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Nigerian youths… The scramble for quick wealth, fame


Winner of Big Brother Nigeria (BBN) 2017 receiving his cash award

Time was in Nigeria when becoming a Medical Doctor, Engineer, Accountant, Lawyer and the rest was a big deal among the youth.Those days, young people didn’t mind sitting for multiple JAMB exams just to secure university admission and study a professional course. That time, even parents were more interested in having a doctor son or a lawyer daughter; it was a thing of pride.

Today, all that has changed. Unlike days when young people clamoured for professional careers that would earn them good paying jobs, quest for fame and fortune has become the order of the day. In fact, even those who had acquired professional certificates from both Nigerian and foreign universities have abandoned them to pursue a career in showbiz. And with the level of buzz in the industry, it seems the trend is likely to last for a longer time.

For those in doubt of how far the trend has gone, the mammoth crowd of young adults that besieged venues of the recent Big Brother Naija audition was, indeed, an eye opener to the realities we have on our hands. The auditions, which held in eight different locations across the country between Friday, February 1, and Saturday, February 2, saw youths numbering close to 12,000 besiege the D’Podium Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos, to get auditioned for the 2019 edition of the reality show. Other centres like Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Calabar, Warri, Enugu, and Benin also witnessed massive attendance.

The Lagos audition has since become the most discussed on social media and various online platforms as a result of activities that nearly marred the first day of the exercise. Obviously, one of the major reasons the youths thronged the venues in their large numbers was not just to get a piece of the action, but to ultimately win the prize money.

From Katung Aduwak, who won $100,000 in 2006 to Efe Ejeba, who won N25 million in 2017 and Miracle Igbokwe, who won N45 million last year, the prize money had many Nigerian youth contestants, who were majorly between the ages of 22 and 27, besieged the audition venues across to get a chance to be auditioned. Meanwhile, a best graduating student of the University of Nigeria Nsukka got a paltry N10,000 for her scholarly achievement; that’s the irony of the whole scenario.

Some contestants who spoke to The Guardian, affirmed that the prize money for the winner and other prizes won by runners-up, are some of the reasons for getting auditioned.“Who doesn’t want a good thing? Do you know what N45 million can do in anyone’s life? I know I am made for life if I eventually find my way into the Big Brother House,” said Demola under the scorching sun on Friday, February 1.

For Ginnika, who will be 21 years old on April 4, 2019, “My dream of becoming a millionaire is certain if I get selected to go into the Big Brother House. I know I will be disqualified when they see my passport but I will try my best,” she said. Bukola, a 23-year-old student, is not really bothered about winning or not, instead she is particular about having a feel of the house, having fun and generally making a lasting impression on viewers.

“I love having fun, from the parties to the clothes, food and those conversations are what I just want to part of in the Big Brother house. I know I am interesting, even more than many of the ex-housemates I have seen,” she said.Though the situation could be attributed to high rate of unemployment in the country, the truth is that most of these ‘wannabes’ are gainfully employed; it’s all about fame and fortune.

The minds of many youth in the country today is therefore preoccupied with so many ideas as to how to make lots and lots of money to enable them wear the best of clothes, eat the bests of foods, ride the best of cars and probably move with the best babes in town. To the others, it’s about attaining fame and turning up like a star at every society event.

While some see reality TV shows such a Big Brother, Airtel The Voice, Glo Naija Sing, MTN Project Fame, Nigerian Idol, Gulder Ultimate Search, Nigeria’s Got Talent, Next Movie Star, Amstel Malta Box Office, Peak Talent Show, Maltina Dance Show, Maltina Street Dance and a host of others, as sure ways of meeting their goals, others have resorted to internet fraud (yahoo yahoo) as the shortest route to quick money and stardom.

In the case of youngsters who engaged in cyber fraud, most of them care less, even if it requires them doing the unimaginable to fund their lust for luxury and extra comfortable life. Some in their chase for the fulfillment of this desire have done unthinkable things just to belong.

Increase in devilish rituals explored by these youths to fund their lust have been brought to national attention. Many have upped the ante by going the extra mile in their bid to sustain their luxurious lifestyle, with the fear-inspiring medium called Yahoo Plus to boost their chance of getting a ‘maga to pay’.Meanwhile, with the rate at which professional are leaving the country in droves for greener pastures abroad, it may not be long before Nigeria runs short of trained professionals.

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