Big Brother Naija ‘Shine Ya Eye’ Season 6 winner, Hazel Oyeze Onou popularly known as WhiteMoney is living part of his fulfilled dream as he cast the first stone with his released single ‘Selense’ amidst cheery huge fan base.
Whitemoney who is known for his zealous hard work and hustling nature has been in the eye of the storm since he emerged winner of the reality show.
In this interview with journalists in Lagos, he professed his love for God and humanity, among other issues.
Talk about the just released single ‘Selense’
‘Selense’ is a very inspirational song I wrote when I was 18-years during those hustling years, I have actually recorded the song before, but did not release it. It was just in the CD plate about 5,000 copies of the song was burnt out of depression, because there was no helper and was just new in Lagos.
But when I got into the house, the talent and the music came back on its own; I am a song writer with many songs. I asked the Holy Spirit to direct me on the first song to release that would announce me to the world.
Honestly, it was Pere who really helped me to release the song because I sang it to him and Cross in the kitchen and we left. Unconsciously, Pere was singing and Cross tapped me to say Pere is singing your song.
That was how I knew this is the song to put out first. Considering how people view our relationship, he was singing my song unconsciously. Though ‘Selense’ is an amazing song, if one listens to it, the message told the story of my life and to transcend to every common Nigerian, and human being that exists to show there is faith.
How soon will you drop the e-album of ‘Selense’?
I just dropped the single ‘Selense’ on the 3rd of December produced by MasterKraft, is a banger with a video both dropped together. There should be a follow up by God’s grace by the end of January and beginning of February. I will begin with a seven-track EP semi-album because my schedule is very tight.
This is one song that is bringing people together, what then happens when an EP comes out? My genre of music is Cum-Cum united music.
What was on your mind when you were going to the Big Brother House?
What was on my mind basically was to get myself out of poverty; help my family. I was going into the house as a single person, but as a human being representing an entity of people. I was going there not just for myself alone, but for my friends, family, neighborhood and community.
You showed a lot of humility while in BBN house, where is that coming from?
Humility is of the Lord. If you are a believer who believes in God, you should know that the first thing to gain favour from God is humility. The Bible stressed being humble countless times, humility is something that every man should have; especially when someone has an understanding that the life one lives in not his or hers, but borrowed time and one can die anytime; there is no pride in the grave.
How was life before you went into Big Brother House?
Life was in a very horrible situation; not just funny. I literarily begged for everything, hustled too hard. I worked on the street, traded, hawked, helped people fix their cars and generators; drove Okada and barbed hair. I did it all even though it was not a pleasant one, but a struggling point of life.
What was the driving force that kept pushing you into all being a jack-of-all-trades?
The driving force was the fact that I am an Igbo boy, the blood of an Igbo man flows in me. One needs to make it before standing up. The fact that one already knows if you do not have money, you are a nobody in the society, no one will listen to you, you cannot have a girlfriend, you need money to keep up and look good.
Now that you have money, are you going to have a lot of girlfriends?
Now that I have money, I will have potential women, I am a descendant of Solomon, therefore, anything can happen.
Apart from money, what other good things came your way in contrast to the life you lived before?
Fame, open doors have come my way. My name now opens doors for good especially in business. When I traveled to Enugu, a guy came to me and said, Baba, I now have a girlfriend because I droped your name, I was surprised. My name makes things easy and I do not queue for things anymore, rather get a VIP treatment automatically.
What are those pleasant things that fame would rob you off?
The first thing that I am robbed off is freedom of some certain kinds of food that I love to eat. Foods like roadside mashed bean like (ewa-agoin) street side roasted plantain (boole), roadside water; do not forget that my brand is a street brand; I cannot access it easily as I used to.
Was there a time in the house when you thought you would win?
One can never enter the house with a map, it is not or a script. The best way to survive in the house is to go through every week; if one makes it every week, the fellow should be grateful. A lot of people who left the house early did not see their leaving coming so soon.
What was that unique selling point that made you win?
It is called grace. Everybody was very unique and did well, but the grace is not charm, if it is there, it is there. I believe that the grace of God was the magic and nothing else.
What about the memorable moments in the house?
First of all, entering the house was a very memorable moment and when Big Brother calls my name, then the third was winning the Lipton Ice tea influencer because I did not see that coming; even the Revolution Plus, I did not also see it all coming. The most memorable one was eating those food the last days. They were simply amazing.
Talk about your love for food?
Food is part of life and part of me. If you want to preach to a hungry man, give him food before you tell him Jesus is lord.
Jesus that we serve made manna from heaven, fed people with fish and loaves of bread; If you give me food and talk to me, I will listen to you. Food is part of human nature, even when one wants to break his or her fast, the person does it with food and not air. So, it’s not a strategy, but a lifestyle.
Cooking is a lifestyle for me because my mother had put it inside of me and it’s so easy. I see what she does and it became a skill, talent in me and I do not have to be necessarily taught.
In the house, I had to device a means with the little ingredients we had and cook up those kinds of food we ate most of the times.
As a good cook, are their plans to own a culinary school someday?
There are plans of having my own restaurant, but food business is not what one dabbles into unprepared; I am a GOTV ambassador and the reality of the show is coming up immediately. A cooking show and a restaurant is next year’s project.
What you are doing now, is it what you planned to do?
It is more than what I wanted to do. The show was over in October, and within one month and three weeks that I am out of the house, I am an Ambassador, Honourable, High Chief (first of its kind in my state) where the gathering of Igwes would come and give the youngest like me such an honour. I have been inducted into Actors Guilds and others that I cannot mention. Those are major events in my life and I dropped a single yesterday, all these within a month plus.
How was growing up?
My growing up was both beautiful and rough. I was born with silver, diamond and golden spoon in my mouth at the same time, but while growing up, I lost all the spoons along the way, not even a rubber spoon was left in my mouth. I was into the streets from a very young age, but to the glory of God, I never smoked, drank or anything that the street does to young ones. Rather the street helped to define my life and made me a better man.
It was not that easy; I have been a legitimate hustler from a very young age. It was not easy, but a process in life. If the things God had given me now were given to me two years, I would have died because I would not know how to handle them.
But have just learnt that God delays one’s blessing to have the maturity to handle them. I am a one-man-MOPOL, who does not move with the crowd because of the training I got from God and the street, not education because I did not go to school.
Giving back to the society, do you have any organized programme to do that?
By God’ grace in January, we are planning a concert of a sort that will be more of giving with music stars; though we have not fixed a date, I have gone to so many places to appreciate them, yet have not finished because the fan base that voted massively for me is big.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is not making heaven. If I die with all these glamour without making heaven, it is a messed-up situation. I want to win here and still win in heaven at the end of the day.
How do you handle female admirers?
I am good-looking, hardworking man who has God by his side. Who is of grace? There is no woman who would see a good man without liking the man. Nobody wants to align with poverty. Before this day, I could not sit with you here, but today, I treasure and cherish it a lot. I never looked up to anybody because I am a different person.
Who are your favourite designers?
I cherish all the designers who give me free clothes.
If you are asked to choose your brand in fashion, which one will you go for?
I will go to Yaba straight from where I get my boxers for N250 each till now. When I came out of the house, I went to buy boxers from my friend that costs N17,000 each which was worth the price. But I am always on the road and cannot repeat a brief. I sent my people to the usual Yaba and told them, (tell them say na White Money), they brought me 60-pieces of boxers, I washed them with hot water and hypo and have been rocking my stuff since then.
What has been your biggest mistake in life and what did you learn from it?
My biggest mistake in life is not doing proper evangelism when I had the opportunity to do. Now, I will do that very well with everything in me. I am not a man of God, but a child of God, so I want to use my lifestyle, music, fame and everything to bring people to Christ. One must not be a pastor to bring people to God. I am a diverse musician who can sing about everything. I am not a secular, worldly or gospel artiste, that is what makes me a musician. I can perform in the church or mosque as long as one is paying.
You said you did not go to school, but speak so well; do you read a lot?
I hate reading as a matter of fact and that is one of the reasons I did not go to school. All I love is to sign contract and collect my money and go. I also watch a lot of good American movies that was where I learnt good English from. If I want to talk like a Mazi, I would do that, If I want to speak like an American, I can as well do that.
Are there plans of going to school now that fortune has smiled on you?
Who wants to go to school instead of making money? The professional course I want to go into is the business of making money. There is no course that is bigger than that with the present generation. It is good to go to school, but my own brain is meant for business. After all the education, one would still need to come back and make money.
What about your shoe business?
I still have my shoes, but not just selling them because I am rather paying my dues.
How did the name White Money came into being?
It was given to me by the Holy Spirit because I prayed for it. I have different kind of names and one day, I told myself that I need a name that will cause controversy and when I call it, people will marvel, after that thought, I slept off; only to wake up in the morning with the name White Money in my mouth repeatedly. I did not know if it was a name or a song; I told my friends in the saloon to start calling me White Money, which stuck with me till date.
What advice would you give to the younger generation bearing in mind a lot of atrocities from drug, to bullying, stealing, cybercrime etc?
My advice to the youths especially between the ages of 18-25 is to be contented with what you have. The problem our generation is facing is lack of patience, greed and covetousness.
The best way to excel in life is, if you cannot go to school to study, learn and get a skill, keep on hustling and believe in God. The spiritual life has to be very sound, there is nothing that happens that is physical. The first way to move forward is God, contentment and keeping one’s hand clean.
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