Philip Asuquotes: The Dearth of Television Content in Nigeria

Remember how kids across the nation used to wait for 4 pm in front of the TV after seeing the colour bar code for some time before stations began transmission? Remember how people used to rush home just to seat in front of the TV before their favourite shows came on? Remember how they talked about the content of an episode until the next episode?

Dear Nigerians, how did we go from a generation in a time that talked about and followed some shows and indigenous TV content like New Masquerade, Checkmate, Tales by the Moonlight, Kidivision 101, Moments with Mo, Who Wants to be A Millionaire, etc. to a time when the highest talked about show on TV is argued over and over again on its value and moral lessons by our generation?

The Nigerian TV culture has gone from what people used to adore to having TV content that most people abhor/hate. Pop culture has influenced what goes on TV and today it is easier to see people watching more Nigerian music videos than actual TV programs made by Nigerians.

Unarguably, the only TV content that has sparked talks across the nation in our generation is the BBN reality TV show and yes, with all its controversial angles, this generation still sees it more and talks about it more than any other Nigerian content on TV.

I pray the next generation gets a better legacy for what is mainstream for them.

Guess what? Other key African countries tune in too to see the same content. Imagine if Africa tuned in to our era of Nigerian TV content dominance with Checkmate, Who wants to be a Millionaire, New Masquerade, etc. Imagine if Africa tuned in to our best content that could help sell the ‘can-do’ reality of Nigerians and have that make them more open to Nigerians… Just like we are open to Americans and the Chinese because they made us familiar with them through entertainment content with the likes of Sesame Street, Different Strokes, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Kung fu movies from Asians.

Dear video content makers, isn’t it time we start building our own TV content suitable for our now generation like the likes of Henry Danger, Dragon’s Den, The Thundermans, etc is being done by foreign content makers with foresight? Isn’t it time we start building content that will make TV be of value again and usher our next generation into a future better than our present?

Many of us reading this in this generation will admit that they followed one TV show or the other while growing up and will also admit that what is currently Nigeria’s mainstream TV content is a far cry from what obtained in the past.

How did we arrive at this place where our TV content are invariably irrelevant to us and the growing generation?

Yes we evolved into the internet age but guess what? America and the UK as well as other developed climes still have a TV culture and they are mining revenue from it year in and year out while still adding value to their audience with some.

When I look at the content on Nickelodeon and see the efforts and foresight of the content makers, I can’t help but applaud them for building an empire from TV content.

Back in Nigeria, TV is almost as good as nothing. Most of all the best shows we had have folded up and there seem not to be a new generation of content makers taking up TV.

The only show that seem to get national youth attention is the reality TV show mentioned earlier that has been torn up as well as defended in arguments by different divides. While some agitate for the show to be yanked off, others defend it.

How will these two divides of agitators shape the future for the next generation? Have we paused to ask ourselves this?

Did shows like Who wants to be a Millionaire, Checkmate etc drive so much arguments? When a show is of good value to a nation, it will get more of positive attention than a mix of positive and negative.

While I call on the NBC to work on sterilizing TV in Nigeria, I call on content makers, corporate bodies etc to find drawing boards were plans will be made, laid and implemented towards turning around TV content in Nigeria with a 5year + 5 year plan. Together, 10 years.

If we can position from 2020, by 2030, we’d have better TV content that can be passed on as a legacy to other generations of Nigerians. We can even use TV content to sell and beam a better Nigeria to other African countries that tune in and indeed the world.

Indeed, we truly must be concerned about the legacy our generation leaves on TV for the next generation. Let’s not satisfy our immediate needs and dissatisfy a better future.

When you get old, will what you currently enjoy in that reality TV still appeal to you? Think ahead.



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