In the latest episode of African Voices Changemakers, CNN explores the reality TV industry in Nigeria, going behind the scenes of The Fasttest Shedder and Try My Job.
The Fasttest Shedder is a 90-day weight loss reality show created by Seyi Olusore, popularly known as Shedams. Shedams speaks about his motivation behind the programme, “I’ve realised that a lot of women they face body shaming. They are quick to, you know, look down on themselves in terms of self-esteem.
We have so many reality TV shows in Nigeria, and I just wanted the fun aspects, you’re losing weight and at the same time, you’re documenting your progress. We’re trying to show people that this is real.”
Past contestants attest that Shedams’ passion is not just an act for the camera. Season 2 runner-up Vera Agu, says that his support has continued after her season ended, “I love the way he pushes me even after the show.”
Regardless of who wins the show, Shedams sees all the contestants as champions, “It’s a passion over profit. When I see persons, who couldn’t fit into some clothes, then fit into it and we are happy to pray for me.
So, I’m supposed to be happy. I’m supposed to be impressed, saving people’s lives.”
CNN also looks at Try My Job, a show which takes celebrities and influential people and tasks them with being a blue-collar worker for the day.
Creator and host Olawunmi Oyadeji says that she made the show to promote skills acquisition and entrepreneurs, “I just noticed that a lot of these guys that are doing blue-collar jobs are not really appreciated. We take them for granted. We don’t pay so much attention to what they do.”
Now in its tenth season, the show has proved to be a hit. Oyadeji talks about the concept, “The show gives celebrities, not just celebrities, influential people the opportunity to wear other people’s shoes for a day, most especially their fans.”
Oyadeji advises anyone wanting to follow in her footsteps to be prepared to work hard, “It’s a lot of patience, is a lot of money. It’s a lot of dedication.
So, you need to have a passion for what you’re doing. There are many times I wanted to give up and I woke up the next day I was like, ‘No, I can’t’.”
These two changemaking programmes show that reality TV is not always about the drama, but also about the life-changing results