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…As Big Brother Nigeria returns 10 years after


Uti Nwachukwu

Uti Nwachukwu

After a 10-year hiatus, the popular reality TV show, Big Brother Nigeria (BBN), a spinoff of BBA is making a comeback. Now branded Big Brother Naija and sponsored by an online store, PayPorte.

The show, which has produced amazing talents, who are currently holding sway in the Nigerian entertainment industry days after its launch, had youths took to its portal to register for the re-invented BBN, which promises to create fun and exciting moments.

Speaking on the return of the show, Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, said the re-invented BBN is another remarkable way of delighting customers through enhancement of the company’s product offerings.

“The addition of BBN to our content is a demonstration of our commitment to consistently meet the needs of our customers through innovative, qualitative and varied content available on DStv platforms,” he said.

According to him, the show has been repackaged to meet the current socio-economic realities, following the success of the past seasons. “BBA was popular for its entertainment value and ability to showcase ordinary Africans from different walks of life in extra-ordinary ways. We decided to re-invent the reality show by bringing back the Nigerian version, which we are confident, will draw a pan-African audience,” he added.

He explained that auditions for the rebranded show held simultaneously in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja, adding that thousands of youth besieged the audition venues to have a chance of being selected to compete for the star prize worth N25 million and a KIA Sorento car.

Ugbe further explained that twelve housemates would slug it out by showcasing their best selves, while also avoiding possible eviction by voters. “The show will be broadcast live on dedicated event channels on all DStv packages and on GOtv Plus beginning from January 22, 2017,” he stated

Now that the show is back, millions of viewers across Africa, including Nigeria will for eleven weeks, stay glued to their TV to find out who will clinch the ultimate prize. Some of the contenders shared their experience after making it through the first stage of the audition, which they described as a tale of excitement, fun, anxiety and passion.

Highpoint of the auditions was displays of unique fashion, weird hairstyles, exceptional beauty and allure from the youths who were all eager to make it into the house.

For Okon Emmanuel, an undergraduate of the University of Lagos, Akoka, who was auditioned in Lagos, it was one of the best auditions he has attended in recent times. “The screening process is both transparent and fair as we were called in groups and interviewed in the presence of other contenders. I am excited that I am able to make it to the second stage,” he said.

Jessica Mbajuka, a film graduate from Anambra State, who is based in South Africa but flew into Nigeria for the Lagos audition said, “The return of the show is a unique opportunity for me to showcase my talent and make myself more relevant to my country. I was extremely excited when I got wind of the BBN audition through my younger sister. As a film graduate from a university in Johannesburg, it is an opportunity to tell the world that Nigerians are immensely talented.”

Reality TV shows in addition to other entertainment genres, according to a report published in British Council’s The Voices Magazine, has continue to be a conduit for creating stars for Nollywood, the world’s second largest film industry by volume.

It need be noted that Nigeria has had its fair dose of reality TV shows over the years. This stem on the fact that the entertainment industry boasts of amazing talents, who are products of reality TV shows with strong entertainment values.

The recently held The Voice Nigeria, promoted by AfricaMagic as one of such reality shows, brought to limelight Agharese Emokpae, who is well known by her stage name, A’rese, whose exploits would have been unsung if not for such stage. Her emergence saw her catapulted to fame and instantly assumed a celebrity status.

Not only does the reality shows identify talents, especially youths; it also served as a launch pad and position them for greater opportunities in their chosen career paths. For example, Big Brother Africa (BBA), West African Idol, MTN Project Fame, and Amstel Malta Box Office (AMBO) among others, have produced stars including Uti Nwachukwu, Timi Dakolo, Omawunmi Mgbele, Iyanya Mbuk, Chidinma Ekile, O.C. Ukeje, and Ivie Okujaye respectively. Also, Gideon Okeke, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu among others, whose profiles have continue to rise and shine brilliantly in the entertainment industry after their victories in reality TV shows.

Today, these entertainers are among the A-list artistes currently holding sway in the industry. The fame that accrued from their exposure has also brought substantial endorsement deals from some brands. For example, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and O.C. Ukeje are making extra income as brand ambassadors of Gulder a brand from Nigeria Breweries and MultiChoice, respectively.

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