The road to stardom is never easy. While some celebrities became famous through the support of their family, friends and their hard work, others had to go through public scrutiny to attain fame. Some organizations have made the dreams of many Nigerian talents come to pass as they offer various platforms for talent competitions.
Not everyone who went through reality shows were able to sustain fame. We have the likes of Mike Anyasodo of Project Fame 2009, Yeka Onka of Nigerian Idol 2011 and Jon Ogah of Glo Naija Sings (Maiden edition), who after going home with the prizes are not seen anywhere near the top. However, this list is made up of popular Nigerian celebrities who are products of various reality shows and are still keeping the flames high in the heating atmosphere of entertainers.
Kukere master, Inyanya, won the 2008 MTN Project Fame reality show and since then has worked so hard to stay relevant in the music industry. After his big win, his first two singles did not make waves due to their sultry nature. He went back to his drawing board and re-branded. Inyanya has grown from the R & B lover boy singer to a serial club-banging-hit performer. Currently, he is one of the hottest and most sought-after musicians in Nigeria.
28-year-old Munachi Abii popularly called Muna came to limelight after winning the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant in 2007. The Rivers born diva has been on the scene since then trying her hand on several other things which include rapping, presenting and modelling.
3. K.C Limpopo
K.C is most known when “Presh” is added to his name. He won the first edition of NB Plc sponsored reality Tv Show, Star Quest, alongside his Duo mate “Presh” and together, K.C Presh released several songs before their separation. The road seems smoother for the Limpopo crooner as a solo singer, because he has made more hits and acquired more fame and wealth now compared to when he was in the group.
The cute and petite star Chidinma Ekile was born in 2010 at the MTN Project Fame Academy. She was loved by all during the competition and after she won, she has never stopped making hit songs and numerous collaborations. Although Chidinma is yet to release an album due to her engagement with school, she continues to make her sponsors proud of her.
5. O.C. Ukeje
On the acting scene is O.C. Ukeje who rose to fame as one of Nigerian’s biggest actor from Amstel Malta Box Office (AMBO) reality show. Ukeje started acting from his first year at the University of Lagos where he played a lead role in a stage play. He was a stage actor for four years before his big win. His first screen appearance was in White Waters 2008 alongside Joke Silva and Rita Dominic. Ukeje has a thing for cinema movies and that is a great standard if you ask me.
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As a dancer, choreographer, dance instructor and fitness coach, Kafayat Oluwatoyin Shafau is popularly known as Kaffy. She is a Guinness World Records breaker for “Longest Dance Party”. The prolific dancer, wife and mother of two is also the founder and owner of Imagneto Dance Company. Kaffy has not for one bit gone off stage since her emergence. Even while she was pregnant, she did an energetic dance of Beyonce’s “Who Run The World” on the MTN Project Fame Stage.
31-year-old Kogi state born singer Praise Ugbede Adejo, better known as Praiz was the second runner-up at the maiden season of Project Fame West Africa. So far he has done several hit songs and national/international collaborations. His most famous songs include “Rich and Famous”, “Sisi” and “I Love You”. His most popular collaborations are “That Stupid Song” with Bez, “Oshe” with Awilo Logomba and “Acapella” with DiL and Lynnxx.
8. Omawumi Megbele
This Ambrose Ali University Law graduate was the first runner-up of the first edition of West African Idol. Although she didn’t win the competition, she has more fans than the winner and was even more popular than him at his early stage of stardom. Aside from being known for her hit songs like “In the Music,” “Bottom Belle” and “If You Ask me,” Omawumi is a brand ambassador for Globacom, Konga and Mortein.
9. Dare Art-Alade
Darey is probably the first Nigerian celebrity to rise to fame on the back of a reality TV show. He participated in the 2004 edition of Project Fame Academy and emerged third in the contest. The award-winning musician and songwriter is the son of iconic Nigerian entertainer, Art Alade and he is an awesome singer.
10. Timi Dakolo
34-year-old King of soul music, Timi Dakolo rose to national fame after winning the inaugural season of Idols West Africa in 2007. Prior to that, Timi had won a local talent hunt contest G.E FACTO in Port Harcourt and had been singing in a choir since he was 12. Just like Darey, Timi’s music is for mature minds and he does major presidential shows across the nation and beyond.
11. Yemi Alade
Born as Yemi Eberechi Alade, “That Yoruba Igbo Girl” as she calls herself came into limelight after winning the Peak Talent Show in 2009. The 25-year-old from Abia State is best known for her hit single “Johnny” among others.
12. Uti Nwachukwu
Uti first participated in the Next Movie Star before contesting at Big Brother Africa reality TV show in 2008. He was evicted from the house after spending 42 days, but since he was an interesting housemate he was called back to the house in 2010 as a contestant in Big Brother Africa 5 which he eventually won. Uti has since become a celebrity, he currently co-hosts the popular African Magic program, Jara and also “The Winner Is” reality show.
13. Brian Okwara
30-year-old Bryan Okwara won Mr Nigeria in 2007. He also got to the semi-finals in the Mister World 2007 competition. Since he hit the limelight, he has done several movies in Nollywood and is one of the most handsome faces in the industry.
14. Ebuka Obi-Uchendu
Ebuka was a housemate on the first season of Big Brother Nigeria. Although he finished in the eight position, he got popular due to his easygoing nature. Ebuka is one of the most visibly successful BBN housemates. He is a co-host of The Spot on EbonyLife TV on DSTV channel 165 and also Naija Politics on the same station.
15. Kenneth Okolie
Kenneth Okolie is a Mr Nigeria 2010 and 2nd runner-up Mr World 2010. He is currently making a name for himself in the Nollywood industry and has a unique dress sense that suits his awesome physique.