Toronto has its own Nigerian version of the Real Housewives reality show
When it comes to reality TV shows, perhaps the guilties of pleasures might be the Real Housewives series: the Bravo franchise that follows the lives of women who throw everything from shade to chairs.
Turns out we have our version: a Youtube show called The Naija Wives of Toronto.
Launched last summer, the online series follows the lives of six Nigerian women as they try to balance work, marriage, brunches, baby showers—the usual fodder for drama to ensue.
It's the first Canadian-Nigerian reality show to hit the web, and so far has one season with eight episodes. According to creators Uche Nwokeji, Rachael Omobude and Abby Ayoola (who are cast members on the show), the goal was to bring Nigerian culture to mainstream media.
"Toronto is the most diverse, cosmopolitan city in the world and the Nigerian diaspora is a big part of it," says Ayoola. "We are a fusion of both Nigerian and Canadian culture and we want to showcase that."
The cast of women—Uche Nwokeji, Rachael Omobude, Abby Ayoola, Emilian Andrew and Matilda Harry—showcase the diversity of Nigeria's languages (there are over 500) and cultures, with cast members representing a range of tribes like Igbo, Benin, Yiruba, Dekta, and Calabar.
It's definitely less of a circus than an episode with NeNe Leakes on the Real Housewives of Atlanta: there's no lunging or punches thrown here.
And while the show's subscriber count sits at around 835 viewers, the comment section shows a dedicated fanbase from the Nigerian community that's pretty invested in Abby's hair and Uche's bad attitude in episode 7.
It's a relief, especially for someone like me, where violence and fist fighting is a pretty big turn-off when it comes to reality TV.
The biggest appeal for Naija Wives of Toronto is a glimpse into Nigerian culture, from the slang to the food to how it expresses itself in the Canadian diaspora.
"What makes the show different is there is no fist fights, we showcase our culture, language and food," says Ayoola. "We also want people to see how Nigerians juggle their families, careers, and friends."
Naija Wives of Toronto
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