Not many relationships formed in the Big Brother house stand the test of time. But the one between Kevin Chuwang Pam and Elizabeth “Liz” Gupta is an exception.
The fun-loving couple met in 2009 while they were both housemates in the Big Brother Africa Revolution house.
During the show, Kevin developed a crush on Liz but they managed to keep the relationship under wraps.
The beautiful love story between the Nigerian rapper and his Tanzanian beau blossomed after the show ended.
Kevin proposed to Liz on stage at an event in Port Harcourt in 2010 and they eventually tied the knot two years after.
PREMIUM TIMES had a telephone interview with the couple where they revealed how they found love in one of the most unlikely of places.
PT: Your union has continued to wax stronger. What is the secret?
Kevin: Well, here is someone (Liz) the whole world said was turning down my advances when we were in the House together. Critics didn’t think that we had a future together after Big Brother. But here we are. Elizabeth has been in Nigeria since we wedded and she has adapted very well. Our union has really surpassed expectations of many.
Liz : I feel proud and happy to be married. I still am head over heels in love with Kevin. Our union is a great achievement.
PT: How do you react to tales that you agreed to marry him because he won the BBA $200,000 prize money?
Liz : It used to bother me, but not anymore after I realised that I am the only one who understands myself best. So when I am asked this question, I say, “Does any woman want a broke man? Yes I went for the rich guy,” (laughs).
PT: As one-time Big Brother Africa contestant, do you think relationships that are formed on the show can last?
Liz : Yes it can last and work and it all depends on the background of the parties involved. For instance, when compared to dating in the outside world for three years, you two get to see the good and the ugly side of yourselves in the Big Brother house for three months.
PT: When did you decide to marry her?
Kevin: I took the decision as soon as I stepped into the real world in 2009. Considering my new status at the time, I realised that I needed to be more responsible and focused. Liz was and still is a perfect match to make my dreams come true. I would say I am the most favoured housemate that Big Brother has ever produced. I did not only win, I found fame, fortune and a life partner. What more can I ask for? My wife is the best thing to ever happen to me.
Liz : His proposal shocked me because I felt it was too soon and we dated for only three months after BBA. I initially thought it was because of pressure from our fans so I wasn’t too sure he knew what he was doing. I kept asking if he really wanted to settle down after the fame or if we will just get into the marriage and get out.
So why did you accept his proposal?
Liz : I am a risk-taker and I can tell you that none of my friends knew what was going on in my personal life. My first ever trip to Nigeria was for his (Kevin’s) show and up till now I sometimes don’t even know why I agreed (laughs). I thought it was one of those things you do and later regret. But here I am and I happy I made the choice. It is the best thing I have done, no regrets.
PT: Were your parents initially supportive of your relationship and union?
Kevin: We enjoyed mad support from our families.
Liz: My dad is late and my mum was a huge fan of Kevin while he was in the BBA house. In short, she was angry when I kept turning down Kevin’s love advances in the house. She even had to ask my closest friends who the ‘serious’ guy I was dating outside the house was. She did this because she couldn’t understand why I kept turning Kevin down.
PT: Did you experience any culture shock when you relocated to Nigeria?
Liz: I am very adventurous with food and I cook one of the best Egusi, Kuka and vegetable soups. Kevin can testify to this (laughs). In fact, when people eat my food, they find it difficult to believe I cooked it. I cook Kevin’s local delicacies very well. But, I think I have adjusted to how ‘aggressive’ people can be in Nigeria. I don’t mean this in a bad way though.
PT: Can you share some of the differences between your country and Nigeria?
Liz: Back in Tanzania, we are slow and a bit laidback but there is this drive in Nigeria. It is sometimes overwhelming and I have finally caught up. I drive on the right hand side in Tanzania and on the left hand in Nigeria. Sometimes, I used to go blank while driving in Nigeria; I kept asking myself what side I should be on. But all that is now in the past. Aside from these reasons, I have pretty much adjusted.
Kevin: We have both had to make certain adjustments because of the culture shock. My wife has had to adjust a lot since she left her country, Tanzania, to live with me here in Nigeria. These adjustments include food, our driving method, and language.
PT: During your courtship, did you nurse any thoughts that you might be jilted?
Kevin: It is always possible to have such thought cross your mind but my faith always superseded every negative thoughts.
Liz: When some Nigerian ladies got to know we were dating I was actually getting threats and stinkers. I heard things like, “You are reaping where you didn’t sow”. But, it lasted for a short while. All that is now a thing of the past.
PT: How do you handle advances from the opposite sex?
Liz: Trusting Kevin comes naturally because he takes me along. He also makes sure I know about his admirers. My love for my husband is rock solid.
Kevin: Well, you always have to draw a line whether married or not so I guess that line has helped us manage our fans.
What gives you the assurance that he will not fall into temptation?
Kevin: The only assurance I have is the grace of God.
Liz: I love and absolutely trust my husband. My love for him is rock solid.
PT: What are some of the Nigerian stereotypes you have dropped since you married Kevin?
Liz: Since I married Kevin, over four Tanzanians have called me from back home seeking advice because they are dating Nigerian men. We have hosted some of them here in Nigeria. We have watched their relationship grow and now quite a number of them are married. In fact, East African girls are crazy about Nigerians. They are dying for them (laughs).
PT: What do you think is responsible for the attraction?
Liz: They say Nigerian men are very caring and you can’t find it anywhere else.
What are the most valuable gifts you have both shared?
Kevin: Every thing I own belongs to her so the question of sharing doesn’t even come up.
What qualities do you admire most in your spouse?
Liz: Kevin has helped me grow spiritually. I love the fact that he is very spiritual and focused.
How do you handle differences?
Kevin: We handle it maturely. We lovingly correct each other.
Liz: I am always the first to apologise after every disagreement because I can’t stay angry for so long. It doesn’t even matter if Kevin is wrong.
Do you run a joint account with your wife?
Kevin: Yes we do and it was a mutual agreement.
What adjustments have you made since marriage?
Liz: Our priorities have also changed since we got married. So, when there is money on the table it’s the kids and Kevin first, before I think of myself.