Entertainment Opinion

BBNaija: An Entertainment Palliative for Nigerians

Nigerians are eager to consume information that are on the front burner and once the sensation surrounding the information dies down, they quickly move on to the next trending piece of information.

But since the Federal Ministry of Health confirmed the first coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in Lagos State, every other issue in the country has been relegated to the background.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some states in Nigeria were on total or partial lockdown and Nigerians groaned because of the anxieties associated with the lockdown.

Every sector of the economy is at a halt. Even the entertainment industry is also affected. During this toxic time in the history of the nation’s health sector, one could only but wish that there are creative and engaging television content such as the Big Brother Naija reality show to help ease the tension and keep our young ones meaningfully engaged.

Television is a powerful medium of communication. Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations described television as a “tremendous force for good. It can educate great numbers of people about the world around them”.

For example, in the 80s, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) used television as powerful medium to push campaigns such as Mass Mobilization for Self-Reliance, Social Justice, and Economic Recovery (MAMSER) and War Against Indiscipline (WAI).

While some may perceive the Big Brother Naija reality show as a highly controversial television content- this can be a subject of debate on another platform. However, such controversy is good for the show as it makes the organisers to bring their A-game by creatively looking for ways to appeal to a mass television audience.

The Big Brother Naija reality show; then known Big Brother Nigeria first aired in 2006, it involved a group of strangers sharing a camera-filled house for about 12 weeks. Every move is monitored and broadcast 24 hours a day to millions of viewers via a dedicated TV channel.

The housemates interact with each other and participate in physical and mental challenges while in the house.

Each week, at least one housemate with the lowest number of votes is evicted. The eviction follows secret nominations by the housemates and voting by viewers and the final housemate in the house emerges the winner of the reality show. Since 2006 till date, the format of the show has not changed so much.

Although the first edition of the reality show in Nigeria did not come with a theme. But subsequent editions had themes that guided the show. The second edition was; “See Gobbe, the third edition was; “Double Wahala” and last year’s edition (the fourth edition) was “Pepper Dem.” Apparently these themes are deliberately chosen to cause some excitement in the House and increase the show’s intensity.

Last year, Mercy Chinenye Eke, the 26-year-old graduate of Imo State University won the ultimate prize. Making her the first female to emerge winner of the reality show since inception. It was reported that last edition of the show recorded 240 million votes.

This attests to the fact that organisers of the reality show have used television as a medium of communication to capture a large number of Nigerian youth.

Statistics indicate that at the heart of BBNaija’s influence is a nucleus of a young demographic. These young Nigerians are valuable consumers because they influence the purchasing decisions of their family and friends.

Oba Elegushi and Olori Aramide’s 17 unbridled years of blissful marriage!

Young people are important to numerous markets, from fashion, mobile, and technology to alcohol, snack foods and entertainment. Without these young Nigerians, a sizable number of businesses would not exist because these young folks spend money, and they inspire others to do so.

But as is typical in Nigeria where people leave the ball to kick the leg, all manner of controversy would be played up about this powerful reality show.

That notwithstanding, the government and other stakeholders need to take advantage by using the BBNaija platform to promote societal values and shun vices such as drug addiction, cultism, sexual harassment, female genital mutilation, child labour, girl-child abuse and most importantly, create awareness on the Coronavirus pandemic just as housemates have campaigned against malaria and polio in previous editions.

About the author

Ihesiulo Grace

Leave a Comment