On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we are excited to announce that Melvin is the winner of our video message competition targeting the African Union.
I was excited to meet Melvin again after we shared the same flight to his home country, Nigeria, after the end of this season’s Big Brother Africa. Melvin is obviously as talented as he is good-looking. Besides his above-par educational accomplishments (BSc in Chemistry, Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration), the 28-year-old has attached to his name a series of entertainment tags, including one of Africa’s most prized ones: Big Brother Africa housemate!
In fact, former Big Brother winner, Uti Nwachukwu only reflected public opinion when he tweeted in August: “I am forever proud of Melvin! Best behaved housemate in the history of Big Brother Africa! All seasons! His star continues to shine.”
But for a man so well-admired for his genuine strength of character, Melvin is obviously as unlucky as he is talented. He was first runner-up in Mr. Nigeria contest in 2011, first runner-up in Gulder Ultimate Search competition in 2009, and fifth place in Mr. Macho contest in 2008. Fast-track to 2013, and his fans were yet again disappointed when he turned out fourth place in Big Brother Africa: The Chase – Africa’s biggest TV show with an estimated viewership of 40 million people across Africa).
As part of Charity Week in the Big Brother house, the ONE Campaign worked with MNET to raise awareness on pressing issues facing Africa’s development. BBA housemates undertook a series of tasks centred on educating viewers about poverty issues facing the continent, while highlighting possible solutions. Each housemate also taped a short video message calling on the African Union to do more to address the problem. Viewers then voted on the best video on the BBA and ONE websites.
Today, in commemoration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, ONE hosted an event in collaboration with MNET to announce the video competition winner. With 51% of the vote I was pleased to join ONE members in Johannesburg to unveil, the winner… Melvin.!! Here’s a reminder of his winning video:
One would say there couldn’t be a more deserving winner and Melvin’s win signifies more than an end to his unlucky run – it is a victory of passion, dedication, and commitment, the kind of commitment and urgency that is also needed in the fight against poverty in Africa.
In his own words:
“When we got into the House, Big Brother told us that this competition was our opportunity to reach out to millions of people, and influence them to do what is good, what is right. So when this video competition came up, I was excited, I seized the opportunity, and I’m so excited I won. I think everyone needs to seize every opportunity to do something good every time.”
Melvin’s video highlights the problem of energy poverty, which affects 70% of the African population. This severely hampers life-saving hospital services including refrigeration of vaccines, job and educational opportunities, agricultural production as well the safety and security of women and girls. The video calls on the AU and African governments to end energy poverty on the continent.
“When we look at the statistics, I think we are making progress in the fight against poverty. I didn’t send this message to attack the AU. As I said in the video, they are doing a lot already. But they need to double their efforts so end energy poverty ,” he says.
Roger that, Melvin. We know that this is not just your voice – it is also the voice of 82,474 Big Brother Africa viewers who voted for the videos, and the voice of the 42, 170 who chose you as the mouthpiece.
I hope the AU listens to you, and. if they don’t, we are sure you will do what you do best: keep trying until you win!
Melvin will be joining us for a live Twitter chat at 3pm SAST on Thursday 17th October. Tweet your questions for Melvin to @ONEinAfrica and follow our feed to hear his answers.