By Chigoziem Dike
Barely a week after the premiere of Ultimate Love, the new reality show from MultiChoice Nigeria, the programme has already seen a lot of intrigue from the Love Guests, stimulating talking points for its ever-increasing fan base and viewers. In just over 10 days, a combination of entertainment, arguments, and of course, romance and heartbreaks, have unfolded in Aunty’s Love Pad.
The Love Guests have been finally paired as couples amid the drama, there has been a voluntary check-out by Uche and the first nominations of the season have been made. From the first few days of the show, the Love Guests, it seems, are still grappling to understand each other. That is quite expected as different characters have converged in a single house, with some of them potentially remaining there for 60 days.
However, what has not been slow is the show’s promotion of Nigerian culture. Ultimate Love showcases the cultural diversity of Nigeria, its well-celebrated heterogeneous marriage practices as well as the creativity, astuteness and the resilience of young Nigerians. Following the pairings, a number of inter-ethnic relationships are beginning to develop. The pairings in this category worthy of mention are Ebiteinye and Obichukwu, Presh Talker and David Wilson, Jenny Koko and Louis, Sylvia and Jerry and Rosie and Kachi. One expects that these relationships will be strengthened as the show goes on.
Moreover, the cultural tasks assigned expose the Love Guests to the huge diversity of Nigeria’s cultural heritage. The solo performance by the individual contestants depicting the various states in Nigeria is a demonstration of this salient point. Majority of them represented their indigenous states wearing exquisite traditional attires. Others represented other states with Rosie epitomizing Kaduna State, Iyke symbolizing Oyo State and Cherry embodying Cross River State. This action further emphasizes Nigeria’s unity in diversity, whilst also highlighting the cultural practices of various ethnic groups in the country.
The Love Guests’ knowledge about the country’s diverse culture was further stirred with their drama performance of the chronological order of a man’s life from birth to death. Bolanle, Arnold, Sylvia, Chris, and Jenny Koko showcased the birth and naming ceremony of a child in the Yoruba culture; Iyke, Kachi, Uche, Obichukwu and Theresa portrayed the coming of age of a man in the Igbo Culture; Jay, Ebiteinye, David Wilson, Presh Talker and Rosie depicted the marriage rites of a Hausa couple; while Jerry, Cherry, Nkechi, Michael and Louis demonstrated the burial rites of an Urhobo man. The unfamiliarity of some of the housemates, and by extension the viewers, with the various cultures, has been addressed through such tasks.
Also, the Love Guests get exposed to various new things unknown hitherto to them through the various creative tasks assigned to them. For example, they tested their knowledge about contemporary Nigerian songs and participated in a spelling competition on the different traditional Nigerian cuisine. The contestants also produced traditionally-designed fabrics using the tie and dye method.
These tasks, asides helping the Love Guests improve their intellectual capability and test their compatibility as couples, also go a long way to help them understand and appreciate the richness of the county’s diverse culture, particularly those of them who would build on their inter-ethnic relationships after the show and ultimately get married.
Fans of the show should stay tuned to DStv Channel 198 and GOtv Channel 29 to find out which of the love guests can simultaneously provide Naija’s most enchanting love story yet and emerge the ultimate couple, claiming the grand prize totalling N5 million, a lavish traditional wedding and a dream home.
Ultimate Love is available 24/7 on DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus, DStv Compact, DStv Confam and DStv Yanga packages; and on GOtv Max and GOtv Jolli packages. For more information on the show, visit www.africamagic.tv/ultimate love and follow the social media updates on @ultimateloveng on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #UltimateLoveNg.
- Dike, a Marketing Communications Specialist, writes from Lagos