By Olu Akanmu
Early this year when Mr. John Ugbe, Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, told the world that the fourth season of Big Brother Naija would be bigger and more exciting than the previous editions, many had probably doubted him. However, days after the reality show, viewers are so much enthralled, they hope it would continue forever. Latest Entertainment News.
On February 1-2, 2019, auditions for Big Brother Naija held in eight locations across Nigeria including D Podium Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos and Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, River State. In Warri, Delta State, it took place at Deluxe Garden Suites while Venetian Arena was the audition venue in Calabar, Cross Rivers State.
Oaklands Hotel and Park served as the audition centre in Enugu while Mauve 21 Event Centre was the place to be in Ibadan, Oyo State. For Abuja residents, the venue was MultiChoice Office in Maitama while Edo State’s wannabes showed up at Uyi Grand Event Centre in Benin.
Thousands of contestants had turned out for auditions in all locations. And to make up for the number, MultiChoice conducted online auditions before finally selecting 21 housemates (11 female and 10 male) who made it to the Big Brother House on Sunday, June 30, 2019. They included Seyi, a 30-year-old medical doctor and grandson of the late nationalist and former Premier of Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Others were Mercy, Frodd, Thelma, Isilomo, Jackey, Sir Dee, Esther, Ava, Omatsola, Kaffy, Ella, Ivie, Kimorah, Tuoyo, Nelson, Gedoni, Tacha,
Mike, Jeff, and Dianne,
With Bet9ja as the headline sponsor of this year’s show, MultiChoice upped the ante with the announcement of N60 million worth of prizes for the winner. These included N30 million cash prize; a top of the range SUV from Nigerian automaker, Innoson Motors; a trip to Dubai for two sponsored by TravelBeta; a home make-over courtesy Scanfrost; a year’s supply of Pepsi and One Africa Fest VVIP experience; a year’s supply of Indomie noodles and Munch it; and a brand new Oppo mobile smartphone. There is also a bonus prize of two VIP tickets to watch live a European Football final game, courtesy BET9ja, the title sponsor. Latest Entertainment News
Other brands that endorsed the show were Heritage Bank, Darling, TCB, Lipton, Dano milk, Showmax, RevolutionPlus, Delta soap, WAW detergent, TravelBeta, Poundo Potato and Legend stout, all having their individual day on the programme.
However, this season’s grand prize was an increase from the last edition, which saw Miracle Ikechukwu Igbokwe smiling home with N45 million worth of prizes. Speaking on the increased prize money, the Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe said: “Each edition of Big Brother Naija significantly improves on all aspects of the previous season and this year is no different. The winner of season four will walk away from the house with a N30 million cash prize and a top of the range SUV amongst many other exciting prizes.”
Aside the increase in prize, another major development for this year’s edition of Big Brother Naija was the return of the House to Nigeria, specifically the MultiChoice Studios located at Ilupeju, Lagos. The previous editions of the show were held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
On why Bet9ja partnered Big Brother Naija this year, Mr. Ayo Ojuroye, Chief Executive Officer of the nation’s premier betting company, said: “As the leading gaming company in Nigeria, we believe in changing lives. This singular attribute coupled with the zeal and passion attributed to the Big Brother Naija platform aligns with Bet9ja’s core values and we are honoured by the opportunity to headline this year’s edition. Bet9jawill continue to support programmes that will connect more young Nigerians to their dreams.” Latest Entertainment News.
On Sunday, October 6, after exactly 99 days, the curtain was drawn on Big Brother Naija season 4 with Mercy Chinenye Eke emerging as winner. She became the first woman to win the hugely popular reality show. Mike came second while Frodd took the third position. Omashola and Seyi came fourth and fifth respectively.
Since its maiden edition in 2006, the Big Brother Naija has produced some of the country’s biggest pop culture influencers and celebrities including Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Gideon Okeke, Katung Aduwak, Bisola Aiyeola, Efe Ejeba and Uriel Oputa, and mostly recently Miracle Ikechukwu, Tobi Bakre, and Cynthia “Cee-C” Nwadiora.
The Big Brother Naija ‘Pepper Dem’ edition aired on DStv channel 198 and GOtv channel 29. It was also available on all DStv and GOtv Max and Plus packages, with additional live streaming on Showmax.