Stories by Maduka Nweke, [email protected] 08034207864 Housing for all was once a slogan of the Federal Government when the public was still not aware of the pranks government officials used such things for. The slogan once tied housing for all to year 2000 to be the magical year for its actualisation but, the ceiling has…
Some weeks ago, a friend came visiting and as he plunked into my sofa with all the weight of the day’s stress and said, ‘Olufunke, work is overrated, I knew he’d had a really tough day. He went on to explain how hard work doesn’t always translate to sure wealth and how a few people in this country corner truckloads of unmerited fortune just because they get to be in the right place at the right time or know the right people in the right season. Was he not right? It is what one of my favourite pastors, Pastor JT Kalejaye, described as God replacing your labour with favour. A little sweat, a lot of money. The kind of money that was found in Ikoyi during the week. Swear you did not wish that heavy, mind-boggling loot was yours. Ah, me, I confess, the thought of never having to work again for the rest of my life crossed my mind several times. We all love and want the good life but losing sight of how to make ‘it’ and concentrating on getting ‘it’ anyhow or by all means is always a sure road to perdition or something close to it. Desperation to get to a desired destination without wanting to undertake the journey is one of the ancestors of corruption.
I agree, though, that work is overrated, absolutely. Too many people are making money doing little or nothing and I’m sure somebody is reading this who thinks I’m also making more money than I should because he or she doesn’t think I’m sweating enough. But does that mean kidnapping and armed robbery are easy jobs? I do not think so. Kidnappers and armed robbers work damn hard and take risks that I do not understand. They are in careers that can start on Monday and end on Tuesday, worse than the sing-song story of Solomon Grundy. Yes, there are kingpins who have reigned long like Gustavo Falcon, the last of the Cocaine Cowboys who ruled for 26 years! The US Marshalls eventually got him and he’ll most likely be spending his retirement years under lock and key. I figure those 26 years were not easy ones, what with dodging the law on the one hand and shooting from the hip and trying to keep the ‘family’ in line on the other. And he still got caught.
Whether you are doing crime or nine-to-five, you still have to sweat and many times retirement isn’t into anything fantastic. People working in the crime sector get untimely death and early grave thrown into their own mix as added advantage. And we still need to work, right? No, not all of us, not all the time. Why? Because there is Big Brother Naija! There you go. You didn’t even think of that. You are so used to your punishing hours you did not consider BBN. I am getting a trainer, a veteran from BBN to coach me, give me the inside tricks on how to win. I want all the logistics under my belt and I’m starting now, one full year ahead of the competition.
Yes, I am going into the BBN house. I’m tired of all this hard work. For what, nah? Why do I have to wear my butt and back out sitting through hours of traffic jam every day when I could just sit in a colourfully furnished apartment in South Africa for 90 days? I imagine myself in my bum shorts rolling my backside from one part of the Big Brother House to the other, generally making the boys shift in their seats. And when I’m bored with flaunting my natural logistics, I would move to the front of the mirror and practice make-up. After that, I’d cook the most delicious noodles of all time. Then I’d eat leisurely with other house mates while we swig interesting tales about noodles from all angles. We would then start an argument about men doing dishes and why mothers should teach their little boys how to do other things apart from video games. Of course, that will degenerate into a heated childish verbal war. Why not? We would be bored and we would need to provide entertainment for our viewers. The poor folks need entertaining. They are the ones who’d gone out all day to do honest work while we pee and poo in front of BB cameras. How fair would it be if we don’t prance around in our cages like monkeys in a zoo? But who cares, for N25m (I’m hoping it would have gone up to N35m next year ‘cause I’ve got plenty of people to settle), helping about 100 million hard working Nigerians to de-stress is not hard labour, right?
One thing I can swear I won’t do is flaunt my watermelons. I know what watermelons or papayas do to men. It makes them speak in tongues even when they have not been anointed. It makes them lose their memories and ‘a lot of other things’. But you can’t blame men. They simply love their fruits. They’ve been loving fruits since the Garden of Eden. They have only just promoted their appetite from apples to big fruits like watermelons. That is why you can wean your baby girl from the breasts and the baby boy keeps looking for breasts, of all kinds, the rest of his life. It’s the way men are wired. Go and check the gender of those who took Reuben Abati to the cleaners for commenting on TBoss’ twin peaks (and Abati’s commentary went beyond the kind of breasts he has seen) and see men’s undiluted love for their mothers. Yeah. They all love their cocktail of fruits.
At the end of it all, I hope I’d return with my loot. But what if I return empty handed and I have to go back to my grind of long hours and traffic jam? What then? How would I explain it to friends and family that I went on a 90-day vacation in public view and came back unrewarded?
Ok, let’s quit beating about the bush, what exactly is Big Brother anywhere about? Or let’s just stick to the one in my face, Big Brother Naija. Is it a bad thing, something bad in itself? No. It entertains a lot of people the way ‘Some mothers do have them’ and ‘The Johnsons’ help me de-stress. And I’ve never missed a day of the nine seasons and 2016 episodes (and I mean two thousand and sixteen episodes) of Tinsel. I watched all the 260 episodes of Hush too. Some will find that weird, the same way I find MMM and gambling weird. I’m just so allergic to magic and don’t understand people who want or think success just happens just because you wish for it.
I don’t know what my days and nights would be without television entertainment especially the kind brought by or put together via Dstv. What will I do when I’m not chasing editors or editors are chasing me and I’m chasing money? Good stuff from smart businessmen, better than those who lock up billions of money in empty apartments and torment the rest of us with their denials of ownership. Me, I don’t understand why EFCC wants to know the owner. People are hungry, they stumble on food, why can’t they just eat since nobody has declared his food or dollars missing? Aren’t we looking for money to build the second runway in Abuja airport? Don’t we need to fix LUTH and buy meningitis vaccines?
Sorry, before we get lost in reality, let’s go back to Big Brother. Is that really reality, sleeping around (not like that o), walking around, generally sitting in the village square to entertain passersby and making millions doing it? Seriously? I’d like to know where that is reality and relocate there.
Big Brother is a good idea, good initiative from those who can think and I won’t join those who think BB Naija should have been shot in Nigeria and not in South Africa. You can’t tell even small me how to maximize profit on my investment. But what is wrong with Big Brother being an annual event to nurse and discover talents, people who will make a difference, impact on this generation and the next? Imagine 10 housemates who get in there because they have ideas to run bigger and better media houses, design uncommon education programs, write poetry that will bring tears to the eyes of Okot P’ Bitek, JP Clarke, Wole Soyinka? Why can’t those 90 days be about producing the next unforgettable songwriter, discovering the next speechwriter, people who’ll give us alternatives to Prada, Calvin Clein, Tom Ford or nurse the next daring movie producer?
Do we all want to convince our children that they can make it in life just by sitting around and hoping greatness will happen to them? Based on what logistics?
I think a better BB Naija next year is possible because it is already good.