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Navigating Heartbreak and Closure: Inside MTV Base’s Nigerian Adaptation of the “Ghosted” Reality Show

Navigating Heartbreak and Closure: Inside MTV Base’s Nigerian Adaptation of the “Ghosted” Reality Show

MTV Base's Ghosted

“During the production of Ghosted, we felt like we were part of the stories of these individuals because it was so real. It’s not just reality TV; it’s real. Many people like real, and they want to see it more on TV.” – Oluchi Harrison

By Abioye Damilare Samson

Now more than ever, the world’s lens intently focuses on what’s emerging from Africa. Across music, art,  fashion, and culture, the continent is making a grand leap forward that would have seemed unimaginable just a decade ago. MTV Base — the cultural hub of the Millennial generation, and leading global brand driving at the forefront of entertainment in pop-culture — is now adding to this momentum with the highly-anticipated Nigerian debut of its compelling reality show, Ghosted

Initially launched in America and making waves in South Africa, Ghosted is set to captivate Nigerian audiences by exploring the modern phenomenon of ‘ghosting’—the sudden and unsettling form of emotional abandonment in relationships. 

The show offers a raw and unflinching look at the stories of those left in the lurch, providing participants with a rare opportunity to confront their ‘ghosts’ face-to-face and seek closure. With the rise of digital communication, the anguish of such a ghosting experience is intense, where blocking someone can be done with a mere click. 

As audiences eagerly await the first episode of Ghosted, I had the exclusive opportunity to sit down virtually with fan favourite hosts: Ilooise Omohinmin and Oluchi Harrison, for Afrocritik. They shared insights into the show’s concept, its cultural significance, and what to expect from future episodes.

Ghosted
Ghosted

Can you tell us about the concept behind MTV Base’s Ghosted?

ILO: Ghosted is basically a reality and entertainment show that gives individuals a chance to get closure and get answers to situations that have bothered them. It is never a good thing to get ghosted. It is never a good thing for you and someone to be in communication, whether it is romantically, whether it is a family member, whether a business partner, whatever it is, and then for whatever reason, this meaningful conversation, this vital individual in your life at that time goes quiet on you without any proper heads up, without any information whatsoever. 

All your attempts to reach out are ignored, leaving you confused and with numerous unanswered questions. Some even go as far as blocking the other person. The haunted person, who has been ghosted, is often left wondering, “What did I do? How did we get here?” Ghosted is a show that provides a platform for these individuals to meet face-to-face with the person who ghosted them. It allows them to have that critical conversation, resolve the situation, and find the necessary answers to move on.

What inspired its adaptation for the Nigerian audience?

ILO: What inspired it to be brought here is that MTV Base has been in front of culture, pop culture, and youth culture for the longest time in donkey years. And it was necessary to have this conversation in Nigeria. Many of these conversations are happening online, and people are writing their ghost stories and sharing stories of how somebody ghosted them. And we thought it was time to bring this to Nigeria, put it on a much bigger platform, and amplify it much more.

Ilooise Omohinmin
Ilooise Omohinmin, co-host of MTV Base’s Ghosted

How does the Nigerian version of Ghosted differ from the original series? Is there going to be any difference?

ILO: Ghosted has a functioning blueprint, and we don’t want to do too much to gear off from what the original series is about. It still had its core values, vision, and a clear goal. So far, we don’t know how to change any of them because that is the heart of the show. The only way that you can say this version may differ a bit is in the execution. This is in terms of showing Nigeria and Lagos as it is, in the way we – the hosts – are dressed, in the way our haunted individuals and our ghosts are dressed. 

The culture, food, facts about Lagos, the conversations, our diverse languages – whatever it is that makes us distinctively Nigerian will come to the forefront. But in terms of the show itself, the context, the heart, the goal, the foundation, everything stays the same because the purpose of the show is the same.

What excites you most about being the hosts and guiding the participants through the complexities of ghosting on Ghosted?

ILO: One of the things that excites me is my co-host, Oluchi. Her energy is fantastic in the way we banter and feed off each other. Another thing that excites me is the fact that we get to give closure to people who genuinely do deserve to have closure; people who have been waiting on answers, whether for six months, two years, or four years. 

It becomes at the top of your mind for you to try to reach out to someone for six months or two years. And every time that topic comes up, it’s like a burden because there’s no closure or answers. And there is something that bothers you that can ruin somebody’s entire day. I get excitement, or I get a level of satisfaction knowing that we are getting these people their answers. So, it’s both the synergy with my co-host and the opportunity to offer resolution to individuals. 

Oluchi: Personally, what is most exciting about co-hosting the show, aside from the banter, is getting into the lives of these people, just being a part of their story, helping people bring closure. As Ilo had mentioned, being a part of their story is important because you also learn a lot. You see instances and situations very similar to what you’ve gone through or what somebody you know has gone through. And you see into people’s minds. 

It’s more like everybody is in similar situations but reacting differently to the problem. They’re all making different decisions about their actions in those situations. And you see how vast and how different everybody’s mind is. Their choices matter, and they need to get that closure. They need to make their decisions at the end of the day, which is fantastic to be a part of that.

Oluchi Harrison
Oluchi Harrison, co-host of MTV Base’s Ghosted

How will viewers relate to the stories on MTV Base Ghosted?

Oluchi: I believe viewers will be able to relate to the show in the sense that it covers a wide range of relationship dynamics, not just romantic ones. It’s not limited to situations where someone ghosts their boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse. It cuts across all types of relationships, from family to friends, partners, business partners, whatever it is. 

Everybody gets to feel a part of it because in as much as a lot of people do experience ghosting when it comes to their relationships, like a romantic relationship; some families have family members who have ghosted them, and their friends have friends who have just left them hanging without knowing what went wrong. It doesn’t have to be just a romantic relationship. 

Everybody gets a taste at some point. Everybody gets to relate to one part of the story or the other, and that’s what makes it even more enjoyable. And I believe a lot of Nigerians will be able to relate more.

How do you ensure that the confrontations and interactions are handled sensitively and respectfully?

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ILO: Our crew on set is highly professional and alert. We make sure to inform the individuals–the ghosts and the haunted–that they should try their best to keep it civil. So we do this before they meet each other. So half the time, Oluchi is out, speaking to and briefing the ghosts on how they should be respectful and cordial. 

When things escalate, we step in to intervene. We speak into the mic and tell them: “Guys, let’s be respectful. Let’s keep it civil; let’s calm down”. However, we avoid controlling or stifling their emotions. It’s important to let participants express their feelings, even if they need to shout or vent. 

Remember, they’ve been holding in these emotions for months or even years. It’s essential to allow them to go off. It’s important not to disrupt them when they’re shouting. Sometimes, you say, “Oh, they’re shouting. Make e no turn to fight”, but sometimes that person needs to shout, they need to vent. There are people on standby to ensure we’re safe if it threatens to look physical or get physical.

What makes this show different from other reality TV shows that deal with relationships?

Oluchi: Everything about Ghosted sets it apart. The drama is entertaining, educative, full of vibes, and with plenty of things to hold on to. People can relate to the stories and feel part of them. During the production of Ghosted, we felt like we were part of the stories of these individuals because it was so real. It’s not just reality TV; it’s real. Many people like real, and they want to see it more on TV.

ILO: Additionally, the fact that it is hosted by Oluchi and me and produced by Paramount, the senior Channels Manager, makes it even more special.

Ghosted starts with an interesting, heart-wrenching debut episode with Chinwendu and Michael’s story, involving Michael ghosting her (Chiwendu) twice. What should viewers anticipate from the premiere? 

ILO: For Chinwendu and Michael, their story sets the ball rolling for us. Imagine being ghosted twice by the same person. In many episodes, we dealt with people who were ghosted once, but Chinwendu’s case is intriguing because she gave Michael another chance, only for him to ghost her again. 

When she finally confronted him, much more was unveiled, making their story very emotional and impactful. This episode also teaches that you do not judge a book by its cover, as Chinwendu discovered that things were not as she initially thought. This debut episode is the perfect way to start a show that deals with real people’s lives and realities. I am very excited for people to see and pay attention to it. 

What can we expect from future episodes of Ghosted?

Oluchi: Expect to experience 360 degrees of emotions: joy, happiness, fulfillment, peace, sadness, and anger. You will encounter moments that evoke anger as well. It’s truly a rollercoaster of emotions. Beyond that, expect to learn and be inspired. You will see stories encouraging you to make beneficial decisions and changes. It’s an all-around show. You are not just entertained and informed; your emotions are fully engaged. It’s a comprehensive experience that combines many elements, making it great.

Abioye Damilare is a music journalist and culture writer focused on the African entertainment Industry. Reading new publications and listening to music are two of his favourite pastimes when he is not writing. Connect with him on Twitter and IG: @Dreyschronicle

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