A former contestant in the Big Brother Naija reality show, Terseer Waya, aka Kiddwaya, tells TOFARATI IGE about his career, foundation, love life and other issues
What projects are you working on at the moment?
One of the main projects I am working on is the Kiddwaya Foundation. We are working non-stop to make it as impactful as possible. Outside of that, I am generating content with my amazing team. They are quality materials that reflect me, in the areas of my journey and lifestyle. When I am not busy with my brand or the foundation, I am engaged in producing entertainment content.
What are the activities of your foundation, and was it something you started after BBN?
It is something I have always thought of doing. Even when I was in the BBN house, my mind was always on the foundation, in terms of how I can give back (to society) and leave a legacy. I believe every person that has a platform or is from a background that can make a difference should be able to create something that can help other people. I feel we were all put on earth to assist one another. My foundation would help the masses and empower people in Nigeria and Africa. It has always felt like the right thing to do and I feel my life would be incomplete without doing something as big as that foundation.
You are known to be a fitness buff. How do you think fitness can help in terms of tackling mental health issues?
Firstly, being fit makes one confident. We look at our body and it affects us. Someone who was out of shape but later got fit would feel good about themselves and that would subsequently improve their mental health. Mental health has to do with the mind. When one is confident and happy with one’s life, one would think positively because a lot of mental issues come from a negative cognitive process. I recommend using physical activities to help one’s mental health.
While in the BBN house, you cooked a lot. How did you become a great cook?
I have always enjoyed cooking. I usually watch cooking shows and I have always being curious of different ingredients. Also, I have always been very experimental. Even in Chemistry class in school, I would mix different chemicals. My mum knew I loved cooking and always tried new things. I also attended a cooking school and I applied the skills I learnt.
What is your favourite food?
My favourite food is beef burger and probably, chicken and chips. In recent times, I have this new obsession of eating ‘swallow’ and soup, especially when I have a hangover.
Rich kids are usually perceived as brats but you seem to be well behaved. How did your upbringing shape you into the man you are?
I went to boarding school at the age of six, so I had confidence and independence from an early age. Imagine being alone with people of different nationalities for years. I learnt about different cultures and how different people act. My environment shaped me into who I am. And, whenever I went home for holidays, my parents instilled a certain level of discipline in me, which kept me focused. My experience in the boarding house made me humble and understand people. I never look down on anyone.
You have a tattoo that says, ‘Only God can judge me’. But you’re in the public eye and get judged by people often. How do you balance that?
I always remind myself that “nobody will follow one to the grave”, so one cannot live one’s life based on what other people think of one. I trust my process and I have confidence in myself. Whatever I put out or say might not be the right thing, but I make sure it would do more good than harm to me. I am very confident and I try not to listen too much to outsiders.
In the BBN house, you showed off your acting skills. Is that something you intend to pursue?
Absolutely. I have got a lot of movie offers but I have not accepted because I feel it is not time. I respect actors because they are doing great jobs. When one is acting, one has to immerse oneself in the role. Before I go into acting, I want to be in good physical condition. Next year, I would look more into acting. It is definitely something I have wanted to do right from childhood.
Due to your privileged background, some people believe you have had an easy life. What is your reaction to that?
The question should be, “What do people refer to as an easy life”? I don’t think any life is easy. My experience in 2020 has not been an easy one, and I am sure that goes for many people as well.
Yes, I had an easy life in terms of not having to suffer like some people, and that is on one level. However, expectations are very high from my family. At some level, they expect one to do things well and that starts from school. Life is not easy generally, especially when one is an adult. But, when one works hard, one can make life easier for oneself.
In Nigeria, people who have privileged background get things done easier. Did you have that same experience in the United Kingdom?
In the UK, I was independent. Things there are very different because one has to do things by oneself. It does not matter who one is; everyone is treated equally.
What are the most important life lessons you have learnt over the years?
One of the most important things I have learnt is to always treat people with love and respect. One does not know who the person sitting on the floor today would be tomorrow.
What do you regard as your lowest moment?
I am still learning and growing, so I have not had any low moments I can remember. I try to forget about negative things and move on quickly. However, 2020 has been a very low moment for everyone in general. Some people lost their lives, while some were relieved of their jobs.
To some people, you cut the picture of a playboy. How would you describe your love life?
I do what I want, while being a gentleman. I would not really say I have a love life. I am more focused on work, the future and making a better life for myself.
Are you a playboy?
No, I am not. People think I am a playboy because I am gentle, nice and look good. I am just nice to women and I know how to treat them. The fact that I have a lot of women around me does not mean I am a playboy. If I want to get married today, I would do that. And, if I want to date a girl, I would also do that. If I want to get married, I would be committed to a long-term marriage. I don’t think I have a love life. I think I have a life and I am trying to find love.
Are you saying you are single?
You would have to wait and find out. The year is just starting.
Where did you learn how to treat women?
I attended co-educational boarding schools, so I interacted with a lot of girls and learnt about them. I also grew up among strong women. When one is around powerful women, one would learn how to treat women.
How would you describe your relationship with Erica Nlewedim and how did you feel about her disqualification from BBN?
I don’t want to talk about her disqualification. She should be the one to talk about that. Besides, she is trying to move on from that. She does not want to be reminded about it every time. However, our relationship is cool.
You were in your home state, Benue, sometime ago and there was a large crowd that heralded your arrival. Some people on social media insinuated that the crowd was rented. What is your reaction to that?
If people think the crowd was rented, then everybody that came out that day deserve Oscar Awards because their performances were amazing. For those who think otherwise, that is their opinion. But, I know the love was real and I am very grateful.
Considering that you grew up in the UK, what connection do you have with Benue State?
The connection is very deep. My family is from there and that was where my parents got married. I don’t remember if I went there as a kid because I grew up in Kaduna State. I may not go there often but whenever I am there, it always feels special. That was why when I went there for my homecoming, it felt so emotional and real.
You were also in Sierra Leone. What were the notable moments you had there?
There were so many and you would not even believe if I told you. It was so surreal. We had an amazing experience there.
Some people are of the opinion that BBN contestants don’t deserve the celebrity status they are accorded because they did not do anything special in the house. What do you have to say to those with such mindset?
I think people should look at it (BBN)as an opportunity for people who want to change their lives. If one takes away the accolades, one is taking away a lot of opportunities for Nigerians. It even adds to the country’s economy. It is a great way to start one’s career and it would change one’s mindset.
What were the most memorable experiences of your childhood?
I loved boarding school. I also loved being with the friends I grew up with. However, what I enjoyed most was the fact that I was always with my friends and I felt very independent at a young age. My childhood was very different from the average childhood where kids play with toys. Mine was with foreigners and that is why I have a lot of connections.
How did attending a boarding school impact on your relationship with your family?
I learnt a lot of skills in boarding school. Bringing those skills into the family made the bond stronger. Even when I was in school, we spoke a lot.
What were your childhood ambitions?
I wanted to become a footballer, rapper and actor.
How would you describe your relationship with your dad?
It is very good. My dad has always had my back. He is always doing things for one even if he does not let one know. He is very amazing and our relationship is very strong. I look up to him and wish to be like him.
How did you feel about your dad being your huge supporter while you were in the house?
I didn’t know because he did not tell me he was supporting me. I only got to know from family members when I got out of the competition. I am very grateful to have a father like him.
What kind of relationship do you have with your mum?
We have a close relationship. She is my best friend.
How would you describe your style?
I wear whatever I feel like wearing. That’s my style.
Your dad is known to love the designer, Versace. What part of your style did you get from him?
We don’t have the same income, so his wardrobe is better (more expensive) than mine.