Mike Edwards, a former British high jumper is the first runner-up of the Big Brother ‘Pepper Dem’ edition.
Born to a Jamaican dad and Nigerian mum, the cigar-loving athlete won the hearts of fans and viewers of Big Brother Naija for 99 days. In this interview with PREMIUM TIMES, he speaks about his post-BBNaija plans.
PT: Fans applauded you for staying faithful to your wife during your stay in BBNaija house.
Mike: I am a strong individual, a strong man and I didn’t show my weakness, so, to me that was just amazing. I expect nothing less from my girl. To remain in the house for 99 days I never had any personal doubts for me. It’s just normal. I made a commitment before I even said I do, I made it clear to myself to be faithful till death.
PT: Weren’t you tempted?
Mike: Of course not.
PT: So, do you have plans to relocate to Nigeria from your UK base?
Mike: Yes, I plan to move to Nigeria immediately. My wife and I are making plans together. Right now, we are still discussing and making arrangements. But, for now, we are taking it day by day.
PT: What made you decide to be a part of Big Brother?
Mike: It is one of the greatest platforms in the world so I wanted to challenge myself. To be honest, it was something I saw in the challenge and it was the fear of the unknown. It was more attractive to me because I knew that it was what I wanted to do, challenge myself beyond, you know, if you do the same thing expecting different results, it’s insanity. So, I knew, let’s try something like this and see how far we can go and it ended up being a great opportunity. I will never regret it.
PT: How would you like to be addressed? An ex-housemate, an athlete or a businessman?
Mike: President of Cruisetopia.
PT: You may not be in the mind of the voters but who do you think worked against you?
Mike: I can’t really say because I knew I was real. I can’t be anybody else but myself but I am confident enough to know that it pays to be myself. Truth be told, I feel like I can go through a lot of ups and downs and somehow find the way to persevere and you know, me being an athlete. I can’t stop being me at this stage, I know anything else that could be used as a strategy aside from me being myself. I knew consistency is always key for me. So, that’s the only way I could describe it. I trust the process of being consistent every day, and I wanted to walk out a winner and it didn’t fail me, I walked out a winner.
PT: Were you disappointed?
Mike: No, absolutely not. I knew that stepping into the house was a win for me, anything else was a bonus. So, I always felt I am in the best time in my life, I just keep reminding myself that that’s why it was easy for me to have so much cruise because ultimately I knew we all were winners in our all unique ways.
PT: So, are you saying you didn’t make any sacrifices at all while you were living in that house?
Mike: Of course, the sacrifices I made were disconnecting from my wife for 99 days. If I didn’t have the consent of my wife I wouldn’t have partaken in the show. I am a married man, I don’t have to discuss things that don’t need to be explained, and I think that’s the relationship I have with my wife.
PT: Was there ever a moment in the house when you just wanted to throw in the towel?
Mike: Those are the time when I thought to live in that house, biggie was going to surprise me with my family members or someone I know.
PT: Tell us about your Cigar brand, Aireyys?
A. Aireyys cigar brand is an extension of myself. I have always seen myself as a brand. It is a distinguished taste, if you love it, you like it. My wife and my team, ran the business while I was away.
PT: How about your professional career?
Mike: I represented Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games in Australia and the African Senior Athletics Championship in Asaba in 2018. So, right now my focus is to set up my future with my family, so, that’s my priority right now.
PT: How much of Nigeria culture are you in tune with?
Mike: I am every bit a Nigerian. My mother is Nigerian and my dad is Jamaican.
PT: What’s the major takeaway for you from the show?
Mike: Never take things too serious, be brave enough to have an open heart. You never know when you’re going home, literally.