The Burst of Reality TV Programms on the Nigerian scene by Augusta Okon
In the USA, Reality TV programmes such as Survivor, American idol, America's next top model, The Amazing race, Dancing with the stars, Big brother, The Apprentice, have certainly changed the lives of the winners for the better.
However, Nigerians were mesmerized as they sat glued to their TV sets and watched the debut of the Gulder Ultimate Search ("GUS") on Snake Island in Lagos, which was powered by Nigerian Breweries Plc in 2004. The essence was to fish out the last man standing among the ten competitors (five young men and five ladies), who would be crowned as the "Ultimate Man", become an ambassador of the "Gulder brand", and of course have fame and fortune as his loyal bodyguards. The "GUS" was viewed across the Nation and watched enthusiastically by millions of Nigerians courtesy of the A-list TV stations. Besides, the Gulder brand during and after the reality show, received higher patronage from customers, boosting the sales output.
The "GUS" has become an annual competition in the programmes calendar as thousands of males and females troop to various test camps, with the hope of earning a spot among the last ten who would compete for the ultimate prize. The reality tv show gives the winner a monetary sum of N 7 million( the highest so far in all the reality tv shows in Nigeria) and a branded jeep, above the 2nd and 3rd positions. In April 2010, the maiden edition of the "GUS" celebrities show down was birthed , where ten celebrities ( Princess, Funke Akindele, Weird MC, Bob Manuel Udokwu, Dare Art Alade, Daddy Showkey, Emeka Ike, Muma Gee, Obesere, Chioma akpota) following the rules of the "GUS" were chosen to battle it out. Rita Dominic, Omowunmi, Ramsey Nouah had initially made the list, but it was rumoured that a controversy surrounding Genevieve Nnaji's role as the host might have been one of the factors responsible for their backing out.
A reality tv programme simply means one that is void of ‘acting out' unfolding events. Everything that happens is unplanned, real, documented for viewers to see ongoing happenings with every passing moment. There are no actors, just competitors (young men and women who live next door, down the street) giving their best to win the star prize. The setting varies based on the theme of the reality show. Apart from a few like the GUS and the Desert warriors, most competitors are housed in comfortable, exotic locations.
Over the years, following the success recorded with the "GUS" hit, other reality tv shows have sprung up, with some being competed for on annual basis while a few have crashed out, perhaps, due to lack of sponsors. The reality TV shows have discovered, harnessed the potential of young people majorly in the entertainment spheres while Business, oratory, conservation of the environment have also conceived and brought forth same. The under listed reflects the various reality TV programmes that have hit our screens after the debut of the GUS:
The Intern - Business Star Quest - Music Big brother Nigeria - Social Amstel Malta box office (AMBO) - Movies The Next movie star - Movies Idols West Africa - Music Nokia first chance - Music MTN project fame west Africa - Music MTN Nig /Ghana soccer academy - Football The Apprentice - Business Celebrity takes two - Dance Football with Fash - Football Football with Okocha - Football Kids alone - social (for children) The 12 Ambassadors - Movies Koko Mansion - Social Maltina family dance al - Dance Quest Nigeria - Tourism Desert warriors - Conservation of Environment The Deabaters - Oratory Praise Him Idol west Africa (music), Titans Nigeria (embracing different fields) and Styleogenic (Fashion) are set to make their debut as well into the reality TV fold.
Nigerians now look forward to some of these reality TV shows, and to those that are about to emerge or are simply presently ideas, we proudly await your debut.
I hope you enjoyed Augusta's article, for those of you living in the UK Nigerian Idol is currently showing on
I loved the moment when one of the contestants was asked what he did for a living and he said, "I'm a hustler"! That could only happen in 9ja!