Photo Credit: Thisdaylive

There are different things people do to succeed. Some believe in hard work and persistence. They are in constant quest for what to do differently and are ready to stretch themselves so long as it takes them away from their current realities towards their dream. Others do not work so hard. They sit and spend more time on strategies and cash in on any need they notice and provide the solution. This category of people are smart, they work smart. 

There is a third category. These people rely on ‘juju’.  What the ‘juju’ does is to nullify and defy every other contributory factor to success and simply offer juicy and sumptuous results.  I must add that some of the ‘carriers of the juju’ do not know anything about it or did anything to activate the potency. Perhaps, some conspiracies of forces and interests marked their forehead with an indelible symbol of the god which then attract and manipulate all negative circumstances into desired results.

Erica Nlewedim was just a normal girl struggling to keep life together. She had attempted walking into limelight through the door of beauty pageantry. She had appeared in a number of flicks from the Nigeria movie Industry. She was also a model. All these were sufficient to the extent that she was not begging on the streets and not living in homeless people’s camp. That was before her ‘juju’ was activated. 

On the 19th of July, 2020, Erica walked into the BBNaija House in Lagos with other 19 contestants. BBNaija is the Nigerian version of the Big Brother reality show.  They were all targeting the singular price since there was only one space at the top for THE winner.  The last man standing got N30m cash and other prices that came up to N85m.  In less than two weeks into the 71-day show, while many others were still checking out fellow housemates, her weaknesses have started hitting everyone in the face.

She was the second lady to demonstrate poor self-control, even to engage in sex on national television. Does this matter? Yes, in a clime like Nigeria where morality guides almost everything, and the people are very quick to judge and convict anyone who falls short of that standard, it will be considered disgraceful for a lady to expose her bare buttocks on TV under the influence of a man’s touch.  Kidd Waya discovered this part of Erica on time and took full advantage of it.

Erica lacked emotional intelligence. Many ladies will find a way to keep two men in the waiting room for as long as it takes them to sort out who and how to discharge the other. She found herself under the subtle pressure from Laycon and she caved in. 

This lady loses it completely once alcohol slips into her system. Her gullibility is a huge worry for her lovers.   Erica has short attention span. She gets worn out easily when her brain is tasked. Housemates who ganged up against her while she remained on the show are quite aware of this part of her.  

All these weaknesses, which frankly is not comprehensive, manifested just in the first three weeks. The rest of the days, Erica was bare faced, nothing to hide or surprise anyone.  Then 22 days to the end of the show, after several warnings by the host of the show, called Big Brother, Erica was disqualified. She left disgraced, beaten and bartered.

But you see, when that ‘juju’ is working for you, the unimaginable strength springs out from the dirt of weaknesses.  Have you considered how cow dung and decomposing waste affect dry grain of corn that is just beneath the surface? While you think about that, let us point out a few of the proof that Erica’s juju ‘dey work.’

Today, Erica is the biggest product of BBNaija 5 after the winner, Lacon.        

Before the show officially came to an end, Erica was N30 million plus richer

Brands are falling over themselves to secure her signature.  

Some are even ‘dropping’ their preferred choices for Erica. 

What has happened so far is that any product she touches, becomes gold.

Her fanbase is no longer what we all use to know. It’s now a cult.

People of faith will call it grace; it is unmerited, unwarranted and beats human understanding in all ramifications. But for the purpose of this piece, Erica Nlewedim’s ’27 juju’ is certainly not asleep. 

Happy 27th Birthday to Erica as she turns 27 on March 13.

Chinedu Ejike is a writer in Lagos



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