On Loving ‘The Intern’ Reality TV Show

by Joy Bewaji

Considering the disillusionment of the youths in Nigeria, and the problems bedeviling the average Nigerian, I think it is right to say the reality TV show- ‘The Intern’ is hitting the nail right on the head. While I may not agree with some of the approach or methods used; and I may find the boss- Charles O’tudor, a bit tiring and somewhat unsuitable for a corporate show like that; dreads apart, he always seem to be lost and unsettled with those young, smart, and intelligent youths in his zeal to cut the Fortune 500 corporate personae. Maurice-Jones, his personal assistant may seem a better boss. But in all that is fair, the show is significant and important in the kind of environment we find ourselves.

Unlike most reality shows, ‘The Intern’ is focused on building young entrepreneurs and career individuals who will, in the nearest future, begin to man and bring about success in the corporate and business sectors of our country.

What really does other reality shows set to achieve, especially the famous Big Brother show? We’ve had our own feel of what Big Brother can offer (à la Big Brother Nigeria). The die-hard fans of BBN will tell you the show is to unleash talents. However, that isn’t the only thing that gets unleashed on the show; we see other ‘skills’ like lust, betrayal, promiscuity, mistrust all being unleashed live on screen; and in the name of civilization it is branded entertainment!

I observe that they are apparent success stories from the BBN show. Everyone is always quick to mention Ebuka and how he’s been riding on victory’s back ever since. But let’s ask ourselves: for someone like Ebuka do you believe life would have denied him success? He is smart, intelligent, handsome, and a lawyer; like all other similar stories of success e.g. Frank Edoho of WWTBAM, Karima Onitiri of MTV Uncensored, and Mike Magic of Idols West Africa, Ebuka would have gone for the audition of ‘Friends and Foes’ and he would have clinched the job whether he was a BBN former housemate or not. Same goes for Joan and her aspiring Nollywood career. Instead of moving to BBN she would simply have moved to Winnie’s (isn’t that where all the upstarts get their big breaks?) and get a role strictly on merit. But now, thanks to BBN, there’s that issue she may have to explain to her daughter- why she kissed a strange man live on TV!

And as for Katung and his $100,000, it could turn out in two ways: he can play away his fortune and get broke in a couple of years to come; or he may start a business or invest the money. However, I’m afraid he may find it difficult appreciating the virtues of hard work, commitment, and diligence as it applies to life (how many time does $100,000 fall on ones’ laps?).

No doubt without big brother none of these people may have been discovered ‘yet’, but at what collective price to the society? So we discover a few talents and degrade some thousands or even millions- penny wise pound foolish if you ask me.

These are some of the unrealistic scenario most reality shows present to us.

The BBN-like shows thrive here because most youths are interested in music and entertainment, nothing wrong with that. But in a country where graduates cannot differentiate between a triangle and a rectangle (true life experience); and where a third year undergraduate, as I heard, could not solve a simple arithmetic as 16 minus 2, what business do we have promoting frivolities that will in no way build our nation?

Don’t look at the Americans, they can afford to have ten people on an Island tempting and lusting over one another just for the heck of it, after all they are not burdened with issues like epileptic power supply, deplorable roads, poor facilities, and below average educational institutions. Their economy is buoyant so they can as well focus on whatever trivialities that satisfy their vanity.

But if at all we are hoping to build and groom a new Nigeria with new breed of leaders then we have to set our priorities right. The youths are desperate to take over, but unfortunately they aren’t politically, economically, socially, mentally, academically sound enough to convince the older generation to step aside. For every outstanding Nigeria youth there seem to be too many nincompoops. And sadly, these are people who have dedicated years pursuing a degree or diploma in higher institutions, yet they come out and cannot tell their left from their right.

But then ‘The Intern’ gives me hope, seeing those young bright people makes me proud. On ‘The Intern’ the casts are presented with real challenges, real frustrations, real opportunities, real battles which is synonymous to what transpires in the real world.

These young people will translate all the lessons gained on the show and use it for the betterment of themselves, their families, and their environment. Isn’t that where it all begins- leadership, professionalism, and success?

On the other hand if music or modeling is your interest- nothing’s wrong with that. But why, I pray thee, should our lyrics be full with lewdness? I heard a song just a few days ago, it was saying to me: ‘Let’s get dirty (pronounced deree). The lyrics went on: ‘let me stick it in… make it hard… make it rough…’ How degrading can we possibly get?

The videos of course are not complete without the girls dancing seductively. Why should women accept such demeaning status in our entertainment industry?

Except someone can convince me that our problem in Nigeria is sexual in nature, and that our failed attempts at enjoying sex to its greatest potential is actually responsible for our sorry economic state, then I shall continue to advocate that we concentrate on the areas of our society that needs improvement.

‘The Intern’ has proven to be a great show for the whole family. I believe these ten will foster the virtues of leadership, accountability, professionalism and team-work which are vital to the development of a nation and which Nigeria is in dire need of.

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albert July 10, 2008 - 5:42 pm

i love the acticle but you know will in nigeria donot get to participate in the show and how can i be involve

kubili April 3, 2007 - 8:54 am

the intern show is good i hope it continues

Bee March 25, 2007 - 10:37 am

Joy, this is another one of your brilliant articles….well articulated and straight to the point. Reading your articles, just gives me a feeling there are still a few Naija out there that still have their morals intact! I say; we Nigerians of like minds and drive must come together under one umbrella, send our views out and watch Nigeria grow. People who think moral decadence and stupidity are the way to success, watchout for China in the next decade!!!!

Akintunde March 4, 2007 - 6:49 am

Joy Hi, good thinking .. well said…I have this my guts for ages but everytime I point to it..am ssumed to b over critical about issues. I like to exchange ideas with u ma. if u won't mind. God bless u and God bless Nigeria


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