be a big blow to Nigeria/Nigerians).
“So, my stand right now is, BBN season 5 shouldn’t hold until this pandemic is over.”