Whitemoney says an individual once tried to lure him into the world of drug smuggling during his tough days.
The BBNaija 2021 winner revealed this in an interview with BBC Igbo where he recalled his early struggles.
“I auditioned for billboards. I got tired. I tried for BBNaija from the time of Efe until I got in. Someone tried to make me smuggle drugs. I wooed ladies; they rejected me for being poor. I worked as a driver, sold shoes,” he said.
“I was born with a silver spoon. That got taken from me at a tender age, leaving my brother and I on the streets to hustle. My brother wouldn’t allow me to do the hard jobs. He did bricklaying in Benin; we were paid with bread.
“What we were practically doing was begging. My father left us. We went to Kaduna and my brother found his calling in computers. I had a thing for singing. Years later, we found our dad and lived with him for a few months.
“We left to live with our mom and started cooking. My brother went to computer school. In SS3, I had no money to pay for my O Level exams. My uncle helped. Thereafter, my life changed. We entered the streets fully.
“While my mum cooked, I learned. We were serving double portions to attract customers. That was our only income source. When she was sick, our cooking paid her medical bills.”
Whitemoney touched on how he monetised his songwriting, relocated to Lagos where he lived under a bridge.
“A friend of mine came to serve in that village. I told her I could barb hair and that I also wrote songs. I wrote a full album and she took it to Lagos. She was to shoot a video for one of the songs and had me come to Lagos,” he added.
“I decided to stay back in Lagos. I sought work in a barbing saloon but got none. I was under pressure to move out from where I was squatting. My shop in Kaduna got burned so there was nothing to go back to.
“I started living under the bridge. We would defecate and dispose of it in plastic bags. We bathed in the public. But I didn’t lose focus. I met a lot of people, including those who did things to me. I went through a lot.
“In 2015, someone help me with money and a vehicle but that was short-lived. I started from scratch, struggling. I sold jewelry, hawked fries on the streets, sold cream, barbed hair. I got rejected everywhere I sought work.”
As the 2021 winner, the grand prize of N90 million was handed out to White Money.
The sum of N30 million was made available in cash while N60 million was to cover travel and other gifts.