Muma Gee was one of the female contestants in the just concluded celebrities’ edition of the reality TV programme, Gulder Ultimate Search. She speaks to ‘NONYE BEN-NWANKWO about life in the jungle where the competition was staged, as well as her relationship with Chioma Chukwuka and Emeka Ike.
Did you expect to be evicted as at the time you were? Yes, I actually did. So you never expected to be the winner?
Never. I knew I wasn‘t going to win. I knew I wasn‘t going to stand the test of time performing those rigorous tasks. I love myself a lot. I don‘t like to task myself too much, because I know I have a very sensitive skin and body system. So, I am very careful with the things I do. I knew that if they came up with tasks that were very difficult, I would work myself into eviction.
Would you have had a chance if the tasks were mainly intellectual?
Why not? What did my family spend all the school fees on?
Given the chance, would you be a part of GUS again?
No! If the setting is outside the bush, I would consider it. If we were kept in a house, I would have preferred it. But in the bush, I had series of emotional trauma each time I saw millipedes and all that. That was why I made sure I always swept the floor so that the environment would be clean. But that wasn‘t the only reason I wouldn‘t want to be a part of it again.
What are the other reasons?
I would not want to be a part of it again because it is not easy at all. But trust me, it was very nice. It was an enjoyable scene. It was fun having to be brought into a platform where you were able to mingle with other colleagues. We don‘t usually see all the time. Even when we see, it is usually on professional grounds, and it ends there. It was nice to live together in that condition. But then, it was very stressful.
How much of you did you take to the jungle? Or were you just acting?
Oh, I took my whole self. Acting is a re-enactment of life. If we say that was a reality show, then I was being compelled from my body, my soul and my spirit to put in all my best to ensure that all I did was real, otherwise, I would have been a liar. I couldn‘t have gone into a reality show and pretend or even say that all I was going to do in the show was pretence. Acting is not pretence. Acting is a re-enactment of a particular scenario so as to teach people a lesson. It was the real me that you saw in that show.
How come you didn‘t flow well with the ladies in the house?
It might have been the situation there or because of the individuals involved. I really do not know. But I know that there are some human beings who flow better with the opposite sex. Some men fell freer with women while some women feel freer with men than with their fellow women. I grew up as an only female, even though I had an elder sister who was more like a mum to me. I was an only girl among guys, so I am always a bit more comfortable among males. I love my fellow women, but I feel emotionally stable when I am around guys.
But at the jungle, you singled out Emeka Ike as the only guy you were so close to...
I had known Emeka Ike before GUS. But in the jungle, I got so emotionally attached to him. It was nothing personal. It was just the way I felt. This was a reality show and my family were not there. I was just alone with other people. Who wouldn‘t fall in love?
Oh, you fell in love with him?
Not that kind of love, please. But he took care of me. Who wouldn‘t fall in love with somebody who made your tents and had your back at any time? People shouldn‘t misunderstand that kind of love for something else. We don‘t see. I have known Emeka for so long.
You even wrote a love letter to him in the jungle, which the camera caught him reading aloud.
I am a realist. If I write a letter, it can be read in a court of law; it can be read anywhere. It can be read privately as well. I wasn‘t bothered about where he read the letter. The letter simply said how much I felt emotionally. I was only being real, I was being myself. When I was writing the letter, I was crying. I was just being myself.
You didn‘t care if his wife saw the letter or watched the episode where he read the letter?
I have been privileged to meet Emeka‘s wife. There was a time we were given the privilege to make a single phone call. Every other participant called their family members, but I refused to call because I am very emotional. I would have burst into tears or I would have been driven to come back home. So, I decided to speak to Emeka‘s wife. Emeka was always talking to me about his wife. She was so nice on the phone. She wished us luck and told us to be careful. She said we should be careful and try to support each other. I am not joking. That was the first and only time I spoke to Emeka‘s wife.
There was a story that you guys had sex in the bathroom…
People just misunderstood that scene without asking questions. I apologise to Emeka‘s wife for the embarrassment the story might have caused her. The media blew the whole thing beyond proportion. It became an object of ridicule and it shouldn‘t have been so. I respect Emeka‘s wife. From my note, you would have known that the same love I gave to Emeka was accorded his wife and children. I respect him as a married man. After the phone call with his wife, I went to the bathroom area and Emeka followed me there. we were discussing about the phone call but people now misunderstood it.
Would you have dated him if he weren‘t married?
No! I had an emotional attachment to him. I don‘t know if you will call that love. I might call it God‘s love. I don‘t really have a definition for what I felt for him, but I knew I had a special feeling for him. I knew my eyes were clear the way I felt.
Funke Akndele said she didn‘t know who you were before you entered the house. Did you know who she was?
It would be disrespectful for me to say I did not know who Funke was. I have never really been opportune to watch any of her movies. I knew I was out of the country when Jenifa was released. When I came back, my friends were calling me ‘bigs girls‘. I didn‘t understand what they were saying until they told me about the movie. But then again, before we got into the house, I ‘googled‘ all my fellow contestants. I had to do a research on their personalities and who they are to be able to relate to them and know them a little bit more. If any contestant said he/she didn‘t know me, it is the person‘s intellectual fault. Even if you do not know me, you should have tried to find out who I was since we were going to be together for some time, so that you would know the angle from which you would tackle me.
One person you had so many misunderstandings with was Chioma Chukwuka,,.
I didn‘t quarrel with her. I noticed that she hated me. I tried to make sure she was okay. I tried to advise her that she didn‘t need to like me, but she should just live with it for a while.
She said most of the stuff she did with you were mere pretence.
Hmmm. If she said so, I don‘t concur with that. If she had sent me a signal that it was pretence, we would have flowed more. I wasn‘t pretending. She was sending a message that she didn‘t like me, and that she hated me. I am glamorous and it is not my fault. I may not be beautiful, but I take care of myself, and it is not my fault. I wear the kind of hair style I want, and it is not my fault. It is not my fault that you don‘t like me. I don‘t force people to like me. People don‘t have to like me. I like myself so much to cover for every other person‘s hatred. I knew vividly what was going on and how she was treating me. I don‘t have the energy to victimise anybody, but if I get victimised, I try to take it. I swallowed a whole lot and I took it as one of those things you see in life. I have gone through a lot of hurdles in life to accommodate any other. I can take anything; any difficulty in life. That period was very difficult in my life. I was really pained. It will wear off in time, but I am deeply heartbroken the way I was treated in the jungle. This is life.
Was that why you called her a demon and said she behaved like an animal towards you in one article I read?
Every human being is an animal. I am an animal as well. We are advanced animals. But trust me, I would not use such a word against somebody. I cannot say somebody is an animal. That would be daft of me. I have a right to feel hurt because it is blood that runs through my veins. I have the right to bare my mind. The pressure I went through was so much. I am a human being. We are not at war. She can be forgiven. I have moved on. I don‘t dwell in the past. I have my album to concentrate on. I have loads of things to do. I have a very busy schedule.
Now that everything is over, could she be your friend?
She has never been my friend. I don‘t have to pretend about it. Something has to bring people together to become friends. Before GUS, we were never friends. May be that would have been a lovely platform for us to become friends, but she travelled from being non-existent to being bad. I will not go out of my way to call her my friend. Don‘t get me wrong; she is not my enemy. I am indifferent the way I feel about her. But I just didn‘t enjoy what she did to me. They were so painful.
What particular incident pained you most?
Flinging my things out of the tent was the most dehumanising thing she did. It was very painful. The marriage issue was no issue at all. If I wanted to be married, I would have been married.
Princess and Chioma said you said something that was unprintable. What was it?
I said so many things. They also said so many things. I can‘t remember what it was I said. Maybe you guys should ask them. They should remind me.
You were routing for Emeka Ike to win...
I wished all of them luck. They are all my colleagues. I respect Darey. I respect Showkey.
Do you wish you were the last girl standing?
How? I don‘t pretend. How would it have been possible for me to be the last girl standing? I am very protective of my legs. If you give me a task that will ruin my legs, I will chicken out. Don‘t you get it? If you give me a task that will scratch my skin, I will chicken out. I just went into the jungle to get an experience, and I thank the organisers for giving me the platform to get that experience.
You were not supposed to get into the house with makeup, but we learnt you came with a bag filled with makeup.
I was nominated to go in there as one of the celebrities. It was a celebrity show, I hope you remember? I am a celebrity. Part of my life style, as a celebrity, is to look good all the time. Why should I fall short of the glory of God because I am in GUS? Please! It was not possible. In all honesty, nobody told me not to bring makeup. I wear high heels and suddenly, somebody is telling me not to wear high heels again. How possible do you think it will be? I can stop eating to make sure I take care of myself. I wasn‘t making up because I wanted to look good in front of the camera. I love to make up. I love to feel good. I love to make up and be okay.
I learnt there was a time you called a conference because somebody used your disinfectant.
When you are conscious of your person and your things, you will be protective of them. I don‘t like my things being abused. I have no problem with somebody using my things, but return it the way it was. I was the only one who came complete. How can you take a fashionista like me into the jungle and you think I will not come with my gear? Wake up, please!