By Bolatito Adebayo
Bassey Ekpenyong was evicted from Big Brother Naija last week. The Theater Arts graduate from University of Calabar is one of the prim and proper contestants in the show. Bassey narrates his experience in the Big Brother Naija house, relationship with housemate, Debbie Rise, his mum’s death and many more in this chat with Entertainer.
How has it been outside the house?
It has been amazing. The love shown to me is overwhelming. I never expected it. I really appreciate the platform.
What was it like in the house?
At Big Brother, you can never predict what other people are up to. You can only predict the task when issued out. It was all experimental; it was all reality for me because I needed the opportunity to express myself. It was a good platform I could use to show the world what I could do.
How would you define your relationship with Debie Rise?
Debie Rise and I are very close friends. We got into the house together and automatically by default we connected. Over time I suppose, emotions started growing but these are natural things. As human beings, when you are locked up in a room, emotions are bound to grow but what you do with the emotions is now left to you. We both decided to become great friends, exploit creativity and hopefully, make money together. On that basis of trust and friendship we thrived in the house.
So you had emotions for her, right?
No romantic or erotic feelings like that. I really do like Debie Rise and I am never ashamed of saying it because she is a very good person.
It was obvious Debbie Rise was all over you but you kept pushing her away. You are a fine guy and most guys would take advantage of that. Why, Bassey?
(Laughter) Well, I looked at the long term goal and told myself, ‘why take advantage of someone’s emotions?’ ‘Someone who is defenseless?’ ‘Why don’t you just be friends?’ Because friendship is the hardest currency and it lasts longer sometimes. So, I decided to be friends with her and we spoke at length about it. You see, Debie Rise and I were always talking of things we would do together outside the house. We could only relate together like that as friends, because at that level, it was very strategic for me to be very good friends with her and not break her heart.
What happens to your acting career now?
I am still an actor and I will always be one. But now I will like to add more to it. I want to go into presenting on radio and television, hosting of events and of course, I will still be creating content.
Was your girlfriend one of the reasons you were so prim and proper in the house?
Yes, she was one of the reasons. But what you don’t have you cannot give because what I am not in real life, I can’t put on play in BBN. I won’t be able to fake it for eight weeks.
But Bassey, why didn’t you pinch one of those girls a little and cause a little controversy?
(Laughs) I was tempted to, I won’t lie. You know, living in the house with so many beautiful ladies could be tempting.
Did you ever crush on Tboss?
No, I didn’t.
Who did you crush on in the house?
It was Uriel I was crushing on and I even told her many times until she left. But when she left I got close to Debbie Rise. But Tboss and I became a little close when we had very few people in the house. You know, the fewer you are the less options you have.
Your girlfriend will be so proud of you…
(Laughter) Well, a lot of people have been saying that.
I wish I met your mum because she did a great job but you said on the show that she died. What happened to her?
Unfortunately she died when I was in SS2, and because of that, my life changed and I had to repeat SS2 thrice because of her death. But I thank God I have moved on, but I still remember her. You know, I am so emotional about my mum. I even named my drum after her. Yes, she was very ill but as a small boy, what could I do? I didn’t even have N100 to buy her drugs.
What was your growing up like, were you a nerd or a popular boy?
I was an ‘Area boy’ (laughter). I call myself ‘Area boy’ because that keeps me grounded. I grew up in the village and I went to school without shoes.
Who do you think will win the BB Naija?
When I got outside, I found out that Efe and Bisola have a great fan base, So, I think it is between Efe and Bisola. May the best contestant win.
What should we expect from Bassey after Big Brother?
I expect to be in all your faces. I expect to be on TV, I expect to be on radio and I expect to be on stage and on the screen.