I am not a big fan of reality TV programmes: the original concept of showcasing the lives of ordinary people has been lost in a maelstrom of faceless (- and often talentless) wannabes acting out badly written scripts in an effort to boost ratings and get their fifteen minutes of fame.
‘Big Brother’ started out as a social experiment and now has become the ‘must-be-on’ show; the Kardashian clan would probably be waiting tables, working check-outs or standing at street corners in skimpy outfits – at night – if it wasn’t for ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ and many ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-them’ celebrities would still be hustling from out of their humble hovels.
And now we have the ‘Real Housewives of Lagos’ copying a format that has been rolled out in nearly every major city of America, supposedly showcasing the lives of ‘ordinary’ successful housewives.
Don’t get me wrong! I’m not anti-reality TV especially if it’s dished out in reasonable watchable portions, so it doesn’t scramble the brain, and not rammed down our throats 24/7. And besides I’ve got better things to do with my time than to gawk at a group of performing primates and getting into heated arguments about what they get up to. Do I care what the Kardashians wore to the beach yesterday?
Reality TV nowadays is over the top and getting beyond the ridiculous. And sadly its given birth to a huge following of die-hard fans who hang on to everything the stars say and do , following them on every SM portal known to mankind. Again, there’s nothing wrong in following somebody on SM but are they really proper role models?
So, we’ve already established the fact that if you want to keep a majority of the Nigerian youths out of trouble, and busy, all you have to do is run BBN shows back-to-back all year round: their tiny little minds can only focus on one thing – Big Brother! If the President decides to walk butt naked down the street they won’t see him because they’ll be too busy watching BBN or some other reality TV claptrap 24/7 and discussing it.
Now back to the ‘Real Housewives of Lagos’ : a colleague dropped me a link to the trailer and some previews and asked for my opinion.
Now I have lived in Lagos and I do know what a real housewife looks like: hard-working, caring and down to earth. So, you can imagine my surprise when a bunch of pretentious, over-privileged, over-dressed women with inch-long fingernails and fake accents parade themselves as the ‘Real Housewives of Lagos’. In the real world none of them would last five minutes in a home or a kitchen, that’s if they even know how to cook! I know it makes for good entertainment but when the ‘acting’ is over the top, ridiculous make-believe cat-fights which often spill on to SM, flaunting wealth that would put even Dangote to shame then its time to switch off the telly. This is not how real housewives act and live.
Now if you want a great reality TV show I propose the ‘Real Housewives of Ajegunle’: the acting will be real as they are the real salt-of-the-earth people where you’ll have Mama-Mulika waking up in her face-me-I-face-you room and parlour at the crack of dawn eefing and blinding at her lazy husband still in bed, dressing up and feeding her kids before shoving them out of the door for school. Not forgetting the punch-up for who gets to use the sole bathroom first: no catfights here for it’ll be the Real Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury thing.
The gossip will be equally interesting: who is sleeping with somebody else’s husband, who stole meat from somebody’s cooking pot, who votes APC and who votes PDP, who has a side chick and who’s using dubious means to make money.
And then there’s transportation to talk about. No flashy chauffeur driven SUV or Rolls Royce or jaunts to Dubai or Paris flying first class on Emirates. Out of the house and out and about in Ajegunle it’s a ride in a danfo, BRT, keke nape or a bumpy ride on an okada or if you can get a cowry card you can ride the Blue Line to Marina.
Fancy dinner is at a Mama-put with more flies buzzing around than in a pit latrine and a drink with friends will be at a beer parlour, with lots of area boys and other undesirables for company and not some swish Lekki night club. Couple that up with the high cost of living where your minimum wage Naira can’t even buy a box of tomatoes. Forget about flashing Dollars or Euros for a facial.
So, if you want a real proper reality TV show with ‘real’ people bring on the ‘Real Housewives of Ajegunle’.
The ratings will go through the roof!
– Tony Ogunlowo