Banky W: “The other winner of Big Brother Naija”

Posted on Jun 20 2018 - 6:43pm by admin

Banky W has written about the ‘other winner’ of the third season of the Big Brother Naija reality show, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu.

Obi-Uchendu, who participated in the first season of the reality show, hosted the second and recently concluded third season of the #BBNaija show.

Read Banky’s article below

Now that the furor around the show has finally subsided a bit, it’s time to take a look at who most people don’t realize is low-key the other or real winner of Big Brother Naija. A lot has been said on and offline, about the housemates and the way they played the game.

In my opinion, the show is, among many things, one big social experiment on human behavior – it reveals who we are, and I’m not just talking about the contestants. Viewers themselves get so engrossed in the sheer spectacle of it all, and the drama between fans online (twitter, blogs, etc) actually rivals what is going on inside the house.

People end up hurling so many insults at each other, all in the name of supporting one contestant over another, that it is reminiscent of the tumultuous Nigerian political terrain during election season. 

Miracle wins Big Brother Naijaplay

Miracle wins Big Brother Naija



This year’s winner, Miracle, walked away with a prize package worth a whooping N45 million – but that amount pales in comparison to the insane revenue generated by the machinery of the show – with sponsorships from Pay Porte, Heritage Bank, MiniMee, Pepsi, and Dano Milk, among others.

The exact sponsorship figures are never released, but it’s safe to assume that the organizers of the show were swimming in profits even before they ever shot scene one on Day one. And then there’s the “small” matter off the profits generated by fan voting – a significant number of the 170 million total votes recorded came from SMS votes; exactly how many, we’ll never know, but it’s clear to everyone that this reality TV show is a money making machine. So while we are all squabbling back and forth, the organizers are the real winners here, smiling to the bank at the end of every season.

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu rocking a floral Mai Atafo suitplay

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu rocking a floral Mai Atafo suit

(Instagram/ @ebuka)


With that being said, most people don’t realize that outside of the organizers, and the contestant who emerges victorious, there is yet another winner from the reality show every season, and he goes by the name of Ebuka Obi-Uchendu.

Ebuka actually got his start in entertainment from the very same platform – he was a contestant on the very first season of the show in 2006. It’s worth noting that although he garnered a decent number of fans in his time as a contestant, he was by no means a favorite. He didn’t win. He didn’t come second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth. He finished in eighth place. eighth!!! I don’t even remember who came in eighth this year, and I suspect neither would most people.

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu wears Mai Atafo for Sunday's live showplay

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu wears Mai Atafo for Sunday’s live show



Somehow, Ebuka has parlayed his brief stint on the show into major superstardom; I daresay he is probably, at this point, the most successful and most relevant Big Brother Naija contestant, ever. It’s ironic that as a contestant he didn’t even crack the top five , and yet here he is – a brilliant example of how to play the cards you’re dealt.

What most reality TV contestants don’t realize, is that winning or losing on such platforms, means very little in the long run. The truth is that winning the prize money, is kind of like winning the lottery – problem being, 70% of lottery winners end up going broke and filing for bankruptcy. And that’s just the winners. Most of the contestants on the show are so focused on winning, that they don’t realize that you can win in the game and lose in life.

Ebuka will reprise his role as host of Big Brother Naija Season 2play

Ebuka will reprise his role as host of Big Brother Naija Season 2

(Kito Diaries )

Not Ebuka. Obi Uchendu has become so successful in multiple areas that it’s getting hard to keep track of his accomplishments. He’s the definition of dreaming big but starting small – immediately after his brief stint as a BBNaija contestant, he started his career with a little known TV show on NTA called “Friend or Foe”.

One suspects that most contestants today would see that as beneath them, but he went there to learn from scratch. He went on to become a certified lawyer, having graduated from the Nigerian Law School in Abuja, as well as earning a Masters of Law from the American University in Washington DC.

He’ also became an accomplished writer that has been published regularly in Newspapers such as This Day. He’s received and won numerous awards, including the award for Outstanding TV Presenter of the year at the Nigerian Broadcasters Merit awards for his stellar work on “Rubbin Minds”, a weekly show on Channels TV that showcases him as one of the most astute, intellectually sound, and charismatic presenters of our time.

He does an impressive job anchoring the “Men’s Corner” show on Ebony Life, the same way he did on “The Spot”. As an On-Air Personality, he has no limits and no “comfort zone” – he’s just as comfortable talking to Presidential candidates as he is discussing sports, celebrity lifestyle, fashion and everything in between.

Zainab Balogun, Lamide Akintobi and Ebuka Obi-Uchenduplay

Zainab Balogun, Lamide Akintobi and Ebuka Obi-Uchendu



And let’s take a minute to discuss fashion. At this point, I believe it’s fair to say that Ebuka is unarguably the best dressed man in Nigeria, and possibly Africa. When you think of TV show hosts, even the extremely accomplished ones like American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest, you never really notice their style.

They tend to blend in to the show and become a part of the fabric; Ebuka, on the other hand, doesn’t blend in, and doesn’t just stand out… he SHINES. He has completely shattered the TV presenter mould; viewers looked forward to the weekly Sunday Eviction shows not just to see who was getting kicked out, but also to see what Ebuka wore.

He turned Sunday nights into his very own personal fashion show. His outfits trended online as much as the contestants did. In a business where stylists have to beg, plead, sweet talk and cajole designers into lending their clothes for use in productions, Ebuka turned the table upside down.

Designers are instead the ones scrambling to get him to wear their pieces. This is because he has a singular transformative immediate and long lasting impact on their market.

play Ebuka Obi-Uchendu’s outfit to Banky W and Adesua Etomi’s traditional wedding


Case in point: Circa “#BAAD2017”, Designer Ugo Monye had less than 4k followers, and was reportedly charging an at-best modest amount for a very innovative take on the “Agbada”; he had infact displayed that style of Agbada for over 6 months, with very little fanfare or success. And then Ebuka wore it.

What happened next is astonishing: the designer’s followers got up to 30k in the first 24 hours, and now sits north of 75,000. The same could be said about his revenue. That Agbada style was sold for N50,000 prior to Ebuka wearing it. And now? The very same Agbada will require you to shell out $ 1,000 USD. I call that “The Ebuka Effect”.

play Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and Banky W at #BAAD2017


The power of Ebuka’s brand has never been stronger, and it’s evident in how corporate Nigeria is lining up to partner with him. Recently, Ebuka (now under EME management) inked a major endorsement deal with a global beverage giant, alongside Adesua Etomi-Wellington.

In addition, he’s the new brand Ambassador for Pork Money (a company that caters to the Pig Farming Business), as well as the real estate company Mannor Gates. He also works as an influencer for Samsung Mobile, and Budweiser beer.

And that’s just the beginning, as he’s also in talks to float a virtual clothing store with a major Nigerian Online retailer, alongside multiple other business ventures and deals-in-the-works. As at the time of this article, he has almost a million followers on Instagram, and over 500k on twitter – I’m almost certain that is significantly higher than almost every other contestant in the history of the BBNaija show in Nigeria.

Ebuka Obi-Uchenduplay

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu in Vodi



Ebuka’s story is a golden lesson in playing the cards you’re dealt, to maximize your potential and platform. He’s showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, and we’re all excited to see where he will end up. The wide spectrum of options that are available to him is staggering and impressive, and we are all here for it.

You could just as easily envision him as the Editor of GQ Magazine in Africa as you could envision him in political office. For the majority of Big Brother Naija contestants, the show represents the peak of their stardom and relevance. Ebuka has shown that it really should only be the beginning.

A great man once said “it isn’t so much about winning and losing, but how you play the game”. Well, no-one in the history of reality television in Africa, has played the game as well as Ebuka Obi-Uchendu.

The third season of #BBNaija  came to an end on April 22, with Miracle as the winner, Cee-C as the first runner-up, and Tobi as the second runner-up.

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