Bunmi Adedumoye Anuoluwapo
Since the announcement of the return of Big Brother Naija for the seventh season in June 2022, the Nigerian media space, especially the social media, has been awash with diverse opinions. It is expected since the show is also contributing to Nigeria’s economy as young Nigerians are making it big off the platform that BBNaija provides.
BBNaija season 6 ended in October 2021, ABEG Technologies, the headline sponsor of BBNaija season 6, said users of its ABEG app soared by 7000% following its sponsorship of the reality TV show. According to Patricia Adoga, the Chief Operating Officer of ABEG Technologies, the popularity of the BBNaija show rubbed off on its business. Users of the ABEG app increased from 20,000 before BBNaija season 6 to 1.8 million users during the show. The ABEG app is back as a sponsor this year, with a new name – Pocket by Piggy Vest.
One of the debates that caught attentions on social media was the call for the suspension of this year’s edition of the show because Nigeria is preparing for an election, and no distraction is wanted implying that the big brother Naija seventh edition might affect the upcoming election in some ways.
Meanwhile, As the 2023 election is being prepared for, ways to leverage BBNaija’s influence should be found to galvanise the demography that would be stuck like glue to BBNaija for the 70 days that the show would be aired on TV. Socio-political advocates should be harnessing and leveraging the power and influence of BBNaija to drive and mobilise young people to be part of the process that can and will produce Nigeria’s next leaders. Especially in an election where issues that directly affect young Nigerians like insecurity, rising unemployment, and police brutality will dominate conversations and campaign points. Now that young people have recognised their power and are ready to deploy it in the next election, this is not a task for only the politically inclined.
Amid the advocacy for 2023 elections, there’s still an army of young Nigerians who appear to be less concerned about who becomes the next President or local government chairman who is supposed to fix the life-threatening bad roads leading to their residence. Many of them are pop-culture enthusiasts. BBNaija is where to find many of them and properly sensitise and convince them with the right message to be part of the ongoing revolution.
In the past, we’ve seen how BBNaija housemates addressed social issues like rape, drug abuse and mental health issues with their daily task it won’t be a surprise to see the 2023 elections dominate their daily tasks during the seventh edition.
Rather than call for a suspension, political advocates and social crusaders should look into how to tap into the power of BBNaija to reach more young people and harvest their passion and numbers to drive social change young Nigerians I realised are making it big off the platform that BBNaija provides