I still remember exactly where I was when I saw the first episode of Ndani TV’s Gidi Up! It was the 20th of February 2013 and I had just moved to Lagos for the first time. I remember the first episode and how deftly the show runner Jade Osiberu introduced her motley crew of character archetypes drawn directly out of the Lagos social scene. All motivated by several layers of ambition and self-loathing, the characters of Gidi Up were inherently flawed but easy to root for, even the first season’s villain Folarin (played spectacularly by Etim Effiong). Many of the contemporary web series tropes that we take for granted today were pioneered by Gidi Up, including introducing Naija indie artists through its soundtrack and helping influencers transition into film.
After helping actors like Adesua Etomi and Somkhele Idhlama break into the consciousness of the show watching Nollywood audience, the show went on a hiatus to prepare for its third season. There were a few reasons for it, Ndani had started work on another Osiberu vehicle, Skinny Girl In Transit (which would go on to become the biggest webshow in Nigeria) and Rumour Has It, and needed time to flesh out those projects. Plus the careers of many of the show’s leads were kicking into gear and they need to take time off to work on those projects before returning to Ndani.
Well, 2014 ballooned into 2017 and Skinny Girl in Transit became the flagship show at Ndani, even though all the Gidi Up fanatics waited patiently for the third season. Shows like Gidi Culture tried to ape the formula with little success. Then in January 30th 2017, we get a surprise trailer that sets the internet on fire.
The trailer drops, we get ready, then radio silence.
Ever since, we have raised petitions, laid bitter complaints in the comments of Ndani’s other shows and put up posts reminding Ndani we haven’t forgotten (this one is one of them). But perhaps its time to make a final stand and either get a commitment from Ndani or accept that we’ll have to live with the two good seasons we got.
But first, let’s put to rest the mystery of why Ndani pulled the Gidi Up season 3 trailer from their page and went radio silent on the show.
On the 20th of February 2017, less than a month after Ndani had announced the 3rd season of Gidi Up, the Ndani studios at the time were razed by a freak fire accident. Everything that hadn’t been uploaded at the time was allegedly lost to the fire, including the freshly minted third season of their most beloved show. As is now standard issue response with Ndani, an iOS press release was put out vaguely mentioning the fire and we were distracted by a new season of SGIT, the finale of which had aired just days before on the 4th.
We might be down, but we are definitely not out.
Please Retweet pic.twitter.com/1XjNvEoY6j
— NdaniTV (@ndaniTV) February 19, 2017
(We really fell for this sha).
Two years have passed since that unfortunate fire, and we have had several seasons of all their other shows, but no Gidi Up. While the channel has had more than enough time to reshoot, here are some reasons why it never happened and might never happen.
- Jade Osiberu (who was writer, director and producer on the show) left Ndani to start her own production company and sunk all her creative juices into Isoken, her rom-com debut. Not sure what exactly the details are, but I’d gander that Jade still have IP rights over the show, and didn’t hand them over when she left.
- The re-shoot costs for a third season (they must have paid a ton of money to have Bobrisky cameo so prominently) didn’t seem a good enough investment for a show that had already been left on the shelf for three years. Plus Skinny Girl In Transit was blowing up, why not funnel the money there instead.
- By 2017, much of Gidi Up’s original cast (we wouldn’t have anyone else) had become so big in their careers, it would have been near impossible to corral all of them for reshoots.
Whatever the reasons are, with each show cycle that passes, the odds of us getting our revival become slimmer. Perhaps its time we accepted the gig is up.
Edwin Okolo is an author and journalist who has worked with YNaija, TheNativemag and the Naked Convos.