From being the underdog that entered the Big Brother Naija House to becoming the iconic winner of the fifth edition, Olamilekan Agbeleshe, fondly known as Laycon, exemplifies the typical grass-to-grace story. Vanessa Obioha
profiles the latest Big Brother Naija star
There is a sharp contrast between the young man who walked into the Big Brother Naija House on July 19 and the young man who stood on the stage on Wednesday, September 30, to receive his prizes as the winner of the fifth season of the reality show.
The latter is a man of confidence. A man who is no longer intimidated by the good looks or physique of his fellow housemates. The 70 days spent in the isolated Big Brother Naija House with 19 strangers have transformed him from an unknown artiste to the most talked about star of the reality show.
Before joining the game, Laycon was known to a small circle of artistes. To the rest of us, he was another young chap, looking for an opportunity to fame and wealth.
After feasting eyes on the chiselled bodies of some of the male contestants of the show at the launch, not a few expressed dismay and pity when Laycon, dressed in an illuminated jacket was introduced.
He was immediately cast as an oddball in the mix. However, those blessed with foresight, saw in him a rising star, a young man whose fate was about to change.
His demeanour in the first few hours of the show betrayed his self-confidence. He was mostly on his own but he overcame it the moment he began to rap for his fellow housemates. Music, it turned out, was his magic pill. It boosted his buoyancy.
That boost transcended to the social media world where the denizens lauded his rap skills. Music artistes who had worked with him used the opportunity to celebrate him, sharing the music videos that went viral and fetched admiration for him.
Like every other contestant who participated in the Lockdown edition of the reality show, Laycon has a mission. He wanted to promote his music through the platform. This explained why he sang and rapped most times in the house. It was no wonder that he often won music-related tasks.
While his focus was on music, he wasn’t blinded to the beauties surrounding him. Thus, when the disqualified female housemate Erica, paid him little attention, Laycon was amused. The amusement turned to affection such that when Kiddwaya, the rich kid in the house came into the picture, he wasn’t chuffed.
His vexation was badly masked and Vee, his closest friend in the house, advised him to move on.
The love triangle would dissolve whatever friendship they had, leading to an altercation that led to the disqualification of Erica.
But men being men, Laycon and Kiddwaya would later resolve their differences and remain friends.
That episode, he said at the show’s finale, taught him a lesson.
Throughout his stay in the house, Laycon was in the good books of his housemates. Probably because of his frolicsome mien and creativity. Though he never won the Head of House title, he enjoyed the exclusive bedroom and lounge during his reign as deputy to TrikyTee.
His popularity became glaring after his hardcore fans who labelled themselves the Icons saved him each time he was placed on the eviction block. He ranked the housemate with the highest number of votes each time the voting results were released.
Thus, it was no surprise that in the final voting round, he gave the first runner-up a wide margin, scoring 60 per cent votes to Dorathy’s 21.85 per cent.
Hearing his name being announced as the winner of the show last Sunday nearly sent the graduate of Philosophy from the University of Lagos to the heavens. He screamed and even hopped on the back of the host Ebuka Obi-Uchendu like a little boy in euphoria.
Forty-eight hours after his emergence as winner of the show, Laycon is still dazed. At the televised prize presentation event, he groped for words to express his disposition.
“I love you guys very much. You are the best. Thank you very much,” he said.
By the standards of many, Laycon does not fit the title of a winner. The coveted title and the N85 million grand prize should have gone to any of the good-looking housemates.
Not a few have pondered on what made Laycon tick. If you have, there is no better explanation than the gift of uncommon grace. Arguably, sympathy also worked in his favour, particularly after Erica body-shamed him. The internet exploded with calls for his win after that ugly incident.
It was a good thing that Laycon suppressed his emotions and embraced the golden warmth of silence. That singular action drew more fans to him.
Now that he is crowned the winner of the fifth season of the popular reality TV show, Laycon should endeavour to make his fans proud by becoming an iconic role model. His fans would love to see him excel in his passion and not fade into oblivion. He should carry that torch of sanguinity in everything he does. It’s a good thing that he is not spilling his future endeavours. At least, that way, he can still wield an element of surprise.