by Sola Fasasi
There was a collective cheer in the homes of Nigerians as Uti Nwachukwu was announced as the winner of Big Brother Africa All Stars and the $200,000 Grand Prize. This was no mean feat. Uti contended with the best from previous BBA seasons to emerge as the number one Big Brother All Star.
Instantly he became a hot topic. The Nigerian online community – who are never far away from their laptops and Blackberries – began tweeting and updating their Facebook and BB statuses in a frenzy. #Uti still trends on Twitter as we speak.
The winner’s good luck isn’t at all in doubt, as he has achieved, in a few days, what many struggle to achieve for a lifetime. “See as person just get 30million like dat just after 90 days. Oh boy!!! Talk about good fortune. Uti don become group chairman o,” Atheena, an online commenter says.
Trust Nigerians to ‘feel-among’. Expectedly, everyone now wants a piece of Uti’s win. According to OgheneTega (@warribros), “Uti now has new friends. Thank you for winning”. Some ladies took the ‘friendship’ a step further. “Our husband Uti called me last night… We’re going to share [the cash],” @rhybarbie and @LilMissJoOoo claim!
Uti has also acquired a new sister in Dunnie Nwosu (@omodunnie), who has now declared a change of surname to Nwachukwu. Ogunrinde Hakeem is clear on where he stands in the scheme of things. “I am Uti Nwachukwu’s new manager,” he tweeted this morning. “Buy today’s paper, you will see me with his cheque,” he continued.
Also up for discussion is Uti’s relationship with fellow housemate Sheila from Kenya. Will he, following in the footsteps of fellow BBA winner, Kevin Chuwang-Pam, hook up with his East African crush? Those in ‘camp Sheila’ are equally numbered by those on the opposing camp. Farisai M, an online commenter, thinks it’s “damnation for history to repeat itself”.
Another online commenter has an answer for all speculators: “Uti deserves a much better person than Sheila, but that’s his private life”. However, Sheila is clearly not the only Kenyan rooting for Uti. Wambui Lamu stated on Twitter: “Good that Uti won instead of Munya!”
Uti beat four other housemates – Kenyan Sheila, Tanzanian Mwisho, South African Lerato, and Zimbabwean Munya – to win the finals. However his strongest contender was Munya who had survived several evictions, and was thus viewed as the strongest contender for the grand prize. It was clear that Munya expected to win. “I can’t seem to forget Munya’s expression – shock and all – when Uti was announced as winner of BBA 5,” tweeted South African Mutheliso Phiri.
@iamkjv was one of the few who didn’t think Uti could do it. “Congrats to Uti Nwachukwu. I must say I am one of those who didn’t believe he would win,” he says.
All in all, Uti’s win kindled a renewed spark of hope for Nigerians, who are desperate for any kind of good report about the country. Dada Christopher (@xtopher009)tweets: “The Lord that did it for Uti Nwachukwu can also do mine soon…”
Adetola, an online commenter sums up the sentiment perfectly: “After all the negative (Niger Delta) news, then this ecstatic, delirious, flabbergasting joy made me feel Nigerian and proudly so. The climax of the show was the singing of the National Anthem and recital of the pledge, I sang along and recited as well, tears swelled in my eyes as I sang from the depths of my heart, there is hope for us in Nigeria”.
Let’s hope that Uti’s good fortune rubs off on more Nigerians and on the country as a whole.