A small media company and Joy’s MultiTV brought to television screens, in the year 2012, a grand process of man’s selection of a female partner since the decline of the glory of the arranged marriage.
“King” Bomaye, Ghanaian former housemate on Big Bother Africa season 6, camped with 12 nubile women in a mansion located somewhere in the eastern end of the city of Accra, to live together with the ladies for three months and choose a bride from the twelve by the end of the show. They called it I’m in Love with Bomaye.
As king, Bomaye slept in an exclusive chamber while the maidens slept in two dormitories. One maiden was elected as queen weekly. The queen served the king specially. From time to time Bomaye admitted them to his chamber, one at a time for one-on-one chats and perhaps for observation up-close. Yes, and most of that was on live television.
The producers and the network, at the start of the show, sold it as being in tune with Ghanaian traditional culture; or was it? The show was also to meant to show how far the ladies could go in an open competition for a man’s love.
But really, the I’m in Love with Bomaye reality show flipped the script. Ordinarily as you may already know, the mate selection process is very personal, muted and without a script. For a man the period can be full of a whole lot of emotional and physical experiences. It can also be a period of self discovery.
A lot does happen as dating couples engage in mutually pleasing activities, some in public space and others in very private and intimate away from the view of even family members. There may be long, unending chats on the phone, hang outs to interesting places, and sex sometimes, or rather most of the time.
There may be present also during the search and selection joy and pain, and they come in different permutations, for the man and woman, and each couple experiences its own version of permutations of emotions.
The mate selection process becomes open when the man and woman are at the phase of being united in a formal marriage ceremony in whatever form a society may prescribe, after the man has successfully found a mate.
In the Bomaye process, however, the mate selection is public right from the beginning and was designed for the public to influence the process. The audience’s role was to help Bomaye to choose a most suitable partner. That they were going to do by voting by way of sending the name of a favourite maiden to a given phone number. They would help him to eliminate unsuitable candidates weekly until he finds the best of out of the lot.
Well, after three whole months of living in a rather closed and controlled environment Bomaye chose Promzy as the best and most suitable to be his mating partner.
The dating that followed for Promzy and Bomaye was simply a whirlwind with public relationship issues common to celebrity couples.
Now three years on, no marriage ceremony has been witnessed between the winning maiden, and Bomaye nor has there been any between any other housemate and the King. Why is Bomaye not married to his choice maiden?
Could it be that there were too many pretty women in the reality house so much that Bomaye was spoilt for choice? Were three months sufficient time frame to choose one from the bevy of ladies? And again, did the process afford the women space to be their normal selves just as they would in an uncontrolled open environment without the live cameras?
For now, just one show may offer too little basis to make a categorical conclusion on the novelty it introduced on selecting a mate. Though the I’m in Love with Bomaye reality TV show was fairly entertaining, the outcomes that have unfolded since the show suggests that the producers may have been too audacious with the idea they tried to push.