By Grace Mutandwa
There is a lot wrong about the politics of Zimbabwe but there is a lot more wrong with the way some of our children are raised and socialised.
No matter how much mineral wealth we have or how proud we are that we are an independent country, there is something very wrong about a country that has people who think they can turn out to be role models.
I have particular programmes I watch on television and Big Brother Africa StarGame is not one of them. I find nothing interesting in watching a bunch of young people eat, sleep and swear on television. The producers of the programme must have had some core values they wanted portrayed on television but to this day I am still struggling to establish what those values are.
Giving the young people one task to present a week surely is not very good use of their time. Plying them with alcohol and cigarettes is also just encouraging addictions that these young people will have to battle with later in life.The producers show a lack of leadership and good judgement. Many people are dying from lung cancer and liver cirrhosis and some of these young people will make it to those two lists aided and abetted by reality television.
The fact that Zimbabwe’s two remaining representatives on the show were thrown out for violent behaviour should tell us something about some of the things we idolise. We must never romanticise uncouth behaviour. There is nothing cool in swearing or forcing one’s uninvited attentions on a member of the opposite sex.
It seems the more outrageous behaviour you can display, the more chances you have of making it onto the programme. Otherwise how do you explain the decision to choose Rockford (Roki) Josphats – a young man who at 27 has already sired almost half a dozen children, is known more for his violent temper than musical skills and has no respect for women?
The other team of Teclar and Maneta Mazanhi seemed on the saner side of things but as it turns out, Teclar was probably the only person in that team who should have been selected. Teclar was voted out because people thought she had no entertainment value! Just goes to show how sick people can be.
No parent or guardian would like to be associated with a young woman like Maneta. She has a foul mouth and seems to think frolicking in skimpy swimwear and grabbing Roki’s private parts is something to be proud of.
Those two should never have been allowed to represent Zimbabwe. Yes I know some people have made violence a brand, but that is not what Zimbabwe should be known for.
Participants must be principled
Just because we live in a world where sex is offered at every turn does not mean that we have to forget who we are. When your child participates in reality television, it must be in a meaningful manner. Young people who behave like trailer trash need help.
Producers of BBA should build and not destroy participants
The producers of the programme should carefully assess potential participants. They promised psychological counselling for both Roki and Maneta for their violent behaviour on television but they should have done it before unleashing them on Africa.
Roki might need more than psychological attention. He has a sex addiction that needs to be checked as a matter of urgency. He also needs education on the dangers of unprotected sex and more importantly, he must accept that not all women are for his pleasure. He must learn to treat women with respect.
Maneta is not just boy crazy; she is also a young woman who goes too far. She seems insensitive towards other people’s feelings. Her language skills are shameful – she is vulgar and seems to be a young woman who is failing to grasp the tenets of good social skills.
After last year’s win by Wendall Parsons, Zimbabweans who followed the programme wanted another Zimbabwean to win again this year. Wendall did not swear or strut around semi-naked to convince people that he was worthy of their votes. He showed people the kind of person his mother expected to turn on the television and watch. Any Zimbabwean would have been proud to be associated with Wendall – he ran a clean campaign!
Many people on the social network are laying into Maneta and Roki, but what the two really need is help. They are two young adults who are obviously lost and need guidance. We have many young people like Roki and Maneta but we just do not get to see their antics because they do it in the “privacy” of their neighbourhoods.
Maybe it is time the producers of the reality show went back to the drawing board and came up with something that builds, not destroys, our children.
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