Ilebaye is one of the most talked-about housemates in the BBNaija All-Stars season.
Ilebaye has won the hearts of fans watching the Big Brother Naija All-Stars season. When she was unveiled as one of the 20 housemates of the biggest reality TV show in Africa, Ilebaye was one of the least ranked housemates because of her age (22) and the fact that she did not command a strong presence on social media.
Two weeks into the show, the model has emerged as one of the strongest contenders for the grand prize of ₦120 million naira.
She won the hearts of viewers around the globe, mainly because she was bullied by some older housemates in the Big Brother House.
Fans reasoned that she was bullied because she is the youngest in the house and called for Big Brother to protect her.
While many believe she is being bullied, others argue that she is playing the victim to get pity from fans and improve her chances of winning the show or staying longer in the house.
A major altercation that made fans side with the 22-year-old was a scenario that saw 31-year-old fellow housemate Tolanibaj pull up the duvet while Ilebaye and Neo were in bed.
A shocked Ilebaye would scream as Tolanibaj made whore remarks at her and walked her out of the room.
Ilebaye has been referred to by several housemates as “smallie,” a Nigerian slang used to address someone perceived as the smallest or youngest in a group.
Some housemates also believe Ilebaye is playing the victim in the house, but during a dairy session, the Big Brother Naija “Level Up” Season 7 housemate disclosed that she finds it hard to reply to housemates that are way older than her and lamented that they were taking advantage of the situation.
In her bid to stand up for herself in the house, Ilebaye squared off with another housemate, Angel, who is just one year older than her, and went on to prove a point as she exchanged words with Cee-C and risked disqualification after grabbing her hair while trading words.
Cee-C is 30 years old, which means she is eight years older than Ilebaye. Her quarrel with Ilebaye confused the narrative that Ilebaye was playing the victim, as some fans believe she is tired of being bullied and is now standing up for herself.
Big Brother Naija is a reality TV show, and housemates should not be blamed for assuming fake personalities as a strategy to win the show.
If Ilebaye is playing the victim, then it must have worked, as voting in Sunday’s eviction proved that she is nowhere near eviction.
She is up for eviction again, and it might be hard to write her off as housemates who remain in the show despite being up for eviction several times end up being the strong contenders.