By Benjamin NJOKU
The winner of Big Brother All Stars, Uti Nwachukwu returned to the country last week to a grand reception organised by M-net Nigeria.
HVP caught up with him as he recounts his thrilling experience, while in the house, his aspirations as well as love life.
Welcome back to the country. How did you feel emerging winner of BBA All Stars reality show?
For me, it wasn’t all about the money, but it was about making my country and every other person that supported me proud. I can’t really capture the way I felt in words. I was overjoyed, my head was in the cloud and it was amazing.
How would you describe your experience in the house?
It was amazing, I had fun. The experience was memorable.
While watching the grand finale, your countenance showed that you were not expecting to win the prize?
I’m a positive thinker. In my heart of hearts, I was convinced I was going to win the show.
But I expressed shocked that God actually answered my prayer; that God was actually listening to me. I was wondering what manner of God is this, that proved Himself faithful.
It was a moment of spiritual affinity with my God; that my faith in Him was not in vain after all. That was what you read in my face.
Does it mean you were looking forward to bringing the prize money back to Nigeria?
Yes, I was determined to win the contest. Of course, everybody thought because Nigeria won the contest last year, the country would not win again in this year’s edition.
How come you did not go into a relationship in the house?
It was because I’m a disciplined young man. I was there for a reason and not the contrary.
I was in the house to entertain Africans and also to showcase the best side of me to the world, and never to derail. Entering into a relationship would cause me to loose focus and I was not prepared to make that mistake.
When you heard of your Dad’s demise, you were in a very low spirit. How were you able to cope with the sad news given the challenges ahead of you?
It was just God that sustained me. Like I said earlier, I put everything in God’s hands. I remembered that it was the last thing I told my Dad, I was going to do before I left for South Africa.
That made me to feel stronger and the fact that my Mom was watching me on Dstv, I didn’t want her to feel that while she was mourning back in Nigeria, her son was also mourning in the house. That how she saw cope on screen, would also help her to cope with the situation too.
Who are you going to miss among your fellow housemates?
I’m going to miss Sheila, Mwisho, Hannington, Lerato and Meryl . In fact, I’m going to miss all the housemates. Yes, while in the house, I missed my family and my friends back in Nigeria.
And you were in the house in 2008, where you happened to be the third housemate evicted. How did it happen?
I have no idea. People said it was because of the glass house incident and many other insinuations But here I am today. I was never discouraged because I knew I possess some potentials in me.
You said, you didn’t go into any relationship while you were in the house, how come you were emotionally attached to the Kenyan representative Sheila?
Sheila is my good friend, and nothing more than that.
Would you agree to the fact that being in the house affected your lifestyle?
Yes, it made me a better person. It also helped me to work with people from different cultural backgrounds; it opened my eyes in several ways. I discovered myself and learn to let everything go, while in the show. I put my trust in God and He proved me right.
So, being in the house really affected my life in so many positive ways.
Now that the show has come and gone, what are you planning to do next? How do you intend to spend the prize money?
I’m going back to work; to the television and music. As for how I intend to spend the money, I’m yet to give it a thought. But when I’m through with my family problem, I should be able to ascertain what to do with the money. But at the moment, I’m planning to channel part of the money into a prostrate cancer awareness campaign. Hopefully, I will be able to get sponsors.
You started off as a banker, and also you read Computer Science under Education. Why did you walk out of the banking hall for showbiz?
I did my one year industrial training in the bank. While the duration expired, I went back to school to complete my academic programme. Though I’d made up my mind to go into the entertainment business after graduation. I’m not an office person per se. I like travelling and mingling with other people.
It’s not surprising that you have been clamouring to hit the top, having featured once in the Next Movie Star?
I think I was born to be an entertainer. Entertaining people is the only thing I see myself doing in life. I just want to make my mark in the industry so that I can begin to earn good money as an entertainer.
You are handsome and promising, and with a lot of money at your disposal, how are you going to contend with some of your female fans, especially those of them with hidden motives?
The same way I tried to cope, while I was in the house. God is my strength. I don’t have to be sleeping around. I’m going to be honest with people that will come my way. But as for falling in love, I don’t think I’m prepared for it now.
You are in any relationship at the moment?
Meaning there is no woman in your life?
Yes, for now, there is no woman in my life. I was in a relationship that ended in November last year. I’m not in a hurry to start off another relationship.
What led to the break up?
I had an issue with her that we couldn’t resolve. That was it.
And you are not thinking of going into a new relationship?
Not so soon.
10 things you need to know about Uti
Uti was born on Tuesday,
August 3, 1982
* He’s an actor, TV presenter, model and MC based in
Lagos, and best known as one of the 12 housemates on the third season of the reality television competition Big Brother Africa, in 2008.
*He was the third housemate evicted, on Sunday 5 October 2008.
*He returned to Big Brother Africa in 2010 as one of the 14 “all stars” of Season 5, entitled Big Brother All Stars.
*Uti, appeared in a multi_national billboard ad in 2007, holds a 2_year diploma in Computer Science and Education from the University of Nigeria.
*He was a one_time bank employee and featured on the Next Movie Star, which he finished as the runner_up, before being selected for Big Brother Africa 3.
*He’s a fan of Chelsea Football Club
*He dislikes people going through his stuff, liars, manual labour and arrogant people.
*His favourite quote (“Those who dare to fail miserably are the ones who often succeed greatly”) echoes his belief in life and he says people describe him as a “cocktail of personalities.”
* He’s outgoing and talkative.