Big Brother Africa 2011 star, Karen Igho, tells ’NONYE BEN-NWANKWO about how she became an on-air-personality
Working with Naija FM
I was just on my own and minding my business when somebody from Mnet just called me and asked if I could go on air. I said I didn’t know and that I wasn’t a radio presenter. One guy also called me and said they wanted me on board at Naija FM. I said, ‘God Almighty! How dis tin go be nah?’ I had never done anything like this before. So I wondered where to start from. I told them that if they wanted me to be like the original Karen, to be myself and not try to fake anything, then I would consider the job. The first time I went on air, I was very nervous. Now, I am very okay. With God’s help and guidance, I will do it. I see it as a piece of cake. The show is broadcast in Pidgin English. You know it is so much fun for me to speak in pidgin. I no see am as wahala. I’m not train as a presenter, but I’m going to do my best. I’m also going to put in my best for people to enjoy. And l hope that the listeners will enjoy the show.
Why I want to excel
I am a jack-of-all trades. It is not my fault that God blessed me with many talents. Na bad tin? Make I no collect the blessings Baba God give me? I can’t say I am a great actor. But what I know is that I have done a couple of good movies. We will just be doing them like that. I just hope I am good at everything I do. It is one thing to want to do everything and another thing to be good. I have appeared in Heavy Duty and BlackBerry Babes, which will be released very soon. They are more of comedy movies. You watched Big Brother Africa, I was just original there. They gave us tasks, which we carried out. So I was nobody before now. Since God has blessed me, I want to become somebody in everything I do, be it movies or radio and even modelling. I am my own critic. I know that my voice is not good enough. So I will never carry a microphone to go and sing. People will laugh at me. In fact, I will be the first person to laugh at myself. Music is not for me in any way. I can to do many other things, but music is not it.
Life as a star
As I said, I was a nobody before. I can never forget how it used to be in those days when I was nothing. But then again, I’m still the same person. No matter how big you are and how you manage your fame and money, never forget the people who put you there. Never forget how you climbed to the height you are now. Always remember to be grateful and humble. I am still the same person. Nothing has changed about me.
I can never forget her. She was with me when life was difficult. She is very fine now. I just built a house for her in the village. She is very happy about it. She was overjoyed when I handed her the keys to the house. She said she couldn’t believe that her granddaughter could do this for her. She was just praising me and calling me ‘Kakadudukaka.’ That is the name she calls me. She has so many names for me, including ‘Special Pikin.’
Life after BBA
Everything is just about Big Brother Africa. BBA made me. I have been busy since I left the house. I have been travelling all over Nigeria and outside the country for shows, hosting of shows, making appearances, acting, modelling and music. I am just everywhere.
I am now a business woman. It is not easy. I am loving it. My fans call me Karenified so I decided to have my own clothing line that I call Karenified. We make ready to wear outfits like T-shirts, tank tops and bum shorts. I design and produce them.
I don’t know how that story got viral on the Internet. Rumour mongers went to town with the story. A fan asked me to marry him. People didn’t even wait to find out if I accepted the proposal and they went to town with the story that I was engaged. I tweeted that a fan proposed. Is it how you do it? Somebody will propose to you and you will just say ‘yes.’ Certainly marriage is on my mind. Don’t you want me to get married? I want to get married and have children. I know that my husband is outside there waiting for me. Anytime I want to get married, I will get one.
I love my fans. I love the love the attention they give me. I go on the streets and they shout my name. How I wish I can always return the love they give me. But it is not every time you would be in the mood for such. But most times, I try to be happy and be grateful to God and my mum and my siblings as well.
Story by ’NONYE BEN-NWANKWO