Nigerians are famous for producing quality content in the entertainment industry as well as coming up with engaging and fascinating TV shows that enable talented individuals to be scouted in acting, dancing, modeling, and even the entrepreneurial sphere. The unlimited access Nigerians have to screen media devices like smartphones, TV, and Cinematic Screen have enabled them to access the content of these TV shows at their fingertips. Therefore, these fascinating programs not only keep people all over Nigeria and even the diaspora clinging because of its entertaining nature but also, because some of the shows are educative while some are even classified as capable of instilling some moral values on the teeming Nigerian populace.
Over the past few years, some top-rated TV personalities, musicians as well as actors have been gracing the golden screen as products of these Reality TV shows. To mention a few of these top-rated personalities that have risen to stardom via the influence of these Reality shows are: Chidima Winner of 2010 MTN project fame West Africa, Ebuka a product of the 2006 maiden edition of BB Naija, Kunle Remi winner of the 7th edition of Gulder Ultimate Search, Wole Ojo winner of the fourth edition of Amstel Malta Box Office show and host lots of other.
After a careful analysis of TV shows in Nigeria, Rosbena brings you a list of the Top Ten Nigerian Reality TV Shows of all time.
Top Ten Nigerian TV Shows
1. BIG Brother Naija
BB Naija as it is popularly called is a Nigerian version of the Dutch reality competition franchise created by John de Mol Jr in the Netherland. It is worthy to note that the name of the show was an adaptation of the character Big Brother culled from George Orwell’s book: Nineteen Eighty-Four. In this show, participants called “housemates” are camped in an apartment for some days, and their fate either to stay or to be evicted will be determined by voters who view and air their opinion about the show through smartphones. The activities of these housemates are checkmated by cameras and personal audio microphones. The goal of the show is to win a whooping grand prize which is usually determined by the board of organizers and the prize varies from year to year.
The show began in the year 2006 in Nigeria with just fourteen housemates. Since then the TV show has gained wide popularity across Nigeria and has hosted several series. In all, five series have been hosted, with the recently concluded hit edition tagged BB Naija Lockdown series making a huge wave across the nation with over 900 million votes which makes the season the biggest season ever since the inception of the show in the country. Amidst the Corona pandemic, the Lockdown series kicked off on 19th July 2020. There were 26 housemates from different parts of Nigeria, however, after casting a series of votes by viewers, some housemate was evicted from the house leaving just five housemates at the grand finale. Olamilekan Agbeleshe popularly known as “Laycon” eventually emerged as the winner while Dorathy Bachor emerged as the runner up of the Lockdown series. Laycon went home with a huge grand price worth of 85 million Naira.
Despite the huge wave and acceptance the show has enjoyed over the years, there are some Nigerians who see the show as morally, socially, and religiously unfit to be aired on the screen because it has the tendency of corrupting the teeming Nigerian youths. Whereas some believed since the show is rated 18 and is meant to reflect the behaviors of the Nigerian youths on live TV there is nothing wrong with it. This, however, leaves us with the question: will the famous BB Naija show survive amidst the criticism and disdain of these purists in the next 10 years? Let’s watch and see.
BB Naija can be said to be a scouting ground for celebrities in a different genre of the entertainment industry, therefore the following are top-rated media mogul and successful personalities that have emerged as products of the show.
• Ebuka Obi-Uchendu: He was a housemate in the maiden edition of the show. Currently, he is doing well as a host and a model; He has consistently hosted the BB Naija show since it re-emergence.
• Gideon Okeke: Gideon was a housemate in the maiden edition of the show and currently he is a Nollywood star;
• Bisola Aiyeola: the runner up of the 2017 series of the show. She is a successful actress who has starred in diverse blockbuster movies;
• Tobi Bakre: finalist of the season 3 show. He is a show host, a model, and an actor;
• Mercy Eke: Mercy made history as the first female to win the Big Brother Naija Show. As the winner of the 2019 edition, she won a car gift alongside cash and other gifts. She is a video vixen and an entrepreneur who co-owns the show Mercy and Ike with his fellow housemate turn boyfriend.
• Miracle Ikechukwu: He is the winner of the 2018 series and currently he is a pilot.
Having mentioned all these successful individuals that have risen to fame as products of the show; let us watch and see those who will rise to relevance in the entertainment world in the just-concluded series of the show. Howbeit, other contestants who graced the show but didn’t emerge as winners have equally been rocking the stardom with endorsement deals, thriving businesses, and a huge social media following which keeps bringing influencer deals their ways.
2. Gulder Ultimate Search (GUS)
Gulder ultimate search is inarguably one of the foremost, best, and engaging TV show that has been aired on screens in Nigeria. This show dates as far back as the year 2004 when the first edition themed “The Legend of Kaptain Kush” was premiered. This beloved series was the first locally produced TV show in Nigeria.
The program is a survival encapsulated one that highlights the contestant’s struggle for survival to meet tasks and discover the hidden treasure in other to win the grand prize. Gulder Ultimate Search has this potency of keeping the viewers in suspense as they become glued to their TV while they watched, prayed, and predicted the winners of each season. As the show kept people entertained, on the other hand, it also made stars from the winners and contestants.
Each edition of the TV show had a theme and a grand prize to be won. This grand prize kept the contestant which normally ranges from 10-30 million Naira depending on the requirements of the edition, on the search for the hidden treasures. Movie star Emeka Ike won the celebrity edition of the 2010 show. He went home with the sum of seven million Naira. Kunle Remi emerged as the winner of the 7th edition of GUS. Also, Krish Okabue currently an actor emerged as the winner of the 8th edition. The TV show has been halted for some years now but fans have been craving for it to be brought back and hopefully, the show will be back on our screen to keep us entertained.
3. The Next Titan Nigeria
The Next Titan Nigeria has a similar event organization structure to that of BB Naija. But unlike BB Naija that is designed to scout for talents in the entertainment industry, the Next Titans is tailored towards bringing to reality the dreams and ingenuity of young Nigerian entrepreneurs. This show gives young and talented Nigerians who are savvy in the entrepreneurial sphere the opportunity to compete against one another in a real-life entrepreneurial challenge in a bid to win an enticing grand prize that varies from year to year. This cash prize is not won easily but with a great display of good and ingenious business acumen. The grand prize is meant to develop an existing or a new business idea of the winner.
The show starts with an online auditioning after which 50 candidates are meant to undergo a boot camp. 16 finalists from the boot camp, will have to live together for 10 weeks just like the BB Naija show. These candidates will have to battle with one another over ten difficult business tasks and the 16 candidates will be evicted one after the other until a winner emerges and he or she goes home with the grand prize. The first edition of the show was premiered in the year 2013 where Iroghama Ogbeifun won the grand prize of 5 million Naira. This successful entrepreneur is currently doing well as she is the founder and CEO of Hairven LTD. The 7th edition of the show is currently ongoing but with a slight twist from the conventional procedure due to the Covid 19 pandemic. According to the organizers, this season will be poised at birthing ideas that are technologically inclined and that can survive any lockdown or recession caused by a pandemic or whatever. They concluded that since some countries are predicted to going into recession while some are even into it, then there is a need to be creative and come up with formidable and rugged business ideas that will survive any future recession. Hence the theme of this edition the “Unstoppable“.
4. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
Who wants to be a millionaire is surely one of the most fascinating and engaging game show of all time in Nigeria. Although this show has not been aired on the screen for a while now, the tales of the relevance of the show keeps reverberating on the lips of Nigerian. Hence request from fans to bring back the show on the screen.
Who wants to be a millionaire Nigeria is a British version of the same name created by David Briggs, Mike Whitehill, and Steven Knight in the year 1998. The show was first aired in Nigerian in October 2004 and stopped in June 2007. Originally the game show is sponsored by MTN telecommunication company who pulled out of the game show, thus, on the 29th of August 2017, Airoplaycare secured a deal to sponsor the game show.
The show is usually played by one contestant and he or she is presented with multiple-choice questions to win a huge ground price. There is no time limit to answering any question and as they answer the questions, the subsequent ones become harder and the amount placed on subsequent questions increases. The maximum cash prize offered is Ten million naira and since the inception of the show in Nigeria, only one contestant has won the highest grand prize of this ten million Naira. The name of this contestant is Aroma Ufodike. In the game show three lifelines are usually given viz: 50/50, place a phone call to a friend and ask the audience.
5. MTN Project Fame West Africa
MTN project fame is the hall of fame that serves as a scouting ground for talented young individuals across West Africa that desire fame and greatness in the music industry. The TV show is another fascinating show that traverses across the following West African countries viz: Ghana, Nigeria, Seria Leone, and Liberia. Due to the 2014 Ebola Virus, Serial Leone and Liberia have long been stopped from partaking in the show. The maiden edition of this music base show was hosted in 2008 following the conventional production pattern of starting the show with a Gala Night on Sunday in Prime Times that is usually hosted by Joshua Benjamin and Adaora Oleh along with the judges formed by Praiz, Bibie Brew, and Tee-Y Mix. Additionally, there’s a weekly recap show and the Eviction night on Saturday night.
The show also has as its faculty members Joke Silver, Dupe Ige, Ben Ogbeiwi who have been gracing the show back to back. The TV show has successfully aired 9 editions with the last edition dated to 2016. Since the last edition, there have not been any hosted. However conscious effort is been made by the organizers to bring the show back to the screen. Just like other reality shows, Project fame has produced some notable musicians in the music industry and these musicians include Iyanya the winner of the 2018 maiden edition, Chidima winner of the 2010 edition, and many more.
6. The Voice Nigeria
Just like MTN project fame, the voice Nigeria is a music-based reality TV show, an adaptation of the most popular singing contest in the international scene “The Voice“. The show was first hosted in April 2016 after which it enjoyed deluge acceptance and applause from fans across Nigeria. After conducting 2 seasons and 19 episodes, the show went on a break for three years this however kept fans yearning for its return to the screen. Of recent, the show organizers have announced the return of another wow edition of the show with sturdy support from the executive producers Un1ty Limited and Livespot360s.
This show is a battle amongst talented vocal contestants in their bid to secure their place in the program. Usually, the participants of the show receive intensive vocal training from the experienced coaches who form a team with their candidates. The foremost instructors of this show are Patoranking, 2baba, Falz, Yemi Alade, and Waje. For this coming season, 2baba and Patoranking will not be gracing the show with the rest.
This episode promises to be a formidable one with the veteran musician Yemi Alade, Darey, and Falz as coaches while Toke Makiwa and Nancy Isime are to host the show for this coming season.
7. The Nigerian Idol
Nigerian Idol is another amazing music-based reality TV show that is poised at discovering youths in Nigeria with outstanding musical talents. The talented young Nigerians that audition for the contest are usually selected by undergoing a boot camp; after which they are usually given the chance to showcase their talents thereby seizing their moment to rise to top billing in the musical space.
When the first edition of the show was hosted in October 2010, it was opened to all Nigerians between the ages of 18-28. This first edition garnered fame and acceptance as it was aired across Africa with over 15 channels airing it. In this maiden edition, the then 26-year-old Onyekachi Elizabeth Gilbert known by the stage name “Yeka Onka”, emerged as the first winner of the Nigerian Idol show. She was awarded the sum of 7.5 million Naira, a recording contract with Sony, a car, and an all expensed paid trip to South Africa.
The second edition of the show was won by the gospel superstar Mercy Chinwo. After Mercy was Moses Obi Adigwe, Evolve Zibili, and K-Peace. These winners of the show at different seasons can be said to have been struggling to keep their heads above water in the music industry since their partial rise to fame after winning the show. To an extent, Mercy Chinwo is the only one that has been able to keep her head high above the water in the gospel arm of the music industry and currently she is doing well as she continues to drop hit gospel songs.
Unlike other shows that have a stable panel of judges, Nigerian Idol has had the most unstable panel of judges with their judges been alternated at different seasons of the show. Thus, the show has seen the faces of different judges at different editions and these judges include the likes of Yinka Davies, Audu Maikori, Jeffrey Daniel, Charly Boy, and Femi Kuti.
8. Amstel Malta Box Office
Amstel Malta Box Office famously known as AMBO was the number one acting-based reality TV show in Nigeria birthed in the year 2005. It is a show sponsored by the Nigerian Breweries PLC. This fascinating show gives Nigerian youths that are skilled in acting the opportunity to showcase their talents thereby rising into relevance into the movie industry.
All through its stay on the screen, the show was held in Kaduna, Being City, and Enugu respectively. Just like other TV shows candidates called housemates are meant to stay together in a house called AMBO house where they master their acting skills alongside competing against one another for a whopping prize which includes a cash prize, a car, and a role in a Nollywood hit movie.
This show has produced some notable Nollywood superstars that are currently doing well in the movie industry. These stars include:
• Azizat Sadiq: Azizat is a citizen of Kogi state, Nigeria who won the first edition of the show. She starred in the movie Sitanda, a movie that received 9 nominations and won five awards. Well, Azizat is not too popular in the Nollywood industry but the acting ingenuity that earned her the winner of the first edition of AMBO show can never be displaced.
• OC Ukeje: He was the winner of the second edition of AMBO show. This talented actor performed extremely well in the AMBO house and earned him the winner. After winning the show he starred in the AMBO movie titled White Water where he acted perfectly well and therefore was awarded the Best up-and-coming actor at the AMAAs.
• Bhaira MCWizu: this amazing, talented and hardworking lady emerged as the winner of the 3rd edition of AMBO show. She starred in the 3rd AMBO movie titled Cindy’s Note.
• Wole Ojo: this handsome and talented man won the fourth edition of the show. He has since continued to do exploit in the Nigerian movie industry. One of his hit movie “Maami” continues to remain relevant after years of its release.
9. Nigeria’s Got Talent
Nigeria’ Got Talent is another Reality TV show which is a part of the British franchise of the same name. The show was first hosted in the year 2012 and was sponsored by Airtel Nigeria. Unlike other TV shows in Nigeria that are centered on a particular genre of entertainment, Nigeria’s Got Talent is a versatile reality TV show aimed at discovering talents in the diverse forms of the entertainment industry.
The format of the show is somewhat different from the British and American formats. British and American candidates are required to upload a clip of their presentation on the show’s website as these candidates are been selected to perform live on stage. In Nigeria however, auditioning takes place in different cities of the country where contestants are meant to present their clip in front of the judges and a live audience. As they present their clips, judges make comments and either approve or disapprove of the clip. If approved the candidate will move to the next stage. The winner of this show is usually determined by fans who vote for candidates via their phones. The most famous winner of the show is Amarachi.
10. Dating Game Nigeria
Dating Game Nigeria is an emerging reality TV show. The show gives contestants who are single and maybe searching the opportunity to find love by participating in a game show that allows three hidden suitors to be asked a couple of questions. The show is sponsored by Airtel Nigeria in partnership with EbonyLife TV. The idea behind the show is to offer a credible and amazing avenue to connect Nigerian single ladies and men thereby deepening their friendship bond.
As earlier stated the other of the show follows, first asking three hidden suitors a couple of questions, the contestant who gives the best answer is picked and gets a chance to go on a date with the man or woman who asked the questions. After this, in subsequent episodes of the show, highlights the couple’s date to the audience. What happens on the date, that is whether the couple wants to see each other again. The game is an amazing and engaging one as it has helped single ladies and guys meet their soulmates.
Reality shows are created to entertain, educate, and to bring out the champion in the lives of the participants. The above Reality Shows have been able to achieve the aims for which they were created. It is worthy to note that there are some shows that are emerging and we look forward to them adding value and getting Nigerians entertained. However, we hope and look forward to the comeback of some of the amazing shows that rocked our years but are no longer on air.
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