Fourth runner-up at the just concluded Big Brother Naija show, Omashola Kola Oburoh can best be described as a ‘people’s man’.
Popularly known for his ‘Warri’ chant in the House, the Delta State indigene in this interview explains the ideas behind his tattoos, reasons he intervened in the fight between Tacha and Mercy, plans for opening a nightclub in Lagos, and thoughts on marriage among other issues. Enjoy it.
Can you tell us about your growing up?
I was born in Warri and grew up there. My parents had three boys and two girls. In 1992, I moved to Lagos where I stayed with one of my relatives and I went to school there. They took good care of me until 2007 when I travelled to South Africa. Before travelling to South Africa, I went to Turkey where I competed in the Best Model in the World pageant. I came back and went to South Africa for a modeling job. I did that for three years before I went to work in a nightclub in South Africa. I worked in the club for 10 years while doing modeling jobs alongside it. I was the Chief Executive Officer of Euphoria Night Club for three years and I hope to replicate such in Nigeria before the end of the first quarter of next year.
I went to primary school in Warri and later came to Lagos where I attended Opebi Grammar School and later Omole Grammar School before gaining admission to Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State where I read International Relations. Although, I left OOU in my third year when I had the opportunity of traveling to South Africa. In South Africa, I went to University of UNISA where I completed my degree in International Relations. I love my lifestyle and I love what I do.
During the just concluded Big Brother Naija show, you were always shouting ‘Warri’, ‘Street’, was that your strategy to win the competition?
Why is everybody keep asking about strategy? There is nothing like strategy in the Big Brother House. If you go with strategy, you would not go far. I don’t believe that any of those who made it to the finale had strategy. For me, shouting ‘Warri’ all the time shows that I am from Warri and I love where I come from. Warri gives me strength, confidence, and energy. For instance, during the Arena games, whenever I shouted Warri, it made me feel that I wasn’t alone but had one million people behind me. It pushed me to do better.
Before the competition, you had the dream of emerging as the winner, but now that you didn’t win, how do you feel?
Before the competition, I didn’t have the dream of winning; but in Big Brother Naija, anything can happen. For me, making it to the finals, I knew anything could happen. There were 26 contestants and the organiser knew that all of them could win the competition. For me, like all other contestants, I only wanted to make it to the House; even if staying there for only two weeks, I am satisfied. For me, taking part in the competition was a blessing and I was happy even though, I didn’t win.
Do you know how many people submitted entries for the competition? It was over a million. So, making it to the top six and later the top 4, what else do I want? I will be greedy if I start lamenting that I didn’t win the N60 million. Whoever won the competition deserved it, and Mercy truly deserved the first position. She did great and I commend her for that. Mercy is a strong woman and I will support her any day. BBN was a journey and a lesson for me.
How many times did you make attempt to participate in the BBNaija competition?
I submitted entries for Big Brother Africa twice but I had never submitted entry for Big Brother Naija. This was my first time participating at the audition and behold, I was chosen as one of the housemates. I am happy about it.
Fans wrongly spelt your names during voting; don’t you think that affected your chances of winning the competition?
I don’t think so because when I was in the House, I didn’t know what was happening outside. Omashola was there from the beginning to the end of the competition, if fans wrongly spelt my name, they must have made the mistake earlier on, and staying in the House for 99 days made me happy. Omashola is a unique name and it is not everybody answering that name. It is an Itsekiri name and I am happy and grateful to all my fans that voted for me.
You intervened in the fight between Tacha and Mercy while other housemates looked on, why did you take that bold step to separate them?
As much as it was a game, everybody tried to showcase him or herself by proving he or she was right or wrong. It gets to a situation where you don’t want to see things go really bad. Some people would have wanted them to fight. But what if they fought and one of them got injured? It is not good.
I don’t like violence; I may be loud but once it comes to physical fight, I would back off and I would always protect or stop people from fighting. When people fight, two things usually happen, it is either one of them gets to the hospital or ends up in jail by trying to kill the other person. When people fight, they won’t get a medal for it, and so, that was why I had to stop them from fighting. I am a man of the people and everyday I preach peace not violence.
Before the show, you were a manager in a nightclub in South Africa. Now that the show is over, do you have plans of returning to your nightclub job in SA?
My club and me are more than just a business; we are like a family. I am not the owner of the club but I enjoy working for it. Now that the BBN show is over, I am in Nigeria but I still manage the club from here. I do promotion for the club, people call me and I do bookings for them, and yes, business still goes on for me. The club still pays me even while I am in Nigeria. It doesn’t matter how big and famous I become, I love the place and I will always go there to work. My boss is the best in the world, 10 or 20 years from now, I can still go back to the club and work, until I am able to set up my own club. I am working on setting up a club in Nigeria because Nigerians are great and entertaining in whatever they do.
You have lived in SA for 13 years or more, how do you feel about the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians by South Africans?
It is a shame; it is not something nice. When I was in the House, I was always talking about South Africa and it is almost like home for me. I have been in South Africa for 13 years now and I have been through it all. I have witnessed xenophobic attacks on Nigerians, but I have never been attacked. The whites dominate where I live in South Africa and so it experiences less violence than other places. I feel bad and sorry for Nigerians being attacked in South Africa. The attacks are not good and I condemn such violence against Nigerians and other nationals living in South Africa. During the apartheid era, Nigeria stood and supported them and I don’t know why they should turn around and attack Nigerians living there.
Recently, you celebrated your 39th birthday, making you the oldest in the BBNaija House.
How did you relate with other contestants that were much younger than you?
I watched the first episode of Big Brother Naija and one of the contestants is a close friend of mine. I watched and saw people in one relationship or the other, and discovered that they were the ones dealing with themselves. I discovered that people in relationships voted themselves out of the competition. When one of the contestants was evicted, Big Brother asked him, ‘do you want to see the people that voted you out?’ And he said yes. He was surprised to see that it was his girlfriend that voted him out, and that made him cry. And when the lady was asked, ‘why did you vote your boyfriend out?’ She replied that he was a distraction to her.
For me, going into the House, there was nothing of such in my mind, as I told myself that I wasn’t going to do like those people. I don’t want to fall in love and become a distraction to the female contestant, and as a result get my heart broken because of the relationship. I am a soft person when it comes to emotions, so I decided not to go into any relationship while in the House. I was not there to find love. Before I entered the Big Brother House, I was in a relationship that went sour. Up till now, I love the lady, and I was going through emotional trauma and that really made me not to go into any relationship while in the House. Though, all the ladies in the House were beautiful, that pulled me back.
BBN has brought you fame, would you accept your former girlfriend if she apologises and comes back?
We are still friends; even yesterday, we talked on phone but we are not coming back again. Would I accept her back? I don’t know. Love is something that you can say yes today and tomorrow say no! The heart has its own mind; when you see what you want, sometimes you get confused. Right now, I can’t do anything about it. I leave everything in God’s hands.
BBN has made you a celebrity, how do you feel about it?
It is overwhelming. Before going into the House, I was popular, but now it’s fame added with celebrity status. For me, I like where I was before entering the House. Now, I love the fame and it is interesting that when I go out, people want to take photographs with me. Some of the things I used to do before, I can’t do them anymore. For example, if I go to an eatery, everybody is calling my name. It is too much because I am a shy person, and when a lot of people approach me, requesting to take photograph with me, I just have to oblige them. As time goes on, I will get used to it.
Are you in touch with other housemates?
Yes, I am in touch with other housemates. Sometimes, we come together to play football or attend parties, and it is fun. Some people say ours was the best episodes compared to other editions. We created a WhatsApp group where we chat and discuss issues.
Why do you have tattoos on your body, would you say that is your style?
I’ve had tattoos on my body for almost 10 years now. I don’t know if tattoo is a style but I would say it is fashion and a tale of my life growing up. My tattoos are my personal story. For example, on my left hand, you would see ‘Better is not good enough, the best is yet to come’. Anytime my mother calls me from Warri that is what she always tells me. She would say, ‘you are doing good, but keep pushing even when things are going as expected’. I have another tattoo on my hand that says,‘Ogoro no get reverse’, which means you have never seen a frog jump backwards and if you see Ogoro jump backward, na winch. For the frog, it is forward ever backward never. My tattoos are personal; they are about my mother and life experiences.
What attracts you to a lady?
I like everything about a lady. A lady is strong and powerful, especially mothers, they are lovely and are like gods. A woman shouldn’t be stressed and that was what God did at the beginning. They should be pampered and well taken care of. They should be treated with care, confidence, and love. They deserve everything. My mother had issues with my father at a time and she had to take care of all the children, which made me to respect women more than ever.
How do you cope with your female fans?
My female fans are everywhere, be it on social media or otherwise. I try to reply their messages and talk to the ones that I can talk to. 80 per cent of my fans are female and I appreciate their love towards me.
How soon are you going to settle down?
I hope to settle down as soon as possible, when I find the right person, and there is no time limit to that. If I find the right person today, I would propose to her, and if she says yes, I will marry her and we’ll settle down and begin to raise a family. Right now, there are lots of ladies coming my way but I don’t want to make a wrong choice and divorce after a short while.
Do you have plans of going into music or comedy?
I have received a lot of invitations to come and perform on comedy shows. I love comedy. I love making people happy. I am in discussions with some people, and if it goes as planned, then I would go into comedy. As for music, people may not like the songs that I would sing, so I would do what my strength can take.