Particiapants in the show

Beyond the ultimate prize of N25million and a brand new SUV, Raheem Akingbolu reckons that the Big Brother Naija reality show may create a new vista for the Nigerian entertainment industry

Going by the current happenings in the Big Brother Naija House, where about eight housemates are now slugging it out for the ultimate prize of N25million and a brand new SUV, it appears Nigeria may be in the process of unearthing yet another set of talent. From the enviable fitness skills of Bassey, to the creative skills of ThinTallTony, Debbie Rise, and Efe; to talented entertainers, singers, and models such as TBoss and Bisola, entertainment should expect great stuff from these housemates in years to come. The BBN house currently serves one of the best reality dramas that have got fans to head online to air their views and also make their votes count, despite pressing socio-economic challenges.

Hosted far away in South Africa, there are strong indications that the Nigerian entertainment space has opened up its doors to a wider viewing public, thereby showcasing some of the country’s budding talents, who now have greater chances of success even beyond the ultimate prize of N25 million. Without doubt, the show has continued to generate a high rate of discourse among the youth, who are constantly airing their views on the character of the housemates. So far, the show has reportedly gained optimal visibility both in the mainstream and online media, drawing more than four million viewers. 

 The voting pattern has been influenced by the roles of the housemates in the house, their character and how good they are playing the game. For example, the theme of love, which was actively played out by characters such as TBoss, Miyonse, Marvis, Efe, among others, earned Miyonse the nickname, ‘lover boy’. While majority of the comments were criticism of Miyonse for allowing TBoss manipulate him, a few others commended him for being man enough to beat older male contenders and win TBoss’ affection.

Their love however turned sour when Gifty openly made advances towards Miyonse, a move, which infuriated TBoss, and eventually led to her decision to nominate Miyonse for eviction. The voting public, who were already averse to Miyonse’s unresponsiveness, did not waste time in sending him home. During his interview with Ebuka, Miyonse said that his rivals in the house nominated him for eviction out of envy. It, however, came as a rude shock when the host told him he was nominated by his lover, TBoss. It will be interesting to know the dimension their relationship will take after the show.

It was a different story for Soma, who from social media commentaries did not play a major role in the drama in the house, although he became more involved almost immediately he was up for eviction. For the up and coming songstress, CoCoIce, she was an embattled housemate who was not totally accepted by other housemates despite her sustained efforts to save herself from eviction.

However, despite the eviction of the trio of Soma, Miyonse, and CocoIce, it is interesting to know that their fame and fortunes have continued to grow by the day. On Valentine’s Day, Mr. Nigeria, Emmanuel Ikubuese, among many other celebrities, paid a surprise visit to the housemates and shared his experience on how he tried to get into the house, but was unsuccessful, a move which informed his decision to go for Mr. Nigeria competition, which he won in 2014. He advised the housemates to look beyond the ultimate prize and utilise the platform to launch their careers, noting that they are stars and Africa is watching them.

Being evicted from the house is definitely not the end of the road for Soma, Miyonse, and CocoIce. Since their eviction and arrival in Nigeria, the housemates have had ‘meet and greet’ sessions. The duo of Soma and Miyonse met with the management of Payporte, Indomie Noodles and Nigerian Breweries, all sponsors of the Big Brother Naija show. The first female housemate to leave the house, CocoIce, since her arrival in Nigeria has granted several radio interviews and is currently being sought after by the media. 

Ironically, the first male evictee from the house became the first housemate to land a major deal as a fashion ambassador for leading online store, PayPorte, the headline sponsor of the BBN show. Soma joins the likes of Tayo Faniran who was also a Big Brother Africa housemate, now the brand ambassador of PayPorte. It appears this is the winning season for Soma as the model cum singer may have won the heart of Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice award winner, Funke Akindele, a fan of BBN. 

Reports available online also show that Soma may have earned a role in the comedy series, ‘Jenifa’s Diary’. It appears the dividends of fame have already started paying off for Somadina Anyama.

The housemates’ fame has continued to grow as more brands are showing interest in identifying with them. The latest is the collaboration between Bold Magazine and DStv Nigeria to feature all the contestants on a weekly basis. The first of the series featured lover boy and chef, Miyonse, who revealed that being in the house has helped unearth his latent skills and much potential.

“I was a very shy person before I entered the big brother house, but I became a different person immediately I left the house,” said Miyonse. On his plans for the year, he said, “There will be a Miyonse storm! And it is coming this way. I am coming up with a couple of cooking shows. I am coming up with something unique, something unique to the Big Brother brand, something people would want to associate with. I am also interested in endorsement in the food and beverage industry.”

On the heels of Miyonse, Soma and CocoIce are Gifty, Uriel and the wo fake housemates, Ese and Jon, who were all evicted. They all have the prospects of transiting to celebrity status.

Feedbacks from MTN’s ‘Prestige’ Customers 

Two months after MTN rolled out the drum to celebrate its loyal customers through what it tagged MTN Prestige: Circle of Distinction, some beneficiaries of the scheme were said to have started reaping the benefits of the exclusive club. The scheme, which was designed to reward customers’ loyalty, enlisted them into an elite group of subscribers.  

According to the General Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN Nigeria, Richard Iweanoge, the reward programme was introduced to appreciate customers for their support for the brand by enlisting them into an elite group of subscribers. 

“It is a reward programme designed to welcome deserving customers into a circle of distinction, in appreciation of those that have stayed loyal to the brand since it started operation 16 years ago”, he said.

This new reward programme, he said, takes customer reward to a new level of appreciation, by introducing some measures of luxury and style to conventional practice. 

That explains why this class of customer reward is classified MTN Prestige, he added.

This is celebration of many customers, who have stayed with the brand for more than 10 years. “MTN prestige is our loyalty programme that is designed to recognise and reward group of customers, who have shown great loyalty to the MTN network over time”, the multinational company said. The reward is based on cumulative spend on MTN network over time.

The reward scheme has three categories, which include Gold, Silver and Bronze. Under Gold, customers consistently enjoy MTN products and services to quality for the third tier level where a range of benefits will make the customer being proud of the distinct circle.

The  silver category  steps up the customers on MTN voice and data, qualifying  the customer in to second tier level of benefits  while the customers under Bronze category must have stayed with the brand for a minimum of 10 years. Irrespective of the first tier of membership.

Some of the benefits include making available exotic cars for customer’s driving pleasure. “As MTN prestige customer, we also take the liberty of negotiating specific of negotiating specific concessions, just in case the customer is inclined to make a purchase”

Also membership of the MTN Prestige scheme entitles customers to relax at airport waiting lounge. “MTN Prestige also redefines customer service. 

We provide you with a dedicated relationship manager, who is experienced in ensuring utmost customer satisfaction”

Speaking at the unveiling  of the scheme in Lagos, which witnessed the presence of other top business stakeholders, the Chairman of the company, Pascal Dozie, said the plan was designed because MTN appreciates its customers. “We at MTN appreciate our customers’ loyalty and that is why we are giving  them more value”. He said that customers are central to MTN success story.

Chief Executive Office MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman, also explained that the scheme was a loyalty programme to appreciate  customers, who have shown loyalty to MTN brand.

Meanwhile, Iweanoge had earlier explained that the programme was designed to welcome some deserving  customers into Circle Distinction. “What it means is that we are recongnising  and rewarding  customers who are loyal to MTN. In the past we have done things in bits to recongnise them but we thought  that it is important to have a platform where once a customer qualifies, the customer qualifies, the customer would begin to get those benefits.

Those who have been with MTN for 10 years deserve to be rewarded to that loyalty. Also, if a customer’s  spends a certain amount on our network on the monthly basis, the customer would also be recognised. The benefits involved airtime, free handset, data and others.