#TheYNaijaInterview: I didn’t think Idris would win BBA Hotshots – Tayo Faniran

by Wilfred Okiche

Tayo Faniran

We imagine we know quite a bit about you from the show, tell us a bit about your life prior to Big Brother Africa.

The person that I was before I got into the house is the same person that you saw on the show. My personality, lifestyle remained the same apart from the different environment. Before I got into the house I was a professional model and I am signed to Boss Models South Africa. I had always been doing jobs in Nigeria before BBA. What is important to me in terms of my career and dreams is to be relevant in my own fatherland that is why I entered for BBA because I cannot think of any better platform to put myself out there. I have been chasing the dream for a couple of years, my first audition was in 2009 and I am glad I was given the opportunity this time to share my lifestyle with the whole continent.

It is a long time from 2009 till today, why do you think you were picked this time around?

In 2009 I was 22. 5 years is a long time and so you can imagine the wealth of knowledge that I have now but did not back then. But I guess when it’s your time, it is your time.

Does it keep you up at night, the fact that you did not win the show despite coming so close?

I don’t see it that way, I am a winner. We were 2 finalists that held on till the last moments. I did not get the money but I feel like I won. When I was in the house I urged audiences to watch the show and base their support based on the merits of the housemates and base their votes on the facts instead of sentiments. Why are we Africans when we go outside the continent but inside, there is discrimination based on regionalism? I always knew this could affect the votes. I feel bad about it but who am I to stay there and keep nursing my feelings. It is better I jump up and make things happen for myself. The future is bright for me already so I don’t care much about that right now.

Concerning the show, there has been talk about a Nigerian threat and organisers and housemates doing all they can to neutralize it. Is this a valid assumption and if so how did it affect you as a housemate?

You see this is a very sensitive issue to talk about and I would want to remain a preacher of peace for the continent. Yes, people from other parts of the continent feel intimidated by Nigerians and I think this issue started a long time ago – I don’t know why. A lot of things you can find in a Nigerian are constant; confidence, loudness, a colourful presence – so intimidation does come up at times. It could be that they see a lot of competition they cannot match up with I don’t know, but I guess it is left for them to sort out. I was raised to love not hate. I was just being myself, the way God created me so they should blame God not me.

Was there any housemate you were intimidated by?

Nobody. People forget things but the first week I was always positive, telling Big Brother that I was getting along splendidly with everyone because that was what it was about for me at the beginning until people started coming to my face with this competition thing. A lot of times I tried showing love and making housemates see reasons as to why we should love each other genuinely but you know what, what will happen, will happen. A lot of them did not think Idris would win, just the same way that I didn’t think Idris would win. People who showed me genuine love wanted the money as much as I do but because it is just in their nature, they loved me anyway. I wanted the money but I loved my friends anyway. Haters will hate. I am very confident in myself and I went in like a champion.

Another thing that I want you to know is that I am from a country with 200 million people and I was the single male representing that country, I am a winner already. All these other countries, the largest of them is about 40million people which represents just Lagos state. I was just myself, a winner all the way.

Don’t you think you were overconfident and maybe scared some people away?

Is there such a thing as overconfidence? There is no such thing. I am confident and the higher the level of my confidence, the better for me. I make well calculated moves, I know my strong points and it is important as an individual, no matter where you are from to believe in yourself.

Did the show goof this year? Do you agree that the final results reflected the game that was played?

That is deep. It has happened man let us just leave it at that. It isn’t my problem to worry about that.

You were born Nigerian right?

I am Nigerian, I don’t know how you guys get it twisted. I left Nigeria in 2008 to pursue my career path because South Africa is the peak of the fashion and modelling industry in Africa. I come to Nigeria often, I lived in Nigeria for 4 months last year. This is my home and I never really left Nigeria, 5 minutes with me anywhere in the world and you will know immediately that I am Nigerian.

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