Rotimi Ige explores the opportunities for expression that Big Brother Naija, the largest reality TV series in Africa, continues to bring to the fashion industry and how it has boosted the economies of its stakeholders and the nation.
Big Brother Naija (BBNaija) is arguably Africa’s biggest reality TV show. Data from ID Africa, a pan-African PR and communications consultancy, revealed that BBNaija’s eviction show on Sunday, August 9, 2020, had 1.6 billion audience impressions, with more than 380,000 messages from audiences across the African continent.
Since the show’s inception in 2006 and its relaunch in 2017 after a hiatus, BBNaija has significantly boosted the careers of contestants in various entertainment and creative industries, contributing to Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP), which is currently 45 worth .3 trillion nile.
According to John Ugbe, CEO of MultiChoice Nigeria, organizers of BBNaija, “During the lockdown edition, Big Brother Naija Season 5, we spent over N3.5 billion. That’s money going into the economy.”
One of the sectors that BBNaija has contributed greatly to is the fashion industry in Nigeria. It has redefined the industry’s business model. The host, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, is constantly cutting the edge and ensuring that millions of viewers who watch the BBNaija show are influenced by his elegant outfits. The compère extraordinaire undoubtedly influences new fashion trends and motivates several Nigerian youth to patronize local fashion stylists.
A BBNaija report from Plaqad in 2021 shows that more than 34 percent of viewers admit that Big Brother Naija has helped them capture new business ideas and revenue, pushing the boundaries of the Nigerian fashion industry, which is valued according to Euromonitor. at $4.7 billion, has been diverted.
In the first-ever Big Brother Naija documentary, “BBNaija: The Fame, the Fans, the Frenzy,” which premiered at the Ninth Nigerian Entertainment Conference (NECLive9) on Friday, April 29, 2022, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu said: “BBNaija gives you the platform to show the world what you’ve got.”
Ebuka, who emerged as the eighth runner-up, was a roommate of BBNaija in 2006. However, by hosting the show’s grand opening nights since 2017, Ebuka is showing the world his uncanny fashion taste through his appearance in elegant tuxedos and creative traditional outfits, mostly styled by the prestigious Leeds-based Savile Row academy-trained designer, Mai Atafo.
For his first appearance as the host of the show in BBNaija season 2 theme ‘See Gobe’, Ebuka rocked an elegant navy blue tuxedo and isiegu meets traditional agbada attire. For the following season, themed ‘Double Wahala’, he made an even bolder fashion statement in a pink tuxedo paired with black trousers. He then went on to represent Nigerian cultural heritage as he stunned in a three piece agbada.
During the fourth season of BBNaija, themed ‘Pepper Dem’, he cemented his place as a ‘fashion god’ when he opened the show in two elegant outfits. First, he wore a tuxedo covered in Swarovski crystals and paired it with gray pants. That same evening, he rocked a suede agbada decorated with floral designs and a matching cap.
Of course, his next grand opening look for BBNaija 2020 Lockdown Edition once again set the standard for men interested in Nigerian fashion, as he wore a shimmering neutral tuxedo paired with wine colored trousers.
To launch BBNaija Season 6’s opening show, themed “Shine Ya Eye,” Ebuka shone through the amalgamation of African and Western outfits. He wore traditional Calabar attire, a tailored double breasted jacket paired with a designer coat and a beaded two piece outfit with a matching cap.
There’s no denying that Ebuka is constantly raising the bar in the menswear game through BBNaija, and for this year’s dual launch show, the compère has channeled its inner royalty through fashion.
On the first day, July 23, 2022, the esteemed host beamed in a silk three-piece wine suit. He accessorized the suit with a matching colored ruffle. Then he changed his appearance and surprised the audience in an Agbada of many colors. He sealed his traditional royal look with a pair of socks and black designer shoes.
For the premiere on the second day, July 24, 2022, Ebuka wore a matching outfit, expertly designed with a mix of plain and patterned fabric. The outfit, a double-breasted jacket paired with high-waisted trousers, is sure to remain the talk of the fashion season.
Towards the end of the premiere, Ebuka showed the world how fashion is done in a truly elegant style. He rocked a Hausa-inspired blue garment with matching shoes. He then paired the look with an overflowing gorgeous cloak.
While Ebuka has greatly influenced the Nigerian fashion industry through BBNaija, he is far from done revealing fashion cards. Wouldn’t you keep up with Ebuka’s stylish moments in season seven of BBNaija?
This year’s Big Brother Naija, tagged Level Up, has 24 housemates under one roof, but on two levels, competing for the ultimate title of BBNaija Level Up winner and the top prize of N100 million. This season, Big Brother Naija will be broadcast on two DStv channels (channels 198 and 199), two GOtv channels (channels 29 and 3) and Showmax. Fan favorite Ninjas are back too.