by Akan Ido

Pretty and vivacious Halimat Aitsegame has emerged winner of the 2012 Next Movie Star. The fair-skinned, lithe beauty trumped other contestants in the keenly contested reality television show to win for herself a brand new SUV with cash and movie roles in her kitty, and a lifetime thrust into moviedom – and why not, after all see what happened with past contestant, Tonto “It’s Ova” Dikeh.

Read ‘I started singing in 1995 – Stella Damasus refuses to be compared to Tonto Dikeh’ HERE

During the tension-soaked moment when the judges, actress, Bukola Ogunnote and marketing communications expert, Yinka Opadere, called the remaining finalists together, it was pin-drop silence in the typically boisterous House. The runners up were the first to be announced; Olajoju Muse, Babatunde Samuel and Chibufue Bridget, each of who will get different prizes. And when Halimat’s name was announced as the winner, she sank to her knees and let loose a torrent of tears. It was a moving moment for the 2010 theatre arts graduate of the University of Ibadan who confessed that her father never wanted her to study her course of choice, much less be an actress.

NMS 2012 Housemates

“It has been a very tough battle convincing my dad that this (acting) is my calling, it is what I am passionate about but he wanted me to go the conventional route of Law, Accountancy and the likes. I am happy that Next Movie Star has proved me right,” she said amidst tears. Continuing, Halimat stated that beyond the prizes that come with her victory, her ultimate victory is in the fact that her dad can now appreciate the seriousness of her chosen career.

According to Ogunnote, a renowned Nollywood actress, “From the day Halimat entered for auditions, we knew she possesses the attitude and aptitude of a successful actress which we thought she probably acquired because she read theatre arts. She however proved to us while in the house that she is a complete package, an embodiment of great acting skills and an onscreen delight. I am not surprised at all that she won. She deserves it. More importantly, however, all the contestants are winners in their own right because it is not easy earning a spot among the lucky 20 that were chosen from thousands Pan-Nigeria.”

The executive producer of the show, Sola Fajobi, says, “I am happy that another edition of the Next Movie Star has ended on a high note. We promised from inception to give young acting talents that might never have the opportunity a platform to achieve their dreams and we have kept our words. Despite the challenges of having to organize this every other year without a sponsor, we are grateful that we are still providing that platform many young people need to attain their full potentials.” On the new winner, he says, “Hearing her story after she was declared winner brought tears to my eyes, all she has had to do to convince her father that acting is the path she chooses, this is the kind of thing that gives me fulfilment. I am sure the viewers who voted her did not even know this story of hers, which points to the fact that she is indeed a strong potential for the global movie industry.”

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