It is tagged “Strictly Naija”, but the highly anticipated Big Brother Naija reality TV show kicking off on Sunday, January 22 is taking place in far away South Africa.
Twelve Nigerian housemates will be ushered into the Big Brother House by host, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, on that day with one emerging winner of N25million and a brand new car after 11 weeks.
Ebuka was a contestant in the first incarnation of the show, named Big Brother Nigeria, held in Nigeria in 2006.
Speaking on the choice of venue, a communications consultant for MultiChoice, who does not want her name in print, told Qed.ng that the show is going to South Africa for the same reasons The Voice Naija was hosted in that country.
According to her, “the structure used for The Voice Naija is on ground. It will be a waste to host the show somewhere else when the facility is still available in South Africa.”
Hosted by IK Osakioduwa and Stephanie Coker, The Voice Nigeria was broadcast from April 10 to July 31, 2016 with 2face Idibia, Waje, Patoranking and Timi Dakolo as judges.
Addressing journalists at a conference in Lagos, M-Net Regional Director, West Africa, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, said The Voice Nigeria was taken to South Africa for “business reasons”.
Her words: “The decision to shoot it in South Africa was based on business reasons which every business has to take.
“It was about commitment. It was about the best quality show in the most efficient manner to ensure that our sponsors and the coaches are happy.”
The business reasons, insiders say, include the cost of building a standard studio and engaging quality crew in Nigeria.
There is also the twin problems of poor power supply and insecurity.
Referencing The Voice Nigeria, the MultiChoice consultant, however, said Big Brother Naija is 100 percent Nigerian content.
“It is a Nigerian show from the housemates to host,” she pointed out.