From Zero To Heroine… China Nicky Wins


Starsha 14%

Camareh – 21%

China Nicky – 65%

The world’s greatest classical dramatist, William Shakespeare wrote in one of his timeless plays that there is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at flood leads on fortune.

So is it for Haja Mariama Kamara aka China Nicky who was crowned on Sunday, 15th October, 2018 at Quincy’s (former Paddy’s International nightclub) as the winner of the Big Sister – Salone TV reality Show was, before now, a relatively unknown entertainer that featured with renowned comedian, Sara D Great.

So eagerly anticipated and hot was the crowning event that the entire stretch of Sir Samuel Lewis Road in Aberdeen along which Quincy’s is located was jam-packed.  As can be expected in such intensely competitive events, it was not unusual to see fans and supporters of the three finalists clashing outside and inside the venue. These clashes scared away some people but  were not troubling enough to cause a cancellation of the event to deter the crowd from thronging into Quincy’s  to be part of the groove.

Foreshadow of who the winner of the Zainab Sheriff inspired Big Sister Reality TV Show was seen in the thousands of ‘Rashul Gang’ paraphernalia that was seen everywhere, outnumbering any other contestant by a big margin.

Indeed, when the final fan support numbers were announced, China Nicky scored an overwhelming 65% with her closest rival Camareh scoring a distant 21% followed by third place winner Starsha with 14%.

Majority of people who watched the series as it progressed and those that were at the final agreed that it was a well deserved victory for China Nicky whose crowning qualities, according to many, were her naturalness, sense of humor and ability to entertain with words and phrases that appealed to and captured the imagination of the grassroots, such as her coming up with the word “Rashul” which is actually pronounced in Krio as “rasul” in English meaning wrestle.

China Nicky’s ascent from zero to national heroine can be said to have come about by a stroke of luck. Zainab Sheriff, the CEO of ZedZee Multimedia Entertainment Ltd, who had taken part in the South African Big Brother, came out of the House with the idea of launching a national version of the globally popular brand. It took her some years putting the idea together before approaching the CEO of African Young Voices (AYV) Media Empire, Anthony Navo Jnr., who readily and willingly decided to put his money on it. With funding secured, Zainab and team went round the country auditioning to find twelve lucky talented young women who would be in the Big Sister House.

Poor, barely literate but ambitious and determined to make a name for herself, China Nicky, who got her nickname from a combination of her admiration for Ninki Minaj and she having Chinese features, took the plunge and got admission into the House.   As the month-long show progressed and most of the housemates evicted, with two others and China Nicky staying on and exhibiting her charm, grace and confidence, she started winning hearts and minds. She faced many eviction threats but when her closest challenger Kula was evicted, it became inevitable that the crown would rest on the head of her, who has now become a brand name, going  home with a brand new Suzuki mini saloon car, Le10 million and prospects of bigger things to come in the entertainment industry.

An appreciative nation that followed the show and helped to make it a resounding success has congratulated Zainab Sheriff, AYV, Africell and other sponsors, the girls in the house and all who contributed to its making and airing. At the end of the day, everybody was a winner including Mama Salone whose name has now gone far and wide because of the Madam Ella Koblo Gulama Big Sister show whose primary purpose was to showcase women as more than just beauties to be admired but also to be admired for their brains and talents. This, many said, will serve as motivation for other girls with hidden talents to come out of the closet and show the nation and the world what they have to offer.

Many people also stated that whilst the show lasted, it brought together Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad beyond tribal, regional, religious and political lines and succeeded to build a bridge across what one commentator called a deeply polarized society.

Meanwhile, critics have said that Big Sister which seeks to market the country’s culture positively to a large international audience left a lot to be desired but that from the criticisms and recommendations that were made, the producers should not be discouraged but see the programme as a work in progress with a lot more to be learnt that would go to improving both content and meaning, making the process universally relevant and acceptable.