Saturday, November 17, 2007

This Girl Whisperer Article was meant to be published in The Sunday Guardian of November the 11th. Alas, workers at the newspaper went on strike and so did my blog even though I am not an employee of the Guardian. So Prousette, here's the article even though it's not published yet.

Big Brother, Big Blunder

The entire continent watched as the remaining inhabitants of the Big Brother House, the Angolan, Tatiana; her lover, Richard Bezuidenhout; and the Nigerian female, Ofunneka Molokwu, drank themselves to a near-stupor with alcohol freely supplied by the producers of the programme. The rationale behind this, in retrospect must have been the loss of inhibitions by the three remaining housemates. The plan worked to horrifying perfection.

As Ofunneka, the Nigerian medical assistant lay comatose from drink, the Tanzanian, Richard, in full view of the cameras spewing live footage into millions of homes appeared to use his fingers to penetrate the most private part of Ofunneka’s anatomy. And a new dimension was added to African television. No matter how much we claim to be liberal on this continent now, it is not a very African thing to grope a non-consenting female, as she lies asleep. A female housemate tried to stop Richard from ravaging Ofunneka, but the deed was already done. After a while, the good-looking dread-locked Richard, who appears to be short on intelligence even at the best of times moved away from Ofunneka, sniffing his fingers as he did so.

According to Joseph Hundah, an executive at M-Net, the Television company in airing the programme, "There is no indication that Ofunneka was unconscious at the time." These spin-doctors chose to control damage by insinuating that Ofunneka, who vomited from excessive alcohol intake before apparently losing consciousness, consented to Richard’s act.

The Girl Whisperer studied law, and can state some things on this matter. The first is that Richard performed the most essential element of rape under criminal law. Penetration. It would not have mattered if he had used a coca-cola bottle or pencil for his act.

In search of conspiracy theories, I already had issues with the terrible photo of Ofunneka showing her with almost mongoloid features. Then, the producers of the programme played out the ultimate conspiracy. They denied anything untoward took place, even though they had locked Richard away in the diary room immediately they noticed matters had gotten out of hand and sent in paramedics. They had also cleaned up sms messages scrolled on the programme, none indicating the ensuing outcry that followed Richard’s act.

There are many things to look into. A scandal rocked British Television a few weeks back when it was discovered that one of their four biggest stations, ITV, had manipulated the use of premium phone lines. Voting had been rigged numerous times on phone-in programmes, votes were not counted in some cases and people were allowed to enter phone-in competitions they had no chance of winning. It would be a good idea to look closely at the African penchant to use the same medium that has been proven liable to be falsified, in terrestrial and cable programming.

Ofunneka will come out of the Big Brother House to meet the outside world and have to live the rest of her life as the butt of crude conversation and gutter jokes. She, however, has a remedy in law against the producers of the programme if rape can be proven.
This is a criminal issue and the Big Brother producers should be held liable, as should the perpetrator, Richard the Dull.

Her dreams, if any, of making it big in the world of television and films have been brought to a crashing halt by several misplaced fingers. The public is an unforgiving one and even if a rape occurs every forty seconds in South Africa, land of the African Big Brother, it is not an occurrence that is as usual here. If this act had occurred in the Big Brother House in the United Kingdom, the British government would almost certainly have gotten involved and pressurised the end of the programme. Last year, a case of bullying and racism marred the Big Brother production in that country and the government intervened. Ours, watches and waits, because it is unfamiliar territory.

Ofunneka was forcibly retired from her dreams the moment Richard committed his act. She walks around the house still, not knowing, not realizing that for her in many ways, the game is over, permanently and their might be no coming back from the mindless act of the brain-dead Richard. It would be a wise thing for her to start her pension plans by meeting her family lawyers to ensure the producers pay for an incident that will haunt her until the day she dies.


Ms. Catwalq said...

I am not sure about this but i think I read somewhere that the rapist (this is what I am choosing to call him) won the competition; setting the example that the defilement of a woman is not that serious a crime.
We have to start enacting laws that protect our women and children. We need to start making examples of the animals that reside in our society.
This is disgusting. If this was America, big brother would have been brought to its knees by almost every human rights and women's rights group.
Instead, I have to sit here in near panic that there is no one and nothing to protect me if someone should hurt me.

Cheetarah said...

Even if she was consious she did not consent due to intoxcication,however he was also intoxicated, a very complex case to try for unlawful carnal knowledge under the CC however she can sue for negligence as they(Mnet) had a due of care towards her and they breached it,hmm tort is facinating but not my forte Papi esp when im not getting paid. Just dropped by to see how u dey and I have ended up offering a friggin opinion,lol!
I heard an actor I know pasted,Joe? U know him? Was really sad news, all I could see was him entering his yellow benz,may he rest in peace

laspapi said...

@ catwalq- The rapist won the game which should make us fear greatly for the future of Africa and where we'll be in 50 years if our future is in the hands of voters like these ones.

ps. Don't panic about protection, catwa'q. laspapi's here

@ cheetarah- Which country's Criminal Criminal Code are you talking about, cheetarah? Will Richard hide under diminished reponsibility? What if she had been 8 years old, would he claim he was so drunk he didnt know she was that young after defilement (Its not called rape if you're underage)
A case of criminal negligence is what I'd ask her to pursue MNET with.

The actor's name was Joseph Adekwagh. It saddened all who heard.

I'm very glad to see you, cheetarah.

Prousette said...

Now I know why I neither watched not followed the BBA this time round.

He did what...??? And won.
Does that mean if one of the house members in this reality show went berserk and started beating up the others to pulp the producers would not intervene?
Am not going to speak any more because words fail me.

rethots said...

Interesting, you know heard about it but, never gave it a thot. Be that as it may, from your analogy, 'tis obvious a wrong was done her by him; but then, i ask (in the presuming Africa thots), will it not be better for her to let the case lie low? If not, while she may not win the case she'll probably be made a laughing stock (& labelled an epitome of an unAfican woman).

But then, 'tis high time we stood up to defend what is right (& condemn what is wrong). True we may not always win but, 'tis just a matter of time people will know, for a ride we can't be taken again.

Sherri said...

"Her dreams, if any, of making it big in the world of television and films have been brought to a crashing halt by several misplaced fingers."

why should her dreams be shaterred? cos she was abused by a nitwit? are u in essence agreeing with the status quo of victimizing the victim?

despite my reservation about the show and other reality based shows, i agree with u on seeking legal redress and hope the media will not victimize her all over again.

more importantly, i hope she can walk tall fully knowing it's the dumbass who should be ashamed and not her!
i also hope she can use it as a platform to educate and empower girls to speak up and fight like hell!

My 2 cents said...

I say sue Big Brother whatever they are called for rape.

rethots said...

Reprieve at last, according to Thisday Newspaper of 23-Nov-07

MNET Sacks BBA Producer
"Mulitichoice yesterday confirmed that the producer of the Big Brother Africa (BBA) Programme, Martins Ngubane who produced the show on the day...Ofunneka Molokwu was harassed by one of the Housemates has been relieved of his duties."
Also, "Ngubani apologised to Nigerians “that those things were not supposed to come on anyway and we are sorry that it appeared and we will not allow it again”. "

At least she was vindicated.

Comrade said...

Hey Laspapi, Thanks for stopping by. I updated on this same issue