There are times that one needs a break from scripted entertainment, and enjoy the veracity and piquancy that come with impulsive shows. Such times are when the beauty of reality television comes to play.
How I love reality shows – especially the competition/elimination subgenre like the Big Brother Naija (BBN) which will hit our airwaves again tomorrow.
As a fan, I look forward to another season of confining young men and women in a house where, for three months, a potpourri of activities, including talents, competitions, intelligence quotient, human relations, personal upbringing, sense of tolerance, endurance, leadership ability, sexual disposition, and sportsmanship, among other virtues will not only educate viewers, but provide the sort of entertainment that evokes intellectual discuss.
One of the dynamism of the Big Brother show is such that not only are the actors under wraps before the opening show, it portrays so much dramatic irony in such a way that housemates, however close, are still strangers to themselves. The viewers know best, the true disposition of one housemate to another, only next to the show captain called Big Brother.
Last year, Bisola needed to be out of the house to discover that ThinTallTony, with whom she was romantically hooked to, was married with kids. Just as all other housemates eventually found out about the many lies told by Gifty.
Beyond the romance therein, the show, right from 2006 when the first edition staged its Nigerian version; young Nigerians have entertained us with their different personalities and unique talent.
To underscore the huge followership of the show, the prize money which is usually accompanied by an SUV, has moved from $100,000 won by Katung Aduwak, N25million won by Efe Ejeba, and now N45million for the eventual winner of this year’s edition.
Every week, fans look forward to the diary sessions where housemates get personal with Biggie. This is followed by housemates nominating themselves for possible eviction. Here, trust is sometimes put to shame, as your supposed friend could put you up if they find you are a threat to their next step up the ladder. And when it so happens that the fans favourite housemate is being so victimised, the outside world engages its arsenal in multiple rounds of public voting. Last year, we heard of how an entire clan voted their own, with political leaders getting in the ‘fray’. Such is how all-engaging the Big Brother format can be.
Interestingly too, I have two ‘pastor’ friends who, for the first time, didn’t only see the need to follow the show, they had favourites housemates for whom they staked their money. In Big Brother show, there is obviously something for everyone. And like they say, ‘you see what you want to see.’
And as the show is being recorded in Johannesburg, South Africa, the organisers, I believe will, beyond this business decision, make it nothing short of a Nigerian show.
Last year, several indications pointed to the fact that it was our show: the twelve housemates that eventually became 14, were all Nigerians selected from the six geo-political zones; the popular Big Brother Voice was that of a Nigerian; series Director, Gbenga Kayode is a Nigerian and Nigeria-trained; head of content and about nine other members of his team were Nigerians; the title sponsor, Payporte, which returns this year again is a Nigerian online retail company; foods, drinks, fabrics, decors, props were largely from Nigeria; English, pidgin, and other Nigerian languages were permitted on the show; Nigeria’s major language interpreters were engaged on the show, and of course, the prize money of 25 million was in Naira.