Big Brother Nigeria (BBNaija) Level Up was a melting pot of crunch scenes, colliding ships, pitched battles, pulsating thrills and unexpected twists. Pitching 28 housemates to vie for a grand prize of ₦100 million, the show delivered all that was promised and more.
After 10 weeks of intense drama, Phyna, who polled 40.74 per cent of the votes, was crowned the winner on Sunday, October 2, 2022. She warmed her way into the heart of thousands of fans with her confidence, vibe and energy, making her the second BBNaija female winner after Mercy Eke in 2019.
Meanwhile, BBNaija’s preoccupation goes beyond touching the lives of the winner and the housemates. It interpolates into society, creating jobs, improving brand awareness, rewarding fans (the fave lock-in promo rewarded 30 fans with a million each in the Level Up season) and serving as a means of pure delight for over 40 million watchers across Africa and beyond.
On Tuesday, October 4, 2022, ex-housemates, fans, organizers and the think tanks behind the success of the reality TV show converged as Phyna received her prizes — a ₦100m grand prize, including ₦50 million cash, an Innoson G5T vehicle, Dubai Trip for 2, a Tecno Camon 19, electronics and several consumables.
Speaking at the event, MultiChoice Nigeria CEO, John Ugbe, bore testament to the reality TV show as a phenomenon that transcends the notion of entertainment.
“Big Brother Naija is more than just entertainment as we all know. It’s vital to socio-economic value creation. This year, we employed over 1200 people working directly and indirectly, and I’m talking about fashion designers, carpenters, photographers, and interior decorators. We touched every bit of the economy. And to date, over 10,000 people across the industries have worked on this show.”
“The show also contributes significantly to the Nigerian economy. An example is the production cost of about ₦4.7 billion, which includes licensing, auditing, and marketing. BBNaija is that production that touches lives.” He said.
Pocket, the headline sponsor of BBNaija season 7, saw its brand awareness soar following its sponsorship of the show. According to Ayo Akinola, the Head of Business Development, Pocket, the popularity of the BBNaija show, adjudged the biggest reality TV in Africa, rubbed off on its business.
“It’s (BBNaija) something we are very proud to be associated with. It is unarguably the biggest platform that we have in Africa and it has even taken our business to immeasurable numbers…You should see the dashboard,” he said.
BBNaija continues to incorporate itself into the wider Nigerian consciousness and pop culture by delivering outstanding entertainment, especially with the twists and turns that the Level Up season came with. Dr Busola Tejumola, Executive Head of Content & West Africa Channels, MultiChoice Group, echoed this during the prize presentation event.
“The engagement generated this season has been phenomenal. From voting numbers, fan bases, social media conversations and media coverage — not just in Nigeria but across Africa. Over 1 billion votes were cast throughout the show.”
Corroborating Dr Busola Tejumola, John Ugbe said, “it’s another record-breaking season with over a billion free votes cast during the season.”
BBNaija is a precursor of win-win situations. Even without the grand prize, housemates run into goldmines as many of them go home millionaires, snapping rewards along their journey from the plethora of tasks and presentations that dot the show. Among those housemates are Chomzy, who racked up over ₦7.1 million; the 1st runner-up — Bryann with over ₦4.5 million; Adekunle with over ₦4.5 million and Dotun with over ₦3.5 million. Other millionaires include Deji, Hermes, Sheggz, Groovy, Daniella, and Chichi.
Beyond the monetary benefits, housemates also get expense-paid trips, endorsements and other offerings — Modella bagging a role in a Showmax Original series for one.
“The games, the tasks and the prizes created even more winners this year. Over ₦100 million worth of prizes were won just from tasks alone this season.” John Ugbe said.
BBNaija is a stepping stone that raises the bar with every new season in entertainment, economic advancement, talent incubation and talent discovery. It’s only been a few days since the show ended, but there is every sign that fans are already anticipating the next edition as much as future participants are rearing to go. No surprise if the number of applicants for the Level Up season, which stands at over 40,000, rises to 60,000 or, who knows, 70,000, in the next instalment.