After a stressful day of work, it’s only natural to sit in front of the television with hopes of getting entertained and relaxed with numerous soap operas, music videos and reality shows. Some of these reality shows promote entrepreneurship, helping the viewer make wise entrepreneurial decisions, start a business if possible and avoid falling into errors.

Here are some of the TV reality shows in Africa that portrays the culture and entrepreneurial mindset of business owners in Africa.

The Apprentice Africa

The Apprentice Africa reality show, a replica of the American The Apprentice is hosted by Biodun Shobanjo, co-founder of Insight Communications and CEO of Trokya Group. 

The reality show features individuals from different walks of life, from engineers to CEOs, marketing consultants, social entrepreneurs and software developers. These individuals participate in the programme to further harness their entrepreneurial skills and in the end, get selected to work in a prominent organisation.

The Apprentice Africa premiered in February 2008 and ended in June of the same year with about 18 contestants participating from six African countries which include Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon and Guinea Conakry. Since then, it has aired yearly on channels such as NTA, STV, Superscreen, Kenya Television Network (KTN), Wavah Broadcasting Station (WBS) among others.

The first edition had 18 episodes where contestants competed against each other with one contestant getting eliminated per episode. Contestants were split into two teams and a member from each team acted as a project manager on each new task. Different tasks were assigned until a winner appeared. The winner got the privilege of being hired to work with the host of the programme.

FIIRO House

African Entrepreneurship Reality Shows

The Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) in conjunction with Lashone Links Communication Limited affirms to be the first African Industrial Television reality show. It is designed to develop meaningful entrepreneurial culture and motivate young entrepreneurs towards advancing a productive economy. The show does this by providing alternative but complimentary funding opportunities for investing in indigenous research and development technologies, job creation and national socioeconomic development.

The programme targets unemployed youths and prospective entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 45 involved in food and agro-allied processing, product design and packaging, processing equipment design and fabrication, waste to wealth, biotechnology as well as chemical and environmental technology.

Participants go through different levels of tasks designed to enhance and nurture their skills enabling them to be the best solution providers and industrial entrepreneurs in the areas of technology. And this can be applied to the processing, production and manufacturing sector of the economy.

The Next Titan

The Next Titan reality show scouts for ambitious business owners seeking to demonstrate their entrepreneurial insight with indomitable business ideas, and commercial awareness. It’s open to all Nigerians between the ages of 21 and 40.

Although it’s a form of entertainment to the viewers, the reality show is developed to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit of young Nigerians, enabling them to be their own boss. It supports the business acumen of participants through financial and logistical assistance, informal training, knowledge and everything needed to help them get started on their entrepreneurial journey.

The 2019 season of The Next Titan show had 16 finalists who lived together for 10 weeks, competed with one another over 10 tough business tasks, and underwent varied business challenges until a winner emerged. The judges of the show are said to be top Nigerian business leaders who also mentor the contestants.


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The Entrepreneur Business 

African Entrepreneurship Reality Shows

The mission of The Erudite Entrepreneur, a human capital resources and development organisation, is to turn aspiring entrepreneurs to full-blown entrepreneurs, guiding them through the business rudiments of nurturing and managing a start-up. With this objective in mind, the organisation created a show The Entrepreneur Business.

The programme seeks to provide its participants with the necessary skills and mentorship for developing competence, capacity building, striving business opportunities, and entertainment in developing and managing their businesses. It is focused on engineering, information and communication technology (ICT), fashion, arts, media and agriculture.

Goke Dokun, executive director of Inspire Media Production Company (IMPC), believes the programme is unique in several ways. “First, it gives Nigerian micro-entrepreneurs the freedom to own their ideas, by allowing them to access the required cash without interference on how they run it. Secondly, it recognises the need to further empower the Nigerian entrepreneur whom the world has acknowledged as being innovative but lacking opportunity to change his world.”

Hangman

This reality show brings together aspiring entrepreneurs who have identified a gap in the market. The entrepreneurs pitch an innovation that fills that void and explain how the product will penetrate the market. It was created to unearth South Africa’s innovators and satisfy consumers who are in dire need “for new, unique, fresh and entertaining content.”

To win the approval of the Backers, the judges of the show (businesswoman, Phuti Mahanyele; celebrity economist, Iraj Abedian; self-made billionaire, Quinton van der Burgh; and the chairman of Shell South Africa Energy Limited, Bonang Mohale), contestants will have to complete a number of tasks. Their stay in the programme was determined by their performance.

According to the director of Blink pictures, Odette Schwegler, the contestants act as innovators that propose their business ideas to investors. Their ability to get the support of the Backers and the investors increases their chances of winning. The programme is open to all residents in South Africa who are interested in participating in the programme.

The Next Brand Ambassador

African Entrepreneurship Reality Shows

The Next Brand Ambassador is aired to search for South Africa’s top young aspiring marketers with the opportunity of working with South Africa’s retail bank, Capitec. Contestants are assigned tasks that test their creative and strategic skills. These include traditional media challenges such as designing a billboard, conceptualising a flash mob and creating digital online campaigns.

Commenting on the launch, The Next Brand Ambassador, Sbusiso Kumalo, Head Brand Marketing at Capitec said: “We are extremely proud of the work that our game-changing marketing teams do to promote our brand and its values. I believe that The Next Brand Ambassador’s inspired reality show format is the ideal way to attract the fresh talent we need to keep Capitec front and center of people’s minds. The success of previous brand ambassadors such as Thuso Mbedu and DJ Loyd means that Capitec’s next brand ambassadors have big shoes to fill. But the search is on and the journey promises to be just as exciting as the destination.”

The Big Break Legacy Show

The Big Break legacy show is sponsored by MTN Business and supported by Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). Its goal is to identify, build competence and empower entrepreneurs to venture into creating new industries in a sustainable manner.

The shows’ founder, Ezra summed up the purpose of the programme, “Our plan is to make sure that the other 11 contestants walk away from the show with an increased sense of purpose. We will empower them through various interventions to ensure that when they arrive back home, they are ready to turn their dreams into reality.” Participants whether emerging as winners or not are better equipped to actualise their dreams and become employers of labour.

Don’t lose the plot

Most experts believe agriculture can boost African economies by increasing trade, creating employment opportunities and ensuring food security.

Don’t lose the plot television series promotes agriculture in East Africa, inspiring youths to pursue agribusiness entrepreneurship. The show producers’ desire that the programme will encourage more youths to pursue farming as a career and contribute to meeting the sustainable development goals of the continent.

Patricia Gichinga, the producer of Don’t lose the plot believes the show will enable viewers see agriculture as a viable source of income, to prove that technology can be used to farm and achieve their personal goals.

Several participants in the programme have benefited greatly, becoming skilled farmers at the completion of the programme. For instance, the programme’s former reality contestant, Leah Wangari became a full-time mushroom farmer after coming second place.

Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs (AYE)

African Entrepreneurship Reality Shows

Aimed at giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the business panel of judges, this programme prides itself on being the largest entrepreneurial programme in Africa. The reality show comprises a weekly agenda of ideas, startling facts, statistics, insight into the Nigerian economy, entertainment, and educational facts. It features the most fascinating and diverse business owners embellished with the excitement of the caught in the act (CIA) segment.

The AYE Reality TV show aims to identify and showcase innovative business ideas and solutions to the world. It receives tremendous views evident in its appearance on Africa Magic Family, Wazobia Max, Wazobia TV, Nigerian Television Authority network (NTA), Silverbird Television, Television Commercial (TVC), RAVE TV, among others.

The FarmHouse

African Entrepreneurship Reality Shows

The FarmHouse reality TV show has the objective to stimulate, create awareness and redirect the attention of the youthful population of Nigeria to the huge potential and opportunities in agriculture using entertainment as a delivery channel.

Asides creating awareness, the show intends to reduce unemployment among youths, food insecurity in the country and assist young agripreneurs to establish viable operations in the production and processing of both food and cash crops as well as livestock.

Housemates in the show undergo various programmes including innovative technology-based training on modern techniques for agricultural development. Partners that support the show include International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, PanAfrican Equipment Group, Bank of Agriculture, and National Programme for Food Security.

Project FX Make-up show

Launched in 2016 with makeup artist contestants from five African countries, it provides an avenue for new and upcoming makeup artists to exhibit their innate creativity. The goal of the show is to prepare African makeup artists to possibly win the Oscars in 2021 and challenge the new contestants to bring out their best creative side each season. It also has the purpose of uniting Africa through make-up.

It’s evident that these reality shows promote and teach entrepreneurial lessons. Acting as a mirror, you get to watch business owners make mistakes, how they pitch business ideas to investors, the struggle to win the prize, the ins and outs of running a business.

Although none of these shows have been aired this year probably due to the coronavirus pandemic, we hope for their return soon because there is so much to be learned from these reality shows.


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