Why Most Biggy 237 Housemates Failed To Make It Big After The ShowNkafu 237 | 18.01.2021 | 0 | 237 INSIDER with Kampii , Latest News
Biggy 237 is a Cameroonian reality TV show that aims at nurturing talents and inspiring hope to young Cameroonians and also bringing different people from different parts of the country together. The show was first created in 2019 and the first season aired in August and September 2020. The season was won by Khalifa Vanithels. Why Most Biggy 237 Housemates Failed To Make It Big After The Show.
Though the show is not a Big Brother franchise, it is still considered by many of its followers as a Cameroonian version of the popular Big Brother reality TV show and Biggy is still a word used by most housemates in Big Brother shows to refer to Big Brother. Perhaps, the only difference is the change in names.
The show is the first of its kind in Cameroon and as many would say, it has helped change the entertainment narrative of Cameroon. And like most reality TV shows, one would expect the housemates to become very popular and make it big after the show. Taking Big Brother Naija for example, the biggest and most popular reality TV show in this part of the globe, most housemates hit stardom once they get into the Big Brother house or at least see a massive improvement in most aspects of their lives including back to back endorsements, contracts, followers, money, assets and a lot more. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case in Cameroon, at least not after the first season of Biggy 237.
Going into the house, perhaps, most of the contestants thought they will become very famous in Cameroon and beyond, they will get endorsed by major Cameroonian brands, get signed to record labels, feature in major Cameroonian movies, and basically become more relevant and popular. However, it seems after the first season of the show, most of the housemates have literally been forgotten and then, fans are just waiting for a new season to come and they get used to new favorites. Yes, we have seen a few housemates get endorsed by some brands but that is just it.
So why have most Biggy 237 housemates failed to achieve fame and make it big after the show? These could be some of the possible reasons and we will do a comparative analysis with Big Brother Naija:
Biggy 237 Season 1 had a Limited Audience
Biggy 237 is an entertainment show and beyond that, it is a business as well. One of the main factors that would enable every business to thrive is the market (population). Compared to Nigeria, the population of Cameroon is extremely small. The population of Cameroon stands at over 25 million people and that is quite a large population. However, compared to Nigeria with a population of over 200 million people, Cameroon’s population is relatively very small, just 12.5% of the population of Nigeria.
Still, you could get a large audience for an entertainment show like Biggy 237 when you have a population of 25 million people but there is still another problem when it comes to language. The unofficial working language of Biggy 237 is English. Though the show made an effort to bring in housemates from different parts of the country, both English and French-speaking, English was still the dominant language. This means most of the viewers and followers are from the English speaking parts of Cameroon. That only limits the audience further.
Another factor that limits the audience of the show is the unavailability of the Biggy 237 channel in many parts of Cameroon. The channel was not available in most parts of the country throughout the two months period the show was aired. Not just in Cameroon, people from different parts of Africa couldn’t watch because they didn’t have access to the channel. One question most Nigerians kept asking when they first heard about the show was if the channel was available on DStv. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. And this means followers who were interested in the show but couldn’t watch on TV could only rely on the Facebook live streams and that of course, required a lot of data too and it is difficult to spend hours on your phone watching a show. That isn’t the case with Big Brother Naija, the BBNaija pop up channel (198 on DStv and 29 on Gotv) is not only available in every part of Nigeria but in most African countries as well.
Now that we have established that the show had a limited audience, how does this prevent housemates from making it after the show? Basically, housemates would only become popular if the show itself is popular. Most brands would want to work with them if they are known all over the continent and they will get featured in different ads, movies, music videos, and others. That is the case with BBNaija.
This was just the first season
We don’t always expect things to be near perfection after the first edition of a show. We believe the show will get more popular and more fans in subsequent seasons. Big Brother Naija didn’t become very popular and big as it is today after the first season in 2006. Some housemates from season 1 like Frank Konwea who currently plays the role of Ogiame on the ongoing period drama series Riona on Africa Magic Showcase have just about 1000 followers on Instagram whereas housemates from the most recent seasons like Bisola, Laycon, Cee-C, and Mercy have millions of followers on Instagram. So we expect that things will become better with Biggy 237 in future seasons and housemates will learn to do the things that will help them stay relevant and successful after the show.
In other reality TV shows, housemates come out of the house very successful because of the type of fans they have. Their fans make sure they amass as many followers on social media as possible especially on Instagram and Twitter. For example, Laycon who won Big Brother Naija “Lockdown” in 2020 had just a couple of social media followers before the BBNaija show but he hit 1 million followers just a few weeks into the show.
But in Cameroon, that is not the case. How many fans even bother to follow their favorite Biggy 237 housemates on any social media platform? A strong fan base and social media following will definitely attract endorsements.
In Nigeria, fans even go as far as creating GoFundMe accounts, buying cars, and other very expensive gifts for their favorites on their birthdays. They defend their favorites, they are their warriors and they will do everything possible to ensure that things are working out well for them. Their zeal and love are just out of this world. They are just strong die heart fans.
But in Cameroon, how many fans even know the birthdays of their Biggy housemates, talk less about buying them gifts.
Failing To Build a Strong Social Media Presence Before, during, and after the house
The importance of social media cannot be overemphasized when it comes to shows like this but most housemates failed to understand that this season. But for a few, we weren’t getting as many updates as we were expecting to get about the housemates, their campaign strategies, and voting information from the account managers of most of the housemates. We were expecting to see as many Facebook and WhatsApp groups as possible. A strong social media presence will also ensure a strong fan base.
Even when it came to voting, we hardly saw campaign messages from the teams of various housemates. And now that the housemates are out of the house, most of them have not given us reasons to want to remember them; we don’t get updates about them, we don’t know what is going on with them and we don’t know if they are getting into new projects. They have just not put themselves out there enough and that is one thing you definitely have to do regularly after a reality TV show unless you want to be forgotten.
At the end of the day, Biggy 237 season one like every other show had its own challenges but the organizers of the show put in their best not only to bring a show of that magnitude to Cameroon but also to make sure that it is successful. And for that, we say thumbs up to them. That is why it is a national treasure to many in Cameroon. However, we think the show is a platform which if well used can help the housemate become better, more successful and achieved the goals which took them there in the first place. So when they come out and we hardly hear anything about them and it appears they have been completely forgotten, then, that may just defeat some of the objectives of the show. So it is important to improve on some of these weaknesses, so we can have better seasons in the future. And we also recognized the fact that a few of these housemates got endorsed by a few brands after the show, which is great. Akere Nerisa was even sent to Dubai by her fans. This was just the first season and we hope more people will get to love the show in the subsequent seasons. Why not extend airing to other African countries? That will not only make the show more popular and successful but the housemates as well.