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BBNaija Shine Ya Eye… Housemates in upfront conversation on mental health

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Kayvee

Pere, Queen, Peace, Sammie, JMK, Maria Know Fate Tomorrow
On August 20, Big Brother announced to the BBNaija Shine Ya Eye housemates that they will make a presentation on mental health. After the announcement, the housemates gathered to have a heartfelt and enlightening conversation about mental health issues and their personal struggles around them. Their bare-it-all approach to the task started a much-need discussion on social media, and rightfully so.

The housemates have always been honest about their mental health this season, with Angel giving details about her struggles with depression during the first week. But they’ve also had to face mental health issues head-on while in the house. On Monday, August 16, they had to painfully say goodbye to one of their own, Kayvee. He, alongside the organisers of BBNaija, MultiChoice, had decided that he needed to get off the show due to health reasons.

Some of the housemates took that exit very seriously. It woke the house up to triggers against maintaining a balanced mental health. They visibly decided to make better choices on how they treat each other and look out for themselves. KayVee’s exit already had the house and viewers of the show talking about mental health. So the task was both timely and cathartic.

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The housemates created a powerful and evocative campaign to sensitise viewers on mental well-being. The campaign highlighted the need to maintain a sound mental state and touched on issues like depression, suicide, anxiety, bipolar and borderline personality disorders, etc. They were allowed to adopt any form or genre of art to convey their messages. They had to incorporate songs and poetry into their campaign.

Secondary school teacher, Yousef, spoke about losing his family and experiencing social anxiety growing up. Maria enlightened the viewers about schizophrenia while Liquorose also gave a detailed speech about other conditions such as PTSD. Pere then made it personal by talking about his experiences with the disorder after spending time in battle as a soldier in the U.S army.

Angel made things more touching with a deeply emotional and moving poem about grief. The poem, which details her struggles with grief after she lost her boyfriend, had her detailing how hard it was for her to handle all that pain. She asked, “For what is grief if not love persevering?”

She also joined in leading the vocals alongside Whitemoney and Michael. “Mental health is urgent o, Mental health is real, do not play with the state of your mind,” are some of the lyrics that resonated in the song.

Jackie B and Tega, both mums, also shared their stories about struggling with postpartum depression. They highlighted the much-neglected conversation about the after effects of pregnancy and childbirth. They encouraged women to speak up, saying, “Postpartum depression is real. If you don’t speak up, you will never heal.”

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Media Strategist and influencer Esther Adekeye, popularly known as Cute Kimani, took to social media to commend the show’s organisers, MultiChoice Nigeria, for facilitating the conversation. “I don’t even know how to snap out of this mood. My throat hurts already from sobbing. This mental health presentation brought tears, but I’m happy the organisers were thoughtful enough to touch on this”, she said. Her sentiments were also echoed by other Nigerians who hailed the housemates’ various contributions to the conversation.

Mass and social media have proven to be very effective ways of influencing and shaping social behaviour over time. And with this task and the conversations in the house, the organisers of BBNaija clearly understand this. The hope is that the discussions that began thanks to this task continue long afterwards until more people are sensitised.

Meanwhile, for the fifth Head of House challenge on Monday night, the BBNaija housemates were all gingered to bring their ‘A’ game seeing how last week’s game played out. Following a grueling battle among the housemates, Liquourose emerged as the winner, slightly edging out Pere and was crowned this week’s head of house.

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Her win automatically earned her immunity from this week’s eviction as well as the chance to enjoy a movie night in the executive lounge with four housemates of her choice, courtesy of Showmax.

After almost an hour of deliberation, she decided on Saga as her deputy. But because she was barred from the HoH lounge by Big Brother two weeks ago, she won’t be enjoying the luxury of the lounge during her reign. As a result, her deputy, Saga, had to pick his love interest, Nini, to stay in the lounge with him.

As usual, the HoH challenge was to be followed by the nominations, but Biggie took out a couple of minutes to address some issues from the past week including microphone infringements by Pere, Maria and JMK. The three of them were issued one strike each by Big Brother as a result.

Pere, Queen, Peace, Sammie, JMK, Maria were then put up for possible eviction having gotten the highest number of nominations from fellow housemates. HoH, Liquorose used her veto power to save Peace replacing her with Cross. At least one of the five nominated housemates will be leaving the house come Sunday.

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