A major difficulty faced by most people during the peak of the pandemic was dealing with the restriction that came with everyday activities – visiting friends, grocery shopping, church service etc. All these activities were considered a violation of the lock-down order by the government, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What this created was a huge level of boredom and many deploying coping strategies in response to the pandemic and its uncertainties.
In the absence of physical proximity, online spaces helped users to connect and television became a major source of entertainment. The longer people stayed home, the demand for entertaining, informative and educative programmes to keep them occupied, increased.
MultiChoice Nigeria came to the rescue, creating unique and exciting content on its DStv and GOtv platforms to ensure that customers had something to look forward to watching on TV, in the comfort and safety of their homes.
The Turn Up Friday show was created to provide viewers with the opportunity to party, “turn up”, dance and have a good time from the comfort of their homes, following the restriction of social gatherings due to the pandemic. The show which aired for 10 weeks had DJ’s and musicians give viewers the latest jams, with host, “energy god”, Dotun, displaying his dancing moves on TV. This show provided premium entertainment and great vibes and truly became the new “TGIF” during the lockdown.
The Owambe Saturday show allowed viewers experience the weekend “owambe” party feel with performances from live bands rendering music genres such as highlife, jazz, hip hop, reggae, Juju and also, trending Nigerian songs, every weekend. Viewers at home also got to share video clips dressed up in their various traditional attires and dancing to the live band music via social media platforms which were displayed live on TV screens during the show. The show also lasted for 10 weeks and was hosted by award-winning radio host and actor, Steve Onu, popularly known as Yaw.
One of the viewers, Niyi Makewu, in an interview, expressed his gratitude to MultiChoice and the anticipation and excitement he felt about the show, during the lockdown.
“Breaking from my everyday routine was very difficult. Other than working from home, I had nothing else to keep me entertained. The shows were a plus- it kept me entertained and safe during the lockdown. Kudos to MultiChoice”, he said.
“I was elated hearing the news”, Sarah Nwachukwu, an undergraduate at the University of Benin, told Friday Treat. “I had been home for weeks, with nothing much to do except browse the internet all day. Having a virtual party to look forward to every weekend has really boosted my morale. In fact, my whole family dresses up and engages in the three-hour-long parties that they bring to our screens every Friday and Saturday night. The initiative is a lifesaver”.
Despite all odds and the restrictions of the pandemic, the fifth season of the most popular and highly anticipated reality TV series, Big Brother Naija, premiered on the DStv and GOtv platforms. The Big Brother Naija: Lockdown edition premiered on 19 July 2020 on Africa Magic and the live feed on DStv channel 198 and GOtv channel 29. The winner of the season was Laycon and he won ₦85 million worth of prizes. The TV reality show was such a huge success that Multichoice Nigeria recorded 900 million votes.
It didn’t stop there. Multichoice Nigeria kicked off the ‘Hallelujah Pop Up Channel’ and the ‘Ramadan Pop Up Channel’, which were religious channels designed to help fill the void of religious gatherings, by bringing the church and mosque to the living room of viewers.
The Hallelujah pop-up channel was a faith-based channel that gave customers a chance to experience church from home with a line-up of praise and worship sessions, sermons, choir ministrations, prayers and more from different denominational Christian groups across the country.
Speaking on the impact of the pop-up channel, Segun Ogundele, said that he had never thought he could have that physical church feeling watching service on television but the content on the pop-up channel made him have that church experience at home while watching preachers on television.
“I have always preferred worshipping in the physical church, but when the lockdown was enforced, it really affected my spiritual life as I was restricted indoors and had to rely on my phone and data for communication and worship services. However, watching the ‘Hallelujah Pop-Up Channel’ has really given me more inspiration for my spiritual life than I thought possible” he said.
The special Ramadan pop-up channel provided subscribers with access to Ramadan-focused lifestyle, movies, talk shows, music and kiddies’ programming. The Ramadan channel also featured a daily call to prayers, docuseries, cooking shows and programmes on the conduct and obligations of Muslims during Ramadan.
Zayyad Aminu expressed how the pop-up channel provided faith-nourishing content for every member of his family.
“The Ramadan season is very important to every Muslim as we set ourselves apart for purification through fasting and prayers. The channel provided educative content as well as spiritual messages, worships and recitations of the Holy Quran for the edification of our souls during the holy month. My children also got to watch kiddies Muslim content which helped build their faith and trust in Allah. We remain very grateful to MultiChoice Nigeria for the pop-up channel”.
The lockdown period is one many would not forget in a lifetime and MultiChoice Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to keeping Nigerians safe with a variety of content and programmes that made staying at home fun and enjoyable.
Happy Anniversary GOtv!