As the football season gradually winds down, lovers of pure entertainment are gearing up for the return of Big Brother Naija reality TV show. Unlike the last two editions that were hosted in South Africa, this year's show will be produced here in Nigeria, particularly Lagos.
Therefore, beyond the lucky contestants, who will make it into the Big Brother House to battle for fame and fortune, fans are equally not left out as they now have the opportunity of being part of the eviction shows and the after parties. For ardent followers of the reality show, especially the maiden edition, which was hosted in Ikeja, Lagos, this is indeed a cheery news.
Since the previous season of Big Brother Naija show tagged Double Wahala ended in 2018, fans have been anticipating the epic season return this year. After several months of teasing, organisers of famous reality TV show have announced that the 2019 edition will air this June.
Just last month, MultiChoice Nigeria treated fans to an exclusive reunion show and special pop-up channel on DStv and GOtv. The BBNaija pop-up featured highlights from the previous two seasons - See GoBBe and Double Wahala, as well as a special reunion show, which featured housemates from both editions. Though the third season might be over, the reunion show had fans reminiscing and supporting their favourite housemate for the last time on the show.
Since its maiden edition, the Big Brother Naija has produced some of Nigeria's biggest celebrities including Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Gideon Okeke, Bisola Aiyeola, Efe Ejeba, Miracle Ikechukwu, Tobi Bakre, Cynthia "Cee-C" Nwadiora and this fourth season promises to be even bigger than previous editions.
As the new season draws near, fans and viewers can get ready for the excitement and entertainment this season will bring as they enjoy three months of battle for the ultimate prize.
From all indications, the season four of the show will be different from the past three editions; the signs are there.
For one, the audition centres increased. The BBNaija 2019 auditions held in eight locations across Nigeria, which is more than the six from 2018 and five more from 2017. It expanded to include Calabar and Benin from the previous Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Warri, Enugu, and Ibadan.
And for the first time ever, there was an online audition. The organisers gave Nigerians one more chance to be a part of the biggest reality TV show on the continent by introducing an additional online process. According to them, the online auditions were a way of reaching out to their subscribers and giving them a voice.
A total of 10 contestants were selected from the online auditions and the voting portal was opened to DStv and GOtv subscribers to vote daily for their preferred contestant. The process lasted from March 21 to March 31, 2019.
Most importantly, the show will be returning home after two years in South Africa.
According to the CEO of MultiChoice Nigeria John Ugbe, "Bringing the project back to Nigeria is a big deal for us. People asked us in the past why we didn't do it in Nigeria, it's because we had a customized studio for the reality show in South Africa. Now, we have one in Nigeria, which gives us the opportunity to do more here."
While details of the forthcoming show are still sketchy, as MultiChoice is brilliant at keeping their plans under wraps, viewers can be sure that this season will be bigger, better, and more even more exciting.
Just recently, one of Africa's leading marketing and public relations technology company, Plaqad.com, announced the release of the first-ever Big Brother Naija report. The Report, which was released at the 2019 Nigerian Entertainment Conference, provides valuable insights into the public perception of the reality TV show, its impact on the youth culture in Nigeria and its effect on the Nigerian economy.
Big Brother Naija or BBNaija as it is more popularly called is a Nigerian reality television series based on the Big Brother television franchise.
The show features 12 - 20 contestants who live in an isolated house and compete for huge cash prizes and gifts worth over $100,000 by avoiding eviction from the house by viewers of the show.
While the show has remained popular especially with the young population, many have questioned the thinking behind it as well as its general impact on Nigeria's economy and youth culture.
"While the popularity of BBNaija is never in doubt especially as it relates to its entertainment value, the direct and indirect impact of the show on youth culture and our economy is not as visible," said Gbenga Sogbaike, CEO of Plaqad.
"Does the show actually provide opportunities for young people to thrive in the creative industry? Does it indeed drive any growth in Nigeria's entertainment, telecoms, fashion, hospitality, tourism, and media sectors as some have claimed? Why do thousands of people show up for its auditions year on year? What makes the show appealing. Discovering the answers to these questions and many others requires that one digs deeper and look beyond the surface."
"However, and rather, unfortunately, there exists no concrete body of research on the BBNaija show till date. Hence the need for this report."
The report, according to Plaqad's spokesperson, Fayokemi Fadeyi, was derived through primary and secondary statistics sources and comprised both qualitative and quantitative research methods.
"We employed Interviews, Focused Group Discussions, Online Research, and Surveys in compiling the report and surveyed the organizers of the show, ex-housemates, auditionees and sponsors. We also spoke to Journalists and bloggers, critics of the show, fans of the show, and the general viewing public."