MultiChoice, organisers of the Big Brother Naija Reality TV show said hosting the show in South Africa, would enable it achieve high production and meet timelines.
A statement issued by Caroline Oghuma on behalf of the company, explained that the shooting of the show in South Africa would enable it use its fully equipped house.
“We have a fully equipped house in South Africa, which is used for the Big Brother shows.
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“This means that we are able to achieve high production values whilst meeting tight timelines and ensuring the show comes to our viewers on time as planned, and with the same globally renowned quality.
‘We don’t have light and other crucial infrastructure’
Although there’s no shower hour as in other Big Brother iterations in Africa due to Nigeria’s conservative viewer morals, the show does need to be on the air 24 hours per day, seven days a week for 11 weeks – something that’s extremely difficult to achieve and guarantee in Nigeria’s struggling TV industry hampered by infrastructure issues and an intermittent electricity supply.
The production also opted for South Africa due to being able to film the same show cheaper than what it would cost in Lagos, with greater security.
On social media Aderemi Ogunpitan, producer of the first season of Big Brother Nigeria, said “maybe DStv should relocate to South Africa”, admitting that “yes we don’t have light and other crucial infrastructure” but that “using our environment as an excuse is rather tardy”.
Producer Obi Asika who also worked on the first season however told Nigeria’s The Pulse newspaper that even though the show used generators due to the inconsistent electricity supply in Nigeria on “a particular day our generator provider decided to switch off the generator at 5am on a Saturday morning”.
“We had to put the cameras on loop. Some guy was just being an irritant. I can’t remember why he even did it. He had decided he wasn’t getting enough adverts or something. So it was probably the most hectic day of all the days.”
“It took us till about 12 noon to get the generator back on but because it was Saturday morning, people did not know that we were looping the whole tape”.
Show’s quality is the overriding concern
MultiChoice Nigeria, asked for comment, in a statement provided to Channel24, says it decided to produce Big Brother Naija in South Africa because the quality of the show that viewers see is of the utmost importance.
The show that’s made for Nigeria, is shown across Africa on DStv, including in South Africa on DStv channel 198.
“It’s with this commitment in mind that a decision was taken to stage the show in the fully-equipped Big Brother house located in South Africa.”
“Both MultiChoice and our customers are currently experiencing tough economic times which have forced us as a business to review our operations so we can continue to deliver the best entertainment value for our customers.”
“Staging the show in a Big Brother facility that already exists – and has been specially built for such purposes – is not only cost-effective but has also allowed M-Net and Endemol Shine to maintain the same excellent production values as with previous Big Brother editions whilst meeting tight timelines.”
MultiChoice Nigeria says that “Big Brother Nigeria is a proudly Nigerian show featuring Nigerians as housemates, in the production staff, as Biggie’s voice, all led by a Nigerian series director.”
“The musical performances that will delight viewers in the next 11 weeks also includes some of Nigeria’s biggest and hottest stars.”
“MultiChoice is a proud supporter and investor of local creative industries and currently has ongoing entertainment productions across the continent, including the much-loved Tinsel and upcoming Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards which are filmed and produced in Nigeria and aired in several countries across Africa.”