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From Reality TV Star to Africa Magic Producer

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Diane Russet: From Reality TV Star to Africa Magic Producer


An entertainment trove and talent incubator, MultiChoice has used its platforms as a springboard to help individuals achieve their aspirations over the years, and BBNaija stars are some of the biggest benefactors. Former reality TV star Diane Russet will benefit from these opportunities for the second time as she takes her show, Ricordi, from a web series to a TV series on Africa Magic.


Precious Yunana ‘Diane Russet’ Yashim is an ex-BBNaija housemate who featured in the 4th season of the franchise, tagged ‘Pepper Dem’. A graduate of the University of Debrecen, Hungary, Diane is a food enthusiast, model, brand influencer, actress and producer.


Before the BBNaija fame, however, it wasn’t always a smooth sail for Diane. In a Guardian interview, she revealed that she questioned God and stopped praying because of the difficulties she was experiencing following the death of her father.


“I remember crying more than I prayed. I remember questioning God, and I hated God for a couple of years if that makes any sense. It was difficult to get back to where I was with God because I struggled to pray. You know, I lost my dad. My schooling wasn’t going fine, and I had a lot of setbacks. But looking at things now, I feel that I had to have gone through that phase to be where I am today. That’s why I appreciate things now, and I won’t trade my journey so far for anything.”


The unemployment rate in Nigeria, which stands at 33% as of 2022, according to Statista, drives the country’s youth population out in droves. Nonetheless, like many of her fellow ex-housemates and beneficiaries of MultiChoice’s offerings, Diane has been exempted from this rising number. She has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry, putting her complicated past on the shelf of memory.


Since her return from the Big Brother Naija reality show, Diane has produced and starred in 3 short films – Therapist, Bayi, Storm and Mo & Mel. She also starred in the movie Breaking Point which aired in Cinemas in the latter part of 2020 and is featured in Jade Osiberu’s recently released Brotherhood.


Diane Russet: From Reality TV Star to Africa Magic Producer


In an announcement made at the MultiChoice Media Showcase on September 15, 2022, it was revealed that Diane’s web series, Ricordi, will debut as an Africa Magic original in October.


Ricordi is a thirteen-episode series that borders on friendship and women supporting women. Speaking with Netng on why she came up with the idea, Diane says she was on a journey of self-discovery and realised that true friendships, especially those of women, still exist even if society says otherwise.


“The world has made us feel like women are in competition with each other. I created Ricordi so that people can see true friendships and see that women really support each other. Ricordi shows the true value of friendship.”


Ricordi had been airing on YouTube, but under the auspices of MultiChoice, the officially rebranded and recorded first season of the series will come to a broader audience on Africa Magic. For the producer, Diane, the opportunity to be seen would have been impossible without MultiChoice.


“MultiChoice gave me the opportunity to even be seen. It has put me on a platform that has helped me in ways I cannot even put in words. They keep impacting everyone’s life. I’m happy that I get to benefit again.”


At the Showcase, MultiChoice Nigeria’s Head of Content and West Africa Channels, Dr Busola Tejumola, gave Diane accolades for how far she has come. She said, “We have a new show, Ricordi, that is executive produced by Diane. Diane is one of our ex-housemates from Big Brother Pepper Dem. This is one of her first productions, and it’s coming to the big screen. She is producing for Africa Magic, and we are very proud of what she’s doing. We are looking forward to watching this. It’s a very riveting TV series that I think everyone will enjoy”.


MultiChoice has significantly elevated careers across different entertainment and creative industries and contributed to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is currently worth 45.3 trillion Naira. A well-oiled processing machine of talents and a repository of entertainment, MultiChoice will help Nigeria reach its compound annual growth rate (CAGR) touted to grow to 12.1%. According to PWC, it will be the world’s fastest-growing Entertainment & Media (E&M) market over the coming five years.


MultiChoice is bent on creating a chain of successes by merging innovation with people. From reality shows to original series, the group’s platforms function as launchpads to success and dreams coming true. And Diane is credence. From finding fame on BBNaija, she has become a creator who puts other people on through her productions.


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