With Nigerians Beverly Osu and Melvin Oduah among the last five in the most recent edition of Big Brother Africa ‘The Chase’ held in South Africa, not many would have doubted that it would once again be a West African affair.
They came into the country last week (with Beverly limping from a sprain in the ankle of her left feet) after chasing $300,000 for 91 days. However, events panned out differently in the last minutes of the game as Dillish- the Namibian representative, and Cleo were the last housemates standing. In the end, Dillish scooped up the $300,000 grand prize.
Recounting their experiences in the Big Brother Housefrom their welcome news conference at Proteahotel, Victoria Island, Lagos last week.Beverly admitted that being in the house was challenging but nonetheless enjoyable. For Melvin, it was a wonderful experience to be in the finale, explaining that the reality show was more than meets the eye. He further added that in the three months he spent at the Big Brother House, he learnt more than he had learnt in his 28 years on earth.
Here are excerpts as seen from last Sunday’s ThisDay newspaper.
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 that this is 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 probably not cheating. Probably they shouldn’t have looked at countries for basis for the judgment. Their decision-making was wrong.
Beverly: We were not cheated, if you notice in the house, the 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 first runner up. I contested for Mr Nigeria in 2011 and again I finished as the first 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 these three major competitions and reaching the final stage. I think I should be given 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 its all good, it’s destiny, you 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’ve always been doing. If I had decided after Mr Nigeria not to push on,maybe this is not meant for me then I probably wouldn’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 do, 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 a swimsuit. We all bath naked so I shouldn’t be different because you 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?
Beverly: 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 had 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 a 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 that your brand was part of this show. Will Melvin and Beverly be used as Ambassadors of the Airtel brand anytime soon?
Obinna Anichie (Airtel Assets GM): I think it was Melvin who stated first of all that they just got out of the house and he needed his sanity. 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 customers, on the of 30th of September we will bring kids from 15 different countries to Nigeria for what we call the “Airtel Rising Star Africa Championship”, trying to develop 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 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’tbe part of it next year.
Q: Martin, what plan does Multichoice have for the finalists? We have seen other ex-housemates doing one thing or the other for MNet, will the 2013 finalists also enjoy the 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 came out and we continue to inaugurate new programming and we see that there’s a space or opportunity for any one of them, we will obviously contact them to see if it is something that they can also do and if they 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 screens 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 put a celebrity in trouble. Have you heard about that and what’s next for both of you?
Beverly: Before going into the Big Brother house, I was into entertainment. I haven’t heard about any Nigerian celebrity being in the newspapers because of me. Before I left, I had a show called ‘Beverly Say’ and I’m pushing it. If you guys watch 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 going into BBA. The entertainment career is just going to get higher for me. You’ll get to see me in more and more movies. This platform actually you a lot of other things, to be honest 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’t 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.
Article Credit- ThisDay Sunday Newspaper, September 1, 2013.
Photo Credit- www.bigbrotherafrica.dstv.com