Over the course of the weekend, the biggest talking point on my social TLs has been the location of the Big Brother Nigeria house.
Nigerians are up in arms because the house is allegedly located in South Africa, not Nigeria.
I do not know for sure where the house is located, but I would be hesitant about telling somebody else how to run his business, especially one that has proven to be so successful for decades.
I could talk about how this is a budgetary decision. Or how the cost of producing in Nigeria far outstrips that of producing in SA because people tend to bill three times higher or even more once they hear this company is involved because they feel they too must ‘chop’ from them.
Or even how high the cost of doing business in Nigeria is, with power issues, and so on.
But I won’t.
Instead, let me focus on some real issues that we almost always seem to miss.
1. Multichoice is a business. And the main focus of that business (like any other business) is to deliver profit to its shareholders.
2. Their business is built around entertainment, not national development. This is for those asking what BBN contributes to our national development. As long as you are entertained and you pay for that entertainment, does it really matter?
In any case, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu who is the host this season, is a BBN alumnus and it is fair to say that while he has shown that he has the talent to have succeeded anyway, he probably would not be where he is now without BBN.
This show (BBN) and many others like it, have thrown up stars who have now had life-changing opportunities.
3. NOW TO THE CRUX OF MY ARGUMENT. Rather than take potshots at how the so-called foreign businesses operate in Nigeria, how about we question our Nigerian businessmen?
I posted this on Bimbo Adeola’s page yesterday:
“When AIT started as a full blown pan African tv channel, SuperSport was a 3-hour sports belt on MNet called MNet SuperSports.
Between then and now, SuperSport has grown to over 20 WORLD CLASS channels and counting. AIT is still struggling with delivering chroma key backdrops and owing staff wages for months.
Rather than keep harping on about what ‘foreigners’ are doing or not doing with THEIR money, why don’t we challenge our billionaires (many of who are in that category because they pilfered our tax money) to get into the market and take them head on.”
4. Even in state run models, can we compare NTA to SABC? Former SuperSport presenter Thomas Mlambo left SS to join SABC. Will any right-thinking Nigerian leave a place like SS for NTA? And I say this with all due respect to my friends and colleagues who work at NTA.
In any case, our music artistes shoot their music videos in the same South Africa and we dance to them with giddy abandon without questioning their choice of location. Our celebrities go to the same SA or Dubai to get married and we celebrate them even more. Others go to the USA and Europe to have their children and we hail them.
Multichoice as a company is where it is because of good, strategic long term planning with the objective of delivering profit to its shareholders.
We have billionaires in Nigeria who should be in a position to effect the same kind of impact. Why have they not? Why are we not calling them out rather than demonizing a business entity trying to optimize its operations for profit?
And please don’t mention how ‘Nigerians killed HiTv’. Nobody killed HiTv but themselves with bad strategic management decisions.
Multichoice owe neither you nor I any obligation but to deliver great content. The only people they are accountable to, are their shareholders. You know, those people who actually invest THEIR money in the business with the sole aim of making a profit.
If you don’t like the way MC does business, you have two choices.
1. Start your own outfit and give them stiff, quality competition
2. Stop paying them and look for an alternative
DISCLOSURE: I worked at Multichoice until August 2016. These views are personal.
Dispute them with facts if you want, but any asinine comments as to my former affiliation will be ignored and deleted.