By Ayo Onikoyi
The first season of the Big Brother Naija reality TV show aired from March 5 to June 4, 2006. It then went off-air for 11 years until it made a comeback in 2017. Since it first aired as ‘Big Brother Nigeria’ in 2006, there have been four successful seasons of the show. Each season takes on a new theme that speaks to the pop-culture of the time in the country, current happenings and the type of characters (housemates) in the house.
Aside from being wildly successful as a show, the MultiChoice Nigeria-owned series has also become one of the surest ways to attain celebrity status. For every year it has aired, it has produced at least two major celebrities in the entertainment industry. Some of whom are winners of the show and others who simply caught the attention of fans.
We take a quick look at the lives of the four winners the show has created since its inception.
He emerged the winner of the first-ever Big Brother Naija in 2006, running alongside people like Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and Gideon Okeke. Today, he is a major part of the Nigerian entertainment scene, despite preferring to work behind the scenes. He was only 26 years old when he won the $100,000 prize money but he knew exactly what he wanted to do with the money. He quickly went off to Digital Film Academy, New York to pursue a directorial degree.
Since then, Katung Aduwak has piled on an impressive resume that includes working in leadership positions in places like Cool FM, Chocolate City and Viacom International Media Networks Africa. He has multiple directorial credits on movies like ‘Unwanted Guest’ and ‘Heaven’s Hell’. And he is currently a filmmaker at One O Eight Media and the chairman of the board of directors at Hashtag Media House.
Michael Efe Ejeba:
Popularly called ‘Efe Money’, Michael Ejeba won the 2017 Big Brother Naija after its massive comeback to the screens. He walked away with 25 million naira, an SUV and what seemed to be the beginning of a massive music career. However, his music career hasn’t picked up so much since the release of his hit song, ‘Warri’ featuring Olamide. He is still pursuing music fervently and has released several other singles including, ‘Yeba’, ‘Campaign’, and ‘Somebody’.
In 2019, he told Yaw during an interview on Wazobia FM that despite pursuing his music career, he is also a businessman. Efe who is an Economics graduate from the University of Jos surprised the OAP when he said he had been investing in different businesses and now has more than the initial 25 million Naira saved. He recently dropped his new playlist, ‘Non-stop’.
Miracle Ikechukwu Igbokwe:
Miracle claimed the title of winner in the 2018 ‘Double Wahala’ edition of Big Brother Naija. He was one of the most loved contestants throughout the show, but he has opted to stay out of the limelight. Positively obsessed with the idea of becoming a commercial pilot, Miracle who calls himself ‘Flyboy’ left for the United States after receiving his cash prize. He soon enrolled in Epic Flight Academy, Florida, United States to complete his aviation training and obtain his Commercial Pilot License (CPL).
He has refused to get dragged into petty issues from other housemates and has remained focused on the concluding parts of his aviation certification. He is still in the United States.
Mercy created a new record when she became the first-ever female to win the Big Brother Naija show at the end of last year’s ‘Pepper Dem’ season. She has remained at the centre of conversations and continued her career as a reality star with ‘Mercy and Ike’ on Africa Magic. Lambo, as she is fondly called, has become a fashion icon, influencer and businesswoman.
The fashion powerhouse is currently the brand ambassador to brands such as Ciroc, Just Furniture, Patricia NG, and Mr Taxi. She also runs her own businesses, a fashion outfit – M&M Luxury and a real estate firm, Lambo Homes.
Big Brother Naija returns this year and one lucky person will join this elite hall of fame.