Organizers of the biggest reality TV show, BBNaija, have unveiled plans to host another edition of the BBNaija Reunion show in June 2021 featuring the 20 housemates from the Lockdown edition. The Lockdown Geng will meet once again and get the opportunity to clear the air and express their real feelings towards each other, with conversations steered by the show’s host, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu.
As viewers countdown to the show’s premiere, they are currently getting insights into the life and celebrity status of Olamilekan ‘Laycon’ Agbeleshe, winner of the last season, in his eponymous series I Am LAYCON showing on Africa Magic channels.
I Am LAYCON premiered on DStv and GOtv (AM Urban, DStv channel 153 & AM Family, DStv channel 154, GOtv channel 2) on Saturday, May 22 and as much as it finds Laycon recalling his time on BBNaija, the show puts the reality star on a more purposeful path; his world of music. This is evident in the first few minutes of the show as Laycon reintroduces himself, talking about how he’s all about the music. Laycon’s music persona as a singer/rapper predates BBNaija, releasing his debut EP Young Black and Gifted in 2016, followed by two mixtapes in 2019 Any Given Monday and Any Given Monday 2, then the Who Is Laycon EP in 2020 and this year’s Shall We Begin.
Of course, I Am LAYCON doesn’t spotlight Laycon as an isolated subject. He’s in a familiar bubble of friends and family, and also a management team. There’s Temit Gomez, his manager who met Laycon in 2014 with so much ambition and drive, Yomi his brother and personal manager, Sore his booking manager, and Toriela his content manager who supervises the content that gets uploaded on Laycon’s social media platforms.
The dynamic between Laycon and this larger group doesn’t feel lopsided. Warming up to a new, huge house gotten for Laycon, they all camp in the living room and talk about mundane, casual things, house rules (the men can’t bring a woman for a sleepover), and other things of relevance. There’s a scene between Laycon and Yomi in the bedroom where they share a moment of banter. It’s about his time in BBNaija and going into the house with a preexisting relationship of 5 months and his interest in housemate Erica. There were moments cutting back to Erica being verbally abusive towards Laycon, and depending on whose side you are on, the clip functioned as fan service.
There’s a protective sisterly love that Toriela shows towards Laycon. In a private chat with him the next day, hanging out outdoors, she is displeased about a picture from a deal that was uploaded onto Laycon’s social media. According to her, the images don’t look great in a way that aligns with Laycon’s celebrity status. The scene also shows how celebrities strive for some kind of perfection across the board, from their appearance to public statements. Behind a management team, their public personas are burnished and tweaked, and it’s understandable to viewers why Toriela would feel unhappy about the images.
Celebrities often live regimented, tightly scheduled lives, depending in what area they are famous for. In this reality format, subsequent episodes show Laycon’s life dictated by schedule and programming. He attends the birthday of the CEO of a brand where he performs for the audience, then visits the CEO of Fierce Nation, the label he’s signed to. He attends Joeboy’s video shoot, a meet-and-greet at ICM and returns to his school the University of Lagos for the first time since BBNaija, dropping by at the popular pasta spot Koredde Spaghetti and linking up with friends. Then a visit to Oba Adeniyi, who sees him as an inspiration for their community and unilaterally makes him the youth leader of Ogbokiya.
Laycon’s inclination towards music also rears itself strongly in between these episodes. He’s trying to record songs for his debut album after all. ”When you see yourself as an artist, what do you see?” Laycon asks ex BBNaija housemate Vee after a studio recording session with producer Pheelz. Vee’s confidence about doing music is shaky, and both of them have a heart-to-heart talk about pursuing music. For Laycon, he’s determined that music is his path. It is what he talks about with producers, directors, and fellow artists. It’s almost like he needs to prove himself.
Laycon’s health is also an important theme on the show, living with the sickle cell condition which became public knowledge on BBNaija. It’s in the conversation with his brother Yomi, about taking some time to rest and the complaint about the loss of appetite. In one episode, Laycon visits a sickle cell center in Surulere, Lagos where he’s given a tour around the facility, shown world-class devices for the management of sickle cell in various ages. Reckoning once again with his condition makes Laycon very human on the show, even though he’s now occupying a new space of celebrity.
There’s still more to come on the show as Laycon navigates the world of relationships and romance (he’s already been on a blind date), putting finishing touches on music videos and recordings and finding a balance between celebrity and self. Whatever I Am Laycon brings, it’s undeniably Laycon’s gift to his unwavering fans.
The season finale airs Monday night at 10pm on AM Urban and 10:30pm on AM Family.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies and reading comics and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.