Whenever you get the chance to have a sit and ask an ex BBN star how they got to be part of the top 20 or 22 to grace the big brother house, you’ll realise it’s not easy — not because of how draining the application process is but because of how you have to map out life after the BBN show; there lies the actual work and the struggle.
The struggle of coming out and attempting to maintain a float over the ocean of the many lifestyle you have to keep up with, carve a niche for yourself and give yourself an irresistible brand— something to detach you from the BBN drama and take you through a lifetime of fame and affluence.
In this conversation and tussle, only very few have managed to prove strong and resilient, actually carving a tasty brand for themselves and standing outside the show’s circle— though not different from every single individual who have graced the show, they are what you can call the true successes of the show, ones who milked the opportunity granted to them by the show.
The likes of Bisola, Ebuka, Tobi Bakre, Ozoemena in this writer’s books stay in an undeniable spot on top ex BBN stars, they have branded themselves so beautifully well, they have no need to rely on the past glories of having once been a housemate, competing for the grand prize.
With Ebuka being a media personality, the host of the BBN show years after once being an housemate himself, you find it hard to believe he was not only an ex BBN contestant, but also one of those who was evicted rather early in the game. His suede and silky demeanour as a host and anchor of the popular Rubbing Minds on Channels Television is so skilfully carried out, you wouldn’t be able to think of anyone better in that position.
Then there’s Bisola who over the years as a BBN contestant from as way back as 2018 has crafted herself deep into the Nollywood scene, presenting herself as a versatile actress— acting not in minor roles but in major roles where her character often contributes to the plotting of the movies. Acting as a major cast in movies such as Palava, Sugar Rush, Ovy’s Voice, A Simple Lie, Introducing The Kuju’s to acting not-so-minor roles in Breaded Life, Pay Day, and others.
Bisola has shown even how much of a talented body bag she is in her music career which though not a solid one, has proven quite good— showcasing her dexterity and range.
A recent success who since his eviction in the semi-finals of the 2020 BBN show has made gold with the platform is Ozoemena. Unlike every BBN star attempting to peruse through the pages of entertainment- music and movies, this particular public figure used the BBN platform to hinge towards sports, exceedingly succeeding at this attempt; hosting sports shows on SuperSports, being a brand manager for JAF Academy and being an ambassador for Budweiser, the labelled sports drink in Nigeria.
However thrilling these stars successes are, the recent praises and acknowledgement of one of the stars, Tobi Bakre, is simply too wonderful to ignore. Completely unhinging himself from the BBN scene after emerging second runner up in the 2018 show, the star has delved thoroughly into movies and now, has taken up lead roles in blockbuster movies in less than a space of three years, amassing much recognition.
While movie seems like a very easy route for BBN stars to tilt to, individuals such as Tobi Bakre made such appealing swerve into this route, showing that perhaps after all, he is the steamiest Nollywood male at the moment.
While before now, it wasn’t entirely a known thing on Tobi Bakre’s major focus in entertainment, the BBN star has always seemed to be the sort for the movie industry, and true to our thoughts, his delivery on every movie we might have watched him has shown maybe not much range, but has asserted that the right man for a touch of swag, razz and wisdom in a movie is him.
The beautiful thing about Tobi Bakre in movies is how while getting into his character, he displays a bit of him still in his roles— the bulky individual, the one with a street sense of flow and his aura.
Tobi Bakre’s role in the newly released Gang of Lagos is calming — how he bodies his character with so much ease, eases into the movie and blends effortlessly. In the movie, he is presented both as a thug and yet, a sensible one with empathy for people around him.
His performance in the stellar movie has placed him in an undoubted spot of being one of the leading males in Nollywood industry— while yet, we are unable to recover from his fizz as a major character in Brotherhood, he reels us in again with his masterful acting in Gangs of Lagos.
Slowly but surely, the actor has detached himself from the brouhaha of the BBN world and has placed not only his focus but also ours on his acting role, close to forgetting even that he was once running for the prize in the annual show.
Though he did not appear in so much movies, Tobi Bakre in the few he made appearances on, has left an imprint so large it can remain in the minds of Nigerians— it only shows his dedication to his art and his effort in carving such mighty niche for himself.
The one thing we know for sure is the fact that with his actings and how stereotypical his roles in movies these past few years have become is how he excels being the good-bad guy in movies— one with a good intent but forged by circumstances to be a supposed bad guy. This is evident in Blood Covenant where he plays the role of Eddy— a character in conflict between the good and the bad, between right and wrong— both somehow plunged between both as a necessity.
It also reeks in Brotherhood where despite being a criminal ‘odaran’, as so rightfully described by his twin brother played by Falz, Tobi Bakre playing the character of Akin, bears sympathy for the innocent and is only portrayed as a bad guy out of his character’s nature.
Same is portrayed in Gangs of Lagos— Tobi Bakre this time playing as Obalola spirals through a phase of the need to be a street Lord to wanting to carve something out for himself and back again by events to his former dream, before eventually settling for it, describing it as his destiny.
The eventuality of these type of roles issued for the actor might bite down on him and tag him as the ideal role for a bad guy, boxing him into roles like these and denying him the opportunity to be something other than it— denying us Nigerians even, the chance to see how well he can perform as a lover boy, an old man, or whatever future movies he would appear on could want to portray him as.
While he’s not yet at that stage of confinement and stereotyped character, Tobi Bakre is an overall mighty actor, whose finesse sways him through any of the roles he has acted ever since coming out of the BBN house. The ruckus around his roles in recent movies and his efforts to bring these characters to live has largely heightened his position to one of the leading Nollywood actors, either you agree or not.