Growing up, I often felt torn between two different identities, unsure of how to navigate my place in the world.” she says. “But then it also comes with this thing where people feel like they know you, even though they don’t says Maria on the January /February issue
PUBLISHED: June 29, 2023
After what feels like a long while, I would say three weeks since I finally got to meet Maria since we had our first meeting via Skype. as always, Maria looked stunning as she sat across from me at the studio
This was my first-time meeting Maria, she was the kindest person I've ever encountered and when I went up to her, she felt totally at home once we exchanged pleasantries. I have always wondered what it’s like to live in her world. Then she looked at me and said, “As a woman who was born to a family of seven, a Nigerian father and a British mother, she has personally experienced many of the challenges and struggles that come with being caught between two cultures. Growing up, I often felt torn between two different identities, unsure of how to navigate my place in the world. I struggled with feelings of alienation and a sense of not belonging, as I felt the pressure to conform to the expectations and norms of one cultural group or the other. But she has been able to navigate through that coming from a family who valued love as a significant value. switching between attending school in England and Nigeria when she was very young because she was raised in both countries. It was difficult moving to Nigeria to study. According to her, “Life was incredibly difficult, I won't lie, and there were many things I didn't fully understand, not just in terms of culture but also in terms of attitude or how people regarded me.”
Her parents were very supportive to her and her siblings. "My dad always pushed you to go at your own pace and to take the direction you wanted to in giving all the love and support to me and my siblings. As she tried to pick up a hair brush Maria had a brief pause before recalling "Oh yes! Initially, I was a law student at A level in the UK. My father plainly wanted me to study law, so after high school I went to college and began my legal studies. He claimed that I could argue and talk my life away.” She then laughed cutely. “Although being a lawyer is something I always wanted to be, I plainly walked out of law school after my second year since it wasn't my route and I had little interest in it. And doing it in the UK was pretty difficult, so I gave it up and pursued performing arts.” I was puzzled thinking why did she give up on that dream, to me she would have been an amazing lawyer because from the short time she seems to be an ambitious lady who is a goal getter then I had to ask why? she said “
“Being a lawyer is something to be proud of, I plainly walked out of law school after my second year since I felt it wasn't my route and I had little interest in it. Because I was the only black kid in my class, my lecturer made comments " In my opinion, that exhibits a little racism”; after all, I'm a female with brown skin, and I've always had trouble blending in in both nations. There were many other people of all colors in my law school class back in the UK, but I remember one teacher who kept repeating, "You can't truly see a black lawyer or a black judge in England." This affected me because he makes these comments regularly, it felt like as attack and as a young lady I decided to quit being but I still went to law school to because of my dad but eventually i summoned the courage to tell him and when I told him I was only studying law to please him and didn't want to, he asked, "Well, why didn't you say so? We wouldn't have bothered. We don't pressurise each other in my family”. so, I gave it up and pursued performing arts.”
After pursuing performing arts, Maria moved down to Los Angeles in an effort to make it big in the Movie and Entertainment industry, she spent a few months in Hollywood. However, when her plans for success fell through, she returned to the UK to return to her previous works.
Then Maria continued, "I worked for quite a few companies in the UK". "I've been primarily involved in hospitality and customer service. After working as a personal assistant for banks and other financial institutions, I relocated to Dubai to work as a flight attendant for Emirates. From there, I simply made the decision to test Big Brother, and now here I am.”
The majority of people only know Maria as a former Big Brother Naija housemate, from the reality television show based on the Big Brother franchise. The show is produced in Nigeria and features a group of contestants, known as "housemates," who live together in a house equipped with cameras and microphones. The housemates are isolated from the outside world and would compete in various challenges and tasks in order to win prizes and avoid being evicted from the house. The show is known for its drama and intense interpersonal relationships between the housemates. I asked her to share her journey of how she got into Big Brother and how she handled the drama associated with the reality Tv show. Maria told me that she initially had kept her plans to compete in Big Brother Naija with her family. I asked her why she kept that a secret from her family, she admitted that she had genuinely feared being disheartened.
"And I was genuinely afraid after leaving the show. I wondered, "Oh, what would my siblings think of me now?" but they didn't seem upset at all. They claimed to have mostly watched me, but they didn't really use the word "proud," she restrained a chuckle, "but there were just some things you showed on TV that we didn't know about you." So yes, that was definitely pretty illuminating for them.
When I asked her to elaborate on what she meant by "illuminating," she stated that one of her sisters believed that Maria was trying too accommodating and giving room for so much that she would not normally tolerate as a person just to make others comfortable. Thankfully, Maria is now attempting to be herself and is not concerned with what others may think of her.
As there is a popular culture associated with the Big brother Naija frenzy with fans going the extra mile Trolling and Dragging each other Favourite housemates and a whole lot of rumors where on the internet, people would undoubtedly claim that she just gets what she wants due to her good looks. When I asked her about it, she responded, "In Nigeria, I think we tend not to acknowledge women's achievements unless they are tied to a male, at least that's how I see it. I don't know how the Nigerian mentality genuinely functions.” Then she continued to add nicely that everyone is beautiful in their own way, not just in Nigeria but throughout the world. Of course, I'm a gorgeous lady, but it hasn't really helped me. Despite the fact that it might partly be my fault, seeing as I hardly step out of the house.
I distinctly recall reading some information about Maria on the internet, some of which struck me as being a little improbable. I made the decision to ask the source directly for the benefit of her devoted followers. Many of us have probably seen somewhere that she was engaged and starting to work at the age of 16! "Yes, I was employed at age 16." She says I believed that everyone was aware that working at a young age is fairly common in England. I was more or less a sales girl when I worked in a tiny store close to where my mother lived. That was my very first job ever.
As for the engaged part, well, that part is true. I was in a relationship, albeit one that I wouldn't call that, and the rest of my family wanted us to get married, even though my dad wasn't in favor of it. We didn't indulge in any sexual activity, but I did secretly get engaged to him. That much sums it up; it was sort of a young love kind of thing. I suppose that settles it; we now have our answers!
I continued down a perilous path and asked Maria Chike the most audacious question I had ever posed. For a long period of time, there has been a rumor that she had stolen someone else's spouse, and I must confess, I felt a little uneasy about it, but that's part of my work. “I never actually gave an interview on this, she continued. People have asked me about it, but I have no authority to respond because I didn't start the rumor in the first place. In essence, it's something really personal, but I'm not in a position to discuss it. I will, however, admit that I have never taken anyone else's husband.” May I say how much I adored her response?
What will the legendary Maria Chike do next? What do former housemate do once they leave the house? Our chat suggests that she is not quite done with the world. She's returning better, more resolute, and stronger! And I must tell you, this woman has a lot of ambitious plans! she has been spotted at a movie set alongside Pete Edochie, Hilda Dokubo and other Nollywood bigwigs’ weeks right after her time at the Big Brother Show. And she is currently working on a surprise TV project, and we anticipate seeing more of her in 2023.
I've conducted quite a number of celebrity interviews, and Maria Chike is one of the greatest I've ever spoken with (despite the fact that she dislikes the label of celebrity). She was amiable, polite, and incredibly down to earth from beginning to end, and she truly expressed her opinions. I can't wait to meet her again later on!