“Imeanza?” My aunt asked from the kitchen where she was supposed to be making the evening meal, supper as we have branded it. What if the food got burnt? I thought in my head before shouting back at her that her favourite soap, not Geisha, Dettol or Imperial Leather but Simply Maria was yet to start. The damn commercials! At around 8:21pm the table is set and the TV station swiftly begins to air the programme that was originally advertised to begin at 8:00pm sharp. African timers. 8 minutes later another commercial then another, news updates and the programme ends before we are even done with our meal. Classic.
I hate soap operas! Well there is a time I used to love them, I wouldn’t miss them for a thing except the time I was in boarding school. During the holidays though, I would sit in front of the screen and catch up, besides the story line is always the same. You can’t manage with Game of Thrones as you will need a lot of fitting in the pieces. Back to why I left soap operas four years or so back? Wait, should I number the reasons systematically?
I’ve faithfully followed about 15 soap operas in my life time. I began at a tender age with Secreto de Amor. Everyone was watching and this is where the addiction was bred. It followed with Rebecca (where her mother or aunt, I can’t quite remember used to call her Rebeccita), Two sides of Anna, The Gardener’s Daughter, Marimar, Endless Love, The Passion, Shades of Love, Storm over Paradise(which ran for a really long while), In the Name of Love, Theresa, Jezebel and the rest. Not necessarily in that order. I watched and watched. Until one day I realized that the two people who love each other then fall out will always end up together, happily.
If this makes me different from the rest of the population then I preferred the Philippines, not that they had a better storyline but they had a gentler way around it. There were lesser pregnancies and the lovers always met in High school (SMH). They also had the theme of poverty richly curved out. You can’t blame a people for a culture but seeing it over and over and over is sickening. But given anything, I would choose a Philippines based opera to the ones of Mexico.
Juggling between Nollywood and these notorious operas was the order of the day but one day I decided enough is enough. Why for instance is the main female character always so religious? Then there is always too much love around her, everyone loves her except the other woman who wants the man who is in love with her. If you think that is ridiculous, the tears that these characters spill throughout the time the episodes is enough to put the ocean to shame. They are innocent, meek and there is always a child in the background to make more ‘complications’. Is this the way love goes?
Bollywood is now copying the trend and it is worse. What happened to making two and half hours good movies with songs and a lot of dancing? When Shree came on screen all I did was listen in on people talking about it. I couldn’t subject myself to such trauma. The long dramatic pauses whenever any character speaks and please don’t get me started on their lack of creativity in the productions. I just can’t.
We have lived the era of soap operas too long. Even the villain in those soaps move on, question is when will we? But please, don’t let a girl thrash your dreams of getting Alejandro later on in your romantic life. Be sure to tune in at 6, 8 and 10pm to get a picture of how love should be. I made my choice and as much as I want to influence you to my side, be you.