By Tope Templer Olaiya and Florence Utor
Last Sunday was Kevin Chuwang Pam’s time in the sun. At exactly 7pm, with Nigerians and fans from across the continent glued to their TV screen in bated breath, Kevin, who hails from Jos, the Plateau State capital, walked triumphantly out of the Big Brother House to the deafening shouts that heralded his re-entry into the world he left behind 91 days earlier. He had just been named winner of MNet’s Big Brother Revolution.
The 27-year-old entertainer and graduate of English Language from the University of Jos, was chosen by the continent after outlasting 24 other housemates and winning 45 per cent of the total votes cast across the whole of Africa to claim the $200,000 prize. Featuring three knockout performances by United States rap superstar, Bow Wow, a special dance routine from the evicted housemates and a chance to relive the magic of the last 91 days as the housemates loved, sparred and entertained in equal measure, the finale was an unforgettable occasion that climaxed with the crowning of Africa’s newest reality TV star.
After evicting Nigerian Nkenna, Malawian Mzamo and Namibian Edward, Angola’s Emma and Kevin were the final two housemates left in the House. It was however, a tense wait before Big Brother host, Ikponwomsa Osakioduwa, a gangling Nigerian TV personality popularly known as IK announced the name heard round the continent – Kevin!
After Emma left the house, Kevin, the last man standing, had a few moments to let the news sink in. Before joining IK on stage to share his joy with Africa, he hugged the ground and exited in a blaze of blinding fireworks.
Swaggering elatedly on stage in his trademark gait and wrapped in Nigeria’s flag, “I feel like Obama!” was Kevin’s first word to the outside world. Shedding tears and waving the Nigerian flag, he added that Africa had chosen him as the winner because he was born for TV. “I was made for this,” he said.
After a few minutes of ecstatic celebration, Kevin sank to his knees as MNet Africa Managing Director, Biola Alabi, brought out his $200,000 cheque and wrote his name on it, making concrete the fact that he is truly returning home with the whooping prize money. Joined on stage by his family, the visibly moved Nigerian danced and celebrated his success.
The Jos boy was the most popular housemate in the most countries, claiming 11 country votes from Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Rest of Africa) against two for Emma (Angola and South Africa), and one apiece for Edward (Namibia) and Mzamo (Malawi), while Nkenna couldn’t claim a victory in any of the participating countries.
The show had kicked off with IK abseiling into the garden before hip-hop group, Fresh performed in front of a packed studio audience. The 20 evicted housemates then joined him on stage in a stunning parade of colour as they waved their national flags. After a review of the first 30 days in the house, the evicted housemates performed a special dance paying homage to Michael Jackson – as they did so successfully during their “Thriller” task.
Bow Wow then performed his first track of the evening, nearly tearing the roof off the studio! Then it was time to reduce the Big Five to the Big Four. IK took viewers into the house before naming Nkenna as the first housemate to be evicted during the finale. The Nigerian said her goodbyes quickly before joining IK on stage and talked about her time in the house. Nkenna left the house with $2,997 in her money pot, claiming 5th spot in the Revolution.
In a knockout blow, IK then took viewers straight back into the house to immediately evict another housemate. After a tense pause, he announced the next name – Mzamo. The Malawian waved off the attention of her fellow finalists, telling them she would see them “just now” outside the house. Joining IK on stage, she told Africa that she hoped the continent had kept them in the game for so long because she is a genuine person.
Asked about her fight with Itai which saw her smash a pane of glass, she said she had grown frustrated when he wouldn’t listen to her and lashed out because she had gone past the point of crying. With that, she left and met her family on the edge of the stage, taking home $1,383 in her money pot. Bow Wow then took to the stage again, before IK headed into the house to surprise remaining housemates Edward, Emma and Kevin.
After departing the house, IK had more business to conclude – the eviction of the 23rd housemate. After accepting the verified envelope from the Alexander Forbes representative, he announced that Edward would be the next housemate to leave the Revolution.
Joining IK on stage, Edward talked about how much fun it was to be part of the unique Twin Twist. He declared that he had no regrets about any of his ‘save and replace’ decisions as Head of House. “No regrets whatsoever,” he said. “The show wasn’t about the money for me – it was about having fun.” Edward departed the stage – and the game – with $2,757 in his money pot.
The big moment had then arrived. Accepting the envelope from the auditor for the final time, IK turned to camera and announced to the waiting pair – and the continent – that Kevin was the winner of Big Brother Revolution.
“I told you, I told you!” said Emma, hugging the overwhelmed Nigerian. After sharing his joy, she left the house and joined IK on stage. Once outside, she told IK that she had told Kevin during the afternoon that he was going to take the money home. She left the stage with $2,998 in her money pot and joined her family.
After Kevin joined IK on stage and received his cheque, they pulled the plug on the Revolution together – leaving the house in darkness as Kevin, the man with the swagger celebrated his success with the continent.
His good relationship and sterling leadership qualities have earned him a place in the hearts of fellow housemates and viewers across Africa.