Love Island Nigeria is the newest add to the list of reality TV programs that would be gracing our screens before the year ends. Love Island is a British dating show, which is fast spreading its reach across the globe. Love Island Nigeria would be the show’s second iteration in Africa, following a successful first season in South Africa earlier this year.
Love Island pit’s 20 contestants together, 10 males, and 10 females on a remote location, all vying for the opportunity to find true love. These contestants are made to participate in a series of tasks with a partner that they keep swapping until they meet the love of their life. The show has experienced huge success since its inception, hitting it’s seventh season in the UK this year.
Love Island Nigeria has set its debut in October, and would be available on a mobile streaming app in Nigeria, including Nigeria’s Free TV digital terrestrial television (DTT) and ViacomCBS Networks Africa’s MTV Base channel that is available across sub-Saharan Africa on MultiChoice’s DStv satellite pay-TV platform.
Seeing the success reality TV programs like Big Brother and Idols have experienced in Nigeria, it is not a bad idea to introduce another one on the airways. The question, however, is how will this show hold up, would it be a hit or a bust? The show would face some challenges no doubt. On the surface the show faces two major challenges.
The show’s first issue in Nigeria is its audience. While you can argue for and against the audience’s reception, it would be more reasonable to argue against. Yes, Nigerians love love, but the last reality TV show centered around this concept, left a bad taste in the mouth of fans nation wide. Ultimate Love, a reality TV show with the same premise as love Island, didn’t age particularly well. Most of the contestants that left the house as couples couldn’t even keep up appearances for more than six months. As a matter of fact, there is no other couple that emerged from the show that are still together, not even the beloved Iykeresa, and Nigerians felt cheated and betrayed as a result. As far as most Nigerians are concerned love shows are a scam, but if it’s any consolation, it is a ‘scam’ that Nigerians are most likely to fall for over and over again.
There is also the question of production. Part of the show’s appeal is it’s beautiful scenery, the show is heavily reliant on how good the casts look and how well their surrounding compliment. While there is no shortage of good looking people in Nigeria, there is a huge gap in the type of infrastructures and locations we have compared to UK counterparts. At the end of the day, the show may end up scrapping that level of production as one of it’s selling points, and would have to rely solely on the drama the contestants bring.
Asides those, Love Island has all the makings of a potentially successful show. It has a demonstrated history of success, and as we’ve seen with shows like Big Brother, Idols, The Voice, shows that have experiences success outside typically experience the same here.
For Chinedu Okafor, its all about making an impact with words, creating a profound impression on the audience with the intended narrative.