Face of Bayelsa Girl Child and that glimmer of hope


I have a lot of things against reality tv and I have done an article or two about how I feel about these reality shows particularly the ones that really do not add any value to the Nigerian economy save for some sassy periods of entertainment which rather than build the mind is enervating in nature as values are misplaced and then we wonder why we have a number of challenges on our hands as society.

Most of these reality shows largely have nothing to offer, as they are more or less freak shows of who is much of a tattle tale, whose backside is the heaviest or whose mammary glands is the biggest! If they do not take this path, then they are more into the other sides of entertainment as who best can sing or dance. I would naturally have had no problems with the latter, after all entertainment is a multi billion dollar business in the world and there would be no problem if the country replicated the Rex Lawsons, Stephen Osadebes, Celestine Ukwus, IK Dairos, Shina Peters, Bongos Ikwues etc, I see the likes of Burna Boy and Davido doing such and if we can have more of such then why not?

My problem is however not the fact that companies prefer to sponsor such “Dance till you run mad or quench” shows and then gift winners millions of Naira as well as all sorts of deals, no! My problem is with what we have as priorities as a nation or why would a country like Nigeria that is heavily reliant on foreign technology prefer to spend more on music stars and takasufe legends when we can stir the interest of young minds in science , technology and even entrepreneurship as Nokia India sponsors ‘Your Wish Is My APP’ or Microsoft’s ‘Be the Next Microsoft Employee’. Whatever happened to UBA’s Dragon’s Den? Where brilliant Nigerian youths pitched their business ideas against stern faced corporate gurus who chewed a number of their ideas like brisket bones? The show was entertaining and had it continued would have created a new class of the Jim Ovia’s and Elumelus!

Ok, perhaps everyone must not be nerds or tech aficionados, I agree, but when all we do is elevate singers and dancers as National icons while we do not strive to give such oomph to these nerds and drivers of the economy then we might have lost the chance of churning out Africa’s Bill Gates and growing the Nigerian economy.
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Therefore I was much appalled when the stories rent the air that the Bayelsa State Government had appointed a 2020 Big Brother Naira , BBN is it inmate or housemate by the name Nengi as an SSA to the State Government and Face of the Bayelsa Girl Child. Now for us who don’t watch Big Brother Naija and are thankful that we neither have spouses or siblings that are hooked on the programme, the show is simply the elevation of crass narcissism; where inmates, eat sleep, have sex and engage in other forms of debauchery just to lay claim to a cash prize and other goodies running into mouth watering millions of Naira. The show two years ago garnered I am told 240 million votes which at 30 Naira per vote will result to N7.2 bn, while that of last year garnered almost 900 million votes. Yes , even though these votes were not singularly done by 240 million Nigerians or 900 million Nigerians, truth is that a sizable portion of these voters who I am sure would run into say 15 million Nigerians have never deemed it necessary to go out and cast their votes in any general election. Now, I will not also buy the poor arguments about the votes in any general election not counting, let the votes be cast first before we can say whether the votes were rigged or not.

Now, the tempered  outburst that greeted such an appointment much pitted the administration of Senator Douye Diri against the grain of common sense. This is a state with a number of notable female personalities who have striven to break the glass ceiling and have excelled in their various endeavors, could the state government not have appointed these ones as Face of Bayelsa Girl Child? Did it need to appoint Nengi whose only claim to fame was an appearance on Big Brother whereas the state had just had another lady, Ebizi Blessing Eradiri who had made two First Class Degrees as a law student in both the university and law school? Many wanted to know what yardsticks had been used by the governor.

It seemed again that beauty and license to debauchery had again trumped hard work and diligence. In a nation where first class students or best graduating students are given cash prizes of N2000, whereas a reality show winner could take home as much as N45 million, then our problems are much with us.

However, I am thankful that Senator Douye Diri has in his wisdom also elevated the brainy Eradiri to the Face of the Bayelsa Girl Child, such an occurrence owed it’s happening to the power of social media. The criticisms even drew the attention of the governor to such a feat by Miss Eradiri, who then chose to meet and honour her too.

Such an occurrence, even though it is little should be commended as it will ensure that young Bayelsans and Nigerians as a whole key into the maxims of hardwork and diligence with Eradiri as a worthy role model to them, now, not every one can attain a First Class in Law or any other field but then there is the overarching probability that there will be more of the likes of Eradiri in Bayelsa and Nigeria than Nengi. This is much a glimmer of hope.

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