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Did you watch Big Brother Naija?

Did you watch Big Brother Naija?
September 29
09:13 2022

Big Brother may be watching you, but do you watch Big Brother Naija, BBN, Season 7? Specifically, did you watch this year’s BBN?  Please, don’t take any offence at this question, and don’t feel like you have to answer it. I know that there are many people who wouldn’t touch the Big Brother franchise with a 10-foot pole. Although I must concede that the Nigerian equivalent is in a class of its own, for good or bad. One of these days, I hope to compare Big Brother Naija with Big Brother Canada. Anyway, the question in the headline is really meant for those who (like me) would normally watch Big Brother, especially Big Brother Naija, BBN.

 My reason (or excuse) for watching Big Brother is that it is part of my job. But then, anyone who’s interested in and can follow an essential soap opera or TV drama can follow the Big Brother reality TV show. At the end of the day, there are housemates who serve as characters on the show. They also have what looks like storylines or you can call them game plans. Nowadays, BBN has elevated the ‘shipping’ culture almost to a requirement (shipping in this sense comes from relationship). Housemates make deliberate efforts to couple up by adding a love interest to their game in the house to endear themselves to the fan bases. If you ask me whether it’s possible to fall in love in under one month, who I go ask? (in Omawumi’s voice). Still, for what it’s worth, a few marriages have resulted from the relationships that started in the Big Brother house. The most recent are Oluwabamike ‘Bambam’ Olawunmi and Tope ‘Teddy A’ Adenibuyan. But I digress.

The point of this long backstory is just to ask whether you’ve been keeping up with the 2022 edition of BBN that’s about to wrap up. To refresh, this year’s edition of Big Brother Naija with the slang ‘Level Up’, started on Saturday, July 23, 2022, and the second batch was introduced the next day. Well, it’s coming to an end this Sunday, October 2, 2022. If you heaved a sigh of relief, that would mean you haven’t been totally oblivious. In light of the foregoing, I’ve been thinking about who really watched this edition of BBN. Using myself as an example, the 2022 BBN is the least edition I’ve watched since 2006. First off, that 2006 edition remains my best. It also was the most entertaining and family-friendly season. It also helped that there were fewer housemates, that way, one doesn’t get dizzy trying to place faces and names. That’s the season that produced BBN host Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and Gideon Okeke, among others.

This year, out of the 24 housemates, I can only facially recognise a handful of Phyna, Bryann, Groovy (the pink hair helps), Hermes (apart from his nose ring and blonde hair, I took notice of him because he claims to be a polyamorist-I was expecting that to see that in his game but well), and of course Sheggz and Bella (just because they were always in the ‘news’). There’s also Doyin (who has a certain look), Allysyn (because of the bald head), and yes Amaka.

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I remember now a buxom Edo female contestant who when asked by Ebuka what she was bringing to the show, she said: Look at me, is this not enough (or words to that effect). Then, there are names I hear with no faces attached like Adekunle, Chichi, Daniella, Rachel, Chizzy, Chomzy, Cyph, Giddyfia, Pharmsavi, these names count as my pet peeves. In addition to trying to learn so many names, you have to remember these aliases. And then there are names each time they’re mentioned I get confused anew trying to remember if they have really been on the show or is it my old brain acting up or what? I was even more confused when I checked the BBN website to see names I’d completely forgotten. Na wa.

 In the past, by the end of Week 1, or even shorter, I’d have put a face to every name/name to every face. If I can’t even place people’s faces or names, how can I be excited to watch the show? Like any good soap, you need to be able to recognise the characters. You know things are bad when even the vloggers/Youtubers are looking for things to say. My two main sources were Gloria Elijah (Frankly Speaking with Gloria) and Anita Ihesie (Anita Ihesie TV). About two weeks ago (September 18), Austin Betha popped up, turns out I’m subscribed to her channel. “Worst Sunday Live Eviction Show” was the title of her video, and she said it was boring. In fact, she couldn’t say the word boring enough times. She didn’t like that Chomzy, Doyin and Eloswag who had been evicted the previous week but got moved to Level 3 as Big Brother’s guests were just let out, with no suspense or extra ‘ginger’ that you’d get from a fresh eviction.  

Speaking of levels, as I’ve mentioned here in the past, I just found the tweaking too much: First, there were Levels 1 & 2. Then there was the voting by levels, and the show was on two Dstv channels 198 & 199; GOtv channel 8/29; so tay, confused became even more confused. Then someone had the bright idea to add Level 3? Another issue I have also mentioned here is the difficulty in watching BBN even for people like me who want to keep tabs. Why can’t the producers of BBN make the daily 1-hour highlight available on the Africa Magic Youtube channel? Or their social media handles? Why must one have a cable subscription to follow the show?

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By the way, I do have a premium DSTV subscription which would’ve allowed me access Showmax free (?) but alas, I’m in Canada where neither DSTV nor Showmax is currently available. All of these, and I’m sure some things behind the scenes contributed to BBN Level Up not having a robust showing. Since 2017 when Big Brother Nigeria returned with season 2 (‘See Gobe’ won by Michael Efe Ejeba), after an almost 10-year hiatus and became an annual fare, 2022 will go down as the ‘driest.’ This was the season the social media and airwaves weren’t (over) saturated with Big Brother news. Unlike previous seasons, by now, fans would’ve fought themselves to a standstill, held several events and at the very least, I’d have been conversant with the fan names. Season 5 winner Laycon’s fans were Icons, Erica’s fans were called Elites, and so on.

I actually have some sympathy for the contestants this year. I don’t think they were necessarily less interesting than previous housemates. Through no real fault of theirs, young Nigerians were more occupied with the life and death matter of the upcoming 2023 general elections than fighting over their BBN faves on social media. I do hope there will be a thorough audit (like they need me to tell them). But it’s not all gloomy news. The winner of BBN Season 7 gets to win N50m cash prize and N50m worth of prizes, according to the show’s producers.

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