“Big Brother Naija” season 5, aptly dubbed Lockdown, kicked off on Sunday. The show got off to a rocky start with a technical glitch. The audience could hear the host Ebuka Obi-Uchendu but saw a green screen. The issue persisted for a good 9 minutes before it was resolved.
Shortly after a tour of the Lockdown house, the screen went green again but for a shorter time. Because of this issue, the show was rushed and the housemates who were introduced late in the show did not enjoy their moment under the spotlight. Housemates’ interviews were cut short and they were hurried into the Big Brother Lockdown house.
There was no live audience because of Covid-19 safety restrictions but it did not impact the show in anyway. One even begins to wonder if that should the direction going forward as Obi-Uchendu and DJ Neptune were able to keep viewers engaged.
Over the last three years, Obi-Uchendu’s wardrobe has been a major conversation starter. Once again, he surpassed viewers’ expectations with his second outfit which paid homage to the Bini people of Nigeria.
Another highlight of the every Big Brother launch show is the house decor. Last year, Nigerians were curious to see if the Nigeria Big Brother house would measure-up compared to the one in South Africa where the show held the previous two seasons. It did.
This year, the Head of House lounge gets an upgrade. It is a suite and might just turn out a love nest. The house also has a hair salon courtesy of Darling. It is a win-win for housemates and the brand. Housemates don’t have to wait for hairdressers to come in on eviction day before they can have their hair done. As for the Darling brand, it gets to milk its sponsorship – sampling of its products, the full works.
MultiChoice also equipped the house to properly sanitise housemates before entry. Other than that, a lot more thought went into the “Big Brother Pepper dem” house. Those smiley place mats and throw pillows, the bamboo-clad Jacuzzi and the danfo in the courtyard were really nice touches.
To the real reason the audience tunes – the housemates. Season five of the reality TV show features 20 housemates namely; Bright O, Dorathy aka Dora, Eric, Erica, Kiddwaya, Laycon, Lilo, Lucy, Wathoni, Ka3na – pronounced Katrina, Kaisha, Nengi, Neo, Ozo, Praise, Prince, Tochi, Tolanibaj, TrickyTee and Vee.
The phrase ‘goal-getter’ was a recurring adjective which housemates used to describe themselves. However, what was really disturbing is how the Big Brother Lockdown housemates are owning negative character traits. For instance, Dorathy – who is bound to become a fan favourite for her provocative clothing – described herself as having a ‘multiple personality.’ Housemates like Dorathy is the reason why the essence of a show as Big Brother is lost and opinions polarised. But she wasn’t the only one with a controversial intro. Another housemate Kiddwaya said ‘he is arrogant and sarcastic’ and Laycon who is representing Lagos said he is ‘a sexual enthusiast.’ These statements caused one to wonder if the housemates really understood the meanings of the phrases they used to describe themselves.
Nonetheless, there were some interesting housemates like Bright O who is a polyglot. We nicknamed Nengi ‘the intellectual one’ after her impressive intro. And it was certainly pleasing to welcome Kaisha from Sokoto. Diversity is important and we had worried when the first half of the housemates were introduced that there was one too many Igbos. For now, we’re keeping our eyes peeled.