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Big Brother NAIJA and the South African connection – by Peter Adesanya

First of all, it’s important that you know that the BIG BROTHER AFRICA and NAIJA shows are owned and produced by MNET, a topmost  African TV and media firm which has its head quarters in South Africa.

I have been seeing a lot of comments and posts  from
friends and senior colleagues in the industry industry concerning the fact that MNET chose to shoot in south Africa.

Some persons even called for the boycott of BBN. I couldn’t help but laugh at this suggestion anyway. Because I know that it is an irrational and unrealistic thing to say.

Every company is in business to make profit. The goal of every money making venture is to provide value and make profit while doing that and to make profit, a company has to make choices that are deemed as cost effective.

Choosing South AFRICA over Nigeria is the most cost effective option for MNET because the factors of production in South Africa are cheaper and less stressful than Nigeria.

Let’s think of the things that go into an average reality show programme. Electric power, set(the house),  production crew, security, catering, medical facilities, etc. Do not forget that the show lasts for almost 3 months. Let’s take power for example, it’s not news that we have a moribund power supply in Nigeria. To put a show like that. You must have diesel generators running 24/7. Going by the cost of diesel now. The budget for diesel alone will run into millions. Imagine watching the show and suddenly the signal goes off because a generator suddenly develops faults from continuous use. Jus imagine the embarrassment. Also, from what I learnt there is a big brother house already in south Africa. Why spend millions trying to purchase and retrofit another set in Nigeria here when there is a facility in south Africa already.

Some Nigerians are sounding like BBN is a Nigerian documentary by NTA that was shot in south Africa. For God’s sake can we quit this entitlement mentality already and understand that nobody owes Nigerians anything. It is a private production company and the show is not about Nigeria. It is a reality show that has Nigerians as participants. The audience do not care about the country it is produced. They just want a fabulous show and South Africa can guarantee that. Mind you, the show is also viewed in other countries

A lot of Nigerian brands go to South Africa to shoot their commercials because it makes more financial sense. Do you know what goes into shooting just a short film in Nigeria not to talk of a feature length or reality shoe? You are shooting on the streets and thugs will come there to hijack your equipments or beat up your actors unless you pay them. Nigeria is a nightmare for indigenous filmmakers not to talk of foreign production companies.

Nigeria is really not a conducive and encouraging place for production and this is evident in the way companies are folding up and moving to Ghana and other African countries. There is a market so companies will keep producing outside and bringing it in

Even the government doesn’t believe in the products made by Nigerians. Our president is currently in a foreign country for vacation. The Senate spent scarce foreign exchange to import vehicles while we have an indigenous car manufacturing company. Even most Nigerian publishing companies, print their books abroad because it is cheaper to do. We bring in foreign nationals to do jobs that nigerians can do and call them expatriates Most government roads and buildings are constructed by foreign firms and we are angry that MNET chose to shoot their own production in their home country?

MNET has done more for the nigerian TV and movie industry than any indigenous production company. I dare anyone to counter this statement.

As long as we remain in our mediocre way of doing things in this country, as long as we don’t have good roads, security, good economic policies, good transportation means and proper work ethics more foreign companies will produce outside and dump their products on us.

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