Having worked as publicist for stars such as Tiwa Savage, Toke Makinwa and Joseph Benjamin, Ex Big Brother Naija housemate, Omololu Shomuyiwa,
popularly known as Lolu, decided to participate in the third season of the reality show in search of a platform to project himself as a brand to reckon with. Since the show ended, the University of Ilorin graduate of Sociology has been working to that effect, albeit in a silent mode. In this interview, ‘the wordsmith of double wahala’ as he is referred to, recounts his experience on the show.
You were perceived as a pretender in the house, was that a strategy for the game?
To be honest, I’m one person that makes an effort to be as real as possible. Being myself was what got me into the house in the first place so why would I try to change that to be somebody else. Anybody that said that probably did so out of the need to play the game and not because it was necessarily true of me. I have never been one to pretend, I’m a very blunt person when I have to be and going forward I will like people to get that out of their minds and see me for who I really am.
If you had won the cash prize, what were you planning to do with it?
I think I would have gone back to school almost immediately, I’m always one to want to improve my knowledge base. Also, I would have probably bought a house. I’m a big fan of giving, so I would have looked for a way to give out especially to widows and to the less fortunate people. The widows are particularly close to my heart because when my mother passed away we gave all of her things out to the widows and since then they have held a good place in my heart. so that is something I would have done and this is something I never really spoke about until now. Everything that I’m working on right now is in the bid to be as successful as I can possibly be to be able to give back to these people and hopefully I will be able to do that soon.
What are some of the lessons you took away from the Big Brother house?
Everybody has something to bring to the table, everybody has value and a worth and even if you don’t see that at first it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not worthy of your time, person and contribution. I also learnt that you have the most amazing people in the most awkward places. Several times people have a stereotype or believe of the kind of people they want to associate with but really, I don’t think that will do justice anymore because you find the most interesting, brilliant and worthwhile people in very interesting circumstances that are not necessarily the circumstances in which you find yourself, so it helps to broaden your horizon and makes sure you are not confining yourself to a certain space because you are not sure that place contains the people that you really want to attract or the people you want as friends or people that you want to be in your life. Also, the house taught me the fact that one’s voice should not always be heard, you should give room for other people to speak, not because you don’t know more but because sometimes people need to speak up to help their self confidence, to express themselves and to gain respect from other people. One lesson that remains with me while in the house is no matter how much you know or how brilliant you see yourself; there is always something new to learn. No matter how small or the circumstance and condition you might find yourself at a point in time, you will always have something to learn so always keep your mind open at all times. So yes it was a really good learning experience all through.
Now that you are popular people want to have an opinion about you, how do you deal with this?
Well, first of all I try as much as I can to be a very well behaved person. Now I understand that people are going to have opinions because they watched you on television and will try to tell you what to do at every point in time but it is up to you to take all of this in and filter out which is useful to you and your quest to be successful which is what I do every day. I also try to mind myself with what I’m trying to do which is to eventually be in the public eye, in politics and philanthropy, so I make conscious efforts to not do anything that will tarnish my image or the brand that I’m trying to build. People come to me and say things like well done, keep up the good work and all that, it is always good to hear these things, the good these and the not so good things. I think they contribute to the strength that I have, even older people say they want their children to be like me which is really great and I take that on board and it inspires me to do better. Social media is another issue entirely, things are posted on social media every day all of which I see. Even before the show the man I am is not one to respond to all of these things and with the platform that I have now it is more important that I don’t respond to everything that I see. So, sometimes I just read and laugh and other times I read and think about these things but so far so good I’m handling it well.
What is the greatest misconception you think people have about you?
I think there are two general misconceptions, one that I’m a playboy which I’m not, I’m a well behaved guy and probably one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Secondly, people think I’m very proud but I’m a very humble person. These two misconceptions are very pronounced but it is okay because the people that have these misconceptions see me from afar and are not close to me. These are just opinions and are not the fact of who I am, everybody has the right to say whatever and what they say does not necessarily define me.
What have you been up to since Big Brother?
I have been up to quite a bit actually; I recently premiered my YouTube channel. It is an episode of 12 and it is aimed at addressing social issues, personal issues and entertainment to name just a few. Also, I’m currently working on collaborating with international bodies to help youth development and empowerment. At this point in time I’m not at liberty to divulge too much but it is definitely ongoing in terms of talks and it is looking very progressive. In the very near future, I will be working with not just one but two international bodies to that effect. I have also met with a few corporate bodies in terms of working with them and representing them but again discussions are due in the first week of July, so when that also happens I will be more than happy to share with the press. I have heard several times on different social media platforms and also people saying that I have disappeared and that is why people don’t hear from me but I like to work in silence and allow my work speak for me. In the coming weeks I will more than happy to share all the things I have been working on.
Why did you decide to participate in the Big Brother Naija Show?
I have always seen myself as a brand and something that is sellable. Over the years I have gathered experience in the media, public relations, investment banking and management and I felt something was lacking which was the exposure that would not just put me out there but also position me in a way that I can attract and retain opportunities that will make my life better and Big Brother provides that platform. It is unarguably one of the biggest platforms in Africa and going on that show was me just going to sell myself and hoping that I attract the right types of opportunities and right kind of people.
Can you recount your experience on the show?
It was really exciting from the moment I walked into the house till the moment I left. Everyday had its blessing, ups and downs. There were experiences that I never thought I would have. Generally, I think Big Brother provides a platform for one to grow and the amount of growth that I witnessed in 11 weeks, I don’t think I have experienced that anywhere else.
I had 19 other housemates that are in their own rights very amazing, talented and focused people and I’m honoured to have met them. Also, the experience thought me a lot of things in terms of life lessons and also reminded me of things that I have always been aware of but might have forgotten. Big Brother helped me remember all the lessons that I learnt as a kid and the experiences that have shaped me into the man that I am today. It is not every day you get those kind of experiences, so for me to have had all of that in one package and platform, I’m truly grateful and honoured to have had that opportunity.
You mentioned that your father was not aware of your participation in the show, what was his reaction like after you left the house?
Interestingly, I think he was one of the first people that called me when I got out of the house and he said that he was proud. Before the show I would say that I was a bit scared in terms of what feedback I would get from him if I told him I was going on the show but I felt that at some point it will be better for me to tell him than for him to find out on TV like everybody else. Since then till this moment he has been very supportive, sometimes we have our issues like every father and son would but till date he is a very supportive man and I’m grateful to have him.