In seconds, the internet can transform a person’s status from just an ordinary individual to a celebrity. But it takes something phenomenal and a stroke of luck, or if you like, fate, to become a viral sensation.
They say even the lamest content on the internet can go viral these days and countless examples abound. Ekuma Jeremiah, the hawker, who was caught on camera giving money to inmates in a Nigerian Correctional Service bus in Ajah, Lagos, in January 2022, is one of them.
Unfortunately, only a few can manage and milk their newfound fame correctly.
In this article, PREMIUM TIMES presents the story of some ordinary Nigerians who caught our attention after they became social media sensations.
James Obialor, aka James Brown, became famous for saying, “They did not caught me” when he was arrested and paraded by the Nigerian police in 2018. He also claimed to have been infected with HIV at birth.
He was arrested alongside 46 other men for being allegedly gay and spent a month at the Ikoyi Correctional Facility. A court later dismissed the case against them.
In 2021, James Brown released a single titled “Hey Dulings,” a catchphrase he uses to address his fans on social media.
Gradually James Brown began to maximise the opportunity of being an internet sensation. He soon gained even more popularity for dramatic grammatical errors, and he groomed himself into a brand influencer, an actor, a comedian, a crossdresser, and a social media influencer. He is currently verified on Instagram with over 1 million followers.
James Brown is studying at the London Business School.
Jumoke’ Oni Bread’ Orisagunna. This young lady is perhaps one of the most famous people to make this list. Ms Orisagunna became famous after she mistakenly walked in on the photoshoot set while hawking her wares, which happened to be ‘Agege bread.’
Ms Orisagunna unknowingly intruded on the session as a famous photographer, TY Bello, took shots of international star Tinie Tempah.
In no time, the photos went viral. Bello also located Ms Orisagunna, who became a model at the time. Not just that, she also became a prayer point with people asking God to ‘blow’ like her.
She maintained the momentum for a while but eventually faded into oblivion. But unfortunately, her newfound fame also came at a price; she eventually left the father of her children, who accused her of becoming wayward while she focused on her modelling career.
As a result, the mother of two abandoned all her social media handles since April 2020 and has gone under.
Blue-eyed Risiqot Ayegbami and her children
Sometime in 2020, a young lady who travelled to Ilorin for Eid celebrations discovered two sisters, Kaosarat and Hassanat, who had blue eyes. She also discovered that their mother, Risiqot Ayegbami, also had the same unique feature. It took no time for their photos to go viral on social media, primarily after she gathered that their father had abandoned them because of it.
Famous photographer, Mofe Bamuyiwa, took lovely photos of the unique family. First Lady of Kwara State, Olufolake Abdulrazaq, and Toyin Saraki, wife of immediate past Senate President, intervened with the initial cash donation of N250,000 each for their upkeep. In furtherance of her gesture, she announced a scholarship for the enrollment of the two children at Roemichs International School, an expensive school for children of the rich.
The positive attention they gathered soon made her husband and the children’s father have a change of mind and return to the family, where they live happily ever after, hopefully.
Dede Nne, aka Mr Spell Buhari
Before Dede Nne was given the name ‘Mr Spell,’ he was considered a mentally disabled man, not until fate smiled at him when he went viral after he was filmed attempting to spell “Buhari” in a viral video.
He became known as Mr Spell Buhari and became famous. Mr Spells became the talk of the town and even appeared at shows with celebrities. However, his fame was short-lived, and he has since returned to his former lifestyle of roaming the streets again.
Black Camaru and Evangelist Oba (E fi owo ran si)
Black Camaru, born Kamarudeen Yusuf, and his pal Emini Oba, also known as Evangelist Oba, became internet sensations in 2021.
Unlike others who stumbled on fame, this duo tried different avenues to ‘blow’ on social media, but nothing seemed to work.
After their skits went viral on social media, they eventually found their big break. The video birthed slang like ‘you wanna see crazy,’ ‘there’s no money on the ground,’ ‘my mouth is dry like the ‘sound’ of the dessert,’ and many more.
They are still riding on the high of their newfound fame. But unfortunately, it only lasted for a year as Nigerians have since moved on to other social media sensations.
Mary Daniel, an amputee, caught the attention of Nigerians after one young man noticed her hawking’ pure water’ on the streets of Oshodi despite her condition.
Ms Daniel lost her legs and her parents in 2006 in an accident. In a blink of the eye, she had become a sensation on social media platforms. During several interviews, Mary claimed that her leg was amputated after a ghastly car accident that claimed her parents’ lives when she was young.
She said the incident made her drop out of school to provide for her baby and her aged grandmother.
After gaining the attention of many, especially government and non-governmental organisations, her story ended happily.
She commissioned an N17.5m building she bought from donations made by generous donors within and outside Nigeria.
On the expansive premises of the house in the Igando area of the state, she has completed a sachet water factory. The house comprises four apartments of two bedrooms each. Several allegations trailed her rise to fame, but she overcame them all.
Oreofeoluwa Lawal aka Mummy Calm down
Oreofeoluwa Lawal became a Twitter sensation in 2020 after a viral video of him begging his mum to calm down when she wanted to beat him for something he had done wrong.
Neither the four-year-old nor his mother, Toluige Olokoobi Babalola, had envisaged that the video would go viral and catch the attention of the executive governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos.
After that viral video, young Lawal made a debut appearance in Nollywood when she snagged a cameo role in Kunle Afolayan’s ‘Swallow’ movie.
We can’t forget Success Adegor, the 7-year-old Warri girl who made the headlines in March 2019, when sent home from her school over her parent’s inability to pay her school fees.
She was flogged and sent out of school due to her parent’s inability to pay her school fees, and then Success indeed became a success story.
The little girl became an internet sensation when a video of her reacting to her dismissal said, “I will leave this school for una’, went viral.
She maintained that her school authorities should have flogged her and let her stay in school rather than chase her home.
Success’ video caught the attention of notable Nigerians, including filmmaker Charles Okpaleke, Mr Jollof, and Super Eagle Star Etebo, who promised to train her up to university level.
However, Mr Jollof was able to get in touch, and he has paid the defaulted school fees with further promises of sending her to a private school after she completes her exams, which he did. So Success was sent to a private school, enrolled in the school, and relocated to a new environment. After then, not much has been heard about the hilarious, brave girl.
In January 2022, a hawker, Ekuma Jeremiah, who sells bottled water in the Ajah area of Lagos state, became yet another internet sensation beyond his expectations.
In a viral video filmed by a motorist, Emmanuel Ojo, the hawker Jeremiah was spotted giving money to some inmates inside the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) van.
The pure water seller surprised many Nigerians for giving prisoners out of the little he earned from the business.
The development saw billionaire businessman Obi Cubana offer him a scholarship and place him on one hundred thousand naira monthly salary. Obi Cubana and Daddy Freeze also accompanied him to receive his admission letter. However, Jeremiah seems more focused on finishing his education than fame and attention.
Jeremiah is now an undergraduate of Ebonyi State University, studying for his first degree in Law.
On March 3, 2022, videos of two security guards at a Chicken Republic outlet dancing heartily to music made rounds on the internet.
In the video, the security guards, known as The Happy Boys, were seen dancing to Pheelz and Buju’s club anthem, Finesse.
While everyone was excited by their dance moves, there was a rumour that they were fired from their position as security guards.
Twitter users were unhappy with this supposed development and called out the company.
Chicken Republic released an official statement denying claims that they were fired.
In a statement posted on their official Instagram account, they said the two security guards in the video work for a private security company.
The General Overseer of Omega Power Ministries, Chibuzor Chinyere, also offered scholarships. The young man behind the trending video, Caleb, was also given a scholarship.
Also, Ossai Ovie Success, Special Assistant to the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, offered them jobs.
Born as Idris Okuneye and now popularly known as Bobrisky, this 30-year-old crossdresser interestingly found fame.
His journey to becoming one of Nigeria’s most prominent internet sensations began in 2016 when the police in Lagos arrested and paraded him for allegedly scamming some men of their money in the disguise of a woman.
In 2017, he topped the list of the most searched Nigerian on google.
At the time, Bobrisky owned a shop where he sold cosmetics, skincare products, and creams.
Bobrisky also worked for the famous Nigerian fashion entrepreneur Toyin Lawani until they fell out in 2018.
In 2017, Bobrisky made her Nollywood debut in ‘Ojuloge’ and then toured the United States of America.
The popular crossdresser has always asked to be addressed as a female. He also said he became a crossdresser because of his struggles.
While he always dons female clothing, Bobrisky always dresses as a man when attending family functions and whenever he lands in the police net for his numerous spats with business owners with whom he influences for.
Bobrisky has gathered affluence, and she currently boasts 4.3 million followers on Instagram.
The crossdresser’s many controversies have ensured that he remains top of mind on Snapchat and Instagram, where he holds sway.
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