No one gave Namibia a chance. Many thought it was going to be a West African winner; with two Nigerians and one Ghanaian among the last five in the BBA: The Chase. But it turned out differently. Was Ghana consoled with Elikem’s USD10,000? It was also a year of the girl power, with two ladies, Dillish, the eventual winner and Cleo as the last housemates standing. Vanessa Obioha reports on the nail biting end to the 2013 edition of one Africa’s biggest reality shows
Nigerians needed something more than optimism to see their representatives, Melvin Oduah and Beverly Osu reach the mountain top as this year’s Big Brother Africa: The Chase winner. Having rounded the critical bend and heading for the home stretch as one of the last five standing, it was not out of character to expect one or both Nigerians to return home with the USD300,000 prize money.
Alas, Nigerians have to look forward to another day. This is the year of the Namibian Princess Dillish Mathews!
Season 8 of the BBA, titled, The Chase, had all the elements of shock and surprises of the previous big brother shows. What an astonishment that Dillish who was previously saved five times from eviction should win, whereas Nigeria’s Beverly who was never suffered from nomination fever was the first of the last five to be shown the way out.
This was a hard blow to absorb for many Nigerian BBA fans because the social media was abuzz with tales projecting Melvin as the winner.
The chase which began in May saw 28 contestants from 14 African contries chasing the whopping prize money of $300,000. The likes of Kenya’s Huddah and Uganda’s Denzel had only one week to chase the money. They were the first to be booted out of the competition.
This year’s BBA had its intrigues and surprises especially for Nigerians who thought they had a chance of winning the grand prize. Few hours before the end of the show, the social and mainstream media fanned the fire of Melvin’s hope, keeping it alive. He was tagged ‘Mr. Gentleman’. Unfortunately, he didn’t even get close to being 2nd runner up. He suffered a similar fate as Beverly who had earlier bragged during the week that a mysterious voice had assured her that she would win the game. It turned out that whatever voice she heard told the lingerie model and video vixen a lie.
The host IK Osakioduwa made a grand entrance in his suave suit and tie designed by ace designer Mai Atafo, accompanied by the energetic dance group ‘The Reptiles’. Ice Prince Zamani got everyone into the groove with a scintillating performance. Other stellar performances of the night included the Ugandan rap star, Keko and Ghana’s R2Bees. DJ Ganyani brought the house down with his fantastic selections. It was a surprise to see all the ex-housemates at the finale with a surprise performance by boisterous Zambian, Sulu. Who ever knew that Sulu could sing and dance as well. Sulu iwas the 9th housemate to be evicted from the house alongside Kenya’s Annabel. He was not up for eviction, but was replaced by Head of House, Bimp who saved his compatriot, Cleo. Calling them out in pairs in order of their eviction, as always, the stylish housemates rocked the stage with their charming and dapper attire, especially the couple Feza and O’Neal who in my opinion were the best dressed for the night. Pokello, the fashion chic didn’t disappoint as well. She waltzed majestically to the stage in her short black dress and her necklace which had the Ghanaian flag. It was emotional to see the joy of reunion for split lovers such as Pokello and Elikem, Angelo and Beverly; and Hakeem and Cleo on stage. Pokello declared her undying love for Elikem by saying ‘the love ain’t going anywhere.’ While they hugged and even shared a kiss, she showed him her necklace, with his country’s flag, a proof she got his back always.The Chase was all about love. So; it was not disappointing to find that love really oozed out like a fountain from the housemates. Some of them were so overwhelmed by this emotion; so much that in a moment of weakness, they could not hold back. Beverly and Angelo went all the way to Cloud nine and back.
This year, apart from the grand prize, there was a USD10,000 to be won for the most romantic gesture. He may not have been the winner of the game, but Ghana’s Elikem won the prize for the ‘Most Romantic Housemate’ for his gesture to his boo, Pokello, right ahead of Zimbabwe’s Hakeem. Elikem stands to enjoy a five-night, all expenses paid stay in a luxury room at the Sarova White Sands Hotel in Mombasa, Kenya with anyone he chooses to take. Expectedly, he wasted no time in choosing Pokello. The package includes two return tickets courtesy of Rwanda Air as well as spending money and the cash prize of USD10 000. Elikem may have been the least delighted to miss out on the prize. Like Melvin, staying to the finale was a positive sign that he could emerge the winner especially when IK played back their moments in the house. It was clear that the actor/tailor was determined to win the game as he fought to be the head of house but could not escape the final eviction. To say Nigerians were disappointed by the outcome of the finale of the reality TV show would be an understatement. With two representatives in the finale, the expectation that Nigeria would bag the moola was high. In fact, Beverly and Melvin were the first to be booted out in the finale. Angry Nigerian fans vented their anger on social media especially at Denrele Edun who was believed to have paved the way for the sexy lingerie model Beverly Osu to contest in the game. Regardless of the incessant haul of insults on him, the Channel O presenter seemed to have developed a thick skin. This anger stemmed from the fact that despite Beverly’s raunchy behaviour in the house and having escaped the eviction gallows during her 91-day stay, she could not win the golden prize. Earlier, she had been derided on various social media for an alleged sex scandal with her, South Africa’s Angelo. The late Goldie Harvey who represented Nigeria in the last season of the reality TV show was also a friend of the Presenter. Could it be that Denrele’s choice of BBA representatives are awful? However, we must give it to Beverly. She was entertaining in the house nonetheless. She was bold, sassy and even with her exaggerated tales got us amused sometimes. Probably her friendly nature with everyone was her hat-trick to last in the game. She also had her share of love tangos. Before Angelo came into the big picture, she had a thing for Ethiopia’s Bimp, and of course, the Ugandan LK4. Sadly, both were already taken.
Nigerians voted for Melvin so badly, this perfect gentleman won the heart of many Nigerians and it was a great dismay to see him lose. Melvin Oduah also a model was a simple and calm guy who didn’t have to be ostentatious to win the heart of his fans. It was a great shock when he was evicted right after Beverly. Behind his masculine exterior, it was glaring that he has a broken spirit. Staying to the finale was the last hope he had to break away from the second best streak attached to his skin. But was Melvin really that entertaining? He didn’t get drunk or involved in any sexual scandal though he had a big crush on the winner, Dillish but never pursued his feelings. He was simply himself. He surprised Africa when he placed himself up for eviction and miraculously was saved. He led the pack four times as the head of house.
Cleo missed the chance of being the winner by a hair’s breath. She lost out to Dillish by just one vote. It was plain that she was heartbroken minutes after she was called out to the stage. Earlier she had high-fived with Dillish when Elikem got evicted, celebrating the girl power. The Zambian rapper tried to put up a smile at the brink of a breakdown inside. Not even the sight of Hakeem could heal her bleeding heart. Her disappointment oozed out of her like fresh paint.
Was it that Dillish charmed Africa with her beauty? Dillish was the least expected to win but she surprised everyone. The Namibian cutie came into the house with her best friend Maria who was evicted earlier in the show, the undergraduate of Psychology from Windhoek was nominated five times and Africa saved her time and again, even to the winner’s podium.
She garnered much votes from East Africa and Southern Africa. During her stay, she was entertaining in a funny way. She knew how to have fun with the boys with no strings attached. She was the perfect teaser in the house; flirt she did, but didn’t go beyond that. The likes of Melvin and Nando were her biggest crush. From the onset, she had proclaimed her faithfulness to her man Stephen and made it clear to the lads in the house that they had no chance in hell to steal her heart away. She avoided the spotlight but her beauty and subtle way of entertainment always gave her away. As Cleo left the house, Dillish broke down into a river of tears, trying to comprehend the amazing reality of her new status. She had never won anything big before and shared the same fate with Melvin but was lucky enough to break that curse, this time around.
After getting over the shock, she finally made her way and nearly tripped on stage but the tears of joy won’t stop flowing. She had told Big Brother before the beginning of the eviction show that she would acquire a 62” LG TV if she won and even promised to buy Elikem a motorbike.
It all seemed so unbelievable for the Namibian Princess but at last, she got over the shocking revelation and danced.
Dillish is the third female winner of the reality show. A remarkable trait of this year’s edition of Big Brother Africa was the theme ‘love’ which was well executed in the game. Nigeria will have to wait for next year to try her luck again.
Beverly, Melvin Recount Experience
Beverly and Melvin are back in the country (with Beverly limping from a sprain in the ankle of her left feet) after chasing $300,000 for 91 days. Beverly said being in the house was mentally challenging but enjoyable all the same. For Melvin, it was a wonderful experience to be in the finale, explaining that the reality show was more than what people think. He said that he had learntmore from the Big Brother House in three months than all he has known as a 28 year-old. To illustrate her determination, Beverly recalled how she stood on the queue as Contestant No. 198 at 9am on a Monday morning for the audition. Excerpts from their welcome News Conference at Protea Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Q: Do you think you were cheated out of the grand prize?
Melvin: I will say no. It depends on where you are trying to bring it from. Probably they thought West Africans were dominating the game. In history, Nigeria has won more than any other country in the competition. At that point, there were three West Africans. So there is a possibility that other countries thought this is a West African thing. Nigeria has won it a number of times so it is very normal for other countries to think they had to break the trend. Maybe they decided not to vote for West Africa . It’s not cheating. Probably they shouldn’t have looked at countries for the basis of their judgment. Their decision making was wrong.
Beverly: We were not cheated, if you noticed in the house, West Africans were very united. Who won deserves to win. Melvin and I made it to the finals so we are also winners. Melvin is the ambassador of One Campaign and I broke the record
Q: Beverly, did you have sex in the house or not?
Beverly:I did not have sex in the house.I never had sex in the house. I had a relationship with Angelo Collins
Q: Melvin, do you think you are jinxed as you are always coming up as a runner up in all the contests you have been in?
Melvin: I contested for Gulder Ultimate Search in 2009 and I finished as the 1st runner-up. I contested for Mr Nigeria in 2011 and again I finished as the 1st runner-up. In 2013, I contested for BBA The Chase and I ended up as a runner-up. No I’m not jinxed. I think we should look at the positive side of these games. It’s not easy first of all to be in the these three major competitions and reaching the final stage. I think I should be giving credit for making it to the finals. Definitely, it tells on you somehow when you find out that you get to the final stage but couldn’t clinch the ultimate prize. But it’s all good. It’s destiny. You just have to look at the positive side and move on. The fact that you did not finish as first does not mean that it is over for you. And that’s what I have always been doing. If I had decided after Mr Nigeria not to push on, maybe this is not meant for me, then I probably won’t be here today. I have always looked at the positive side and believe it’s a story. The fact that I didn’t win the ultimate prize doesn’t mean that I should stop trying. I will keep doing what I have to d. I will keep aiming for the top.
Q: Beverly, are you proud of the way you conducted yourself in the house?
Beverly: Yes I made Nigeria proud. Out of many ladies that went for the audition I was chosen. In regards to what you guys saw, I can’t take my bath in swimsuit. We all bath naked so I shouldn’t be different because I went for a reality show. I shouldn’t be different from every other person. I didn’t bring out my video and say ‘look at me’ Big Brother did. So I should not be judged. And I represented Nigeria well.
Q: People believe you went too far with revelation of your life and that of your family. Was it your strategy to gain attention? I’m a very open person and I stayed in the house for 91 days. I say what’s on my mind. And for me to reveal myself to the world. It didn’t look like I was revealing myself to the world. I was talking to my housemates. I don’t regret saying things that I have said about myself and my family because if I have to be at this platform, people have to know the real me and what I have been through.
Q: Melvin, was that the real you on the show because you acted too calm for a Nigerian?
Melvin: Before I went for this competition, I was asked time after time what strategy I was going to use in the game and I kept saying the same thing ‘I’m going there to be myself.’ The Melvin you see on regular basis is the same Melvin you saw on Big Brother The Chase that just ended. That was the real me, nothing was faked. It was not made up for anybody to like me or hate me. It’s the same me on a regular basis.
Q: You expressed excitement that your brand was part of this show. Will Melvin and Beverly be used as Ambassadors of the Airtel brand anytime soon?
z: I I think it was Melvin who stated first of all that they just got out of the house and he needed his sanity before going back to the house. I think for us at Airtel, we are just ending Big Brother The Chase. We will go back and review and see first of all if they will be available and whether there will be opportunities. And if we agree, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t. And that said maybe I should throw in what Airtel is doing to connect consumers. Just in the 30th of September, we will be bring kids from 15 different countries in Nigeria for what we call the Airtel Rising Star Africa Championship. Trying to develop football across Africa. We are also part of Nigeria has got talent, last year we had Amarachi, the kid who won the event. And a lot of them, we go to adopted schools where we give out help these schools with books and ensure that the learning environment is better than what it used to be.. So we are part of this project massively. And I hope and believe that there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be part of it next year.
Q: Martin, what plans does Multichoice have for the finalists? We have seen other ex-housemates doing one thing or the other for M-net, will the 2013 finalists also enjoy same?
Martin(Sales and Marketing Multichoice): For us, it’s pretty obvious. We are in the business of making stars. We build ordinary people and bring them into the limelight. And these two are obviously an exception because they had presence in the media before they went into the Big Brother House. But when they come out and as we continue to inaugurate new programming, and when see there is a space or opportunity for any one of them we will honestly contact them, to see if it is something that they can also do, and if we agree to the terms that we come up on. We have put some of our former BBA housemates on our programmes. I’m sure you have seen some of them on TV, so I will like to say as time goes on, opportunities will come, these guys will be seen on our screen as well. But I must mention though to them that it’s not a given and I think most of it depends on how they carry themselves. We have a reputation to keep and from the likes of Airtel because of the good image they keep as a company. So if we hear that they are doing this or this in the media, we will not want to touch them, not even with a long stick. But if they behave well like they are well-behaved now, I’m sure we will do good business.
Q: Beverly, your presence in the house got a celebrity into trouble. Have you heard about that and what’s next for both of you?
Beverly: before going into Big Brother House I was into entertainment. I haven’t heard of any Nigerian celebrity being in the newspaper and all because of me. Before I left, I had a show called ‘Beverly Say’, and I’m pushing it. If you guys watched Big Brother, you guys can see that I can act. So I will go into movies and more of presentation, and then I have to finish school, because I’m in 200 level.
Melvin: For me I was an actor and a model before I went into BBA. The entertainment career is just going to get higher for me. You will get to see me in more and more movies. This platform actually exposes you to a lot of other things; to be a host at events, shows, and others. So I think for both of us our entertainment career will keep getting better and better.
Q: Beverly, will your relationship with Angelo continue? Is your relationship with Angelo real?
Beverly: I can’t act in a reality TV show. Angelo and I are good friends. You don’t ask for friendship, you earn it. I can’t put myself in a situation where I can determine whether I’m a guy’s girlfriend or not. We will see how it goes.
Q: Beverly, which school do you attend and what course are you studying?
Beverly: I’m studying Mass Communication at the National Open University
Q: We heard that Afrocandy got you a role in her upcoming movie, is that true?
Beverly: I heard that when I got out of the house. I was surprised. I really don’t know anything about it.
Q: But Angelo has a girlfriend.
Beverly: The girlfriend you all know is Angelo’s ex-girlfriend.
Q: Tell us about the voice that spoke to you when Angelo was evicted?
Beverly: I’m a very religious person. When I pray, I try to listen. Even when I don’t have faith in myself. But I knew the voice didn’t come at that moment and I can’t listen because I was so distracted. The voice was the voice of God. My mother trained me up well, I went to a convent school,I grew up in a catholic home, and I will always be a catholic.