Friday, February 24, 2017

Petition From Nigeria to Ban Big Brother Naija — South Africans Should Be Concerned Too


A petition out of Nigeria is calling for the banning of Multichoice's African reality show, Big Brother Naija. A non governmental organisation, CitizenGO has urged viewers to force Nigeria's National Broadcasting Commission to ban the show for being obscene. SA viewers should care...

The latest call to force Dstv to pull Big Brother Naija is not just a cause for concern for Nigerian viewers, South Africans and other African countries should take heed because the actions of Nigeria's National Broadcasting Commission has affected what we can see in our own countries before. 

In May last year MultiChoice and NBCUniversal International Networks were forced to pull the second season of I Am Cait from its E! Entertainment channel on DStv after the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) ordered it off the air, effectively censoring it for all African viewers since there's only one E! feed on DStv for the continent.


Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had previously, in October 2015 to be exact, ordered MultiChoice and Discovery Networks International to remove the transgender reality show I Am Jazz from the TLC Entertainment (DStv 135) channel. That move had similar consequences to the removal of I Am Cait because, as with E! Entertainment channel, Discovery Networks International runs only one TLC Entertainment channel feed for the entire Africa. 

In removing I Am Cait and I Am Jazz, the NBC cited concerns by Nigerian lawmakers that both shows represented moral values the country did not condone and thus would be a disservice for such shows to be shown in their country. 

With the latest petition that is aimed at forcing NBC to act again, CitizenGO is complaining that Big Brother Africa is a celebration of obscenity, eroticism and idleness.

 Full statement: 
“Big Brother Nigeria is a corruption of TV Reality shows. The Nigerian public is complaining about the moral perversity in the House of the Big Brother Nigeria. In one episode last two weeks or so, the inmates were shown openly kissing and caressing one another. This is a celebration of obscenity, eroticism and idleness. 
More importantly, it is a big mockery of Nigerian culture and tradition. Since the inmates are Nigerians, they should have been projecting the Nigerian cultural heritage. But instead of doing that, they are bastardizing it. 
The biggest tragedy of the on-going Big Brother Nigeria is that our children are also glued to the TV screen watching it. Children are our future. Therefore we should protect them from lewd exposure, which might prevent their growth into free, independent and well-developed citizens. 
The NBC must live up to its bidding as a body charged with controlling, monitoring, regulating the electronic media and monitoring of satellite transmission in Nigeria. Our TV stations cannot become dumping grounds for all sorts of immoral programs.”

CitizenGO kicked off their petition, with a 5000 signatures target, on February 20, 2017, and has gotten 3, 160 signatures from Nigerians in support of their movement, as per report by Nigerian entertainment website, Pulse.

While Big Brother Naija is essentially aimed at Nigerian viewers, the show has a following in South Africa and sub-saharan countries. The move, though it may not seem to be pertinent to South African audiences, is continuing the censorship concern that we all should have about content being dictated to by other countries because we share channel feeds.

Yes, some person in Nigeria gets to decide what YOU can watch on your Dstv here in South Africa.



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