Most Nigerians enter each year buoyed by annual events often queued for entertainment. Years past, there have been shows such as… Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,
Gulder Ultimate Search , Maltina Dance Hall, Star Trek , and Project Fame. They were all were addictively spellbinding.
Interestingly, the last five years have seen none compared to Big Brother Naija. A reality show in which contestants live in an isolated house and compete for a large cash prize. October 6, 2019, would eternally remain memorable in the life of Mercy Eke, as she was crowned the winner of Big Brother Naija (Season 4 – Peper dem gang series).
It was the first time in the show’s history that a woman emerged overall winner; a feat widely celebrated. The prize money was set at a mouthwatering Sixty Million Naira.
Mercy’s story was always going to end gloriously after the events of DAY89 which began like any other day, but ended with the odds heavily stacked in her favor, Ironically, against Tacha, another contestant who weeks prior was the front runner.
In a whim, both engaged in verbal assaults. It was dirty, nasty, truckloads of biles, laced with unprintable words. Did it get physical? A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y! The house rule presented to the contestants were lucid. Article 18 sub-section one reiterated the fact that – bullying, provocation, goading, any type of violence, may require Biggy’s reaction in any way he decides.
As a result of the commotion, Tacha got disqualified, while Mercy tearfully embraced her two Strikes which in football translates to the golden goal rule in a semifinal match – err, become a goner.
Social media meltdown was like never before seen. Tacha’s “Titans” were out in full force attacking like sabertooth tigers, Mercy’s “Lambogineans” stayed on their lane painting with the colors of the rainbow as she walked away with the 60 million Naira prize money, while crying out “Uncle Uzor!”.
Loosely, one could argue that whenever Big Brother Naija (BBN), got underway, in major parts of the country, it competes with the love for football. Tacha and Mercy’s Big Brother rivalry is somewhat identical to that of football stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Fans of the Portuguese forward and the Argentine have been at each other’s jugular since both players became global phenomena.
Having won a combined eleven Ballon d’Or/FIFA Ballon d’Or awards (six for Messi and five for Ronaldo), both are widely regarded as the two best players of their generation. They’ve won a combined 63 trophies (Ronaldo 29, Messi 34) during their careers thus far, and have regularly broken the 50 goal barrier in a single season
They are amongst the 28 players in the history of the sport to score over 500 career goals, currently ranked at 6th (Ronaldo) and 7th (Messi) respectively, with both having scored over 700 goals each in their careers for club and country.
With success, comes debate on supremacy on and off the pitch. Ronaldo (Tacha) is sometimes described as someone of temperamental character while Messi (Mercy) is portrayed as having a more reserved character.
In the words of Former FIFA President Sep Blatter, “Ronaldo is mechanical, too much energy. Messi is like a puppy, which everyone loves.”
Associated with their personality, the rivalry involving these thespians gifts them per second following on social media, both on Twitter and Instagram.
Messi has 137 million on Instagram. He is not on Twitter but his sponsors Adidas created a fan account for the Argentine
which currently has 2.8m followers.
Tacha with over one hundred and forty-seven thousand followers on Twitter, Nine hundred and ninety-seven thousand on Instagram.
Cristiano has 191 million followers on Instagram and has 81.2 million on Twitter.
Mercy has over nine hundred and forty-one thousand followers on Instagram, but she’s almost none existent on Twitter.