By Ahmad Muto
At the Big Brother Naija prize presentation ceremony on Monday, October 4, 2021, the organisers of the reality show that ran for 71 days, ending on Sunday October 3, revealed that it cost them a staggering sh38b to air.
The Multichoice Nigeria CEO, John Ugbe who was also present at the finale on Sunday, and had a chit-chat with the co-host, Toke Makinwa, got down to the numbers revealing that the show also employed over 12,000 people for the 10 weeks it ran 24/7.
“We employed 12,000 persons for this show, it cost us N4.3b to air,” he said.
The show also received one billion votes from fans voting for their favourite housemates. Out of that, 300 million were recorded in towards the end of the show.
It should be noted that towards the end, the show nearly ran into a PR crisis threatening its credibility. One, when Nini pulled a prank under the instructions of Biggie, her bestie and house boyfriend, Saga appeared to be on the verge of sliding into depression causing uproar on social media in regards to mental health with his family threatening to withdraw him from the show.
Two, when it emerged Pere was in the top five, but a twist was introduced between him and the number six, Angel to disassemble toy cars. The first to finish was to return to the house, but they were both allowed back because Pere’s fans had threatened to stop watching the show.
Meanwhile, here in East Africa in 2018, some folks tried to organise a similar reality show that they dubbed Godfather East Africa and even auditioned possible contestants. It was touted as one to be televised globally, 24/7 for three months with contestants from Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda. The winner was to walk away with sh85m. Team Uganda had Jenny Nasasira, Ivan Kavuma, Keith Karuhuura and Vanitah Nakidde. However, the show never saw the light of day and nothing has been heard about it since.