By Benjamin Njoku
Former BBNaija housemate, Erica Nlewedim was the favourite of many viewers of the ongoing reality TV show until last Sunday night, when her journey to win the grand prize of N85 million came to an emotional end.
Erica, as she’s fondly called by her fans was disqualified from the competition for violating the house rules.
Biggie had gathered the housemates at the lounge and played videos of when Erica threatened to kill Laycon outside the house and hurling insults at him.
Another video was played showing her pouring water on the bed of the Head of House (HoH) in order to stop Prince, who is her deputy from sharing the lounge with her.
Biggie said Erica’s actions violated article 18 of the rule book and therefore, disqualified her from the show.
However, since her disqualification, the Nigerian social media space has been awash with varied comments with many making financial pledges to the reality TV star. It has also re-echoed the mixed-reactions that greeted the disqualification of former BBNaija ‘Pepper Dem’ housemate, Tacha.
Erica’s disqualification has made it the third time a housemate would be disqualified from the show in the last three editions. In the previous ‘Double Wahala’ edition, Khloe and K-Brule who were a pair were disqualified after earning three strikes.
Khloe was, however, forgiven and brought back into the house.
Like Erica, the last ‘Pepper Dem’ edition housemate, Tacha was also disqualified from the game for getting involved in a fight with fellow housemate and winner of the season, Mercy.
But rather than getting backlashes as a result of her disqualification from the show, the Rivers State-born reality TV star got more accolades and lip-smacking promises from her admirers. The same is the story of Erica. But the question on the lips of everyone is; Will Erica turn out to be as successful and popular as Tacha, after leaving the BBNaija house?
Recall that Tacha cried out months back that all the promises made to her were scam and not real.
After her exit from the reality TV show, Tacha received a number of promises from people who claimed to be fans and many of them made financial pledges.
One year after the show, the social media sensation, who obviously sounded disappointed labelled all of them as scam; claiming the only money she got was from the GoFundMe account that was created for her by her fans.
Though they share similar fate, Erica and Tacha may likely be two worlds apart. While many are busy making financial promises to Erica, there are probabilities that she may not be as popular and successful as Tacha.
In one year running, the Rivers State-born star has already become a household name across the world with over 1.4 million Instagram followers.
The queen of ‘Titans’ is living her dream as one of the favourite brands of many corporate bodies.
Aside landing some juicy endorsement deals in less than one year, ranging from Royal Hair, GetFit Technologies, popular alcoholic brand, Ciroc among others, the controversial reality TV star knows how to pull a stunt.
After going viral for allegedly faking her proposal and kidnap, it’s been from one controversy to another. It’s either Tacha was attacking a celebrity on social media or caught up in one conspiracy or the other. The social sensation turned this stunt to generate money from advertisers as she used her Instagram page to display eye-catching semi-nude photos. Most videos on her IG page showed the influencer selling one body product or another. That’s Tacha’s selling point and a new reality that Erica has to face.
Having exited from the show, the light- complexioned star is expected to grow her fan base, in addition to sustaining her brand. After her disqualification, fans of the 26-year-old actress rose in her defence, showering her with love and praises.
Also, a GoFundMe campaign was launched to assist her financially, and already about $15,863 (about N6.1million) has reportedly been raised by 195 people and still counting.
Erica’s Instagram following is said to have grown by 80,000 followers in less than 23 hours of her disqualification from the show. The reality TV star currently boasts 662,000 as of Monday evening.
The GoFundMe was launched by Ehizode Irefo with a $100,000 goal (about N38m), which is the winning prize money set aside for the winner of the BBNaija show this year.
Ms. Irefo wrote on the GoFundMe page, ‘‘Erica Nlewedim, the star of BBNaija season 5, Lockdown edition whose journey on the show came to an emotional end: To realize some of her hopes and aspirations.”
It seems a good start for the disqualified housemate. But as one of the fans pointed out on social media, “Not every housemate disqualified from Big Brother reality TV show turns out successful like Tacha.”
According to him, after her disqualification, Tacha became a successful celebrity in Nigeria unlike the likes of Khloe and K Brule who were not successful.