The fifth season of the most-watched reality show out of Africa, Big Brother Naija kicked off on Sunday, July 19, 2020. This year’s edition despite the COVID-19 pandemic promises to be even bigger and better.
In January, the WHO declared the outbreak of COVID-19 to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The virus subsequently became a pandemic with many countries closing their borders and shutting down business operations to ensure the protection of citizens. Prior plans, events, and gatherings have had to be suspended as a result of the strict lockdown provisions put into place.
Fans of the reality show wondered if BBNaija would have to be suspended this year as a result of the pandemic. Organizers of the show, however, took the situation in stride and made several adjustments to ensure that BBNaija can safely be aired this year.
Auditions for the show which previously took place in several physical locations across the country, were strictly online this year. This did nothing to quell the usual excitement and anticipation for the show by fans and viewers, more than 30,000 applications were received from all over Nigeria.
The standard procedure upon selection is for housemates to go through several rigorous medical tests to determine their health status. The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated that even more serious precautions be put in place. Prospective housemates after successfully going through medical screening were quarantined individually in accordance with NCDC guidelines to monitor their health and prevent contact with anyone and anything till they enter the Big Brother Naija House.
Prospective housemates that are not given a clean bill of health during this period will automatically be disqualified. The Big Brother Naija house ahead of occupation was disinfected to guarantee the protection of the housemates. According to the organizers, no one was given access into the house and the housemates, fresh out of quarantine, would be the only occupants of the house.
The reality show is based on isolating housemates from outside interference for about 90 days. Housemates are confined to the house and do not receive communication or contact from outside the house for the duration of their stay, though the audience is let in to see every second of everything happening in the house. Communication is only among the housemates and between the housemates and Big Brother. Housemates are also allowed to solicit support and votes from viewers in order to remain in the house.
To keep boredom at bay and prevent housemates from going stir crazy in the house, there are games, challenges, and activities to constantly keep them engaged. Relationships develop and more often than not end in the house, there are inevitable personality clashes to keep things interesting, housemates are also preoccupied with escaping eviction and winning the game.
Though isolation centres are technically designed for people who have already tested positive for COVID-19, the BBNaija house will prove to be the ultimate isolation centre with COVID-free housemates, fun, food, games, company, and mouth-watering prize money to boot.
To know what global best practices, precautions, and preventive measures will be followed throughout the show during this COVID-19 pandemic, visit here
You can also follow the official Big Brother Naija social media pages for news and updates with the hashtag #BBNaija on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as well as all verified social media pages of DStv Nigeria, GOtv Nigeria, and Africa Magic.