By Kayode Awojobi
He became popular in the reality show the first week when the telecast commenced with his witty words of wisdom and his musical talent. This indeed endeared a lot of people to him including the housemates, as destiny would have it, his story changed from grass to grace as Olamilekan Agbeleshe emerged the winner of the season 5 of Big Brother Naija with a grand prize of 85 million naira. I thereby congratulate the Lagos born winner who won at the same age with the first winner of the reality show, Katung Aduwak the Kaduna born film producer who was 26 years old when he won and this happened to be Laycon’s age as well. A coincidence? Possible!
The first season of the show first aired on DSTv from 5 March to 4 June 2006 called Big Brother Africa. In a twist to the game, two new contestants were introduced on Day 23, to the amazement of the remaining housemates and the winner. Katung Aduwak was among the two housemates that joined the show on the 23 day and he eventually emerged a winner, should we refer to this as favour or luck? Ebuka, the host the reality show happened to be the most popular housemate for several weeks into the show and widely assumed that he would emerge the winner. He was the seventh housemate to be evicted and his eviction made many viewers to blame the Joe’s Fan Club (JFC) for his eviction. Joe himself was soon evicted from the show.
The first edition of BBN was held in 2006. At that time, the show was hosted by Michelle Dede and Olisa Adibua. It was won by Kaduna born Katung Aduwak who happened to be the first northerner to emerge the winner and he received a whopping sum of $100,000 prize money. Katung who hailed from Zonkwa community in Kaduna now has a directorial degree from the Digital Film Academy in New York and he is now into filmmaking. As a professional film maker, he has produced movies which include; Unwanted Guest, Heaven’s Hell, amongst others and he also starred in EbonyLife TV’s “Desperate Housewives.”
After the completion of the reality show in the year 2006, the show took an 11-year long break before the second edition was held in 2017. This time it came with a new name and it was ‘Big Brother Naija’. It also had a theme and it was “See Gobe”. The show was hosted by Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and the winner who took home the N25 million grand prize was Michael Efe Ejeba. He is now a full musician and has released several songs including a song featuring Olamide dubbed “Warri.” Although it has been long we hear from him in the music industry, but we assume that he is doing well in his career and he might decide to be living a low key lifestyle and possibly “everything is now based on logistics.”
The 3rd edition of the show didn’t take a longer time before it comes up on the screen and that may possibly be because of the acceptance of the reality show by teeming Nigerian youths and it was held in 2018, the theme was “Double Wahala”. Once again, it was hosted by Ebuka and Miracle Igbokwe emerged as the winner as he won N25 million cash prize, a brand new Hyundai Tucson SUV, home appliances worth N3 million, and a trip to an exotic location and also a total N45 million worth of prizes. As an aviation enthusiast, Miracle for the money as often referred to in the house and among fans moved to South Africa as he enrolled in an Aviation school to pursue his dreams as a pilot and he was given support by his state governor.
Mercy Eke won the 2019 edition of the show which had the theme, Pepper Dem. The show as usual was hosted by Ebuka and Mercy got a whooping sum of N60 million which included a N30 million cash, N25 million worth of Innoson Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), a trip to Dubai and other prizes. After she left the reality show as the winner, Mercy has since then launched her own reality show with her rumored boyfriend, Ike, “Mercy & Ike.” Additionally, she also launched her own real estate company and an ambassador to some other brands.
The above run down has shown what they winners of BBN are into since they’ve all left the Big Brother’s house and it is obvious that they are all doing well in their various spheres of human endeavour. It takes grace to be a star and at times “luck”, but it entails hard work to always be a star. With the love Laycon received from his fans in Nigeria and beyond, the ball is now in his court to determine how he will face the future ahead of him in order not to fail his teeming fans as next year will also grace another season of BBN show.
In spite of the challenges ahead of the Lagos born Olamilekan Agbeleshe, we wish him well as his story already changed from what it used to be. We congratulate him!