From Timi Dakolo of West African Idol to Chidinma Ekile of MTN Project Fame; Uti Nwachukwu of Big Brother Africa (BBA); O.C. Ukeje of Amstel Malta Box Office (AMBO) and Katung Aduwak of Big Brother Nigeria (BBN) among several other celebrities who came to prominence through Reality TV platforms, there are strong indications of process of talent unearthing, skill development and social reinforcement that have confirmed the ‘obscurity to prominence’ phenomenon.
With the return of BBN this month after a decade of hiatus, there is no gain saying that the Nigerian entertainment space has opened its door to more talent discoveries and a potential millionaire – underscoring the viability of entertainment business in the face of the general outcry of recession.
An offshoot of BBA which has been criticized in some quarters on moral grounds, it is obvious that the solely Nigerian version of this show tends to avoid such distractions by removing the controversial ‘Shower Hour’ from its outline.
From a more objective point of view, many see in the sociological-inclined reality show, the inherent lesson in human endurance. On the side of morality and discipline, the house-confining show speaks volume about the level of self-denial by participants, given such ‘private enclosure’.
Viewers have witnessed contestants who had displayed the most decent character in the House – there are evidences of Housemates who neither display nudity nor drink nor smoke (if those define decency).
The strength of the show is about that split-of-a-second when a contestant is carried away and gives up his or her pretentious disposition. Experts say it is not possible for you to be in that House and not forget for a moment that you are on television. Thus, many see the tolerance of other people’s attitude in the House as a great virtue, because voters see through the character of the housemates, which invariably influences their votes.
The daily tasks open contestants’ brain, just as the in-house politics and intrigues pose makes a viewer’s delight as housemates try to outshine one another for the ultimate prize.
The return of BBN, sponsored by PayPorte, Nigeria’s online store could be another easy entry point for the housemates to make easy inroads into Nollywood.
Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, said the show has been repackaged to meet the current socio-economic realities, following the success of the past seasons of BBA. “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.”
Reality TV shows continue to be a conduit for creating stars for Nollywood, world’s second largest movie industry by volume, according to a report published in The Voices Magazine of The British Council, in addition to other entertainment genres. The shows did not only identify talent, but also position the youth for greater opportunities.
The BBN auditions took place simultaneously in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja with thousands of youth besieging the audition venues to have a chance of being selected to compete for the star prize worth N25 million and a KIA Sorento car.
Organisers say 12 housemates will 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 from January 22, 2017.