Many Nigerian celebrities came into limelight through reality TV shows, which gave them the opportunity to showcase their talents. Patience Ivie Ihejirika writes on some of them who have leveraged the exposure to rise to fame.
O C Ukeje
O C Ukeje came into prominence after winning the Amstel Malta Box Office (AMBO) reality show. Ever since, the actor who is also a model and musician, has received several awards including Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA), Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award (AMVCA), Nollywood Movies Award, Best of Nollywood Award, Nigeria Entertainment Award and Golden Icons Academy Movie Award.
Omawunmi who contested alongside Timi Dakolo in the maiden edition of the West Africa Idols in 2007, was first runner up. She rose to stardom with the release of her debut album, ‘Wonder Woman,’ in 2010. She returned in 2012 with a hit single, ‘Bottom Belle,’ featuring Flavour, and the her next album ‘The Lasso Of Truth’ in 2013.
Darey is one of the first Nigerian celebrities who came into limelight through reality TV shows after emerging third in the 2004 edition of Project Fame Academy. Dare has since grown from grace to grace.
The multi-talented star who started his recording deals with Storm Records, is today, a boss with his own label; Soul Muzik and a number of successful albums to his credit.
Iyanya, who is currently one of the hottest artistes in the industry, came into limelight after winning the maiden edition of the MTN Project Fame reality show in 2008.
Iyanya grabbed the super star status with the release of his hit single, Kukere. The star has ever since remained on top of his game with many deals to his name, including his recent tour of the United States and Canada.
Chidinma Ekile’s life took a new turn the day she won the MTN Project Fame Season 3. She became the first female winner of the reality show. Chidinma has since then remained on the scene. Her first single titled Jankoliko featured Sound Sultan. She has since then released hit songs including Kedike, Emi ni baller, I’m in love and others, including the Best West African Female KORA award in 2012 and an MTN endorsement as brand ambassador.
Praiz launched into the music scene after finishing second runner-up at the maiden season of Project Fame West Africa. He released hit singles like “Rich and Famous”, “Sisi” and “I Love You” in 2012.
Since winning Idol West Africa in 2007, Timi Dakolo has remained relevant in the industry. He released his first single in 2009 and then in 2011, released the song There’s a Cry and more.
Uti Nwachukwu emerged winner of Big Brother Africa in his second venture into the house in 2010. He immediately became a regular face in the entertainment industry. He is into modelling and a co-host of the African Magic lifestyle programme Jara.
Tonto’s participation in the 2005 reality TV show “The Next Movie Star” paved way for her acting career. She was the first runner up in the contest and soon after, she became one of the hottest movie stars in the country. The pretty actress who is also a musician has since featured in over 80 movies.
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