Today we talk about those Nigerian celebrities that were made stars because of one Reality TV Show or another. Celebrities that were made popular because they contested and got noticed.
Their rise to becoming celebrities would not have been that easy if not for the boost these reality tv shows granted them. The truth is, constant media exposure can change the social profile of anyone.
Just look at politicians in the country today. We know them because we see them on different media sources. It matters not if they are the good ones or bad ones. Because you see them everyday they become part of your life and quite frankly we become interested with what they do with their influence.
Influence that can set a social earth quake or social progress. Especially in this era of social media, these Nigerian celebrities are now equipped with the right super power that enables to control the thought form of their followers as well as make new ones.
It reminds me of an episode in American Gods that aptly described social media influencers as the new gods. It talked about how worshipers no longer go to churches, shines and mosque like it was in the past.
Every day there is a steady reduction of those still physically attending any place of worship. Now they go online and worship their favorite deities.
And you don’t normally find real deities with spiritual powers on social media with their own timeline. What you find are celebrities, pastors, politicians and people of power.
In other words they go online and worship their fellow men and by doing so they validate their power. The more followers they get the more powerful these celebrities become.
Which in itself means that social media or generally The Media can make or break anything. In their case, the media made them stars, divas and powerful individuals whose tweet can actually change public opinion.
Today we talk about these Nollywood actors and their walk to fame though the assistance of reality tv shows.
- Dare Art Alade
The handsome Dare Art Alade is the first on our list of Nigerian Celebrities that was made popular by a reality tv show.
Walking in the shoes of his father Art Alade who is a renowned Nigerian entertainer, Dare was made popular after coming out third place at the Project Fame musical contest.
The contest was held in Johannesburg, South Africa from June to August 2004 with 16 African contestants.
The top three contestants all received recording deals, while the winner got a lot more prizes as the number one spot. A position that was won by Zambia’s Lindiwe Alam.
2. Timi Dakolo
Born January 20, 1981
Ever since becoming a celebrity Timi Dakolo has managed to remain unique, with his own style of musical rendition proving hard to mimic.
He came to our notice during his time as a contestant in the musical reality tv show idol West Africa in 2007.
He emerged winner of the show to a grand prize of an international recording contract with Sony/BMG International; a Kia Picanto car from Dana Group Nigeria; $10 000 from Ecobank.
while the telecommunication company, Celtel did well to give him a 26 inches flat screen television, I-Pod and cable television system.
3. Omawumi Megbele
Born 13 April 1982
If anything at all the world is really aware of the fact that sometimes those who don’t do well at a reality show by winning the prize usually come out to a life of fame that even the winners can’t boast of.
Like Dare Art Alade who came third place at the Project fame reality tv show, Omawumi was the second runner up at the 2007 Idol West Africa music show that Timi Dakolo won.
But despite not winning the crown we all saw Omawumi make her name once outside the show with a voice that is uniquely hers.
Only few Nigerian Female singers can really claim such depth in vocal quality and none can actually do it like she does it.
4. Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk
Born 31 October 1986
The kukere crooner was also made popular by a realty tv show. He didn’t earn his celebrity status from a long stay in the industry or by the value of any hit songs gathered overtime.
He is the first winner of MTN Project fame West Africa filmed in Lagos and aired in the West African subcontinent.
As the winner of the competition, Iyanya went home with 2.5 million Naira, a 2008 Toyota Rav 4 and international recording deal.
As a singer he is among the biggest names in the music industry, with a popularity measurement that is above average.
5. Chidinma Ekile
Born 2 May 1991
I think as a winner of the MTN Project Fame West Africa. Her win was the most publicized in the sense that a lot of people at that period were very interested in the show unlike during Iyanya’s time.
So she came out a full blown celebrity with a teeming fan base that really made things easy for her. To the point it almost felt like Chidinma had always been a celebrity since before the very event that made her one.
She won the seconding edition of the reality show, making the second person to win the title as well as the first female that cart home the crown.
She was declared winner on 26 September 2010 to a prize list of 2.5 million, a 2011 Toyota RAV4, and a production deal.
6. Uti Nwachukwu
Born 3 August 1982
It is sometimes hard to place any other Big Brother contestant as more popular or successful as Uti.
These days he is an all round celebrity, with serious stakes either as a model, presenter or actor.
His first attempt at becoming famous through the Big Brother reality show was through the Big Brother Africa show season 3 (2008), in which he was the third person to be evicted.
But not tired of trying he again entered the Big Brother Africa: All Stars reality show in 2010.
He would emerged the winner to a cash prize of $200,000.
7. Praiz (Praise Ugbede Adejo)
Born 8 March 1984
He is fresh, fine and vocally talented and just like the other Nigerian celebrities already mentioned was made strong by his connection to the Project Fame West Africa franchise.
For Praiz he was already making name for himself and the reality show only made solid the foundation that he had already laid for himself.
He came behind Iyanya at the 2008 MTN Project Fame West Africa as the second runner up.
I think he should be categorized under the rubric of one the most generous Nigerian celebrities out there for the heavy fact that he donated 10 million Naira to a baby girl named Sumayah, who required a heart surgery outside the country.
8. Okechukwu Ukeje
Born 15 July 1981
It is not usually the norm to have Nigerian actors come out as products of reality tv shows but if you were ever aware of the Amstel Malta Box Office (AMBO) reality show then you should know that such things are possible.
That is the platform that gave this handsome actor the chance to see his dream come through. In a country where dreams these days are hard to manifest.
Set on the path to fame by the purpose of really making it,Ukeje has gone ahead to win awards such as Africa Movie Academy Awards, Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, Nollywood Movies Awards, Best of Nollywood Awards, Nigeria Entertainment Awards and Golden Icons Academy Movie Awards.
9. Gideon Okeke
It is not everyone that is born in Ajegunle that gets the chance to leave that ghetto life behind.
And even more extraordinary is the fact that he left and went on to become a name and a celebrity worth looking up to.
His rise to fame began when he appeared as a contestant on the first edition of Big Brother Nigeria.
After which he would land a spot on Tinsel as Phillip Ade Williams, the arrogant son of a media mogul. And up till now remains the longest serving actor on the show.
10. Tonto Dikeh
Born 9 June 1985
This very controversial actress is among our list of Nigerian Celebrities that was made popular by a reality tv show. And today she is among the biggest Nigerian female celebrities in the country.
Forget about her show of bitterness online, especially towards her ex husband and father to her only child.
Maybe even that is another acting script to remain relevant.
She emerged first runner up at the 2005 edition of the Next Movie Star reality show.
Moving on from there to becoming an A-list actress in Nollywood. Ans recently a mouth piece for queer people in Nigeria.
11. Anne Macaulay Idibia
Born 13 November 1984
Even without a celebrity profile of her own making, she would still be considered a celebrity because of the fact that she is the woman and wife of Africa’s all time best musician 2face Idibia.
And that is a major factor.
She is not your every day actor but as an actress who participated in the first edition of the Next Movie Star reality show 2005. That process helped her on her journey at becoming a name in Nollywood.
Annie Idibia also appeared in 2face Idibia’s African Queen video, which in itself helped introduce to the lime light.
12. Tamara Eteimo
Born July 24, 1987
I do not know if it would be considered precise to describe her as the most successful Ijaw actress in Nollywood but i think she is.
This beautiful Bayelsa actress was ranked second in Charles Novia’s annual rankings of Nollywood actresses for 2013.
Her rise to fame began immediately after she won the seventh edition of the Next Movie Star reality show.
She already have some interesting award nomination and wins under her belt,
13. Kunle Remi
Born 18 October 1988
He is well known as an actor which is quite common for handsome guys. The aesthetic value make things easier than they should and this is the case for Kunle Remi, talent or no talent.
He is one of the most handsome Nigerian actors there is in the industry and like the many Nigerian Celebrities already mentioned on this post, his career and fame got huge support from being part of a reality TV show.
He came into the lime lights after winning the 7th edition of Gulder Ultimate Search in 2010.
And the stud is best known for his roles in Falling, Family Forever and Tinsel.
I hope this celebrity naija news was entertaining?