This was the image shared on Instagram today by Zainab Sheriff among witb the following caption below. As noted below, Zainab aired out grievances against Africell Sierra Leone and AYV for their seeming refusal to help her develop her hugely successful Big Sister Salone show but instead focusing on their own show Big Brother Housemates. Zainab developed and aired the Big Sister Salone show with AYV and Africell Sierra Leone and she is even brand ambassador for Africell. So for her to do this is taking a big risk but a risk that Zainab obviously feels is important. As reported yesterday Zainab also has another reality TV competition show which she is working on. What television channel will that show air on? This matter certainly brings a lot into question.
People were surprised that soon after Big Sister Salone ended AYV announced that there will be a new show premiering with a similar concept but no mention of whether this new show would be in partnership with Zainab Sheriff. AYV and Africell has yet to respond but this is a first and very significant airing out of business grievances in Sierra Leone. All three parties are key players in the Sierra Leone business environment and entertainment industry so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Our take is that competition is ok and it is not wrong for AYV and Africell to work on a competing show despite the obvious conflict of interests present. But Zainab’s accusations that they are now trying to sabotage and neglect the Big Sister Salone show which put reality TV on the map in Sierra Leone and focus on Big Brother Housemates definitely raises some ethical concerns. Zainab also alludes to how this whole matter could be because she is a woman; which obviously is wrong if that’s the case.
So far there has been encouraging comments and many references that God will handle the situation and the hashtag #istandwithbigsister used on social media. However many have been quiet perhaps because they do not want to appear to take sides until they know more about the situation? Or because AYV and Africell are important sponsors and business partners and they do not want to jeopardize their business interest.
One thought which has occurred to us is that their should be exploration by Zainab and other television stations in Sierra Leone to see if Big Sister Salone could be aired on another channel. AYV has dominated the television platform in Sierra Leone since their fairly recent arrival but there are other stations such as Star, FTN, SLBC and KTV Sierra Leone. Big Sister Salone would certainly increase viewership of these other channels. But do they have the resources and infrastructure to take on Big Sister Salone, a 24/7 reality TV show? More to come on this one. Please comment below and let us know what you think.