Success is an accomplishment of a purpose and could be quantified in many ways. Taking a look at former housemates of the Big Brother Naija reality TV show since inception, WN brings you top ten of the most successful amongst them who are still maintaining limelight. These reality stars have successfully leveraged the popularity they gained from the show to gain bigger opportunities.
1. Ebuka Obi-Uchendu
Big Brother Naija is arguably one of the biggest reality shows in Africa and if there is any ex-housemate whose impact can never really be questioned, it has to be Ebuka Obi-Uchendu. The lawyer entered the first season of Big Brother Nigeria in 2006 and became one of the most popular housemates amongst his colleagues and fans.
To the surprise of many, he was evicted on day 57, that did not deter the evident star from setting himself apart and shining brightly.
In what seemed like a carefully orchestrated move, Ebuka maintained a weekly column for a national newspaper for over two years and writing for blogs. He also positioned himself as a media personality, becoming one of the most sought-after comperes and TV host in Nigeria. It was no surprise that brands began chasing after him and he signed endorsement deals with a major telecommunications brand, as well as a popular brewing company.
After returning from the United States for his Master’s degree, Ebuka returned to the media space and is the current host of some shows such as Rubbin Minds, Judging Matters and the show which birthed him to fame, BBNaija, since 2017. He is also an ambassador for various brands, including Budweiser, an alcoholic drink, and Samsung, a major telecommunications equipment company.
Truthfully, he didn’t win the show but leveraged on the platform to become one of the best Nigeria TV show hosts.
2. Gideon Okeke
Judging from history, the key is not just striving to win the BBN but to keep being relevant after exiting the show. Gideon Okeke was also one of the 14 housemates in the first season of Big Brother Nigeria in 2006. He was in the same house alongside the winner, Katung and Ebuka but also didn’t win the show.
Interestingly, he was the sixth housemate to be evicted. Like Ebuka, Gideon was also one of the fans’ favourites.
After participating in the reality show, Gideon went on to focus on his acting talent and rose to become one of Nigeria’s finest thespians.
He joined the cast of popular M-NET series Tinsel. In addition, Gideon was the host of the DSTV game show Money Drop.
He starred in TV series including Jacobs Cross and Poisoned Bait and movies like Relentless (2006), A Place in the Stars (2014), When Love Happens (2014), 93 Days (2016), Gbomo Gbomo Express (2016), Loving Rona (2021), Obsession (2022).
He also played Fela Kuti in Fela.. Arrest The Music, a musical that celebrates the talent of the Nigerian Afrobeat legend.
3. Bisola Aiyeola
It is really difficult for anyone not to notice the giant strides gained by Bisola Aiyeola after her appearance on the ‘See Gobe’ edition in 2017.
Although, Bisola had already experienced fame from a reality singing competition, as well as featuring in movies before entering the house. She showed her versatility in the various tasks in the house in dramas, mental and physical tasks.
She ended up as the first runner-up of the show and went on to feature in a host of television series and popular blockbuster movies, with a rave rating of her performances. She has also gone on to become a notable face for brands, appearing on TV commercials, shows and billboards.
Bisola has featured in many blockbuster films and TV series like Skinny Girl in Transit, Castle and Castle, Picture Perfect (2016), Gold Statue (2019), The Bling Lagosians (2019), Sugar Rush (2019), This Lady Called Life (2020), Breaded Life (2021), Dwindle (2021), A Simple Lie (2022), amongst others.
This list would be incomplete without the duo lovebirds. Teddy A grabbed fame and fortune with both hands after participating in the BBNaija season three. During his time in the house, he was one of the viewers’ favourite.
Though he didn’t win the prize money, he made his presence felt and fortunately found his life partner on the show.
BamBam’s claim to fame remains her participation in season three of BBNaija. Aside from meeting her life partner in the house. BamTeddy got married in 2019 in Dubai. They both leveraged their fame on BBN and emerged in Nollywood. They currently run their reality show and have both featured individually in movies like: Before Valentine (2022), 37 to Go (2022), Lockdown (2021),
BamBam has paid partnership deals with brands like Mega Growth, Green Essence, Speedy Weightloss amongst others.
5. Tobi Bakre
Tobi Bakre was a housemate in the ‘Double Wahala’ edition of BBN in 2018. He entered the house as an investment banker but was very glaring that he had a flair for photography, painting and modelling.
As time went by in the house, his skill as an actor, a compere and TV host shone through. After his third-place finish on the show, Tobi left the banking world and dived full-time into the entertainment industry.
Mr ‘Jack of all trades’ subsequently got acting gigs and featured in a number of feature films and TV series, prominent among them being Mokalik (2018), Jenifa’s Diary, Sugar Rush (2019), Lara of Lagos (2020).
He has also hosted TV shows, reality talent shows, while also continuing to pursue his passion of photography and painting. Tobi has also bagged a number of endorsement deals over the years like Unilever, Amstel Malta and Jumia.
6. Mercy Eke
The light-skinned video vixen entered into the BBNaija ‘Pepper Dem’ house not knowing what fate had in store for her. Mercy Eke just wanted the huge exposure that the show would give her, but little did she know that she will get much more than that.
After a gruelling 99 days filled with tension, fights and romance for her, Mercy was announced the winner of the season, becoming the first female winner of the show. The post-show has even been more glamorous for her: bagging a good number of endorsements, acting as an influencer for various brands, including a tea company, a cryptocurrency company and an automobile dealer. She also owns her own real estate company.
Natacha Akide, popularly known as Tacha, already had a degree of popularity prior to her BBNaija ‘Pepper Dem’ adventure(2019). Right from the first day in the house, Tacha was stern and blunt with her fellow housemates, which consequently portrayed her as being fiery. Despite being nominated frequently, she survived by being top of the public voting poll.
Her journey to the finale was, cut short after she was disqualified due to infringement of the rules. She has, however, enjoyed a warm welcome since she exited the house as she has been a darling of brands which is worth millions of Naira with the latest being with Trophy – an alcohol beverage company. She has a vlog and has launched her logistics company, with her loyal fans equipping her business with a van.
8. Erica Nlewedim
Erica Nlewedim is the real definition of making lemonade out of her lemons. Truely, she had already featured in some movies and television series before entering the Big Brother Naija ‘Lockdown’ house (2020), she didn’t gain prominence until she got on the show.
The actress immediately distinguished herself in the acting tasks assigned to the housemates and lived up to her nickname ‘Star girl’.
Unfortunately for her, she got disqualified on day 49 despite being the Head of House due to disciplinary issues. Regardless of the controversy, Erica came out of the house to massive fan love, as well as the attention of brands that signed her up almost immediately. As a show of support, her fans went ahead to open a GoFundMe account that garnered millions for her.
Some of her endorsements include Star Radler, Legend – popular alcohol brands, Supa Komando – an energy drink brand, Kuda – a bank, a foreign hair maker, Get Glow – a teeth whitening brand, Knorr – a food seasoning brand amongst many others.
She has also gone on to star in prominent films expected to be screened at the cinemas later in the year.
Olamilekan Massoud Al-Khalifah Agbeleshebioba whose stage name is Laycon, had everyone talking about him right from the stage. The singer, rapper and songwriter was quite mellow in the BBN house.
He topped the public vote every week he was nominated and went on to win the Big Brother Naija ‘Lockdown’.
As expected, brands were eager to get him in their corner and he bagged endorsement deals with an alcoholic beverage, a candy brand and GOtv, which is owned by MultiChoice, organisers of the show. He continues to ride on the fame he got from the house as he released two albums in 2021. His debut album entitled: Shall We Begin(April) & I Am Laycon (October).
Roseline Omokhoa Afije better known as Liquorose was in the Big Brother Naija season 6 show (2021) tagged Shine Ya Eye contestant. Liquorose is multifaceted. Despite her stature, she is a choreographer, creative dance-crafts lady, entertainer, model, and video vixen. Prior to her participation in the show, she had featured in some Nollywood movies and TV drama series like The Johnsons (2012). The OAP (2015) and a short film titled HEX (2016).
The talented Liquorose was also a well-known dancer before BBN as she was a video vixen in Chop Am by Reekado banks, yo yo by Selebobo, Oh Oh by Runtown, and Jalla by Xcellente featuring Solid Star.
Liquorose also ventured into dancing and showcased various videos of her dancing stunts on social media until she was discovered by Nigerian music video director Clarence Peters, who encouraged her to join forces with E4ma and Ellaley in one of his video shoots. The trio- E4ma, Ellaley, and Liquorose later went on to create a unique dance group they called Girls Gone Bold aka GGB Dance Crew, which was quite popular online before BBN.
Fast forward to life after BBN, as the first-runner up she has successfully stayed relevant like some of her colleagues. She has clinched endorsement deals with top brands like: JaysFinder – a tracking brand, Kuda – a bank, The Shapeables – a waist training brand, amongst others.
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