The Big Brother Naija reality television show, formerly known as Big Brother Nigeria, first aired in Nigeria on March 5, 2006, till June 4, 2006.
Based on the Big Brother television franchise, contestants live in an isolated house and compete for a large cash prize and other material prizes by avoiding being evicted from the house by viewers who vote for their favourite housemates to remain in the show.
As the organisers of the show announce the audition for its sixth season, ADEMOLA OLONILUA takes a look at previous winners who were relatively unknown before their win and their achievements so far.
Born on March 21, 1980, Aduwak emerged the winner of the maiden edition of the Big Brother Nigeria reality TV show in 2006 and went home with $100,000.
The graduate of Political Science hails from Zonkwa, Kaduna State, Nigeria and he is a scriptwriter, producer and director.
Aduwak was once a media panellist at the Harvard Africa Business School Forum and served for many years as Senior Channel Manager at MTV Base.
He was also Senior Creative Director at VIACOM International, Executive Director at Chocolate City and is currently the CEO of One O Eight Media and African Partner for Campfire Media.
After the reality TV show, Aduwak proceeded to New York to further his education at the Digital Film Academy. Upon graduating with a directorial degree, he went into filmmaking.
He has done projects like Heaven’s Hell, which featured A-list Nollywood stars, as well as popular singer Waje. His other project was titled ‘Not Supposed to Be Here’ ― a short film exposing the conflict between African Americans and the African diaspora.
Aduwak is married to Raven Taylor-Aduwak and has a son. He seems to have relocated abroad.
Michael Efe Ejeba
After its first season, the reality show took a break and resurfaced after 11 years. This time it was rebranded ‘Big Brother Naija’.
The edition launched on January 22, 2017, and was themed ‘See Gobe’. The show, which lasted for 78 days, had ex-housemate, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, from season one, as its host.
Two fake housemates, Jon Ogah and Ese Eriata were introduced halfway into the show to spice things up. Eventually, Michael Efe Ejeba fondly referred to as Efe, went home with a cash prize of N25m and an SUV.
Born in Delta State on February 25, 1993, Efe was raised in Jos.
Also known as Efe Money, he is a reality TV personality, rapper and singer.
Efe began his music career with his debut single ‘Based On Logistics’, which was released on April 27, 2017. He has since released several songs such as Yeba, Far Away, I Done Care, Onome, I love You, 6 Pack, Baba Loke and Somebody.
In December 2017, Efe released his hit song titled “Warri”, which featured Olamide. The music video has garnered over 1.2 million views on YouTube. He released “Campaign”, featuring Ice Prince and BOJ, in September 2019.
The young man was appointed Youth Ambassador by the Nigeria Ministry of Youth and Sports in 2017. He was also awarded as an Ambassador of Entertainment and Creative Industry role of Plateau State.
The Big Brother Naija: Double Wahala was the third season of the Nigerian version of the reality show Big Brother. This season ended on April 22, 2018, having run for 85 days.
At the end of the show, Miracle Igbokwe was crowned as the winner. He won the N25m in cash, a brand new SUV, and other awards that cost N45m in total.
Born on February 17, 1995, in Lagos, the reality show star is from Owerri, Imo State.
He attended Dee Unique International High School. Later on, he expressed a huge desire to become a pilot. He studied at the International Aviation College and was also a student of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, where he graduated and obtained a pilot license.
The reality show star is also a model. He has featured on top fashion runways across the country. He participated in the ECOWAS Fashion week and also made the top five at the Mr Universe Nigeria 2014 contest.
The Big Brother Naija Season 4, also known as Big Brother Naija: Pepper Dem edition, produced the first female winner of the show, Mercy Eke.
Eke, a media personality, actress, video vixen and entrepreneur from Imo State, won N60m worth of prizes.
Born on September 29, 1993, after winning season 4 of Big Brother Naija, Eke became an ambassador and influencer for various organizations.
In 2020, she made her acting debut in the Nollywood film ‘Fate of Alakada’ by Toyin Abraham. She has also appeared in several short comedy skits alongside a few Nigerian comedians.
In 2019, she became a brand ambassador for companies like Ciroc, Mr Taxi Nigeria, Royal Hair International, Just Furniture, waist-trainer and protein shake company, Mapia tea. She also signed a deal with Royal Electronics and an endorsement deal with Unique Motors in 2020.
Although during the reality show, she was in an amorous relationship with fellow contestant, Ike. Months after the show, both parties announced that the relationship was over as Eke recently hinted that she is married, referring to herself as ‘Mrs H’.
Olamilekan “Laycon” Agbeleshe
Fondly called Laycon, the president of the Icons ― as his die-hard fans are called ― he is the winner of Big Brother Naija Season 5, also known as Big Brother Naija: Lockdown.
This edition was a peculiar one due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interested applicants were asked to do a virtual audition to select contestants for the show.
Video submissions were received from May 20 to May 30, 2020. During the submission, interested contestants were asked to do a two-minute video stating why they should appear on the show.
At the end of the online audition, over 30,000 contestants showed their interest, out of which 20 housemates were selected.
Born on November 8, 1993, the reality show star, professionally known as Laycon, is a media personality, rapper, singer and songwriter.
On October 6, 2020, he was made the youth ambassador of Ogun State, Nigeria, in addition to other achievements recorded since winning the reality TV show.
The news of Laycon becoming a Brand Ambassador for GOTV was a huge one for his fans and the celebration was also huge across all social media platforms.
Also, he has launched his own reality television show on Showmax titled ‘I Am Laycon’. The reality show sheds light on his life.
Though Orijin drink company was part of the sponsors of the BBNaija 2020 edition, Laycon never saw an ambassadorial deal coming while he was on the show taking the drink.
OPPO consumer electronics also announced on social media for people to like, comment, and retweet Laycon’s picture if they wanted him to be their ambassador. The engagement on the post got Laycon the deal and he was unveiled in grand style.
Furthermore, Mentos sweet joined the league of companies promoting their brands with Laycon’s image and fan base. He was seen in different videos and pictures promoting Mentos products as an ambassador.
As a son of Ogun State in the South-Western part of Nigeria, Laycon was honoured by his state Governor, Dapo Abiodun, as a Youth Ambassador.
He was not just honoured with the appointment, he was also given a sum of N5m and a house.
Laycon is the first BBNaija lockdown housemate to be so verified on Twitter.