To most viewers, the 2019 Big Brother Naija reality TV show ended since October but the “show” is still on in 2020 as the fan bases of former housemates, Mercy and Tacha, are still at each other’s throats in what seems to be an unending vitriolic enmity.
The grudge began from the moment Instagram Influencer, Tacha, was disqualified from the game, following a violent spat with 2019 season winner, Mercy, in the BBNaija house.
Fans of Tacha felt it was an unjust action by the organisers of the show, given that Mercy was only issued two strikes and was left to continue with the game while the former was kicked off, 89 days into the show.
What preceded the disqualification was a series of vitriolic threats, smear campaigns, unfounded rumours being spread by fans of both housemates, who identify themselves as Titans (Tacha) and Mercenaries (Mercy).
The endless attacks have become worrisome as death threats are now being issued, with family members getting dragged into the mess.
Both Mercy and Tacha have failed to do the needful by calling their fans to order to avoid the senseless online attacks degenerating into physical attacks.
The story was the same for 2018 housemates, Cee-C and Alex, whose fans were at it for a long time until the 2019 season began with fresh faces on the screens. Same pattern played out for 2017 housemates, TBoss and Bisola.
It is obvious this trend is a chain reaction which would continue that way unless the organisers of the show put strict rules about bullying and smear campaigns into place.
Housemates should be mandated to call their family and friends to order before entering the house. Their quest for their participating family member/friend to win can turn them into overzealous lots, which leads them to digging out dirt or making up deadly lies to drag down other contestants seen as potential threats to their own.
The organisers should look beyond the popularity and social media trends brought about by the unhealthy competition between the fan bases and put in place, measures that would ensure the mental wellbeing of the housemates and the fans alike.
The actions of the fans should be taken out on the housemates in the game. They (fans) would do anything to keep their favourite in the game. This would ensure that the “stanning” is a healthy one.
Although BBNaija is a game, the kind of influence it has on its viewers can turn the overtly emotional fans into monsters that can cause irreparable damage to either their favourite housemates or other housemates and their fans.