Close up with Melvin Oduah – Runner up for BBA The Chase

He is not new in the entertainment industry, but Big Brother Africa (The Chase) which was concluded last month made him a break out star. Melvin Oduah did not get the grand prize, but won the hearts of not only Nigerians but Africans.

Interview format;
W- for wetopup
M- for Melvin Oduah

W: It’s been a few weeks after the Big Brother Africa – The chase. How has life been after then?

M: It’s been awesome. The reception from people has been so amazing. Good things have been coming through. I’m so grateful to my family, friends and loved ones all around the globe. I only have God to thank. Indeed it has been amazing after BBA.

W: What was the experience like in the house with other mates?

M: It was more like a learning experience for me. I learnt so much from them. Staying in a particular place with different people who have different cultures is definitely a life changing experience. It was for me.

W: Did you ever believe that you would go that far in the house?

M: I had a dream and believed I would make it that far. If I didn’t believe that I could make it that far, I wouldn’t have come there in the first place. I was always positive and I had faith that I would go all the way. It is very important to always have faith in whatever you set out to do.

W: Do you think the whole BBA thing has anything to contribute towards Africa’s development?

M: I would say a very big YES! A lot of people don’t know the advantages of Big Brother Africa. The BBA is more than just a reality television show. It’s the perfect way to bring so many countries in the continent together, to live together. To also learn from each other our different cultures, life styles and work together. The charity week is an awesome example of how we could move Africa forward via the medium. It is not all about being in the house and talking and all day long. It’s a different thing when you are in the house, only then would you realize that it is more than just being on TV.

W: Who was your greatest threat while in there?

M: I saw every single house mate as a threat. Making it all the way to that stage meant that they were strong contestants and I did not take anyone for granted. To be a winner in the house was not a birth right, so I had to be up and doing. I did not underplay any one. To me they were all potential winners and so they were all threats to me.

W: If you are given another chance, what would you do right in the game?

M: I don’t think I’ll do anything different. I was myself all through. If am given another chance, I’ll do the same all over again. There was no reason to be fake. If you try to play fake, it will not take long before you let it loose, in the house you can’t be fake for long. Your real self will sure come up, because being fake can’t hold for long anywhere especially not on reality television.

W: What prompted you to go into the game?

M: This is BBA. It’s the perfect platform for any African entertainer to boost his or her career. Family and close friends also inspired me to give it a shot. Looking back, I am glad I took that decision to go into the game.

W: You were on Gulder Ultimate search and Mr Nigeria. Do we see you going into another reality show?

M: Entertainment is part of me, so I try to be part of any positive entertainment. I don’t intend to go for any other reality show. I will just use the platform I have now to move my career ahead. I have been finishing as a runner up in all this shows, but I am not jinxed. It is not easy to be in these competitions. It has a little bit of psychological effect on you, but it is all good. That you didn’t finish first doesn’t mean you are not good enough. With the BBA I know I am good enough and would always stand out in anything I do.

W: What were your plans for the big prize, if you had won the game?

M: Investments! You are surprised right. Chances like this are hard to come by and so I had my plans to invest the prize money if I had won. After investments, then I can think of enjoying the benefits later on.

W: How did your parents take the news of you participating in the game?

M: They were happy for me. They’ve always encouraged and supported me throughout my career. I did not have any problem with themWhen you have a good upbringing and decide to do something of such, you will surely have your parents’ support, because they know you are going to be a good ambassador to your family. They are so awesome.

W: What were your fears in the house?

M: I am sure Africa knows that by now. Nominations and swaps were terrifying and tormenting moments for me in the house. When aiming for the ultimate prize no one wants to be in such a situation. They were my worst fears in the house, really tormenting.

W: Of all contestants, who would you rather work with again?

M: Ahh… they are so many of them, if not all of them. They all had different personalities you’ll love to work with. You know every personality has its advantage and most of them had it.

W: Tell us about your childhood?

M: I had a very wonderful childhood, actually the best any child could hope and wish for. And I have my parents to thank for. I give glory every day for the kind of parents God gave me. That’s why I kept talking about it when I was in the house. Went to good schools, had the right type of friends and had the right type of upbringing.

W: Did it ever cross your mind that you would lose to Dellish even with the kind of support you got from Africans?

M: Of course! I always had it in mind that I could lose out to any of the finalists. Besides, I never knew that I had so much support from Africa. It was amazing the kind of support I got from Africans. I have people saying to me that Dellish won the prize, but I was the winner. It puts smiles on my face and within me that even though I did not win, I still had a lot of support. So at the end, it wasn’t only about the money, but also about personality. I was working with faith all through I was inside the house. Remember I was not aware of what was going on in the outside world. For me even without the money I am still a winner. With that kind of reception, I always wonder what it would have been if I had won. It’s really amazing. The amount of love people showed me is so wonderful. I am so humbled and happy that my personality had such a wonderful impact on people. With this I see myself a winner.

W: What is the price you have had to pay for being ‘Melvin’ of the BBA?

M: It was never going to be an easy experience. Living in such a condition for 91 days was never wasn’t easy, but that’s the price that I had to pay to achieve the benefits of being on the show. So even after the show I have started paying the price. I can’t walk on the streets without someone coming up to me to say something. With the way things are going I might have my very own precious privacy taken from me soon.

W: Who are you mentors and role models?

M: My dad has always been my mentor right from my childhood. He is the perfect gentleman and every day I strive to be more and more like him.

W: What’s next for Melvin after the BBA?

M: My entertainment career is definitely going to go greater heights. It’s going to be more and more movies. I am going to explore other aspects of entertainment as well but not sure which in particular yet.

W: What lesson has the BBA experience taught you?

M: Adaptation, tolerance and endurance, these three things for me are survival criteria for anyone to survive in the world.