As part of its commitment to supporting local talent and creatives, the popular streaming service, Showmax, recently announced that it has partnered with Livespot360 for the manufacture of The Real Housewives of Lagos (RHOLagos), the first edition in West Africa of the famous reality TV format The Real Housewives.
In order to give the show a distinct Nigerian feel (made in Lagos by Lagosians), in partnership with a reputable creative solutions company like Livespot360 didn’t make sense. For his part, Livespot360’s Chief Creative Director, Darey Art-Alade, the mastermind behind many of Nigeria’s biggest concerts and festivals over the past decade, including the highly acclaimed The Falz Experience; and Cardi B’s memorable centerpiece at Livespot X Festival in Lagos and Accra, describes the production of RHOLagos as an exciting opportunity to showcase Nigerian talent and diversify domestically produced entertainment properties.
“Livespot was actually contracted by Showmax and Multichoice to produce this show. It’s a tremendous opportunity to have had this chance to tell stories with this media ownership,” he told Culture Custodian.
That being said, one can only imagine the amount of planning, grueling effort, and sleepless nights that must have gone into producing a reality show of this magnitude — which Darey can attest to.
Behind the Scenes of The Real Housewives of Lagos
Then how Is a single attempt to secure a multi-million naira deal and produce a highly anticipated version of a renowned reality TV format? Well, it all starts with a little something called franchising. While specifying that Livespot360 does not, in fact, own the rights to the Real Housewives Lagos (RHOL) franchise, Darey details the ins and outs of the franchising process, which is usually a combination of an organization’s ability to show an intrinsic knowledge of an industry and market, proof of expertise based on other shows that have been developed, the ability to pay franchise fees and fund the show’s production, and the ability to run in the unique format of the show. program presented by the franchisor. “It’s a lot of work to get formats popular in emerging markets, but the above pretty much demystifies it,” he explains.
With that part of the deal secure, the Livespot360 team quickly began working on the show. “There was plenty of room for ideas and suggestions to ensure we were able to deliver the glamour, drama and luxury of the franchise, but also to ensure our Naija culture was infused into the venues, language, stories, etc. “, says Darey, explaining to us the process of creating the show. But perhaps the most intriguing, or at least the most discussed aspect of the series is the casting. Since the unveiling of the last housewives and the publication of the show’s official trailer, reality TV fans across the continent have taken to social media in droves, wasting no time creating memes and expressing their varied views on the participants, with many wondering why these particular ladies were cast.Describing the rigorous cast selection process, Darey reveals that each woman had to meet certain criteria.
“We didn’t just want glamorous women, we wanted women who are also industrious and have built a strong brand for themselves. Women bosses who hold up.
He adds that each woman also had to have an on/off-screen personality and be able to clearly articulate their unique stories to the audience. “There’s a lot of vibrancy that comes with the show because you’re working with people’s real lives, their celebrations, their challenges, their tempers,” he notes. “These women had to embody all of these dynamics.”
Lights, camera, fashion!
Of course, like any creative endeavor worth its salt, producing a reality show of this magnitude has to come with its own share of unique experiences. wahala and unexpected challenges. “Producing RHOL in Lagos hasn’t been easy at all,” says Darey.
From Lagos traffic to delayed call times and on-site approvals, the cultural and environmental factors that must be addressed during production are not for the faint of heart. “Plus, you’re dealing with real people with real schedules and moods. So it was a massive task to make sure the cast and crew are able to work together to make this happen with as little resistance as possible,” he explains, painting a vivid picture of how much of work required for a project like this.
“It’s literally a movie to produce these kinds of shows!”
While many of us can’t wait to see the glitz and drama come to life on our screens, for Darey and his team, working on RHOLagos isn’t just about showing the glamorous lives of housewives. It’s also about showing their humanity, a narrative they kept in mind when producing the show. “Celebrities are dynamic personalities with different aspects of their lives that they have to deal with on a daily basis, but above all we see the highlights of their lives. This show humanizes them and shows that they experience the same type of frustrations, emotions, challenges that a not so famous person.
In light of all the recent excitement surrounding the recent premiere of Young, Famous & African, and the mammoth success of shows like Big Brother Naija, RHOL comes to Nigeria as it has become increasingly clear that it There is a growing appreciation for reality television in Nigeria. No stranger to reality TV programs himself (having been on Project Fame and The Voice Nigeria, to name a few), Darey explains why reality TV has Nigerians in such a stranglehold. “I think people want to see relevant content,” he says. “The GenZ and Millennials generations have outgrown tales of perfect lives and perfect romantic stories. They want to see the real life of these individuals when the curtains are closed. What are they eating? Where do they frequent? Who are their friends? Are they upset, alone, scared? They want shows that answer those questions.
From all indications, The Real Housewives of Lagos is more than just entertainment – viewers will get to see real women from different walks of life, real stories, real drama, real luxury and real pain and laughter. Talking about what makes the Lagos version unique and worth watching, Darey notes that Nigerians simply want a show that is relatable, satisfies their curiosity and provides an entertaining escape.
“That’s what Real Housewives of Lagos do,” he says. “It takes you behind the scenes of some of your favorite celebrities and into their lives so deeply you feel a strong connection!”
Watch The Real Housewives of Lagos on Showmax from April 8, with new episodes coming weekly.