A former Big Brother Naija housemate, Natacha Akide, aka Tacha, tells OGHENOVO EGODO-MICHAEL about her career and other issues
Tell us about your background.
I was born and bred in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. I grew up in a family of four— two daughters and my parents. My dad is from Rivers State, while my mum is from Ghana.
When people hear the name, ‘Tacha’, what will you want to come to their minds?
When people hear the name ‘Tacha’, I think ‘bold and confident’ comes to mind.
How did you come about the title, ‘PH’s First Daughter’?
I represent my city so well. I am always proud of Port Harcourt; it is a city of hustlers. It is a city I cannot remove from my journey, hence the title.
You have often said that you hate gossip. How do you react when you learn that some people had been gossiping about you?
I try not to pay attention to what people have to say about me. I would rather focus attention on myself. It is one thing for people to have what to say about one, and another thing for them to have the right thing to say about one. As individuals, we can only control our narratives. Instead of concerning myself with what people say about me, I spend more time on myself and my brand.
Do you think that without your participation in Big Brother Naija, you would be where you are in your career today?
The BBN platform definitely added to my brand. I had fans before the show but the show helped my fans to come together. It is definitely part of my growth and my journey. It is a platform I will forever be grateful for.
You have been entangled in many controversies over the years. How were you able to use those situations to your advantage?
I always love to find a good in all situations. It is either I am learning a lesson from it or, there is a reason it happened. If something goes wrong today, I tell myself it is meant to be for something else to go right. There was one thing people did not know about me while in the Big Brother house. I was never scared of eviction, because I believe every situation is a win-win.
You have often spoken about the state of things in the country. Do you intend going into politics?
Yes, I do, because one cannot effect certain changes if one is not involved in the system. I am currently not making any move towards that but in the long run, it is something that might happen. I always say that we cannot change the country if we don’t love it. If one’s family is staying abroad, even if everywhere in the country is burning, one would not care.
For now, it is about me lending my voice and encouraging people to exercise their rights. Nobody thought the Osun State election would go the way it did (an opposition party winning). This time (2023), we are ready and we will see it to the end.
What are three shocking things people don’t know about you?
I am a big sweetheart. I am an introvert and I love my space. Thirdly, many people do not know that I have been travelling round Nigeria, ‘preaching’ to people to get their permanent voter cards.
What do you miss the most about your life before fame?
I cannot go out the way I used to before. I cannot be like a regular person, except I am out of the country. Everywhere I turn to, it seems people know me there, and it does get overwhelming. There are certain days when I don’t want to be Tacha. Even when I disguise sometimes, people still recognise me from my distinct voice. Sometimes, I have to install voice changing apps on my phone when I want to speak to someone and not sound like me.
Who are some of your mentors you have met since you came into limelight, and which of those meetings stand out?
Nicki Minaj is my all-time number one favourite but I have not met her yet. However, I really love all the women in the industry. I particularly admire Tiwa Savage, Omoni Oboli, Uche Jumbo and many others.
I also love Don Jazzy. He is a big inspiration.
You have often spoken about certain national issues. Unlike some other celebs, why do you care about things like that?
We cannot just sit and do nothing. Many people have their personal interests, and some are not talking perhaps because they are gaining something from the country with the way it is. As for me, I have always wanted to be a better Nigerian. We have been lied to by our leaders who always turn a blind eye to our situation. With our eyes being open, we can see clearly that these people (politicians) are just playing around with us. You cannot be in public office, yet your child schools abroad. We are all human beings and we all matter. Many students are at home because of months-long strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities. We need to stop the bias. We do not have leaders that love the country.
Upon getting out of the BBN house, you said you were not well and it took you a relatively long time before you started posting on social media again. Regarding that, what impact did the happenings in the house and your disqualification have on your mental health and how were you able to overcome them?
There wasn’t really a breakdown, per se. In coming out of the house, there were many people who thought I would not amount to anything. So, I had a lot of work to do.
Before going into the house, did you expect that you would have so many fans?
While in the house, whenever I needed support, I knew there was an army outside the house who were voting (for me). All of the things I did in the house made them strong and committed to my journey. But, I had no idea that people were actually coming together as a team on my behalf.
You have undoubtedly grown over the years. How were you able to build your brand to this level?
It was done through consistency, hard-work and staying focused. When one is in the limelight, there will be many distractions, yet there are new celebs every day so, one cannot be distracted. One has to stay true to one’s brand and keep creating content. I always knew I wanted to do more. BBN was just another milestone for me.
How did your online store, Everything Tacha, come about, and how are you able to manage it with your busy schedule?
The brand was introduced in 2018. I cannot remember how it came about but I am a big shopper, who likes to have all her essentials in place. I thought of a place where people could buy many essentials at a go. Managing the brand could be exhausting sometimes and there could be a lot of pressure, but with the help of my team, business has been going well. I always make sure to keep an eye on it from time to time.
How were you selected for United States of America ‘The Challenge’ reality show and how was the experience?
It was great. It was a completely different show from Big Brother Naija. It involved a lot of physical challenges. It was really tough. One time, we had to jump off a cliff into an ocean. There was another challenge where we were in a moving airplane and we were throwing things down from the plane into a car.
How many tattoos and piercings do you have and are you looking to get more?
The last time I checked, I had nine piercings. I have eight on my ears and one on my lips. I have three tattoos.
What is the most unforgettable moment of your life so far?
Losing my mum is a moment I will never forget.
What is the most expensive outfit you own?
All the outfits in my closet are expensive. I majorly work with designers and stylists, so I do not know which of them is the most expensive.
Do you have any plans to get married?
I do but I am currently single.
You live a luxurious life and some men may be scared of approaching you for relationships. Have you ever had to be conservative about your achievements to avoid scaring men away?
My achievements are out there most of the times to inspire young girls like me who are just regular people with big dreams. It is important to put this out there to encourage people that anything is possible. They need to know that one can make it in a clean way, because I am doing it. I will never dim my light for any man or relationship. If one wants something, one should go for it. If you are a man out there and you think you like Tacha, totally go for it. There is nothing stopping you.
What are the funniest reasons past relationships have ended for you?
These guys don’t even give reasons; they just start to act funny. Most times, I just read the energy and bounce (move on).
You used to be passionate about Davido, and at a point, you tattooed his face on your boobs before taking them off. Do you still see yourself working with him in the future?
It will not be a problem to work with David. I consider him to be the greatest of all time. I love the fact that he works like an up-and-coming artiste who is still hungry. He has consistently been giving his best.
Another edition of Big Brother Naija has commenced. What can a housemate do to stay till the end of the show?
I will advise them to play their game smartly. They have to know that they don’t have information about what is going on outside the house. They just have to be smart because there aren’t times to make corrections. The way you start might take you to the end or take you out.