The battle for the 200,000 U.S dollars star prize of Big Brother Amplified has been lost and won. Our compatriot, Kareen Igho has pocketed the star prize and back home with Vina Longpet, who was also a house mate.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had interview with Karen Igho on her experience at the just concluded reality show in South Africa and how she will spend her money and much more…
How does it feel winning BBA?
I am still surprised that I won, but I thank God. I also thank all the journalists who have been writing about me, both good and bad things. I thank you all.
What was your winning strategy?
I didn’t have a strategy, I just went in there to be myself. I was just myself, that was it.
Now that you have won, life in the house is different from life outside the house. What you displayed in BBA can’t be the same outside. What strategy do you have in place?
When I went in there, I was myself, though I used some filthy words, and the rest, I was just playing. I was not taking it serious, I play a lot. I forgive easily. If you piss me off, I will tell you immediately. Life in BBA was real so I don’t think anything will change, although I will take things easy now. Change my language a bit, but I will always be myself.
Why were you so daring in the house, even when you were with Big brother?
To be honest with you, we were born in different settings. That is just me. I can remember I told Big Brother and everyone in the house that they will see the other side of me if anybody messed up with me. If I can brave it in real life, I can be brave anywhere.
Did you feel like giving up or losing it at any point in time?
So many times. There were times I wanted to pack my things and leave but I always remembered that people were looking up to me, people make sacrifices to see me get to the end. That thought kept me going. A lot of people in the house as well.
What was your greatest challenge in the house?
Living with 26 people for 91 days, staying locked up for 91 days without going out, no television, no newspaper. It was really challenging. Staying with people I didn’t know, people I had never seen before from different countries and cultures.
Were your boobs your unique selling point?
When I got into the house, I was misunderstood. Some housemates thought my boobs were my strategy, until I told them I had the surgery because I had lumps in my breast. My mum did not even know about it until I got to BBA. My younger sister had the same issue as well. So my boobs weren’t any unique selling point. I have my reasons for going for a breast implant.
What is your assessment of the show and your worst moment in the house?
We had god moments, we had sad moments. For me, I wouldn’t say anything is wrong or bad. The time I spent in the house can’t be described as good or that I loved it. There were times one could be sad. The worst moment would be when we were given a task to do in the house. We were told to eat worms, I tried eating it but I couldn’t. I don’t even eat cheese, I don’t eat it. That will be my worst moment. As for the assessment of the show, it is one of the best reality shows anyone can go for. It was fun galore.
What are you using your money for, how will you spend it?
The money is still hot. I want it to cool down later. I would think of what to do with it. I will follow the adage that says charity begins at home. Like you all heard, my dad died of HIV AIDS, so I want to use part of the money to pursue that cause. Bur first all in Nigeria before I go to other countries like Namibia, Malawi, Zimbabwe. We have charity in those countries as well. I will also spend the money to assist some orphanages.
If there is no money for the winner BBA, would you like to go back to the house?
Why not. If Africa gave me this money, I would do it for them. I would go back and do it because it was a wonderful experience that money cannot buy.
Were you surprised to have won along with Wendel because a lot of people thought it was going to be Luclay?
To be honest, I will speak for myself. I was shocked that I won, and I felt why me? But now am I to oppose Africa? At the end of the day, Africa is full of surprises. So, for me, from Africa, you expect the unexpected.
What is your take on obscene online picture even before you entered the house. Was that your strategy as well?
Fame comes with a lot of prices, there are some people who don’t like you. So, because some people don’t like me, they might have come up with that. The picture circulated was not a true picture of who Kareen is.
Right from the audition here in Lagos, you were so sure of going to South Africa. What actually gave you that assurance that you were going t be selected?
We all have our respective styles. So, during the audition, I was minding my business, then the media were taking pictures. But one thing we have to understand is that, we should not be too over confident. I did not go with the assurance that I would represent Nigeria. I just asked God to lead me and I went there, did the audition and the paparazzi took pictures. SO I posed. So after that I got a call that I was going to South Africa. Nobody knew I was going. If I wanted the public to know I would have written that I was going but I didn’t.
What are the things you think can get one into the house?
Be yourself, have confidence in yourself, don’t tyr to please anyone, or pretend to be who you are not just for the show. Do not use sex as a tool, don’t even try all those things. So, just be yourself, Africa will know. And if you are fake, they will know.
What was your relationship with Zeus in the house?
I am human, so I am allowed to fall. What happened was, Zeus was a very smart, intelligent, young man. When he came into the house, I was very glad because it brought another side of me out which was the smart side of me.
When he came, I was head of the house and after a week, my smartness came out because I was sure Africa saw my smartness. But at the end of the day, Zeus had a girlfriend. He was a cool guy but he had a girlfriend and I didn’t want to cause anybody any harm.
Tow weeks before Kim left the house, you were literally on her case. What was your problem?
Kim was a nice guy, but you know when something is fishy, but you can’t just lay your hands on it, it’s disturbing. So, my body was telling me ‘this, this, this’. Why would Kim want a bodyguard for me when you have lived with me for more than two weeks.
I know I like to shout, but I will not harm anybody. So her doing that, everybody knew something was up. But Kim was a nice girl.
What were the lessons you learnt from BBA, and your advice for youths who are interested in the next edition of BBA?
Money cannot buy the experience. SO, form me if there is any Nigerians out there who wants to go for the next edition of BBA, my advice to you is to just be yourself.
To be honest, we Nigerians are loud and entertaining. But if you have what it takes, be loud and funny. So, just be yourself.
*This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, August 9, 2011