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Glory Abah: Why I Watched This Year’s Big Brother Naija Show

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I have never watched Big Brother Naija. The idea was just ridiculous to me. Why should I watch people living their lives in one big house? Like, how is it my business? Is my own life not worth being watched? 

It seemed like something that was beneath me – which also shows my self-righteous and judgemental tendencies. I know. Anyway, the main thing to note is that I never watched BBN, nor did I even like the concept of the show. 

Later this year, I saw a few posts on how the show had started and of course, muted certain words so it won’t show up on my timeline. Early July, I was scrolling through the streets of Twitter minding my own business when I got a DM from an old secondary school friend. 

“Glory, how far? Omo, there’s one girl in Big Brother that reminds me of you those days in school oh.”

I was taken aback. “What do you mean?”

“Your ginger vibe. You know say no nonsense around you. When you walk, nobody cross. Small thing we for think say you dey cult.”

Again, I was a bit taken aback by the description. 

For context, I was always frowning throughout my days in school. I hardly smiled because I did not see any need to. In fact, people who always smiled used to amaze and annoy me at the time. I also had this sharp mouth and tone of voice that brokered no nonsense. 

So I could see how Bella reminded him of me. 

I looked through her page, followed her and that was it. Of course, I was not still going to watch Big Brother just because Bella reminded me of me back in secondary school. But fast forward to some weeks later in August. The housemates had spent seven weeks in the house. One day, I was working from home, trying to write a novel that’s draining me, and then I decided to take a fifteen-minute social media break. 

A video popped up – there’s a cute boy and a really pretty girl saying some sweet romantic nothings to each other. Another video that popped up is of a small quarrel between them. Then there is what seems to be a cascade of little arguments and quick reconciliations, followed by lots of PDA. As a die-hard romance lover, a romance author, and queen of all things romance, of course I was hooked. This was a romance novel happening in real-time, my one-way window into the journey of love. 

I came across a word. Shella. What is Shella? 

Thus, I began to spiral. 

I went on Instagram. I came across several Shella pages and I watched all the videos, which took me quite some hours. At this point, I already forgot about work. 

I went to Twitter and even as I was scrolling, hot gist was happening. Shella was fighting again. I was going crazy. 

Unfortunately, I had just moved into a new house and had no TV yet. 

I followed up on Shella for two days on Twitter but soon realised that sometimes the gist came late and it was never fully complete. A couple of other interesting characters were springing up – Phyna, GroovyAdekunle, and so on. Who were all these people? 

My head had lost focus for any other thing. 

I found my way to the Showmax app, bought a huge data plan and finally, I could breathe easy. I had Shella on my screen anytime I wanted. 

Shella did not disappoint. Every day, they were quarrelling and making up. Sometimes, the arguments would be so heated and cruel words were exchanged. I was enjoying all of it. I had my popcorn, data, and power bank beside me. I loved the Shella drama and nobody could tell me otherwise. 

Then week eight rolled in and things turned sour. 

It started with a plate of food and spiralled into all housemates icing Shella. That Sunday was the worst. All their friends got evicted, the crowd were yelling for one-half of Shella to be evicted. My heart was shattered.

Then I went to Twitter and saw real toxicity. People wanted heads to roll. Everyone had an opinion and many fights were breaking out. I joined Twitter spaces meant to strategise voting, to raise funds for evicted housemates, to troll and admire one or two housemates. I was out of my skin. After three days of emotional rollercoaster, I took a deep breath, removed my emotions and analysed Big Brother Naija. 

The only reason I watched the show this year was because I found myself in one of the housemates. A beautiful straight talker with a brash tone that hides her sweetness and vulnerability. I realised that every Phynation and ViBryants and Incredibles and Champion out there was just like me, fighting for the housemate that carried a piece of themselves. And the housemates I disliked were just ordinary people living their lives on reality TV.

I was just like everyone else, hooked on entertainment. What a shocker! The almighty Glory was just like the ordinary masses who had no good use of their time but to watch BBN. I take the diss with a cold bottle of water.

Twitter is a wild place and sometimes, you need to detach for your own sanity. I am still a die-hard fangirl and I am tired but I cannot stop. BBN is entertainment. Once they catch you, the trap is set and there’s nothing you can do about it. 

I hope no one sends me any message about BBN Titans next year because I cannot allow myself to fall into this rabbit hole again.  

Glory Abah is a Writer, Creative Writing Coach and a Publishing Expert. Her goal is to help talented Nigerian writers improve their skills and get to the global stage. She is a UK published author and her books are on Amazon, Okadabooks, Bambooks, etc. She can be reached via [email protected]

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