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How captain ‘Nipple’ Efe sailed to stardom


Efemena Michael Ejeba

The Big Brother Nigeria (BBNaija) show may have ended, but the buzz it created, particularly in the social media space, with high level of engagement, voting and followership among Nigerians, especially youths, lingers.
Many Nigerians, especially, the young, devoted time and resources to follow the reality show religiously all through the 12 weeks it aired exclusively on the pay television platforms, Dstv and Gotv, operated by MultiChoice.
From January 22, when the show started, it was obvious viewers were in for a real time, as the 14 housemates, seven dudes and seven chics, walked into the Red Pepper Studio Big Brother House in Johannesburg, South Africa, where it was recorded, with strategies and charm to win the N25million cash and brand new SUV, Kia Sorrento grand prize.
Among them were a few well-ripped bodies on display, what some women might refer to as ‘eye candy.’ But one was destined to be crowned winner at the end, which played out on Sunday, April 9.

And that one was Efemena Michael Ejeba, better known as Efe or Warri, who was later nicknamed Captain Nipple by former fellow housemates after he won a task in the house.  
Voting on all platforms for the last five housemates- Efe, Bisola, TBoss, Debie-Rise and Marvis- ended at 8pm.At the last eviction before the grand finale, 11 million votes were recorded, which increased in the last week, as the frenetic campaigns in social media got heightened, putting the final vote tally for the show at over 26 million, which was almost the 28.5million votes recorded in the 2015 general election.
No thanks to notable Naija celebrities, including comedians, music artistes, actors and actresses, who took to the social media to drum support for their favourite housemates.

The Celebs’ Support
EFE emerged winner of the show with a landslide victory, polling 57.61 per cent of the total votes. He defeated Bisola, TBoss, Marvis and Debie-Rise to, who polled 18.54, 13.60, 8.7 and 1.4 percent votes, respectively.
The 24-year-old rap artiste, who dropped his Efe Lagos last year, was the last man standing and favourite of Alibaba, Basketmouth, Olamide Adedeji (aka Baddosneh), Panshak Zamani (aka IcePrince), KCee, Funke Akindele (aka Jenifa), Fathia Balogun, Osama, Akpororo, not forgetting Warri billionaire, Ayiri Emami, who promised Efe, whether he wins or not, some cash and an SUV.

Comedian, Bright Okpocha, popularly known as Basketmouth, took to his Instagram handle, @basketmouth, to declare support for Efe, saying: “Based on logistics, I think we should help him win. No be to vote and support with mouth.”
YBNL boss, Olamide Adedeji, wrote on his Instagram handle, @baddosneh: “As I wobey so na based on logistics #TeamEfe, make una no vex God bless everyone’s hustle. #SayNoToTribalism.”

In support of his J-town hommie, Ice Prince Zamani, on his twitter handle, @Iceprincezamani, wrote: “EJEBA pls hola at me o…got show for our boy already for this month!!! Let’s talk about the logistics ShapShap!! Pls cc #Ejeba #TeamEfe.”

Similarly, Chocolate City chief, Jude MI Abaga, also known as Yung Denzl and MI, on his twitter handle, @MI_Abaga, called out support for Efe. He wrote: “Oya Letsssss goooooo #Team Efe!!!!!”
Nollywood actress, Funke, also known as Jenifa, added support, pleading with viewers, via her Twitter handle, to vote and save Efe from eviction.Five Star Music artiste, Kingsley Chinweike Okonkwo, well known as KCee, also rooted for Efe. The Limpopo and Okpekete singer took to his Instagram page to campaign for the housemate, writing: “Pls Vote Efe, SMS Vote Efe to 32052, spread the word.”
Actress, Fathia’s, support was because they both came out from Warri. She wrote: “I’m a huge fan, so I will not criticise Big Brother. I like Efe because Efe is Warri and I’m Warri. So, Warri go stand for Warri.”
Africa Queen crooner, Innocent Idibia, popular known as 2Baba, despite performing at the grand finale, also rooted for the ‘base on logistics,’ ‘you dey use your kidney’ and ‘you dey burst my brain’ originator.

His wife, Annie, was also out campaigning for him through her Instagram handle, @annieidibia1, with her “EFE for the win @efemoney.”Ojuelegba and Sisi Caro crooner, Ayodeji Balogun, well known as Wizkid, was not left out, as he asked his 3.4million followers on Instagram and 2.6million on Twitter to vote Efe.

In spite of his closeness to Efe, ex-housemate, ThinTallTony, supported Bisola. He wrote: “I am rooting for her, she is amazing and creative…I trust this one. So #TeamTTT lets vote BISOLA to win.”

Walk Into The House
RECALL that Efe was the last of the first set of real housemates of the BBNaija 2017, to go into the Big Brother House. He had, while on stage with the show host, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, on his way into the house, pulled off his shirt, shoes and wanted to also pull off his pant trouser in show of his Warri drama, but was stopped by Ebuka.
From day one, it was evident that none of housemates was in the house to play, as they all quickly began to assert themselves. The ladies’ men were quick to settled into their stride, singling out their female interests and sticking to them like glue.

The fitness buffs worked out till their ripped torsos dripped of perspiration, just as the chef took over the kitchen, marking it their territory.Though, a physically small person, Efe appeared to be the guy everybody needed to outdo, as he set a precedent in the house during the first Payporte Friday Night arena games. It wasn’t surprising that he defeated all other housemates to gain his first victory.

He, within the next couple of days, won the Head of House (HoH) task and was crowned the first Igwe of BBNaija. These two events automatically made him the guy to beat.

However, the fact that he was a straight talker didn’t do much for him, as he was perceived in a not-so-positive light by some of his fellow housemates. He stuck to the only thing he knew best, his music and his ‘realness’ and maintained his friendship with a select few of the housemates, who he got along with.
In the second week in the house, he did something that shocked not just his fellow housemates, but also millions of viewers who were following the show. He relinquished his crown to Uriel, who was up for Eviction on the week of her birthday, a move that guaranteed her immunity for that week. 

The following week, he shocked everyone, even more by pulling a stunt no one expected. After reading the house ‘Rule Book’ so well, he used it as a guideline for his act of treason, usurping Igwe Cocoice tenure as HoH.

He stole the crown and royal ornaments in a bid to save himself from eviction, even though the crown didn’t grant him immunity, as the benefit had already been used. His actions made all the other housemates sit up and read the rule book again.

Professed Love For Marvis
EFE tried to keep it real at all times, even going far to profess his love for Marvis (his love interest). Though she got under his skin several times, he always found a way to deal with the rejections and moved on.
He clashed with TBoss a few times, but managed the situation as well, and even when he told all who cared to listen that “I be typical Urhobo man,” he still apologised to any housemate he felt he had upset.
With the passing of each week and the number of the housemates reduced due to the evictions, there was a huge divide among the six housemates in the last two weeks, with Efe, Marvis, Bisola and Bally on one side and Debie-Rise and TBoss on the other.
Regardless of the divide, they still managed to work together to achieve their house tasks. The clique was broken after an emotional week of family visits, when Bally (Efe’s closest friend in the House at the time) was evicted. The top five had tasks that saw their lines of divide get almost erased, as they all had to work together.
Banned from campaigning for votes earlier, Biggie, in his magnanimity, gave them (the last five standing) a chance to campaign for votes at their Thursday night task presentation. Efe, stepping to the podium, told a story that almost brought tears to the eyes of many.
Each passing week, it seemed he had endeared himself to the hearts of his steadily growing fan base and all this culminated into the staggering number of votes he received at the finale. 
When Ebuka announced that the winner of Big Brother Naija Season Two was Efe, there was wild jubilation inside the Red Pepper studio in Johannesburg, where the show was being recorded and broadcast live to viewers.
In Lagos, at the Classique Event Centre on Kudirat Abiola Way, in Oregun, Ikeja, venue of the Nigeria live streaming of the grand finale, Efe’s supporters could not hide their joy when TBoss was announced evicted, just after her ally, Debie-Rise.

Speaking to newsmen in Lagos after the presentation of the prize to him, an elated Efe said he was yet to come out of the shock of his emergence as winner.
“I’m still in shock, trying to imagine how I emerged winner.

“It feels great to be a winner and I am grateful to God first for his grace upon my life, then to the organisers, Multichoice, for providing the platform, the sponsors, Payporte and Heritage Bank, and to the fans across the world.

“You all gave me the victory and I am grateful to you all.”Asked his winning strategy, he said: “I didn’t go into the house with any strategy, rather I made up mind to be myself, be as real and natural as I am when I was not in the house.

“I lived my life in the Big Brother House like I would live my normal life daily, based on logistics.”On the lesson he has taken away from the show, the Economics graduate of University Jos stated: “First is tolerance. Before now, there were certain characters that were unacceptable to me. “I have realised that there are certain people who may be good, but have bad character. So, I learned to appreciate and live with them.”

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