This year, Big Brother Naija had the lowest rating and the least followed in the history of Big Brother Naija.
My brother, Azubuike Ihemeje, succinctly put it that this is the season that did not produce Big Brother celebrities, unlike other years.
This is the first season that we are seeing housemates not cross the 1 million follower threshold on Instagram while still inside the house, which we took for granted in the previous season of Big Brother.
Nengi’s followers on Instagram went up to 1 million before she exited the house, and she was not the winner.
The same with Ozoemena.
When the winner of that season, Laycon , was being declared winner by Ebuka, he had 3 million followers on Instagram.
To show how bad things were this year, Phyna, the winner of this year’s show, had 391,000 followers on Instagram as she was announced the winner by the same Ebuka.
Nigerians who religiously followed the show in the past were distracted by a lot of things and factors that included the Obidient movement, the new political order and consciousness in town, and the fact that the hardship in the land quadrupled over what it used to be last year when my good man White Money won.
Before I continue, let me digress.
At the beginning of this year, the management of DSTV wanted to rest the show till next year since this year is a world cup year and it is expected that most people would watch their favourite country play on DSTV, but two things happened which made them rethink.
1) The Super Eagles failed to qualify for the World Cup in March, which means that most Nigerians, with the exception of die-hard football fans, will not be watching the World Cup.
2) Adverstivers and brand managers whose brands have gotten enough exposure and increased visibility from the show in the past were following the management of DSTV with a bowl in hand and a check of over 1 billion naira, pleading, abeg.! We want this year’s show to go ahead. Please reconsider the decision to pause the show that is followed by millions of fans around the world.
As a businessman, when your customer is begging you to sell your market and ready to offer anything for you to sell to him/her, it is only a fool that would turn a blind eye.
But the low rating suffered by the shows validated the earlier decision made by John Ugbo’s lead mamagement team to rest the show for this year till next year, which would have been the right thing.
Having learned from that mistake, to spice things up and to draw more viewers for next year’s Big Brother Naija, the organisers have decided to merge both South Africans and Nigerians into one house.
This is the first time we’re seeing such an experiment in the history of Big Brother, but as a fan , I’m worried about the cultural shock that would ensue as a result of this experiment.
Big Brother Mzanzi has a huge following in South Africa and one of the things that makes the fans back home in South Africa want to watch is the shower hour, where housemates are shown naked taking their bath. But for Nigerian Big Brother, the reverse is the case, as shower hour is banned as housemates are not shown in their most vulnerable state because of religious plurality and undertone and the fact that we are righteous people here.
So I wonder how the organizers hope to solve this cultural clash and contrast.
Would they be forced to go against their policy and then show the shower hour in order to please the South African audience, who are already accustomed to seeing the shower hours of their favourite housemates , or would they please the moral police in Nigeria by cutting off the shower hour , exposing them to backlash from the South African audience?
In any case, only time will tell, and until next year,
Congratulations to Phyna!