The much-awaited Big Brother Titans (BBTitans) is finally on. On Sunday, 20 housemates were ushered into the maiden edition of the show featuring Nigerians and South Africans. 

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The show titled, ‘Ziyakhala Wahala’, is taking place in South Africa. It will run for 72 days — 10 weeks — and end on April 2.

The winner of the youth-focused programme will go home with the ultimate prize of $100,000

For context, this means the show will be happening during Nigeria’s general election scheduled to hold next month.

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Nigerians will go to the polls on February 25 to elect a new president. A total of 18 candidates will participate in the presidential election.

But four candidates are leading the race for the election.

They include Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPC).

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The timing of the reality TV show has continued to elicit mixed reactions on social media where many users argued that it will be a distraction to the youth ahead of the election.

There are many reasons for this argument. In the first place, youths account for the majority of registered voters ahead of the election.

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Last week, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) revealed that there are over 93.4 million registered voters in Nigeria.

A breakdown of the figure by TheCable Index, the data arm of TheCable, showed that youths aged 18 to 34 make up the majority by age with a figure of 37,060,399 — representing 39.66 percent of the voters.

Further breakdown by occupation showed that students lead the list with 26,027,481 — which represents 26.8 per cent of the voters.

Going by the above figures, youths account for the majority of registered voters for the election. In this sense, the fear that BBTitans could pose a distraction remains valid.

Reality shows like BBNaija — now BBTitans — command a huge following in Nigeria which has a large population of youths.

Issues surrounding the show often dominate social media conversations as fans try to promote their favourite candidates.

It is not surprising that barely hours after the show started, it is already among the leading topics on Twitter Nigeria.

Yunusa Tanko, the spokesperson for LP presidential campaign committee, (LP-PCC), had earlier faulted the timing of the show. He also alleged that it was a calculated plan to distract the youths from casting their votes on the election date.

“Big Titan or whatever they may call it will distract the youths from taking what belongs to them now,” he had said.

“The Big Brother Naija ended not long ago, why the ‘Titans’ now that we are facing a major election that will determine the future of the Nigerian youths?”

Other persons, however, argued that the show will not distract youths since it is majorly for entertainment purposes.

Those in this school of thought contend that since the 2022 World Cup and the ongoing English Premier League (EPL) did not affect social media engagement ahead of the election, BBTitans will not be a distraction as feared.

They also described concerns that the show will be a distraction as “myopic”, adding that if the youths are serious about revamping the country, the reality programme should not stop them from voting.

In 2019, some concerned Nigerian parents expressed concerns over the moral impacts of the BBNaija reality show on their children and youths in the country.

Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, called for the replacement of the reality show, in 2020.



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