Last week Sunday, MultiChoice Nigeria launched a new reality TV Show- Mercy & Ike What Next? Essentially, this reality TV Show will take us through the lives of these two, both as individuals and as a couple, after their debut from the Big Brother Naija Season 4.
There’s no doubt that some young Nigerians have come to adore reality TV shows. They like salacious tales and gossip and they enjoy taking the front row seat in knowing what is happening in the lives of other people, call it a subtle and refined form of voyeurism and you won’t be completely wrong.
Truth is, Mercy and Ike have a cult following amongst the young and the young-at-heart, so this is an opportunity to relive the memory of some of the things they saw in the Big Brother House and some of what they missed. With this new reality TV show, they are now able to connect the dots.
But something intriguing and tad bit controversial happened in the first episode of the show, Ike wants to move in with Mercy! Should an African man move in with his woman? Be it girlfriend, fiancée or baby mama?
Clearly, Ike does not see anything wrong in this, blame it on his exposure, education and orientation, and you won’t be wrong. He is young, cool, urbane and cosmopolitan and besides, he has lived a better part of his life outside the shores of this country, where living with a woman as a man is not a big deal, it is a part of the society; a part of their lifestyle. So, indeed some folks will not see anything wrong in what Ike has said and is planning to do.
But, this is Africa; Nigeria, where Promise, Mercy’s sister lives and grew up. A society where it is considered an abomination for a man to live with a woman. You won’t blame her, maybe she’s just being protective of her sister and doesn’t trust Ike. But the society she and many others grew up in is one that is highly patriarchal, the society is structured to favour the male gender and puts him on a pedestal that deifies him and makes the female gender fractionally lower than him. That is how we are structured and socialized in this part of the world.
If for whatever reason a man lives with a woman, the society will have no regard for such a man, why? Our brains have been programmed to see women as part of the many acquisitions of men, so if a man decides to cede that power and responsibility to a woman, he’s perceived as not man enough! That’s one of the many ways men have been put under unnecessary pressure in this part of the world.
We can debate this from now till eternity; views will always and will continue to be polarized on this very sensitive issue. For Ike, Mercy is his woman and he can choose to live with her if he so pleases. He doesn’t think he should be bound by societal norms and tradition after all these things are man-made, so they can also be altered by man.
While for Promise, it is unheard of; a man shouldn’t cheapen himself by moving in with his girlfriend, because one of the ways you prove your masculinity is to have your own apartment, whether it is bought or rented. Your woman should move in with you and not the other way round.
This intriguing first episode has put an issue on the table for us all to debate and talk about. You may want to tune in to channel 151 Africa Magic Showcase at 6:00 PM every Sunday, and let’s see what else will be happening on the show.