The Observer (Kampala)

18 November 2012

Uganda: Nina Challenge Changes Reality TV

I don't know what it is with Ugandans and wanting to ape foreigners; have you noticed almost all the local contests seem to be a copy and paste from Western channels?

Now the in-thing is reality TV shows. The other day when as I tried to catch something interesting on our local channels, I chanced up on a new reality TV show. I almost flipped the channel because after Zari Hussein's Boss lady and Bobi Wine's Omubanda wa Kabaka, I had given up on watching any other because those two left a sour taste in my mouth.

Luckily this one was different. It runs on NBS TV every Monday starting at 9:30pm and unlike the rest or the usual dance and music shows, this one is about designers competing to design the best curtains. The first of its kind, this is The Nina Challenge. The premiere of the show, a brainchild of Patricia Karugaba, Kyazze, the Managing Director of Nina Interiors, was last Monday but already it has people taking about it.

Sharon Kankunda, a third-year student of Industrial Fine art at Makerere University thinks, "Ideas like that bring out a lot of talent which was kept on shelves and even widens the scope of these store owners."

In the show, Karugaba has 24 designers competing for $4,000 to design finished curtains that are ready for sale. The designers are teamed up in groups of four with each group given a 20-minute time frame to come up with a design.

The show has two sets of judges, the first being the technical judges made up of Gift Nekesa the curtain manager at Nina interiors and Karugaba herself, then the external judges made up of the customers and the general public. The competitors, who are all Nina Interiors staff, are judged on their quality, creativity, team work and humility.

The next episode will see the groups reduced to three members, depending on their output in the group. After which the viewers will get to vote trough an sms line that will be communicated. The shows have repeats every Monday, and the winner will be selected over the course of six weeks.

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