Can you really talk about Multi-choice’s new non-scripted reality show Ultimate Love without referencing the O.G dating show of them all, Koko Mansion?
That would be pretty irresponsible, considering when the Koko Mansion was originally announced 11 years ago, there was no precedent that a reality show like that, one that wasn’t focused on individual talent like Nigerian Idol or Maltina Dance All, or on social dynamics like Big Brother and the myriad of acting talent shows that sprung up around Nollywood.
The Koko Mansion had one premise, and one premise only; singer D’Banj at the very height of his fame, was ready to settle down and find a girl to share his empire with and he wanted us to help him find the ‘one’. Sure the audience was allowed to vote, but like Flavor Flav’s Flavor Of Love, the decision of who D’Banj would eventually settle down with, lay solely with him. With such incredibly low stakes and a house full of women barely out of their 20’s (the oldest housemate in the Koko Mansion was 23) and many ridiculous tasks, this kind of premium wacky reality content was the only thing that could have come out of the Koko Mansion.
God bless you Naijabloggal for preserving history.
With the exception of Sharon Rekana, the Koko Mansion did terribly in producing stars and did more to harm D’Banj’s career than it did to enhance it. It seems Ultimate Love is trying not to make the same mistakes. Its cast is significantly older with an average age of 27, and with most already gainfully employed. The show’s stakes are also higher, rather than several girls vying for the attention of one pop star, the contestants on Ultimate Love will be paired up into duos and forced to compete to ‘fall in love’ with each other so as to win the competition and get their hands on the juicy bounty.
With all these failsafes in place, Ultimate Love seems like a gamble that will succeed. But it never bodes well to predict anything too quickly in Nollywood.
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Edwin Okolo is an author and journalist who has worked with YNaija, TheNativemag and the Naked Convos.