Former BB Naija housemate Uriel in a tell-all interview with the Nation newspaper opened up about her personal life, the housemates and her time in the Big Brother Naija house.
HOW do you feel not winning the N25 million prize?
I knew I wouldn’t win when I entered the house. I just focused on being myself and I just felt that I will make more money than that N25 million and what I am trying to do now is to use the platform to better my career. It’s not just about winning, it’s about what you do with the experience and the platform so that’s the most important thing for me.
What lessons have you learnt about life when you look back at all that transpired in the BBNaija house?
I have learnt that in life not everything you see is true. It was until I came out that I noticed that certain people in the house didn’t tell the whole truth about themselves. I came out and I’m like, ‘wow, this is what this person is really like in their background. So what I learnt from the Big Brother house is that nothing is what it seems in life. You can see someone who is super rich and aspire to be like them even when you don’t know how that person got that money. What you have to do is work hard. The Big Brother house has thought me to work hard in life.
What would you do differently, given another opportunity?
If I was given the opportunity to go into the house again, I won’t do anything differently. Like I said, I didn’t go into the house with a strategy, I went into the house as Uriel and I came out as Uriel. I am a realist and I believe in being real and being true to myself, although it was a game and if being ‘me’ could not take me to the finals, hey! I have this wonderful platform already, and I am just going to use it.
How do you feel, knowing you were evicted the very first time you were put up?
I don’t know but the love I have been getting outside is amazing. People see me and say it was great. It just means that people did not vote. You know that people can like you and still not vote and I think in my case that’s what happened. It’s not the end of the world but it was just my time to go and that is it. Six weeks is a long time and even if its eleven weeks, there’s only going to be one winner.
Tell us one uplifting thing that a family member or friend has said to you since you left the house
I have heard a lot of uplifting words since I came out of the house from my brothers and my friends. One of my friends called me yesterday and said, ‘Uriel thank you for being yourself, thank you for not embarrassing us. Generally, everybody says I did well. ‘You are real, you played a good game but it’s just unfortunate’ and for me that is just good enough.
Tell us one embarrassing thing that a family member or friend has said to you since you left the house
That’s a very good question. I won’t really call it embarrassing. My younger brother called me and he was like, ‘Uriel why would you take part in that kissing festival? Why did you go and kiss everybody? You people are just kissing anyhow. I hope you guys brushed your teeth’. I was like gush, this boy would you just stop… Of course we all brush our teeth and it was just a typical brother sister kind of conversation but it was kind of embarrassing because that’s my younger brother telling me that. It was funny and embarrassing all together.
People say you were very sneaky and that was why the housemates didn’t see through your antics, are you like that in real life?
What you saw in the diary room and what you saw in the house was just me. On the diary room side, I’m usually like that around people that I am very close to. I felt very connected to Big Brother, don’t ask me why but I really did. That was why I was able to open up and talk with him the way I did. Whatever you saw in the diary room and outside the diary room are all me, that’s my personality.
You played the game so well in-house, but it appears you didn’t make efforts to impress the viewers…
I will say that everybody has their opinion, and yeah, a lot of people told me that I played the game well. I wouldn’t say I didn’t impress the viewers. I will just say that sometimes maybe people don’t understand the different characters of Uriel. May be they love the diary room sessions but they felt some sort of disconnect when I enter the house.
Would you still advance your liking for Bassey after the show?
It depends on how I feel when he comes out. When he comes out, I could be taken already. Whatever happens, we will see, but in life we always have to be optimistic and positive about things. Definitely we will hangout as friends, but love, I don’t know, we will see what happens.
What was your show in the diary room all about? Were you trying to woo Biggie?
(Laughs) No way! I wasn’t trying to make biggie fall in love with me, I just felt connected to him and he made me happy in the sense that I could speak my mind, I could laugh, I could cry, I could ask him for ice cream… he made me really happy.
You have often expressed fears for eviction, why did you not faint when it eventually happened as you’d earlier said?
It didn’t happen because I kind of knew I was going and I had this peace over myself and I felt okay that I was leaving. The reason I said those things was because I felt that on the night I would be evicted I would be panicking and full of anxiety but none of those things happened because I knew it was time for me to go. That was why I was so calm.
Who do you think may likely win the show?
‘Based on logistics’… my winner is Efe straight up, because he is my guy and he is amazing. He is truthful in his character, his background hustle and everything I think he deserves the money.
Do you enjoy cooking naturally or was it a strategy?
Cooking is my passion and it is something I love doing. Cooking is just like drinking water for me, it is something I need to do and I need it to feel okay. I can be in the kitchen for hours; I can wake up today and say I want to bake a cake, tomorrow I want to make soup and it’s fun. It gives me so much pleasure to feed people, to see people eat my food and enjoy it.
How much has Payporte improved your wardrobe?
While I was in there, they gave me some very cool outfit and some of the things that I thought I wouldn’t be able to wear, they brought them and I wore them. They gave me a different outlook when it came to fashion and dressing my body and some inspiration for fashion.
Would you say those clothes you get every week are enough reason to want to go back to the house?
If they tell me to enter the Big Brother house that for that N25 million, that one is far better excuse but no be for cloths… I will come out and still maintain that relationship with Payporte and if they choose to endorse me with cloths for the larger women then why not, but I don’t think it’s enough reason for me to enter the house.
What do you miss most about the Big Brother House?
I miss the kitchen. I miss Big Brother’s voice oh!!! I miss our diary session.
You have been single for a year; do you think you have cleared your head well enough to delve into another relationship?
It’s about a year and a few months now, and yeah, I think I am ready, Big Brother don pepper me. Now, I’m ready to go out there, mingle with the right guy, hopefully, and see where it leads me. So, definitely yes, it’s not an easy thing to be single for one year, body no be firewood abi. Now I’m ready to get myself out there and have fun, Big Brother has taught me to have confidence in myself and self love.
Who do you miss most in the house?
I miss Bally, Efe, and looking at Bassey’s wonderful physique and surprisingly, I miss Bisola and Mavis as well.
How was the kissing festival for you? Does it make you feel dirty now that you’re outside the house?
It was just fun. When you are in that house you have to make up your own fun. I don’t feel dirty and I didn’t do anything out of my character, I did what I felt comfortable with and that was just it. I am in the real world now and I have no regrets.
You once said TBoss was one housemate you would want to bond with outside the show, do you still feel like that after seeing how the nominations went?
I didn’t really bond with TBoss in the house; it was always some sort of friction between us. You know I can’t speak for someone who is not here. I wouldn’t base my judgment on anybody because of what has happened between Tboss and Kemen, but what I will say is, if she does reach house to me… it might happen and it might not, but I am here and I am open.
Actress Rita Dominic was one of the fans that canvassed votes for you, how does that make you feel?
I want to meet Rita Dominic and I want to personally thank her. It made me feel awesome like a big celebrity like that campaigning for me, even posting my picture on her page, it’s really awesome. I want to thank her, I don’t even have words to say right now I mean I am completely blown away but I am honestly grateful.
What are the new things you are inspired to do now to advance your career?
I’m definitely going to advance my talk show and my cook show. And if Nollywood comes my way, why not. After all, people say I can act.
How do you feel that BBNaija has revealed some of your best kept secret? Would you want to attempt such reality shows in the future?
I’m actually shocked right now because I didn’t know they would reveal our secrets, but I will do it all over again, and I will do it the same way. It had always been my dream to be in Big Brother.
How was it like spending over a month without your phone and social media?
The first week, I wished I could take a selfie of the foods, the chin-chins and what have you, but after that you just got used to it. And funny enough when I left the house, I forgot how to put my phone on silence. I even forgot my ring tone, as my phone was ringing, and it was in my hand and I didn’t even know.
Apart from losing the prize money, is there a way the game has made you a better person?
Definitely, the game has boosted my confidence; it has also thought me lessons on how to tolerate people from different walks of life. And you can apply that to everyday life.
What are the prospects you’ve seen for yourself so far since you left the house?
A lot of things; I see that the sky is the limit. I see myself doing my talk-show, blogging etc. I see myself doing so many different things. It has really boosted my confidence and I’m thinking on doing bigger and better things. It’s a huge eye opener that you can take one bold step and so many doors are opened to you – so many doors with yourself.
When are you going back to the UK?
Right now, I don’t think so because I have to be on ground and do certain things. May be in the near future I would go back to the UK because my mum is there, but right this minute, I have to stay back and do what I have to do.
You were one lady who didn’t expose her body in the house, do you think you were daring enough for the game?
I don’t think the definition of being daring is to expose your body or your private parts. No, I think it is daring to be in an enclosed environment where it’s unnatural and everything inside you says, ‘do something different… do something to stand out’. You’re being pushed constantly to stand out. I think it’s daring for you to say that I’m going to keep my clothes on, I’m going to be modest. I think that was daring of me for me to keep my clothes on and still get as far as I did.
What is your relationship with Charly Boy?
He is my cousin. But he is Uncle Charly