Today, Tuesday, January 24, 2017, I had the pleasure of reading a Facebook post written by veteran broadcaster Femi Sowoolu on why Big Brother Naija is taking place in South Africa.
Our sense of entitlement is too much
Nigerians should stop moaning about Big Brother Naija in South Africa. We have a big sense of entitlement and a bloated opinion about ourselves.
Mr Sowoolu in his Facebook post titled 'The New Reality: Fake It!' blasted DSTV for shooting Big Brother Naija in South Africa.
"Smacks of ridicule, discrimination, utter disrespect, and blatant disregard for Nigeria and all Nigerians. It is a nasty slap on the industry and potential of the Nigerian professional who still excels among peers, despite all, and any manner of niggling societal or operational odds" wrote the veteran.
His sentiments echo those of many Nigerians who were angered that the reality show is being produced in South Africa. They felt it was a slap in the face of Nigerians.
Now, this is where I have to add my 2 Kobo on this matter. Dear Nigerians, you feel too entitled over nothing. DSTV shooting Big Brother Naija is a perfectly rational decision.
Last year, I had the opportunity of interviewing Obi Asika who produced the first edition of Big Brother Naija (then known as Big Brother Nigeria) and he revealed to me that MNET bankrolled the show singlehandedly and it cost them $3m.
The cost to produce the show was so expensive because of the production crew and equipment that had to be brought into the country.
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In 2014, Uti Nwachukwu hosted Star, The Winner Is..., another Nigerian show produced in South Africa.
When asked by journalists why this show wasn't produced in Nigeria, Uti said the cost of production would have been too much if it was done here.
I am not privy to how much Big Brother Naija is costing MNET now but I am sure it is not up to $3m. Any production person in Africa will tell you it is easier to produce TV content in South Africa than in Nigeria.
This is because the TV industry in South Africa is far more advanced. Also, the equipment needed is readily available. This is why some Nigerian music acts prefer to shoot videos in SA than in Nigeria. It is cheaper.
In South Africa, there are more professionals in the TV industry than in Nigeria. South Africa has more TV and film institutions of international repute.
Let's face the facts. Nigeria barely has any. PEFTI is a joke and the National Film Institute is archaic. Like I said, we have a bloated opinion about ourselves.
Presently, we cannot produce what South Africa is producing. This was very glaring when The Voice Nigeria and Project Fame was airing simultaneously. The gulf in the class of production was embarrassing.
Secondly, let's say it as it is. Nigerians are largely unprofessional. We don't keep to time and we don't have a spirit of excellence. You can argue all you want but take a look at the country we live in. Case closed.
Did you know that during Big Brother Nigeria in 2006 there was a power issue problem?
"I remember a particular day when our generator provider decided to switch off the generator at 5 am 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 (it was a barter deal).
“So that was probably the most hectic day of all the days. It took us till about 12 noon to get the generator back on" revealed Obi Asika.
I rest my case.
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