Big Brother Naija star, Bisola Aiyeola, has said that she owes her success in the entertainment industry to her own efforts and personal struggles, not the reality television show, as many Nigerians were wont to believe.
Aiyeola said this minutes after receiving a surprise award during last Saturday’s African Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards held at the Eko Le Meridien Hotel and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Fielding questions from journalists on the sidelines of the event, Aiyeola, who received the Trailblazer’s Award in recognition of her impact in the developing African film and television space, said she had been on a journey to self realization as an artiste since 2006.
She said, “I started out in the entertainment industry in 2006. In 2008, I was on MTN Project Fame West Africa music realty TV show. I have been an actress prior to Big Brother Naija. I wouldn’t say that BBN gave me all or the mileage that I am getting now. I am stressing it because a lot of people may think I woke up one day and just went for an audition.
“I attended the Big Brother Africa audition for over eight years before I finally made it into the BBN house. So, it has been a journey and I didn’t give up.
Speaking on the future of the Nigerian film industry, she noted that further growth could be possible through collaboration between the media and stakeholders in the industry.
She said, “The media and filmmakers should come together to work as one. Collaboration is the new competition. We shouldn’t see each other as competitors because it would help to bring in more funds and help us to deviate from the cliché that we are used to producing, which is mostly drama.
“There is so much money that can be made from the African movie industry. Animation is a good example of how we can tap into the potential of the industry. It is one sector that we haven’t exploited at all.”
Aiyeola dedicated her award to the memory of Malcom Olanrewaju, her late baby daddy, who passed on a few days ago at the age of 37. “It’s been a sad week for me, but I’m also happy that I won this award. It’s not just for me; it is for my family and for people who have watched me grow, as well as those that have seen through my journey.
“Notwithstanding, it would have been beautiful if Malcolm was around to see me win this award. He knew about this journey that I embarked on some years ago.
“I’m dedicating this award to him and everybody else in my life,” she said.
– Sept. 7, 2018 @ 16:49 GMT