What To Expect In The New Season Of Big Brother Naija
Big Brother Naija season 3 host, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu speaks on what to expect in the new season of the show.
Chukwuebuka Obi-Uchendu is a TV presenter and host. Emerging the 8th of 14 contestants of the maiden edition of the Big Brother Nigeria franchise in 2006, Ebuka is one of the most successful housemates of all time. From hosting Rubbin Minds on Channels TV, co-anchoring the 2011 Presidential Debate, The SPOT on EbonyLife TV to hosting, for the first time, the second edition of Big Brother Naija, the Anambra State-born and father of one has been on a steady career rise. He spoke with Nigerian Tribune about his motivations, aspirations among other things in this interview. Excerpts:
How would you describe your journey since the 2006 Big Brother Naija?
It’s been great. I am very grateful for my journey. I have been on TV since then, it is close to 11 years now. I started hosting my own show immediately after BBN to date.
What is your recipe for consistent relevance?
For me, I think it is the quest for knowledge and to get better. The one thing I do is read and watch TV and keep learning. The kind of job I do requires that I be in the know about everything. I do not take that for granted. I am always curious. I keep researching and thinking of ways to make myself better.
Among the shows and TV programmes you have hosted, which was your highest point?
I think it is hosting the 2011 presidential debate with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. That was really remarkable for me because of the stage and significance at that time.
Having done most of the big shows in Nigeria, what hosting prospects do you see ahead of you?
There are more platforms ahead of me. We have the CNN, the BBC and Aljazeera. I see myself working in any of them because of certain standard they represent. I would love to show them the Nigerian and African side.
You replaced Ik Osakioduwa as host of Big Brother Naija this year. How did you cope with first-timer anxiety and the challenges of being answerable to a lot of people?
It was tough in the beginning. Nigerians are very hard to please. When the show started, I knew the usual questions: “Is he good enough?” “Is he not?” Even, if they had brought Ryan Seacrest to the show, there would have also been the “IK wouldn’t do this” factor. This is normal. There is no show in the world where a replacement does not cause comparisons. And with 48 countries watching and millions of viewers, there is no human who wouldn’t feel the pressure of that. But with the feedback I got at the end, I would say that a lot of people enjoyed what I did and enjoyed the show, which is most important. Nerves were there, but I have done this for over a decade now. If I am not able to breathe in and do it right, why am I doing it the first place?
On another level, how did you feel about hosting the show you once participated in?
It was a great experience. It gave me the privilege of a full circle perspective of the show: being on the show and then hosting the show. Seeing things from the other side was crazy. I was very humbled to be a part of it and to learn even more aside from being a housemate or a presenter.
BBN received incessant and severe criticisms during the show about morality, though not much after. What would you say about the eviction of Kemen and did you think it sent the right message to the public?
Yes. To some extent, it communicated the intentions of BBN. You see, the beauty of a show like Big Brother is that it is a slice of the society. Nothing was doctored or orchestrated from the selection of housemates, which by the way is the best DSTV has ever done before then. DSTV made sure to pick somebody for everybody so you could relate to at least one person. The housemates had to be themselves, otherwise it would not be a reality show. The truth is some realities might not be good for everyone, this is why we advise parents not to allow children and the under-aged to watch the show because morality issues would always arise. Nevertheless, the 2017 was the most censored season. So many things were not revealed and it took hours of deliberation for the judges to make the decision on Kemen.
Do you think the emergence of Efe as winner of BBN had some social impacts?
I think Efe winning was a testament to the fact that people liked the fact that he had a great story, he came from “nothing”. This is not to say that he was a pauper. I mean that his story was very relatable to a lot of people. And I think that was a great thing for him and a lot of Nigerians who saw themselves in him, and which was why it was an overwhelming vote. And from the crowd we saw at the auditions, I think he inspired a lot of people and I don’t know how we are going to go through the selection process.
A new edition being imminent, the auditions have been concluded, what are your expectations and what should Nigerians look forward to?
DSTV and MultiChoice have done this for so many years. I know they are not going to disappoint Nigerians. The last edition was a huge success. It was the biggest season they have ever had. The only thing they can do is to be better. The only thing I will tell you is that if you have not subscribed yet, better go and subscribe because the few things I have seen, this is probably going to be the best season yet.
What is your take about the youths in Nigeria?
It is a good mix in Nigeria as in every country. You find a lot of good and bad examples. Plus, we are in a generation where there are a lot of distractions. The internet is a huge distraction, the social media is a huge distraction, but it is also an asset. Those people who have been able to use it as an asset are those we celebrate.
Give us a sound bite from 2017 BAAD: what do you think when you dress?
I think comfortability. I think of good things.