At the beginning of the year, it looked like things would never get back to normal. Everyone hugging their face masks tight, and social distancing and work from home were the words of the year. Fast forward to seven months into the year, and one of Nigeria’s biggest reality shows in recent years is back; massive and kicking. We give you, Big Brother Naija: Lockdown.
Big Brother Naija Lockdown is a franchise of the popular Big Brother show franchise, which is available to watch all over the world. It’s a reality show where several people from different walks of life are put in the same house for three months, as a kind of social experiment. Big Brother (Biggie) gives them several tasks over the course of their weeks in the House and they get evicted based on viewers’ votes.
At the end of the show, contestants are guaranteed to have become a household name, depending on their strategy in the house; as well as endorsement deals with various brands, the beginning to life of the rich and famous, and leverage on fame for career advancements. Let’s not forget the mega prizes they win in the house, and the whopping #85 million which is this year’s prize money. It almost makes you want to audition for the next edition.
What makes Big Brother Naija Lockdown so interesting for a lot of watchers is the level of underhandedness, relationships, competition, strategy and fun that goes on in the Big Brother Naija Lockdown house. Contestants are actively encouraged to compete with each other, mingle freely, build relationships, and then dish the dirt on each other in a secret diary session. We are here for it. What’s not to love about catfights and silent treatments.
Big Brother Naija Lockdown is the show’s fifth season after it’s rebrand in 2017. It was premiered on a dedicated station on DSTV, channel 195 on the 19th of July. This year’s Big Brother Naija Lockdown House welcomed 20 fresh faced, eager and energetic contestants from different parts of Nigeria. Let’s introduce them below:
Brighto is a 29-year-old sailor hails from Edo State. Dorathy is a 24-year-old entrepreneur from Lagos State. Erica, 26, is an actress and model from Lagos State. Kaisha is a 25-year-old entrepreneur from Sokoto. Kiddwaya, 26, is self-employed and comes from Benue State. Laycon is a 26-year-old rapper and singer from Lagos State. Lucy is a 30-year-old entrepreneur from Bayelsa. Nengi, 22, hails from Bayelsa and is an entrepreneur. Neo is a 26-year-old ride-hailing app driver from Delta State. Ozo is 27, and an entrepreneur from Imo State. Praise is a 28-year-old dancer from Enugu. Prince, 24 is a designer and interior decorator from Lagos State. Tolanibaj, 25-year-old media personality from Lagos State. Vee, originally based in London is a 23-year-old musician from Lagos State. Trikytee, 35, is a creative artist from Lagos State. Wathoni, a single mom, fashion entrepreneur and parenting blogger is 29 from Kenya. She also speaks and writes in fluent Swahili. Eric is a 24-year-old bodybuilder from Lagos State. Tochi is a 28-year-old rapper and real eState agent from Imo. Lilo, 23 is an entrepreneur and dietitian from Lagos State. And Ka3na, a 26-year-old entrepreneur from Rivers State.
As usual, the new housemates were welcomed into the house amidst fanfare and good vibes. They were given the chance to strut their stuff and connect with the audience during a brief chat with the show’s host, Ebuka, before going into the house. In their first week in the house, Nengi emerged as the first Head of House (HoH).
The HoH is usually determined by a designated game; after which the winner gains immunity from the week’s eviction, exclusive access to the HoH Lounge, and the liberty to choose the Deputy HoH–who also has immunity from eviction as well. The first week’s competition was a quiz game based on the theme of the week “Getting to Know One Another”. The HoH game is a life size board game in the Snake & Ladders fashion, its activities are decided by a dice roll with the contestant that gets the highest combined number after rolling emerging as winner.
After Nengi emerged winner, she chose Wathoni for the post of deputy HoH. The contestants were also tasked with creating their own nose masks and hand sanitizers. This gave us a chance to see them explore or showcase their creativity. Nigerians had plenty to say on social media. We also started to see friendships being forged, and situationships forming. Like the seeming love triangle involving Ozo, Nengi, and Dorathy; as well as the situationship between Neo and Vee; and the bromance between Ozo, Eric and Neo.
Head of House in the second week was Lucy, who named Prince as her deputy. She immediately set about trying to impose some discipline in the House, with her first call being for a better attitude toward cleaning and cooking. However, a fight between Tolanibaj and Ka3na over cooking habits threatened to eclipse her joy at being HoH.
We also saw a few tears in the Diary Room sessions for the week, with Ka3na mentioning that she felt like she and Lucy were a lot alike, and Ozo saying that he would rather win than find love in the house. At the end of the week, contestants said goodbye to fellow housemates, Lilo and Ka3na who were voted out in a shocking double elimination.
Everyone was shocked when the show’s host, Ebuka announced that eviction power didn’t rest solely in viewers’ hands. He explained that all contestants, except the HoH and deputy, would be up for eviction every week, and that viewers would be able to vote their least favorite. The decision would now go over to the contestants who would have to pick one of the contestants with the least votes to leave the house. The contestants with the higher vote in this case would then leave.
When the HoH challenge for the third week rolled around, Ozo emerged winner and he picked Dorathy to be his deputy. During the week, the contestants formed two teams to play the weekly sports trivia game, and they came to a draw. They were all also crowned the winners of the Patricia challenge, where each contestant won a Patricia gold coin worth $500.
The contestants also won a wager against Big Brother (Biggie) that saw them receive free drinks and more food in the house. Unfortunately, this euphoria didn’t last long as housemates had to say goodbye to two more of their numbers, Eric and Tochi.
Erica emerged the winner of the fourth HoH challenge, and she selected Kiddwaya as her deputy after being undecided in her choice between him and Laycon. Dorathy also tried to break free of the love triangle with Ozo and Nengi by declaring openly that she had no feelings for Ozo. We’re still waiting to see what unfolds, but everyone certainly felt the sting of rejection that Laycon felt when Erica picked Kiddwaya over him.
One thing that’s guaranteed on Big Brother Naija Lockdown is the drama; and while this year’s contestants seem to be getting along just fine, it is early days yet and we’ll be watching to see what juicy bits we get next.