Nigeria’s OG Reality Television Series.

May 3, 2019

I blame Big Brother Africa for a number of things: my mother inserting Child Protection on our DSTV, ending my free reign on the movie channels, an upward surge in perverts looking out for people taking out yesterday’s detritus in the shower and the realisation that I couldn’t tell a Tanzanian from a Nigerian on the street. Most importantly however, I blame them for opening the floodgates of some terrible, but always terribly addictive reality television shows that flooded Nigerian television in its onslaught.

Taking a leisurely stroll down Nigerian pop-culture memory lane, here are some of Nigeria’s earliest reality TV shows, I’d personally recommend for some secret binge-watching during office-hours:

Big Brother Africa

You can’t go round the King’s block without throwing him Tuale, or how does that saying go? Starting off the list is the original Big Brother, the one that introduced Bayo, Mwisho and Cherise to out televisions. It exposed our abilities to find pleasure in the most mundane things. 12 housemates, one location and a forced activities to fill in the time? Nothing boring sounding there in the least.

Koko Mansion

Someone must have hit D’banj with a dated “Flavour of Love” DVD because our guy was on something in 2009. The premise of the show was a number of girls living in a “state of the art” mansion in Lagos while completing a number of “diva tasks” to win a  number of things, but none as important as being D’banj’s number one kokolette for a whole year.

While Rita gave us this one unforgettable scene, let’s enjoy this longer than necessary scene with the heavy hitters of the Mo’hits crew wearing sunglasses at night and indoors while paying a visit to the girls of the house.

Jim Iyke’s Unscripted

Say what you want about Jimmy here, but he knows how to put on a show. A scripted one nonetheless, regardless of its titular insinuations. I have to admit that I occasionally scour Al Gore’s internet to catch Iyke’s accent in full bloom and his very interesting bursts of anger? And tantrums on display.

Let’s enjoy this five-minute trailer of Jimmy’s secret life, spent sneak-collecting phone numbers behind his girl’s back and parading in various states of undress.

Omotola Jolade Ekeinde’s – The Real Me

The biggest revelation of this show was how badly Mrs Ekeinde’s case of the giggles run. She was never one to scrimp on a ‘he-he’ to punctuate just about every sentence.

Also, the show went beyond the perfunctory nod and trespassed into headbutting region, by outrightly ripping off some scenes of Kimora Lee’s Life In The Fab Lane. Did that prevent me from watching every episode YouTube gifted me, however? That would be a no.

The Apprentice Africa

Do you know how good this show was? My 14 year old self was staring at water bottles trying to understand how I could flip a million out of them. If you watched the show, you would get this. Luckily, someone had the genius, punishing idea to compile the majority of the show into one really long video, enjoy!

Amstel Malta Box Office

Unfortunately, the folks over at Amstel Malta have decided to hoard episodes of the goodness that was the Amstel Malta Box Office from us, its teeming fans. This show gave us OC Ukeje and a number of unforgettable moments. Sadly, all we have is this trailer to remind us of their exploits, shame.

Chika Ike’s African Diva

You know what, I never understood the premise of this show. I guess the end goal was becoming an actress? The trailer, where the African Diva email address with the UK domain extension was mentioned, didn’t really translate that.

This interesting clip, with a medley of guest entertainers and a single actress also didn’t clarify; but hey, let’s keep a bunch of girls in a house for weeks on end, it always makes for good TV.

Gulder Ultimate Search

This show was so good, an enterprising filmmaker had to make a movie literally titled ‘Gulder Ultimate Search” inspired by its goodness. Unfortunately, production has been halted for quite some time on the series, with the last uploads of the show on the internet being four years ago. Enjoy this  super intense episode from the very last season, where Chidi Mokeme still serves as the emotionless bass-voiced host.

What were your favourite reality television shows growing up?


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