Big Brother Naija Accused of Condoning Sexual Assault
Big Brother Naija ended recently with Efe Ejeba winning the latest edition of the reality show. However, the controversy that marred the show seems not to have abated as former contestant's sister took to social media to complain that a disqualified contestant was awarded the same perks as others who "respected he game".
The biggest controversy around the show erupted when Ekemini Ekerette, known on the show as Kemen, was disqualified from the Big Brother Naija house for fondling Romanian-Nigerian housemate T-boss without her consent.
Following his disqualification, Kemen claimed T-Boss withheld the truth about the events that led to his disqualification and eviction for the sake of the game. But he nonetheless offered his unreserved apology to T-boss and the public, saying he overplayed his game.
On Friday, both Kemen and TBoss attended a party hosted in honour of the Big Brother Naija finalists but it was reported by Naija media that the two housemates stayed away from each other all through the event.
On Saturday, Goldie, a sister to former Big Brother Naija Housemate T-Boss slammed the organisers of the show for giving Kemen, the same benefits as those who “respected the game”. Goldie shared her concern in a litany of tweets which she later deleted. See them below;
Kemen responded by commenting on an Instagram by @yhettessblog. He left a comment under the post saying: “She is free to do whatever pleases her”.
Fans of the show have responded to Goldie's outcry by lambasting the show for not taking a stand against women abuse. Others offered their support for Kemen and claimed his apology was enough to afford him the right to enjoy the perks.
This is not About TBoss is about respect for women! Most Nigerian men jus like Kemen don't respect women! N dis has 2 b addressed. #BBNaija— NotGold💯🔥 (@selflessqueen21) April 15, 2017
Tboss Is Doing As If Kemen Disvirgined Her....She Was Totally Aware Of Everything That Happened ....#Bbnaija— Ikomon George (@Iam_Georgeik) April 16, 2017
Writting for The Net in Nigeria, Temitope Adeiye blasted Big Brother Naija's continuous association with Kemen as "showing the normalisation of rape culture in Nigerian entertainment."
"We know very well the reason Kemen was disqualified from the show. He had fondled and touched fellow housemate TBoss in her sleep and since she could not consent as she was unconscious, that is sexual assault." wrote Adeiye
Now, the only reason that Kemen can still go around giving interviews and expressing his joy so gleefully when Tboss was evicted on the final day of the show is that the Nigerian entertainment scene promotes rape culture and victim blaming very actively.Adeiye also claims Nigerian entertainment industry is complicit in the rampancy of sexual predatory behaviour. She wrote;
"Nigerian music lyrics are full of messages that endorse sexual predatory behaviour.
Let’s not even get started on Nollywood where the only solution to rape cases seems to be having the rapist and victim get married and all is well with the world."
Big Brother Naija is yet to respond on the latest accusations.
With evidence and Kemen admitting that he crossed the line, I do think the organisers should not invite him to events associated with the show especially when TBoss is expected to be there. However, the producers of BBNaija can not force people from interviewing the man or inviting him to their private events.
While I agree that it is appalling that someone who clearly violated a woman is getting redcarpet treatment, I also have to be fair and say; if the BBNaija people offer him perks for having been on the show, it is naive to expect him to turn them down.
There is a problem there that definitely ought to be addressed. Disqualification should mean you loose the right to enjoy such perks. Afterall what would be the point if people who get disqualified don't really miss anything for that? What message is that sending?