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I have no reason to be arrogant – BBNaija Boma

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I have no reason to be arrogant – BBNaija Boma
I have no reason to be arrogant – BBNaija Boma

A former housemate, Boma Akpore, tells BLESSING ENENAITE about his career and other issues

You were roundly criticised for flaunting your American passport sometime ago. What’s your reaction to that?

I am proudly Nigerian. I was born and raised in Lagos and I am proud of my heritage. But, I am also very proud of the few things I have been able to achieve. That moment was nothing more than a playful stunt initiated by one of the other housemates, and I played along with it. It was a social media moment for fun and nothing more. We did not mean any disrespect.

Big Brother Naija is Africa’s biggest reality show and it has opened up (and continues to open up) many growth opportunities for me for which I am immensely grateful and humbled.

You once said that President Buhari should pay you for keeping jobless youths busy? Was that also a stunt or you meant it?

There was no offense or disrespect intended. I was referring to the teeming number of trolls (cyber bullying) that we (Big Brother Naija housemates) get online. A large number of people stay on social media to simply pull people down and most times, they don’t even have the full context of the situation before sharing their negativity. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. It is bad enough when one has to deal with the mistakes they made. It is worse adding the backlash, negative commentary and cancel culture coming from every single angle. It really gets so overwhelming and sometimes, one really have to ask if the people putting up all the negative comments do not have other positive and meaningful things to do. I feel like I became a magnet for negativity after the show and it was unending, so I lashed out. After all, I am only human. Again, I meant no disrespect to anyone.

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Don’t you think that was an insult to your fans?

The comments were clearly addressed to the trolls and all those who keep bombarding me with toxic and negative comments. It was definitely not to my fans who I love, respect and appreciate for being extremely supportive, generous, considerate, cooperative and understanding. I am thankful for the my fans continue to show me. That is what keeps me going.

It has been said that some reality stars live fake lives to keep up appearances. Have you ever been pressured to do such?

I have never been pressured to live any life that is not my own as I have had to surmount many challenges to get to where I am today. From being a supermodel at a young age to ending a promising football career prematurely due to injury and then leaving home for greener pastures, I have had to learn many life lessons and in all these, I have never forgotten who I am and where I come from. I was raised by my mum and grandmum, who taught me that it is important to ‘always remain true to myself’. I live my life truthfully, try to do the best I can, and leave the rest to God. I do not overreach myself.

How do you handle trolls?

Frankly speaking, I simply laugh at them most times. Other times, I pity them because I honestly think that amount of negativity comes from a truly unhappy place. It takes a lot of sadness for people to come online and attack strangers just because the Internet has eliminated boundaries and provided them with a cover. Ultimately, it is best to understand and remind ourselves that social media is not real life. Trolling is also quite cowardly because people who troll one on Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms don’t actually have the guts to walk up to one in real life and say the same things to one’s face. That said, we are all humans. So, once in a while, the urge may come to respond to some things but overall, my approach is to laugh, ignore them and stay focused on my life and career goals.

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Since leaving BBN, what endorsement deals and acting jobs have you got?

I was recently made a brand ambassador for the Africa International Film Festival and it was quite inspiring and humbling at the same time. The experience was mind-blowing, especially when you consider the fact that I am an actor and it fits right into my industry. In addition, I have some deals and projects in the works which we are keeping under wraps for now. My team and I have been working round the clock and we expect to make some exciting announcements soon.

Some people perceive you as being arrogant. What’s your response to such people?

I am anything but arrogant. People who are close to me know this. I have no reason to be arrogant. I was born and raised in the most humble of circumstances and I had to fight tooth and nail to get to where I am today. Even with that, I am still nowhere near where I want to be. Every single day, I push to be better than I was the day before. I’m just a boy from the streets who is trying to make a way in life with the opportunities God throws my way. I respect everyone and I treat everyone the same way, no matter their status. That said, I am also very confident in myself and in my God-given talent, and I will not shrink or diminish myself just to please others. I am proud of what I have been able to achieve so far but I still have bigger dreams. I have not reached where I desire to get to. So, there is no room for arrogance.

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How would you describe your relationship with Tega since leaving BBN?

Tega is a friend and ex-housemate, and like all the other housemates from our time on the show, we remain cordial.

Shortly after leaving BBN, you mentioned that you got a lot of threats because of your relationship with Tega, who is a married woman. Do you still get such threats  or have they stopped?

Thankfully, the threats have stopped, and I believe it’s because people realise that after all is said and done, BBNaija is just a reality show, not real life. Life goes on.

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