By Patson Gumbo
When news filtered through that the two Zimbabwean housemates in the ongoing Big Brother Africa Stargame show had been disqualified from the Upville House, the internet, social networks were abuzz with the thousands, if not millions of Zimbabweans wanting to know what had happened, as it was almost certain that Rockford Josphat was to bring the US$300 000 to Zimbabwe for a second year running after Wendall Parson managed to do so in last year’s show.
As news reached the Zimbabwean followers of Big Brother that Josphat, better known as Roki by the majority of his fans, had been involved in a scuffle with his fellow Zimbabwean housemate, Maneta Mazanhi, which is against the rules of the show, leading to their automatic disqualification from the Upville house, people poured messages of sympathy towards Roki for missing an opportunity that would have changed his life.
Had the messages stopped at expressing sympathy only, it would have been alright, but to go on and say that Roki had tried to raise the flag of Zimbabwe by participating in the show would otherwise be misinterpreting what raising the flag of the nation is.
No offence to Roki, I was also devastated that he missed such an opportunity of a lifetime that would have probably seen improvement in the music industry of Zimbabwe. I however will not agree that participating in Big Brother is any way representing the country, not to mention raising the flag of any country in particular.
Isn’t it just a mere formality by Big Brother Africa to introduce the participants to the viewers by stating that so and so represents a particular country?
Maybe I am lost, but how will one be representing a nation by being in a house where you have to play naughty and dirty inorder to score points and win the votes of people across Africa?Does such behaviour represent the people of Zimbabwe at all?
To what levels do we have to go to raise the flag of Zimbabwe?
Steven Muzhingi winning the Comrades Marathon three times in a row - now that’s what I would call representing a country and raising high the national flag.
The Zimbabwean Warriors qualifying for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) - isn’t that representing a country and raising the flag high up among other nations? Need I mention Kirsty Coventry when she scooped gold at the Olympics and All Africa Games?
To be fairly honest, had Roki won the US$300 000 prize money, he would have done it for himself and his family and not for Zimbabwe.
I’m sure it is safe to say that when in the Big Brother house, participants or housemates should focus more on representing their own selves without having to drag their mother countries into the show, or is it a game.
Had the show focussed more on people showcasing their talents, then we would say that BBA is promoting the African culture and exposing the talented youths of Africa to the world.
Question would be what is the whole purpose of BBA and what message is it sending to the children of Africa?
What lesson is it bringing out and besides the prize money, what is it benefiting Africa?
Is Big Brother is even applicable and we can safely uphold it, not just in our Zimbabwean culture and tradition but for the whole of Africa?
What are we trying to prove as Africans by running around naked on camera?
What does it bring out about us as Zimbabweans when Maneta was running around semi naked on screen, going all over a helpless Keitta dressed only in her bikini and bra?
Is she trying to follow in the footsteps of Makosi Musambasi who went nude on camera and even used lesbian tactics so she could avoid eviction?
And to hold Roki’s private parts in the jacuzzi and comment that he was solid is so not Zimbabwean and so disgraceful in the eyes of the ordinary Zimabwean citizen.
Though she has spoken out and apologised to the nation, can the statements of Maneta about our beloved nation be taken back?
Telling the whole world about the economic hardships that Zimbabwe faced during the period 2008-2009 without even giving all the details and ignoring what had occurred for the coutry to be in such a state?
Where is the spirit of nationalism and loyalty?
Is it therefore what Big Brother is all about? To say bad about one’s home country inorder to gain votes from people who know nothing about your country?
With a country that tops literacy in Africa, where did she get the information that the people of Zimbabwe are uneducated and the majority of us are illiterate?
So was Maneta trying to prove to the world and convince everyone that Zimbabweans are illiterate with her broken English?
“I have no tomorrow”, “Biggie you want things” were some of the popular statements that were used by the lady who is currently studying for a Law Degree with the University of South Africa, or so she says.
So at the end of the day it is clear that BBA is just a show that has no actual meaning and no lessons whatsoever is learnt from watching the show.
It is so shocking that the majority of Zimbabweans following the Big Brother show are not even aware of what will be happening in Zimbabwe or even around them.
It seems that the people of Zimbabwe are so engulfed in certain things that are of less or no importance at all at the expense of what they can do for the growth of the nation and to improve the economy of the country.
Had the messages of scolding Maneta been ideas of developing our country, Zimbabwe would have been at a more advanced stage.
It should also be clear that Maneta did not embarrass the country by the argument she had with Roki which resulted in the two of them being evicted; she did so through her statements about Zimbabwe.
Her fight with Roki is entirely between the two of them and if Roki himself was ready to forgive her even after losing out on a cool US$300 000, who are we to insult her?
So is Big Brother worthy all this fuss, hatred and the fights?
Is it worth it for one to lose his/her dignity and to disgrace one’s self for the money?