For the next 10 weeks, Nigerians will witness the battle for the seventh Next Titan among sixteen contestants with the aim of being the sole winner of the coveted crown. Funke Olaode writes about this TV reality show which has become a platform that showcases the best talents

One could feel both the expectations and anxiety amongst the contestant’s penultimate Sunday as the panel of judges were reeling out names of the qualified contestants who will slug it out to win the coveted crown. At the end, 16 lucky ones were selected for the competition. It was an emotional moment filled with excitement and happiness.

The Next Titan is Nigeria’s foremost entrepreneurial reality TV Show; and the show has been influencing the minds of young people in Nigeria to see entrepreneurship a viable career option considering the rate of unemployment. The past winners of the show have created jobs while many other participants who did not win the prizes have turned their lessons on the show into sustainable businesses.

Aside from the entertainment aspect of the 10-week competition show, its main importance lies in igniting entrepreneurial spirit and showcasing the possibility of entrepreneurship in transforming lives with just an idea that can be scaled to greatness with a market and with Nigeria’s population. The show, by scouting for young talented people who have entrepreneurial acumen, grooming them through rigorous tasks, boardroom process, mentorship, and eventually funding winner’s idea leading to an opportunity to create jobs for themselves and others is indeed a big contributor to the socio-economic development of our country, Nigeria.

Apart from the success stories of the previous winners of the show which have been phenomenal, the Next Titan being on national television has on yearly basis impacted on the generality of other young people and viewers who have shared their testimonies regarding the programme causing a shift in their mind-sets to moving from jobs -seekers to jobs-providers.
It has been a challenging year with the COVID-19 outbreak and with a lockdown that has affected the economy, businesses, and individuals, and which suddenly threw up a new normal.

In abiding with the new normal, the audition and the ‘Top 50’ boot camp were held online before inviting the ‘Top 25’ physically who first went on isolation and with covid19 test run on them. The results of the whole contestants came out negative.
And in furtherance of the organiser’s adherence to the new normal, the format of the show this year will be altered for the first time as most of the tasks of the contestants will be executed within the Titan House. However, all the tasks will remain practical and exciting despite being carried out within the House. Due to this COVID-19 pandemic, it will be making some other changes on the format of The Next Titan Nigeria, and the Season 7 will be treated as special edition.

According to the Executive Producer of the show, Mide Akinlaja, this new season is holding based on the belief that a peculiar time like this requires a new breed of entrepreneurs, and it is only unstoppable entrepreneurs that can bring the world back to its place.
Akinlaja said, “This evening we shall be unveiling the top 26 of the new season after successful online auditions which followed thousands of entries received from young aspiring entrepreneurs across Nigeria. The new season again gives these young ambitious entrepreneurs another opportunity to showcase their business ideas and battle one another for a cash prize of 10m to start their dream business.

“The 16 finalists will live together to compete by carrying out weekly business tasks and challenges, and with weekly evictions in the boardroom by the judges. The contestants will prove their entrepreneurial flair through various business challenges on the 10-week show, but the effects of educating and involving Nigeria’s budding entrepreneurs who will be watching the show will hopefully be far reaching.

“We are glad that our esteemed judges will again take advantage of their positions to mentor the contestants and millions of viewers. Though The Next Titan Show is delivered through an exciting entertainment vehicle but its primary purpose is to change the mind-set of the people and by awakening the entrepreneurial spirits of audacity and creativity of young Nigerians thereby accepting responsibility of being masters of their own destiny.

“In conclusion, we are excited about the new season of THE NEXT TITAN; and will like to appreciate our sponsors and partners who have made this possible and who share in our belief that this period is not a time for Nigerian entrepreneurs to give in and bury their vision, but a time to be more innovative and build new businesses.”

Akinlaja expressed his appreciation to the sponsors who believed in his vision which include Heritage Bank Plc, and its CEO, Dr. Ifie Sekibo, Haven Homes and its management headed by Mr. Tayo Sonuga, Sifax Group and Dr. Afolabi, Rite Food Ltd and its management Eternal Plc, Nikky Taurus Ltd, Master Furniture, HOG Furniture, Arinka Collections and Modish formal.

He added, “And to the judges who have been equally instrumental to our success over the years, he also thanked Mr. Kyari Bukar, Founder, Trans Sahara Investment; Mr. Tonye Cole, Founder, Sahara Energy, Mr. Chris Parkes, Chairman CPMS Africa, and Mrs. Lilian Olubi CEO EFG Hermes Ltd. And guest judges and Mrs. Olatorera Oniru, Remi Dairo, Chike Allisson, and Busolami Tunwase.
The TV reality show is being aired every Sunday on Africa Magic Family DSTV 154 between the hours of 4pm and 5pm and also Sunday on TVC on DSTV 418: 8pm and 9pm.