AYV’S POSITION ON THE BIG BROTHER SOCIAL MEDIA OUTBURST
Our attention has been drawn to the continuous disparaging act of Zainab Sheriff on social media against the Africa Young Voices (AYV) Media Empire; an act that might destroy the Entertainment Industry in Sierra Leone and the talent of many young Sierra Leoneans. Businessmen would be scared to invest in the Entertainment Industry.
AYV owes it to our audience across the globe that strongly believes in the credibility and integrity of the institution to come out with the truth, which aims at keeping our thoughts, trustworthiness and reliability. We also want to continue to admonish young entertainers and talented Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad that we will continue to invest in enhancing and exposing your talents regardless of the ethical limitations of a few individuals within the Industry. We believe in Sierra Leone.
We want to hastily and emphatically state that the Africa Young Voices Media Empire is an apolitical institution that creates equal platform to all as evident in our operations. AYV will never compromise its independence to intimidate not Zainab, not anyone because integrity is what we stand for as the country’s most trusted news source. AYV is also advising individuals within the Entertainment Industry to remain professional and continue to expose their God given talents to the World through the platforms we continue to create.
We want the public to understand that the name Big Sister was not an initiative of Zeniab Sheriff. She came to AYV wanting to do a reality show called ‘Bondo Bush’. Big Sister Salone was a name suggested to her by the AYV team. Big Sister is an established Africa brand (https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Movie-Television-Studio/Big-Sister-Africa-145178089467271/). The idea is for AYV and Zainab to adopt an African concept. We also want the public to understand that AYV is a Multimedia Empire and our Entertainment Channel 34 was not established to run only the Big Sister show. We invested to run several reality TV shows including Big Brother Housemate Sierra Leone, Big Sister-Salone, Salone Talent Hunt, Vocal Drift etc… Does Zainab know how many reality TV shows the BBC is running? (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/formats/reality/all). There are so many reality shows in Nigeria (https://infoguidenigeria.com/nigerian-reality-tv-shows/).
Reality TV shows are not about name, but content. The Big Brother Housemates show is about young men and women in a house and not just about women’s empowerment. The Big Sister concept, which was adopted from Big Sister Africa, and not Zainab, is to empower women and they collaborate with stakeholders to ensure success. Why are we refusing to collaborate in Sierra Leone? Innovation and business is about collaboration and content.
No doubt, the Big Sister-Salone was a success because of the intervention of Africell. The five-year agreement signed between AYV and Zedzee states that the two institutions shall share a 50/50 profit as rightly mentioned by Zainab. But she failed to mention that the agreement states the responsibilities of each party, which obliged each party to bring its investment at least 14days to the commencement of the show. Unfortunately, she failed to meet that provision of the agreement, thus prompting the intervention of Africell. Zainab also failed to inform Sierra Leoneans why the Big Sister 2018 show was postponed twice and why she abandoned the show as the Big Sister Voice of the show.
She was required to prepare the Big Sister House, provide the car and star prize, while AYV invests in the production and international transmission of the Big Sister Show (a two hundred and fifty thousand dollars investment); and to handle both the technical and content production of the show. AYV even employed an expert from the UK to develop the content and produce the show.
AYV is a very responsible media outlet that is passionate about supporting young people, hence the reason we did not come out to tell the public that she was unable to buy the car, provide the Generator for the house, kitchen utensils, fuel the generator, provide air-conditioners or provide the star prize of Le10, 000,000.00 (ten million Leones). AYV and Africell had to cover the costs. The CEO of AYV Amb. Navo had to remove three Air-conditioners from his residence and bought a Le 120 million generator to install in the Big Sister House less than 24 hours before the commencement of the Big Sister Show. All these were to be provided by Zainab Sheriff.
It is also important to state that Zainab knew everything about the proposed Big Brother show as was announced during the Big Sister eviction nights including the presentation of the star prize and media engagements (98.1 FM) where Zainab herself participated.
Following her social media outburst of rage, Isha Johansen initiated a peace talk in which AYV agreed and forgave Zainab for all her blackmailing acts.
We consider the latest Video by Zainab as a betrayal of trust and misrepresentation of the normal Sierra Leonean reputation.
Now to the crux of the matter, Zainab came to AYV expressed an interest to be part of the Big Brother show. AYV out of generosity and goodwill offered Zainab Sheriff 20% shares and Le50, 000, 000 (fifty million Leones), which she accepted. To our amazement, Zaniab called 24hrs later making a ridiculous request of Le300, 000, 000 (Three Hundred Million Leones). That’s where the problem started. AYV is not obligated to involve Zainab in any of our corporate engagements. We only acted Sierra Leonean. Big Brother will in no way kill the Big Sister show. Thousands of people have applied to participate in the Big Brother, and only twenty will be selected, which means hundreds of women are also willing to participate in the Big Sister show. People are not exploited; they applied because they are willing to take advantage of the opportunity being provided to expose their talents.
AYV strongly rejected that act of greed and selfishness from Zainab. Following our refusal to heed to her selfish interest, Zainab maliciously took to the social media blackmailing the AYV. Zainab brings nothing to table, but out of generosity we wanted to bring her onboard. No amount of blackmail will make us succumb to the distraction being caused by the social media rant.
Let it be known that no amount of emotional intimidation and reckless blackmail will change AYV’s vision for our entertainers including Zainab who is the most recent beneficiary. We have an obligation to our over four (4) million viewers across the globe to remain factual, credible, balanced and innovative. We also believe that many indigenous Sierra Leonean businesses were destroyed because of the greed to other Sierra Leoneans.
It is significant to inform our trusted followers that AYV’s legal team is working on the necessary documentation, for any possible litigation. The legal team is also
Investigating defamatory social post made by Zainab and the public will be updated as things evolve.
Dr. Ezekiel Duramany-Lakkoh
AYV Media Empire