Words have meaning and names have power, this is an expression we grew up to know and today, we can boldly apply this maxim to Efe – as his name has proven to be a powerful force that pushed obstacles aside to announce its meaning. Efe is a name borne by Deltans, which means wealth; his name acted as his label to defy logic. Today, the name on the lips of virtually every Nigerian is Efe, a man who leaped from being an ordinary street boy to become a celebrity.
Efemena Ejeba, winner of the just concluded Big Brother Nigeria reality show is still in awe of the love he received and still receiving from Nigerians who voted him and made his dream of walking away with the grand prize possible.
In this interview with Africa Interview’s Abimbola Adegoke, Efe talks about how grateful he is to God and Nigerians for the love and support showered on him all through the show.
“I feel great, I am honoured and I give glory to God; I have more gratitude because I didn’t do it alone. Mine was just to live in the house doing my best in all that I did but I didn’t know I got this much love outside because I was just being myself and living my life as I do every day outside Big Brother house”.
Was there anything you did differently in the house that gave you an edge over others?
I wouldn’t say I really did things that were quite different because everybody came in to win and I also went in with the winning mentality. I was just myself; some came with strategies, which we got to find out. For me, I just went in there to live because I feel I represent the average African youth or child who will speak a lot of English but use‘pidgin English’ to relate with people we know.
In Nigeria, when you are vexed with the situation of things, you will speak your mind, which is why people talk when the government performs below expectations. So for me, I went in there to live like a true, normal and average Nigerian child.
How exactly did it feel like to be locked up in one particular place?
It was crazy but for me, it didn’t mean anything because I basically went there for the money. Even if it was 90 days, I would still have done it (I die put, I no send). Even if they want to hold on to my phone for two years, I am less concerned, I went there for the money so I didn’t get tired of anything.
How were you able to cope with your housemates?
I learnt tolerance there because some people have great personalities but they actually have that unacceptable behaviour to my own principles. But I got to understand that you need to compromise and relate with these people since you are in a confined space and they would be in your space all the time. You cannot kick them aside because you are irritated by certain things they do. So, I learned to tolerate them and see the positive side of them. That was what helped me, although TBoss was the housemate I found most annoying.
How did you feel week in week out when you were nominated for eviction?
Why I am so overwhelmed by this situation is that I grew up not feeling that people liked me literally and that was my own strong point. I don’t try to be nice to you because I already know what you feel about me that you don’t like me. Probably because of many reasons, when I was in school, I used to be way ahead in class, so I felt people don’t like the idea that things go nice with me.
I knew I was going to be nominated, that is why I was always bent on being the head of house, I don’t believe in anybody willing to save me apart from myself so, when it gets to those tasks, I put in my best- on the Friday nights tasks – that is the way to show my appreciation to those who always voted me back in the game.
Your reaction to Tboss’ comment about how she can spend 25 million in one week…?
I was so shocked, I who was ready to die for the 25 million and here is someone saying she can spend it in one week, what are you doing here then? I thank God for the grace he gave me because at that moment, I wondered why someone who didn’t need the money had to come compete with the rest. Such people were only there to block people’s space but I guess she spoke out of anger. The irony of the house was that younger ones learned how to manage their anger when it came to speeches but for the older ones, they just go haywire.
What’s your view about Kemen’s disqualification?
Based on logistics, my people said I am not diplomatic, so the matter doesn’t concern me so I have no comment on that.
Your people from Jos were not cool with the fact that you didn’t hail them because you only used the Warri mantra.
it is funny because I was actually scared that Warri people would not believe that I am Warri but from Jos because all my speeches in the house had to do with Jos because that’s where I was born. Warri is more of the ginger that spurs one to action not to carry last in whatever one does. Even after winning tasks in the Big Brother house, it was the housemates that shouted Warri.
My people from Jos; know this, I am very proud to be from Jos and I say it all the time because we see and know how Jos has blessed a lot of us in the entertainment industry. If I were a full Warri born, I would not forget some level of discipline, where you are brought up with good character, courtesy and how to talk properly; I was just in the house speaking pidgin, I can give you good English, see the likes of Ice Prince and M.I but I just felt I needed to be both. Shout out to Jos people, I heard there was a roadblock just for me and I cannot wrap my head around how my own house would be at the moment.
How do you intend to spend the money?
The money will be spent based on logistics.
You seem quite more popular than the president right now as a lot of people stood up for you.
It is just amazing that even the governor of Plateau stood for me, comedian I go Dye dropped a million naira, comedians Alibaba and AY were also there for me. I am just surprised because I didn’t even have a relationship with them; they just came out on their own to support me, I am so confused right now and I am thankful.
Now I guess there is going to be a paradigm shift that people love you and you shouldn’t have any reservations about people not liking you.
Yes, in the house, the default thing was to win the head of house because you don’t even know if Nigerians like you but now I just can’t explain this love.
What should we expect from your love story with Marvis?
Well, based on logistics, what we had in the house was great but she has a boyfriend so, nothing is happening. I was truly attracted to her and that’s why I was with her in the house. I asked her if we were going to get serious with the relationship outside the house but she said she was going to her boyfriend.
What should Nigerians be expecting from Efe? They want to keep hearing about you and want you to remain in the spotlight. How do you intend to sustain your relevance?
I am looking forward to performing the duet with Olamide, he is a great artist, he has the indigenous vibes, he raps in Yoruba and I rap in pidgin so, I look forward to meeting and learning from him. I don’t consider a career in comedy, maybe my life is funny but my personality and words are not.
Nigerians should watch out for me in my music career because it is my first love and that is what I love to do in entertainment but I realise the brand is quite bigger than music right now – but with lots of random stuff coming from me. I dropped a single before I went for Big Brother, which I titled Lagos.
Do you consider a career in acting?
I really don’t think I know how to act but if they call me and the money makes sense, I would consider (laughs). That was the greatest frustration I had in the house, I could not hide my true self and what I regret the most in the house was my drinking act.