Two weeks to the end of Big Brother Nigeria, Khafi Kareem was announced as the new co-host of the 2019 The Future Awards Africa. As the premiere platform for recognizing the work of young Nigerians in different fields, and a networking gold mine for government officials and young trailblazers, the host of TFAA are in a peculiar situation where they have access to many of the young people who will influence policy, the economy, diplomacy and entertainment in the next few years as well as the official shaping the country right now. Khafi’s appointment as host is even more interesting considering she had been evicted just weeks before from the Big Brother Nigeria house.
She had had an interesting arc in the house, starting her journey as part of a romantic pairing with fellow housemate Gedoni. Speculations about their sex lives began to dominate news cycles and spiralled into a rumoured scandal where Khafi’s bosses at Scotland Yard allegedly threatened to dismiss her for misconduct.
Their union seemed to overshadow the fact that Khafi was an accomplished polyglot (she speaks 6 languages) and was well travelled, well educated and intelligent. Gedoni’s early eviction seemed to give her second wind, and she became one of the season’s most aggressive contenders, winning a fair number of the season’s side competitions. Her surprise eviction felt premature and I for one, worried about what would happen outside the house.
We shouldnt have worried. Khafi had grown an impressive fandom, with strong parasocial connections that kept her in the limelight where in previous years, she would have been forced to fade into the background. A media tour alongside the post BBN tour will keep her in our faces for long enough to her to decide how to channel her new fame into media success. Whatever she chooses, one thing is clear, evictions matter little to the eventual success of anyone who succeeds in accessing the Big Brother platform.
Edwin Okolo is an author and journalist who has worked with YNaija, TheNativemag and the Naked Convos.