With the novel virus ravaging the country and the swift end 'Ultimate Love', a new season of Big Brother Naija season 5 seemed like a twelfth of never event and understandably so.
A reality show with 20 housemates camped together for weeks with special guests periodically allowed into the house proved and still proves a huge risk. But in June, the fan-favourite show organizers announced that they weren't going to let Covid get in the way of bringing West Africa high voltage entertainment.
The new show unveiled as 'Big Brother Naija Lockdown' became a social experiment that prioritizes proving how television can thrive amid a pandemic of this magnitude.
BBNaija season five's Covid-19 awareness campaign is apparent from ensuring that the latest housemates spent over two weeks in isolation plus got compulsorily tested for the virus before the show.
Risk management has also continued in the house with organizers setting up disinfection areas around the house.
Housemates have also been charged with tasks that help spread awareness of the virus. Take day three's task for instance. housemates were split into groups and instructed by Big Brother to make sanitizers and face masks.
Imagine the good this could do especially for the show's predominately young audience across West Africa. Amid the fun and intense drama, weekly tasks with a Covid-19 message overview will do more to spur the audiences to action, much more than any other medium would. Think of it as brand visibility with the novel virus at the centre stage.
It's genius, in my opinion, and good news especially for television show ratings which nosedived following the outbreak of the pandemic. Although the reality show model may not appeal to every facet of television, it's a move in the direction of adjusting to life amid coronavirus.
On the bright side, the show is an impressive distraction from this generally gloomy year.