Originating in the Netherlands, the Big Brother show has spawned variations – closely following the original model – across 54 countries globally, one of which is the Big Brother Naija show, or simply BBNaija, formerly called Big Brother Nigeria.
Controversial as it is entertaining, BBNaija, like its forebear, houses contestants called “Housemates” – the number of housemates grows with each installment – for a stipulated period of time to compete for a mouth-watering cash prize among other incentives.
These cash prizes are supported by big-name sponsors that have changed over the years from Guinness to Bet9ja to Betway to Payporte, among others.
Each of these sponsors provides contributions ranging from money to food items to logistics and other items germane to the show and its contestants.
Usually, selected candidates go on to become housemates to form intimate relationships with each other, boosting their popularity among viewers who “ship” couples and sometimes vote to save them during eviction weeks.
The attendant drama that comes with mixing individuals from various walks of life and isolating them for weeks on a stretch, without contact from or to the outside world, forms a part of the show’s allure.
Outside the house, fans marshall support from various corners to ensure that their favorite contestant snatches the winning prize and isn’t let go on eviction nights.
Helping them to keep tabs on their favourite contestants are the cameras present in every part of the house, lending the role of ‘omniscient to the largely mysterious Big Brother, whose voice bellows through speakers, giving instructions to or having a chat – in the Diary Room – with housemates.
BBNaija Cash Prizes
Between the launch of the first season of the reality TV show and the last show – it has had five installments – the cash incentives have grown by a whopping 545 percent.
This is calculating the amount announced as the cash prize to be won, and not taking into account other prizes won from games played while in the house.
Below, a timeline of the cash prizes will be outlined to show an increase in the amount won by housemates over the years.
Cash Prize: $100,000 or 13,180,000 (using the 2006 exchange rate of $1 to N131.80).
Winner: Katung Aduwak
Cash Prize: N25 million
Winner: Efe Ejeba
Cash Prize: N25 million with home appliances worth N3 million and a vacation for two, bringing the total prize to N45 million.
Winner: Miracle Igbokwe
Cash Prize: N60 million including other prizes.
Winner: Mercy Eke
Cash Prize: N85 million
Winner: Olamilekan “Laycon” Agbeleshe.
The sixth season is around the corner, with prospective candidates lining up to become one of the housemates in the BBNaija house, with the dream of leaving with the grand prize of N90 million, enough to make the ever-present cameras less intimidating.