Each season of the much-loved BBNaija reality show comes with disqualifications that shatter the hearts of fans. However, these staunch and overzealous supporters are determined to ride to the end with their favourite reality stars...
A visit to the official Instagram page of former Big Brother Naija (BBNaija) housemate, Ekemini Ekerette aka Kemen, shows that he’s now a full-blown fitness instructor and entrepreneur.
In 2017, Kemen joined a host of other lucky hopefuls to contest in Big Brother’s house. Unfortunately, the journey was cut short because of his actions.
Although he has maintained a different stance in multiple interviews granted after the show, Kemen was kicked out for inappropriately touching another female housemate, TBoss, while she was asleep.
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Kemen’s disqualification sent a shiver down the spines of the remaining housemates and viewers of the show who were deeply vested in their favourite contestants. Expectedly, his disqualification became a trend that would play out in other seasons of the show.
The third season of the reality show, which aired in 2018, saw housemates Kelvin Brouillette aka K-Brule and Busola Abiri (KokobyKhloe) being ousted out of the house for breaking multiple rules that should have kept them in check.
Luckily, Khloe got a chance to return to the house, but it wasn’t enough to give her a chance at smiling home with the juicy grand prize of the season.
The disqualifications of Kemen, K Brule and Khloe generated little to no drama among fans of the show who felt that the housemates were all deserving of the punishments meted out against them. However, this would eventually take a surprising turn in the next season of the show…
Tacha from Pepper Dem
Although charged with the core task of entertaining millions of viewers by inadvertently living out their lives on TV, BBNaija housemates are equally governed by strict rules meant to check their excesses.
Breaking some of these rules result in such disciplinary measures as strong warnings and a maximum of three strikes before complete disqualification is brought to the table.
With disqualification, not only is the housemate’s chance at stardom cut short but such an individual is also barred from the ceremonious media rounds that announce their new celebrity status to the world of showbiz. This was far from the case of Pepper Dem’s Natacha Akhide aka Tacha.
Like housemates from previous seasons of the show, Tacha’s disqualification stemmed from shattering multiple rules of engagement in the house. Tacha was a strong contender in the season but her ugly altercation with Mercy Eke—who eventually emerged the winner—saw her leave the BBNaija house just weeks before the final.
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This was a development that bit hard into the core of millions of fans who had fallen in love with her no-nonsense, boss lady persona in the house.
“That was a very low moment for me, having almost got to the finals and being dropped. Getting disqualified was one of the low moments of my life. I felt down. There were times I would be all by myself and start crying that I almost got to the last day of the show. It really shook me and a lot of people. But, I got elevated somehow, and I still don’t know how that happened,” Tacha said in a YouTube video, according to Guardian.
Just like she admitted, the disqualification surprisingly signalled the beginning of a new era for the reality star. Fans that were entirely certain she would have emerged winner of the season turned their conviction into an unrivalled level of dedication and support.
Barely hours after Tacha was ousted out of the house, a GoFundMe donation was initiated, and in an interview months later, she revealed that the money was actually given to her.
There were several other public figures like the controversial Kayanmata seller, Jaruma Empire, who promised to give Tacha money, but her strong 'Titan' fans were the only ones who came through.
Even though many initially thought it was a phase of support that would eventually fizzle out, the love for Tacha only grew stronger.
Erica from Lockdown
With sad and painful disqualifications that had plagued previous seasons of the show, fans were hoping to catch a respite when the Lockdown season was finally announced amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Unfortunately, just like Tacha who commanded the love of millions of fans, another female housemate who was a strong contender for the grand prize was put on the chopping block by her own actions.
Erica Nlewedim’s time in the BBNaija house was abruptly cut short after she was disqualified for breaking multiple house rules. Nlewedim had verbally attacked Laycon, the male housemate who eventually emerged as the winner of the season, after a Saturday night party.
Before her disqualification, she managed to worm her way into the hearts of viewers, and this probably explains why the resolve to keep supporting her after the unceremonious exit became even stronger.
Like clockwork, the fans initiated a GoFundMe donation for Erica as they were determined to raise the same amount of money she would have won from the BBNaija organisers.
Weeks that followed saw gifts upon gifts rolling in for Erica and her social currency grew beyond measures, with brands quickly harping on to her unbridled relevance at the time.
In fact, the overwhelming level of love and support fans showered on Tacha and Erica started to paint disqualification from the show in a disturbingly pleasant light.
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"Fans played a huge role in the 'good fortune' of Tacha and Erica" - Social media executive
During a brief chat with this author, top social media executive, Oluwatobi, who has keenly followed the BBNaija show submitted that brands and fans account for the turnaround in the fortunes of disqualified housemates.
"Brands these days look at engagement and numbers above impact and value. Sorry to use those adjectives (not really sorry). I say this because over the years we have now seen that their fortune has not really resulted in successes that are quantified or scalable. It now looks like their success is only based on adverts and that's it.
"For example, Erica came in as an actress but till now we have not really seen her in a box office movie like that unlike Nengi that was immediately in a top movie that was even nominated by AMVCA."
Oluwatobi, however, warned that potential housemates should understand that playing the 'disqualification card' isn't always going to work.
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"Their 'good fortune' has also made others try to emulate them or become the 'I will do anyhow to get attention' housemate. It will not always work for everybody and that is obvious in the most recent disqualification. To even think of using the card, at least stay a month and let people know what you are made of first.
"That card might bring instant success but I've not seen it bring consecutive success especially based on their 'niche' or what they claim to be known for."
Beauty deserved to be disqualified - Online Poll participants
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that BBNaija star, Beauty Etsanyi Tukura became the first housemate to be disqualified from this year's edition of the show.
The reality star got 3 strikes from her numerous unruly behaviours, hence leading to her disqualification from the show.
Legit.ng conducted a poll to ask its readers whether Beauty actually deserved to be disqualified, and most of them feel it was a good decision.