Flashback to 2006 when the very first edition of popular reality TV show, Big Brother, staged its Nigerian version. The show brought to the limelight 14 vibrant youth who entertained us with their different personalities and unique talent. The show eventually produced one winner– Katung Aduwak – who won $100,000 after multiple rounds of public voting and contestant eliminations.
These former housemates have since moved on to various pursuits - some into private businesses which have kept them out of the spotlight, while others trode the path of stardom.
With the second edition of the competition set for January 2017, here’s a walk down memory lane and a look into the lives of seven popular housemates ten years after:
Katung Aduwak – We all cannot forget that moment when 26 year old Katung was announced the winner. His win was surprising seeing as he came into the house after the second eviction and won about 80% of the tasks. He and his co-housemate, Sandy, were kept in isolation with no external contact & zero access to TV or news for 3 weeks before being introduced to the show. Katung proceeded to New York to get a directorial degree from the Digital Film Academy after which he returned to Nigeria and worked on several projects. He produced and directed the movies “Unwanted Guest” and “Heaven’s Hell”. He also directed a number of music videos for Chocolate City, Styl Plus, Gabriel Afolayan and starred in EbonyLife TV’s Desperate Housewives. Currently, Katung is the Senior Channel Manager MTV Base and Executive Director at Chocolate City.
Ebuka Obi-Uchendu – He is perhaps the most prominent face on the entertainment scene since leaving the Big Brother house. Ebuka won our hearts with his charming smile and witty personality. Although he did not win, he went on to write for a number newspapers and magazines and anchor events before taking a break to go back to school for his master’s degree in law. Since his return to the scene in 2011, there has been no stopping him! Ebuka has become a media personality of note, contributing to several online publications and hosting several events. In 2013, he was announced the new host of Rubbin’ Minds, a youth-focused TV show on Channels television and is also one of the co-hosts of The Spot, a show that combines a bit of reality TV with talk show and sitcom, showing on EbonyLife TV on DStv channel 165 alongside Lamide Akintobi and Zainab Balogun. He has won several awards and been honored by the Federal Government as one of the Best 100 Young Nigerians in one of the events to mark 100th anniversary of Nigeria as a union in 2013.
Gideon Okeke – He was the sixth evictee of the Big Brother Nigeria house and ten years later, Gideon has maintained a steady acting career. He captured our attention with his role in AfricaMagic’s Tinsel, the longest running Nigerian soap opera, and a number of feature films such as ’93 days’, ‘A Place in the Stars’ and ‘When Love Happens”. His acting prowess has earned him a number of accolades and recognitions including an award for Best Actor in a TV series (drama) Nigerian Entertainment Award in 2010 and a nomination for Best Actor in a Drama in the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award (AMVCA) in 2015. He has been a part of big budget stage productions such as critically acclaimed SARO The Musical (2014). He has also hosted several TV shows and events and is the CEO of a media outfit, AppleBox.
Francisca Owumi – She was the fiery dancer during her stay at the Big Brother Nigeria house and emerged first runner up. After a stint as a writer at Revista, an international magazine based in Ghana; the Big Brother Nigeria star made a comeback, with two singles “Gbadu you” and “Diva” under her own record label Cisca Entertainment.
Sandra Osaigbovo – or ‘Sandy’ finished fourth in the Big Brother Nigeria house. Ten years after the curtain fall on the competition, Sandra is now a certified fitness trainer and Zumba instructor. She is a Fellow at the Institute of Registered Exercise Professionals (IREP).
Maureen Osuji – Maureen opted for a career in the corporate world after the Big Brother Nigeria experience. She later proceeded to the Fashion Retail Academy in London for a degree in Fashion Buying Merchandising and Management. Now, she works as the creative director and independent buyer at Aurora Daniels.
Frank Konwea – Known for his 'loud-mouthed-ness' in the house, Frank continued his career as a professional dancer performing at several shows and concerts. He was also a judge on a popular dance TV show.
The Big Brother phenomenon presents a platform of endless possibilities. It holds the appeal of catapulting ‘ordinary’ people from different walks of life into superstardom. Some of these individuals don’t even know the extent to which this road will take them, but they are willing and brave enough to take the plunge! So come January 2017, the country and indeed the whole of Africa will be introduced to a new set of talent. The question is will you be watching?
Big Brother Naija reality show starts Sunday, 22 January at 7pm and will run for 11 weeks on all DStv packages on channel 198 and GOtv Plus on channel 29.
Big Brother Naija is sponsored by PayPorte, your preferred online retail store.
For more information, please visit www.dstv.com, www.gotvafrica.com or www.africamagic.tv. Follow the conversation on Instagram at @BigBrotherNaija2017 and all social media pages of DStv, GOtv and AfricaMagic