Bisola Aiyeola is a popular musician and thespian who featured in the 2017 Big Brother Naija reality show. In this interview, the ex-BBN housemate talks about what life has been like after her appearance in BBN 2017. She also gives insight to the challenges in the industry, her achievements, relationship and being a single mum and other issues.
How has BBN helped you so far?
It has been an interesting journey so far after Big Brother Naija. The show opened a lot of doors for me and I have met a lot of influential people too. I have met a lot of amazing singers and actors as well. Although some people were questioning why I went into the show because they felt I was already talented but I think the show helped so much too and it sort of boosted my career. I am glad I participated in the reality TV show. Generally, it has been a good journey, not easy but it’s been great.
Many people felt that you should have won the show instead of Efe because you are now doing better than him. What’s your opinion on that?
I won’t say I am doing better than the winner. Well, a lot of people even questioned why I went into the house. They said I was already on the path to success and fame. But I went into the competition to escalate what I have been doing and also to put it out there to a bigger audience. I am not doing better than Efe because Efe is also doing great. People are not just seeing it all and I am so proud of him. Efe is one person that has one attribute that I really love and admire. Efe is hard working and persistent. He doesn’t give up and he doesn’t take what people say to heart. He just keeps striving and pushing. That’s a very good trait. Efe is doing really good and I am not doing badly myself. People will always have an opinion on something. They will always talk and there are no hard feelings for Efe, he won and I am happy for him. We are out in the real world now and we will keep pushing and aiming for better things in life.
What have you been doing since BBN 2017 ended?
I have been shooting a couple of movies but most of them are yet to be released by the producers. I know that one is coming out on July 13 and it is titled, Pay Day. It will be out in cinemas. Some others include, Market Must Sell, Chief Daddy by EbonyLife, and Karma. I have done quite a number of movies and I am not stopping because I still have some others lined up.
If you were to put movie and music on a scale of preference, which one would come first?
That’s hard and I have not been able to answer that question. If you were to add something else that I do, which is hosting events, I would put music and acting over that. Although I have not been able to choose between music and acting, I haven’t been able to say this is the one I love most or this is the one I prefer. Both of them come very easy to me. I started out in entertainment through music before I delved into movies. I generally enjoy both worlds.
How do you combine being a mum, acting and music?
I won’t say I do it all on my own because I have constant support from my family. My mum and sister are always there to help out. Even me, when I don’t have time, I try to make out time to go through homework with my daughter; I do school-and-church-related things with her. I just try and thankfully I have family that is super supportive of what I do. They help me a lot.
What was growing up like?
Growing up was pretty interesting and not easy at some point. I had a lot of extended family that were more like comics, and we would entertain ourselves at family gatherings. We would laugh and do a lot of things together. We had some ups and downs especially when school fees had to be paid and we could not return to school. I have tasted the bitter-sweet part of life and there is no regret about it. I am happy I went through all that and it has helped shaped me. It is not a bad experience but rather it was interesting.
What was it like being the child that was sent home because her parents couldn’t pay the school fees?
It wasn’t a good thing. I always cried and felt left out. It shouldn’t be a thing any child should experience. This experience makes me work extra hard so that it doesn’t happen to my child. I have been in that situation and I wouldn’t want my daughter to go through that; it wasn’t the best of times. But have we pulled through? Yes, we have. I am happy now and proud of myself.
What sort of child were you, a popular child or a nerd?
I think I had a bit of all the stages. I had a period when I was a nerd and I had a time when I was the popular kid. There were different stages at different ages in my life. In primary school I was very quiet and I rarely came out of my shell only in the family. But in secondary school I became more outspoken. I was the one who would come out at social nights to entertain the rest of the school. I will say that I was a bit nerdy and outspoken at different stages.
What are the challenges you have been faced with, either as an actor or musician?
Probably I hope that I will get more challenging roles and not dramas that we are used to and comfortable with filming here. And as a musician I am often torn between making music that I love and making music that my fans want to hear. That is a challenge too but the beauty of music and being versatile is that I told myself that I will make music that I love. Also, I will make music that people want to hear so that there will be room for everybody, People with different tastes can experience what Bisola can do. I am not going to box myself into any genre of music; I am going to be as versatile as possible so that I can cut across.
Mostly Nigerians have a negative perception about single mums. As a single mum what has been your experience with this?
Oh yes. I have had some experiences with total strangers, people that don’t really know me and you are having a conversation with them and they are asking me what I know just because I am a single mum. People will call you names; neighbours will say all sorts of things and to your face too. They will say things like: “That’s why you are not married; that’s why you had a child out of wedlock.”
I have had situations where people talked down on me because of that but I am also a kind of person who doesn’t get bothered about other people’s perception. They can say whatever they like about me but I believe firmly in myself and I have told myself that what I believe in is what matters. Gone are those days when people’s words got at me. I am more focused on being an amazing mum and an amazing artiste right now.
Is Bisola engaged?
No, I am not engaged
Are you in a relationship?
No, I am not. I am just Bisola.
Are you searching then?
I am just enjoying being Bisola and if a lovely gentleman comes along the way, why not? We would probably hit off but I wouldn’t say I am going to throw myself out there at any man.
What do you look out for in man?
He has to have the fear of God in him, a fantastic sense of humour and he has to bring more to the table. In the sense that we are going to help each other out, it means that I am not going to cast my entire burden on him and he is not going to do the same to me. I want someone that we can merge our world together and see what we can make out of it.