Arts & Entertainments

I don’t see myself as physically attrac tive, maybe mentally – Ex BBNaija Housemate, Shomuyiwa

In this interview, YUSUFF ADEBAYO spoke to Big Brother Naija ex-housemate, Lolu Shomuyiwa. He is someone who gained prominence in the house with his effervescent loquacity so much so that he bagged the title of the Wordsmith of the 2018 edition of the reality TV show. He gave insight into the challenges of being a public figure and his interest in governance and politics. Excerpts…





You featured in the 2018 edition of Big Brother and now you are a star. Have you always been prepared for the social status that you’re currently enjoying?


Everybody at some point or the other always has to dream of a better life. My goal wasn’t necessarily to be famous. It was just me wanting to have a better life than I had at the time. I’ve done quite a lot in my short life and for me it was all in the pursuit of having a better life and being a better person. Everything else came after that.


I’m aware that you auditioned for Big Brother twice, right?


I auditioned twice before I got picked. I got picked the third time.


So what was it about the show that made you persistent about getting on it?

Interestingly, God rest her soul; my mother introduced me to the first ever Big Brother show I saw. She said ‘one day it will be nice for you to be on that show’. The first time I auditioned for Big Brother, she was still alive at the time but unfortunately the second and third time, she had already passed on. Incidentally, the third time I auditioned, I didn’t have it in mind because I just got a new job in Abuja. Three different people from 3 different parts of the country that do not know each other called me and said, ‘I heard Big Brother audition is happening in your city, I honestly think you should try it’. I made the decision to go for the audition a few hours before the audition was to start. So, I attended the audition in Abuja and the rest is history.

It’s almost three years since the edition of the show you were on, what would you consider the most significant lesson that you took out of the show?

Actually, there are quite a lot of lessons, so picking one will be slightly difficult. First of all, as much as you feel like you know a lot, there’s always someone who knows more than you. Second, and this is something I always knew, is the fact that, people are always going to have opinions different from yours. The fact that you have an opinion different from mine doesn’t mean yours is wrong and mine is right. Always leave room for flexibility. And lastly, often times you realise that you find yourself in positions that will challenge you. In the end, the challenges are not meant to be seen as hardships but avenues to be better.


It is commonplace for reality TV stars to explore something deep within the entertainment industry after the show. And one would definitely expect that it will be a no-brainer for you having been in the media/entertainment industry before the show to be at the fore of things in that space afterwards. But you didn’t. Why?

In all honesty, it wasn’t like I decided not to. Eventually, it will be something that I will do. I pride myself on challenging myself and I don’t want to do these things because people expect me to do them. Before now, I have always done things behind-thescenes. It feels more natural for me. That said, I have hosted TV shows for people but that’s for independent producers but my own show, I haven’t thought about it yet. Same thing people said about me writing a book. It’s not like I can’t write a book, it’s not like I don’t want to write a book but I don’t want to because people are asking me to. When the time comes and I feel it’s something I want to do, I will do it.


There are insinuations in some quarters that the fame that Big Brother afforded you turned you into a bigger brand than most of the mainstream media platforms. And that is why you’re not considering having a show of your own. How true is that?

It’s very untrue. I mean I currently have a job in a radio station. If I thought that I was bigger than them, I wouldn’t be with them now. It’s not about me seeing myself as bigger but being in the right environment and clinching the right opportunity is what I’m after. For a long time, I considered radio, I considered television. When the opportunity didn’t come, I just felt like it wasn’t the time. I had to wait. So that whole impression is a farce. I’m not one to look down on people’s hustles. Most of these outlets have been here for a long time and it won’t make sense to after one year or two years of being in the limelight think that you’re bigger than them.


Almost immediately after the show, you started your web series, Chronicles of Lolu and after some time, that went extinct. What happened to the show?

Asides the fact that Chronicles of Lolu takes a lot of work to put out, we had a lot of issues with the production. There was a lot of back and forth behind- the-scenes on what it was going to be like. I think after a while, I got overwhelmed with it because at the end of the day, I want to do stuff that I’m happy doing. And at the time, it was a struggle to reconcile the fact that people were messing up behind-thescenes and I wasn’t too comfortable with the quality. As opposed to putting out stuff that I wasn’t proud of, I felt the need stop it for the time being. And then think of how best to bring it back, making it look a lot better. Will it come back as Chronicles of Lolu? Possibly! Will it come back in the same dimension? Unlikely!

Are there pressures on you to maintain a certain public image or measure up to fellow ex-housemates?

No. I’ve not felt any pressure based on what other people are doing. The truth is everybody is running different races. I’m not going to put myself on other people’s races. I don’t think that will be doing justice to myself. While it is good to be encouraged by what other people are doing, I’ve never felt the need to be pressured. I don’t know what sacrifices they have put in to get to where they are. If anything, nobody knows what I’ve done to be where I am and it won’t be fair to say because Lolu has done it, I have to do it too. The sky is big enough for everyone to fly. Same goes for everyone who wants to be on the show. The r e a s o n you’ll get picked is because the producer sees something in you. So, you’ll be putting your-self under undue pressure when you try to be someone else.


Do your fellow ex-housemates also share this thought?


I’d like to believe so. At least for people who were on Double Wahala. See, it’s easy for people to say because I supported this person on the show, I want them to do this and that. The true supporters are those who love you regardless and do not impose their preferences on you. And as for my Double Wahala housemates, if there’s one thing I know about them, it’s the fact that they are smart and they don’t give up.


Talking about expectations that fans put on housemates, we see that play out to a large extent between you and Anto. People want you both to share something on the long run. How are things with you and Anto now?


Cordial! There is no bad blood. There’s respect as far as I’m concerned.



What do you say to people who think of you as a playboy?


Well, I didn’t know I was seen as a playboy though. I honestly don’t know what to say to that. For a long time, I never saw myself as physically attractive to anyone, maybe mentally attractive but physically, I’m not too sure. Over time, I’ve noticed that people started to find me physically attractive. Why they did, I do not know. While I’ve dated people and being in committed relationships in the past, I didn’t do that just to get into their underwear or just for the culture, so to say. I think I tried to comport myself in the best manner that I possibly could at every single time. I am not one to give up on who I choose to be with quickly and I always strive to give my best. Last I checked, that is not synonymous with being a playboy.




You have mentioned that the endgame for you is politics and most likely becoming the Governor of your state someday. Is that plan still valid?



It’s something I am truly passionate about and want to do. I’m not oblivious of the fact that it’s a very long journey but it’s something that if I am blessed enough to get the opportunity to do, I’ll grab it with both hands. That said though, I am more than happy to take up assistant roles, work in the legislature and any facet of politics with the sole purpose of serving and learning how things work. Being the Governor of Ogun State is a constant dream for me but before then I want to get actively involved as soon as possible even at local government level in my own state, Ogun State or Lagos State where I reside.




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