An information and communication technology (ICT)-themed reality TV show is set to launch in Nigeria.
Geek or Guru will begin broadcasting this year, after being unveiled at the 10th anniversary of non-governmental organisation SEITAC Initiative.
The show will feature 15 contestants competing for a prize of N10m in seed funding, sponsored training abroad and other cash prizes.
The contestants will live together in a house for eight weeks and the show will air on TV channels including Africa Magic, AIT and STV. It will also be available on social media platforms
Geek or Guru is geared towards discovering the talent and enthusiasm in Nigerian youth that will help revolutionise the country’s ICT industry.
“Over the years, we have carried out ICT trainings and empowerment for young men and women in various ways. We tutor them on how to become independent in certain businesses,” said a representative of SEITAC Initiative.
“We also partner with other NGOs to teach our youth how to be more creative through the use of technology. The whole idea is about providing indigenous solutions to the decline in technology adoption in the country.
“Instead of going across the Mediterranean to seek greener pasture abroad, our youths can now look inwards to realise their dreams. We have lost so many talented people to other countries, to the detriment of our economy.”
The launch date of Geek or Guru is yet to be announced.
A new Nigerian reality TV show, Celebrity Housemates, is set to launch on January 12 and air until February 11.
Described by its producers as the “convergence of culture, lifestyle and entertainment,” the reality show will have 12 celeb housemates from different sectors of the entertainment industry competing for a cash prize of N7m.
Promoting peace and unity, Celebrity Housemates will feature contestants from the six regions of Nigeria to showcase the nation’s strengths. The reality show is set to air around the clock online and will also include a one-hour daily show on TV nationwide.
The show’s broadcasters are yet to be announced but producers said it will air on 14 stations across Nigeria, plus via Dope TV, a dedicated YouTube channel and a mobile app.
The celebrity contestants will include Emmanuel Ikubese, Yomi Fash Lanso, Funky Mallam, Doris Simeon, Ruggedman, Muma Gee, Ada Ameh, Peggy Ovire, Eniola Badmus, Bolanle Ninalowo, Ogenna Ekwubiri and Frederick Leonard.
Sponsored by travel agent Fly for Value, Lagos Internal Revenue Service, Dope TV, Masters Entertainment, Royalsec Security and Amen Estate, the show is put together by Lagos-based management consultancy Heartlink Ventures.
The 30-day series will involve daily tasks and challenges, focusing on lifestyle, interpretation of culture, education and games. Other celebrities will visit the contestants weekly to share entrepreneurial and career-oriented ideas on whatever project they have in mind.
The contestant who wins the fewest viewer votes each week will be evicted. Every weekend, a party will be held to celebrate the end of the week and other guest stars will be brought in to celebrate with contestants.
The winner of the prize money will donate N2m to charity and N1m to selected viewers. Other contestants will go home with cash prizes too.
Kemi Otegbade, MD of Heartlink and executive producer of the series, said: “We are using this show to converge the Nigerian cultural values with the ideal lifestyle of celebrities and entertain Nigerians in an educating and exciting way.
“We have been working on the format and I can assure Nigerians of an engaging and exciting experience on television and online. We can also confirm it will be an annual event,” Otegbade added.
The team behind the show includes Danladi Bako, as co-executive producer, and Sola Fajobi, as consulting producer, with an advisory board comprising media execs such as Mayor Akinpelu, Funke Egbemode and Jahman Oladejo.
“Our celebrities are normal human beings. Although their fans adore them and grant them a larger-than-life perception, it is imperative that we create a platform for their fans to connect, engage and get a peep into their lifestyles, hence the creation of the reality TV show,” added a representative of Fly for Value.
Nigeria’s minister of information and culture has called on the country’s corporate sector to support reality show The Labour Room during a visit to see its contestants.
At the mansion where the participant stay, Alhaji Lai Mohammed appealed to companies and brands in Nigeria to back the show.
“We need this initiative a lot. It is not just to entertain but to build values and morals. This is what we need mostly now in Nigeria,” he said.
“It’s a mind-blowing experience for me to realise that 37 young Nigerians have been in this labour room for the past 60 days and all they have been doing is bonding, preaching unity and dreaming of a new Nigeria.”
The Labour Room airs on public broadcaster NTA and other local and international TV channels, with more than 200 million viewers around the world.
The series, described as a ‘national development reality TV show, is the first of its kind, according to its producers. As the name suggests, it is about birthing and activating innovative ideas and realising potential in Nigeria.
With 37 contestants from various ethnic and religious background across the country, the show is claimed to be thought-provoking as well as entertaining. Each contestant will spend 60 days analysing and discussing the numerous issues that Nigeria faces and thinking up solutions.
Heads of states, thought leaders and industry experts across the board will visit the mansion where the contestants live to discuss the path ahead for Nigeria.
Each contestant will be retained or dismissed based on the solutions they come up with to daily challenges and the votes they accrue from the audience. At the end of the competition, four finalists will be selected to share the prize money – N200m (US$550,000) – which they will use to begin and expand companies to help develop the country.
The reality show is an initiative from The Nigerian Rebirth Foundation, which has as patrons Her Excellency Aisha Buhari, wife of the President of Nigeria; Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie, Nigeria’s former and longest-serving inspector general of police, also chairman of its governing board; and the Ooni of Ife as its Royal Father.
Nigeria’s digital switchover (DSO) will power growth across the country’s TV industry and fuel a surge in production, according to the CEO of the company overseeing the roll-out.
The country began its switch to digital in April 2016 in the state of Jos before expanding into Nigeria’s administrative capital Abudja later that year.
Rajiv Mekkat, CEO of Cable Channels Nigeria (CCN) (left), told C21 the roll-out to-date had involved 600,000 government-backed set-top boxes being activated, with more than 450,000 subscribers now active.
Mekkat said the boxes were being well received by viewers and were beginning to generate numerous production jobs as the new channel operators sought additional programming.
“We’ll need more content, of course, and that means more production companies having to generate more of that content, and that goes back to more jobs and all the associated opportunities.”
Nollywood and Bollywood programming would remain major fixtures on the new platform, Mekkat said, but he added that other genres would be likely as the DSO project expanded.
“It’s more movies and telenovelas, they’re the main things going on now but I’m sure we’ll move into panel shows and reality series – at the moment there are only one or two. We’re not there yet but we’re catching up.”
The CCN boss admitted the roll-out to-date had been “a little slow” but said that once completed the DSO would mean “plenty more Nigerian content and allow OTT’s and other new media opportunities for international customers.”
The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission licensed CCN to work across the switchover, with a remit to develop platform offerings and work on content for free-to-air and DTH services.
Mekkat said that the manufacture of the boxes would also create employment, with the intention of producing all the country’s set-top boxes in Nigeria rather than importing. “That will boost up employment and should give many Nigerians a job,” Mekkat added.