Ex-Big Brother Naija housemates dominating the Nollywood movie industry

Step into the world of reality TV stardom with former Big Brother Naija (BBNaija) housemates like Bisola Aiyeola and Gideon Okeke, who soared from the platform to shine bright in Nollywood.

Picture showing some ex-BB Naija housemates like Gideon Okeke and  Bisola Aiyeola who are now currently dominating the Nollywood movie industry

The main reason people sign up or audition for reality TV shows is to get a shot at fame. These shows offer a platform for individuals to display their talents, win over audiences, and take a step toward achieving their lifelong goals. 

One of such reality TV shows that consistently produces stars is the popular Big Brother Naija show (BBNaija). Over the years, this show has helped contestants launch or advance their careers in various fields. Some notable examples include Bisola Aiyeola and Gideon Okeke, who started their journey to stardom on Big Brother Naija and have since become prominent figures in Nollywood, starring in thrilling Nigerian series and movies.

In fact, some former Big Brother Naija contestants have become so successful in the Nollywood movie industry that it's easy to forget where they started. This article provides detailed information about each ex-Big Brother Naija housemate who is making a mark in the Nigerian film industry.

Here is a comprehensive list of 10 former BBnaija housemates who are dominating the world of Nollywood.

1. Gideon Okeke

Gideon Okeke was a contestant in the first-ever Big Brother Naija competition that took place in 2006 alongside famous TV host Ebuka Obi Uchendu. After his painful exit from the show, he became part of the cast for the popular, longest-African TV series named “Tinsel.” His acting career took off with him playing the role of “Phillip Ade Williams,” an arrogant son of a media mogul. 

His first lead role was for the 2010 drama movie "Relentless," while his second lead role was for the crime thriller “A Place in the Stars.”. 

Since appearing in the M-NET series “Tinsel”, Gideon has starred in numerous TV shows and movies, including; “93 Days” for which he received an AMVCA nomination for, “Gbomo Gbomo Express”, “Cross Roads,” which got him the 2018 AMAA award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and "Egun," for which he received an AMVCA nomination this year. 

He even crossed borders with the South African TV series “Jacob's Cross” in 2014 and a Ghanaian romantic drama "Anniversary.”

In addition to movies, Gideon Okeke also appears in stage plays. He has featured in numerous plays, such as “An adaptation of Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge,” “Fela: Arrest The Music” and “Saro The Musical 2”. What a talent!

2. Bisola Aiyeola

Though Bisola Aiyeola didn’t clinch the N25 million cash prize and SUV in the “See Gobe” Big Brother Naija season, she was the second runner-up in the edition. After leaving the house, she went into acting and even won the Trailblazer award at the 2018 AMVCA.

Since then, Bisola has been all over our screens, appearing in TV series like the Nigerian Disney original series titled “Iwaju” as the voice of “Happiness,” “Flawsome,” popular Ndani TV web series “ Skinny Girl in Transit," “The Life of a Nigerian Couple,” and “Husbands of Lagos.”

As for movies, Bisola has been featured in countless productions, including “Introducing the Kujus," which she co-produced, “Ovy’s Voice," “Bling Lagosians," “Sugar Rush," “This Lady Called Life," "Dwindle," and many more. 

Apart from her undoubtedly impressive film catalogue, Bisola Aiyeola is also a musician. 

Surprised? You shouldn't be. 

The multi-talented personality has put out quite a number of songs accompanied by music videos to showcase her diverse talent. Some of Bisola's songs are: “Goodbye, Good Old Days, Controlla, and Boda Luku.”

Bisola Aiyeola, with her effortless comic personality, is the host of the family game show “ Bisola Aiyeola truly is a gem in Nollywood, and we're lucky to have her!

3. Bam Bam

A contestant of the 3rd edition of Big Brother Naija tagged “Double Wahala,” Bam Bam, also known as Bamike Olawunmi Adenibuyan, has carved a niche for herself in the Nigerian movie industry. 

Before participating in Big Brother Naija, Bam Bam had already been featured in Nollywood movie productions like “Inspector K" and “Backup Wife.” Her entry into the reality TV show gave her the spotlight she deserved to push her career to the next level which she has done.

Though she and hubby Teddy A have appeared in movies together titled “The Gift” and “Foreigner’s God,” which was the first movie role she landed in 2018 after her exit from the BBNaija house, Bam Bam stands at the forefront of the industry, representing her family with pride. 

Her movie catalogue is growing rapidly, as she is on the list of former BBNaija stars to watch out for. Movies under her belt include; “Hire a Woman," “Foreigner’s God," the African Magic series "Dust," “37 To Go,” and "Lockdown.” Bam Bam is one to watch among former BBNaija stars making waves in Nollywood.

4. Tobi Bakre

The former investment banker turned entertainer was once a BBNaija housemate in the 2018 “Double Wahala” season. Being a fan favourite in the competition wasn't hard for Tobi Bakre for he exuded intelligence and talent, which helped him advance to the final round and clinch the 3rd position.

Since then, Tobi Bakre has worked his way into Nollywood starring in movies and series such as Ndani TV web series “Phases”, “Slum King”, “Mokalik”, “Fix Us", “Sugar Rush", “The Bloom Boys”, “The Blood Covenant“, and upcoming movies titled “Postcards”, “Farmer’s Bride”, “Suki” and “Red Circle.” 

Tobi Bakre wowed and reminded us of the talent that he is by executing great performances in 2 award-winning director Jade Osiberu movies titled “Gangs of Lagos” and “Brotherhood” which earned him numerous nominations, including the 2023 Best Actor AMVCA, 2023 Best Actor AMAA Awards, and 2023 Best Actor Future Awards, to mention a few.

We definitely want to see Tobi Bakre take up more screen roles.

5. Erica Nlewedim

Erica Nlewedim, otherwise known as “Star Girl,” started her acting career in 2015. Although she was disqualified from the show, Erica was among the most popular housemates during the 2020 “Lockdown" edition. 

After her journey in the BBNaija house came to an end, Erica Nlewedim picked up where she had left off and continued to pursue her acting career. This time, it was easier because she had already found fame during her time on the show. 

Erica has been featured in movie productions like “Devil in Agbada”, “Bitter Rain”, “The Blood Covenant”, “Teni’s Big Day”, “A Weekend to Forget” and the young adult Netflix series “Far From Home”. The former BBNaija housemate is rapidly adding to her movie portfolio, and we, of course, see all her hard work.

6. Elozonam Ogbolu

Another ex-BBNaija housemate dominating Nollywood is Elozonam Ogbolu, who participated in the 4th edition of the reality TV show Big Brother Naija, where he placed 8th.

He is a man of many talents, and by many talents, we mean he is also a singer, content creator, and TV host, began his journey to Nollywood before participating in the competition, appearing in the 2017 web series Inspector K. 

After his time on the popular reality TV show, Elozonam was featured in a cinema movie titled “Sanitation Day,” where he played his first major role.

Other screen productions Elozonam has featured include; “Before Valentines”, “Charge and Bail”, “Man Up”, “A Weekend to Forget”, “Eve” and “Badboys and Bridesmaids”. With each new project, Elozonam continues to impress and push his limits in the industry.

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7. Venita Akpofure

Following her first appearance on the 4th edition of Big Brother Naija in 2019 and the “All Stars” season in 2023, Venita Akpofure is another leading former BBNaija housemate who is dominating Nollywood.

Although Venita had her screen debut in the sitcom “AY’s Crib” in 2013 and featured in movie productions such as “Gold Diggin” in 2013 and “While You Slept” in 2015 before she entered the BBNaija house, her participation in the reality TV show gave her the platform to reach greater heights and a wider audience.

Venita has gone on to star in several movies like; "Redemption," “Before Valentines," “Mamba’s Diamond," “My Village People," “Quams Money," “Kambili: The Whole 30 Yards," "Unmarried,” and many more.

8. Nengi

Nengi Rebecca Hampson, popularly known as Nengi, gained fame as a contestant on the 5th season of the Big Brother Naija reality TV show tagged “Lockdown”. 

Her journey into Nollywood began after her stint on the show, where she captured the hearts of many viewers with her charm and personality. With her newfound fame, Nengi seized the opportunity to pursue a career in acting.

In Nollywood, Nengi has landed roles in several movies, showcasing her talent as an actress. While she is still relatively new to the industry, Nengi has already made appearances in major Nollywood movies. 

One of Nengi's notable roles is in the movie "RattleSnake: The Ahanna Story," where she portrayed the character of Boma. Her portrayal received positive reviews from audiences and critics alike. Other movies from the reality TV star include; “Bad Boys and Bridesmaids”, “Nkoyo” and “Tarella”.

Nengi's acting career continues to thrive as she explores new opportunities and takes on diverse roles in the film industry.

9. Sir Dee

Sir Dee, a former contestant on the 4th edition of the popular reality TV show Big Brother Naija, otherwise known as Atteh Daniel, has transitioned into acting in Nollywood movies. 

Since his time on Big Brother Naija's “Pepper Dem Gang” season, Sir Dee has been actively pursuing opportunities in Nollywood. He appeared in his first ever movie role, the 2020 romantic comedy titled “Dear Affy” and has featured in several movies ever since.

Impressing audiences with his performances in movies as well as series like “Hotel Labamba," "Bayi," "Logline," “Now That We Are Married,” and the forthcoming title ”Anatomy of a Predator," Sir Dee’s dedication to his craft makes him an actor worthy to be on this list of ex-BBNaija housemates dominating Nollywood. 

Despite his humble beginnings on reality TV, Sir Dee has shown promise as an actor, taking on roles that showcase his versatility, skill, charm, and talent in the Nigerian film industry.

10. Diane Russet

A talent in the Nigerian movie space, Diane Russet, a former contestant on the popular reality TV show Big Brother Naija season 4, has transformed from a reality TV star to an actor and filmmaker. 

Despite her initial fame from reality TV, Diane has worked very hard to establish herself as a credible talent in the Nigerian film industry.

She has appeared in several Nollywood movies and series, like; “There is Something Wrong with the Bamideles," “Mo and Mel," "Brotherhood," "Storm," "Ricordi,” which clinched the AMVCA for Best Original Drama Series in 2023, and "Bayi,” which got an AMVCA nomination for Best Indigenous Language movie or TV series Hausa in 2022, showcasing her acting skills and versatility on screen. 

And not only is she an actor, Diane has also taken on the role of a filmmaker, with numerous productions under her belt like "Ricordi," “There is Something Wrong with the Bamideles," "Bayi,” and her latest production, “Dear Diane.”

Diane's transition from reality TV to a Nollywood talent is out of this world and reflects her dedication to her craft. As she continues to be on her A-game as an actress and producer, Diane is sure to make a valuable contribution to the Nigerian film scene.

11. Boma

Just like colleague Venita Akpofura, Boma Akpore has been acting long before he joined the Big Brother house. He appeared in the popular American series “Blacklist” but participated in the 6th edition of the reality TV show to put himself out there. 

After Being on BBNaija, Boma Akpore soared high, bagging multiple roles in Nollywood, one of which is the popular action movie "Brotherhood,” where he captivated the audiences with his superb acting skills as Sanusi. 

Other movies Boma Akpore has featured include; “A Tribe Called Judah,” “Kesari the King,” “Crypto Queen,” “Suspicion,” "Crossroads,” and a forthcoming flick titled “Suki.” He was also part of the production crew for the movie “ What’s the Big Deal About Marriage?” With every achievement mentioned, Boma Akpore no doubt had to be on this list of former BBNaija housemates dominating Nollywood.

12. Seyi Awolowo

Seyi Awolowo, a former BBNaija season 4 and 8 contestant, joined Nollywood after his first participation in the reality show. His first big screen movie was with Jemima Osunde titled “Parallel Paradox,” according to the actor in an interview with online TV “Nollywire.”

Seyi Awolowo has starred in numerous series and movies, making him one of the ex-BBNaija housemates who are dominating Nollywood. 

His catalog includes movies and series such as Crossroads, Brotherhood, Prophetess, Hey You, Big Love, The Order of Things, and many more. Seyi Awolowo has of course, earned his place on this list of former BBNaija housemates dominating Nollywood.

13. Pere Egbi

Pere Egbi is a Nigerian movie actor who gained fame as a former contestant on the reality TV show Big Brother Naija season 6 and “All Stars” edition, season 8. His stint on the first season of the show, opened doors to more acting gigs, even though he was actively in the movie industry but not famous enough.

Now, Pere Egbi is pursuing his acting dreams as he is set to star in an upcoming Nollywood film titled "Ajamu.". This marks another milestone in his acting career, which already includes roles in several movies like "The Silent Intruder," "Charge and Baili," "April Showers," "The Perfect Arrangement,” and  “Blood Vessel.”

There is no slowing down this talented king in our eyes.

Wrap up

With each project, these former Big Brother Naija housemates have successfully transitioned into Nollywood, showcasing their talent, versatility, and dedication to their craft. 

They continue to captivate audiences and contribute to the growth and development of the Nigerian film industry. And so, we eagerly anticipate their future performances and celebrate their achievements in the world of entertainment.