I’m A Celebrity 2023 star Nella Rose reveals sudden loss of her mother sent her into a spiral of debt and homelessness – before her father passed away four years later
I’m a Celebrity 2023 contestant Nella Rose’s charisma as an influencer has earned her 750,000 YouTube subscribers and close to 1 million followers on Instagram.
But behind her online stardom is a tragic past with the devastating loss of both parents plunging her and her older brother into homelessness while she was at university.
The 26-year-old, whose full name is Ornella Rose Hollela, previously told her TikTok followers: ‘When you’re an immigrant, have been homeless, lost both parents, family have disowned you, constantly body shamed but God continues to bless you.’
She has opened up on the trauma of her mother Eseho Omolongo’s sudden death in 2016, revealing she died in her arms and describing it as the worst thing that has ever happened to her.
And further tragedy hit Nella when four years later in 2020, her father Kamango Paul Hollela also passed away – leading her to pen an emotional tribute where she spoke of his suffering and pledged to make him the ‘proudest dad’.
I’m a Celebrity 2023 contestant Nella Rose’s charisma as an influencer has earned her 750,000 YouTube subscribers and close to 1 million followers on Instagram
Nella Rose as a contestant on popular show ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’
Nella posted this image as part of a montage of her mother after her tragic death in 2016
The influencer told how her mother died in her arms, and said it was the worst thing that has ever happened to her
Nella’s father also tragically died in 2020 – she posted this image of him along with a tribute
‘Rest in Peace Daddy, watching you suffer for the past month has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life but at least you’re not in pain anymore,’ Nella wrote
Nella started her YouTube channel in 2015 with hair tutorials and fashion tips and has grown into a much-loved content creator
I’m A Celeb 2023 is kicking off the new series with a challenge like no other, dropping three unsuspecting celebrities in the very heart of the sizzling Australian outback – including Nella
Nella started her YouTube channel in 2015 with hair tutorials and fashion tips and has grown into a much-loved content creator, well renowned for her chatty beauty videos and witty sense of humour.
The influencer, thought to be the youngest celebrity on this series of the popular ITV2 show, has hosted MTV’s show Catfish among other high-profile hosting gigs.
Set to attract a younger audience, she will be a clear favourite as countless fans on TikTok are flooding I’m a Celebrity videos with cries of ‘Nella Rose for the win’.
She is now worth several hundreds of thousands of pounds and she bought her first house in the capital last week – a far cry from her poverty-stricken upbringing.
Nella, of Congolese descent, arrived in the UK from Belgium at the age of seven with her mother and older brother Albert.
Set on losing her thick French accent, the I’m A Celebrity contestant would watch videos of Ant and Dec while growing up in north-west London to adopt a British accent.
After her mother died unexpectedly in 2016, the council took back the family home from the teenager and her brother, leaving Nella to live at her accommodation in Leicester University or with friends.
She told fans on YouTube about the devastating loss of her mother, explaining: ‘She died in my arms. It is the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my life.
Nella, of Congolese descent, arrived in the UK from Belgium at the age of seven with her mother
The influencer, thought to be the youngest celebrity on this series of the popular ITV2 show
She also has her very own YouTube series with fast fashion brand PrettyLittleThing dubbed The Pink Courtroom
Nella Rose pictured arriving at the Brit Awards 2023
She looked laidback as she carried her bags, dressing for comfort in stretchy black jumpsuit and matching trainers as she arrived at Brisbane Airport for I’m A Celeb
‘I was planning on using my student loan and my little YouTube money to pay the rent and bills.
‘But then my brother and I get a letter telling us we had 30 days to move out. So I’m in my second year of uni, I’m dealing with my mum’s death and now we’re homeless.
‘My uni room was my house or I was going on brand trips abroad in the holidays because I was running away from the fact I had nothing to call my own, nothing solid, I was escaping my problems.
‘You all thought I was living my best life, but in reality, I was homeless, living out of a suitcase and hopping from bed to bed.’
At 20, she rented her first flat in an affluent area of London and admitted it cost thousands to furnish.
But Nella added: ‘I didn’t want this to be my life. I wanted to come home to my mum and live with my family.
‘Instead, I come home to echoes and will be alone until I marry.’
Nella’s father then also tragically died four years after her mother. After his death, she penned a poignant Instagram post to him saying: ‘Rest in Peace Daddy.
‘Watching you suffer for the past month has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life but at least you’re not in pain anymore.
‘Gonna make you the proudest dad ever in the years to come because I know you’re still by side every step of the way.’
Nella’s father then also tragically died four years after her mother
‘Gonna make you the proudest dad ever in the years to come because I know you’re still by side every step of the way.’
Nella posted a series of images with a tribute to her father
Poised to shake up the I’m A Celebrity Jungle this year is the TikTok sensation Nella Rose – as her vast internet fame will attract millions of young viewers to the ITV reality show
Nella sky-rocketed to success when she began posting YouTube videos with her friends discussing topics such as, ‘Growing up in African household’ and ‘Things girls do that boys don’t like’
Nella looked raring to go on Sunday as she arrived in Australia to take part in the latest series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
The YouTube sensation was spotted smiling and waving as she touched down in Brisbane airport, just three hours after the first celebrity contestant, Nigel Farage.
Read more: I’m A Celebrity FIRST LOOK: Josie Gibson, Nigel Farage and Nella Rose join forces in tough opening challenge to help their fellow campmates while stranded in the Australian outback
She looked laidback as she carried her bags, dressing for comfort in a stretchy black jumpsuit and matching trainers.
Nella added a padded black gilet over the top and hid her eyes behind a pair of oversized sunglasses.
Nella sky-rocketed to success when she began posting YouTube videos with her friends discussing topics such as, ‘Growing up in African household’ and ‘Things girls do that boys don’t like’.
Fans are expecting her to clash with one specific campmate in the jungle, potentially creating one of the biggest feuds ever on the ITV show.
Her political views are the complete opposite of those of co-star Nigel, the former politician who has a long history of campaigning for Brexit and anti-immigration laws.
Fans are anticipating ‘chaos’ between Nella and Nigel as they come face to face in the jungle. One person said: ‘Nella and Nigel Farage in one space is going to be quality British TV. I can’t wait’.
Another added: ‘Nella Rose and Nigel Farage on I’m a celebrity is going to be CLASS’ while a third echoed: ‘Nella Rose and Nigel Farage in the same environment is KILLING ME’.
A fourth agreed, saying: ‘Wait nella rose being in a jungle with Nigel Farage this is going to be CHAOS!!!’ And another said: ‘Nella Rose and Nigel for I’m a celebrity get me out of here? That combination??? I shall tune in’.
Campmates – Fred Sirieix, Grace Dent, Danielle Harold, Marvin Humes, Josie Gibson, Jamie Lynn Spears, Sam Thompson, Nella Rose, Nigel Farage and Nick Pickard
Nigel Farage, Josie Gibson and Nella Rose for ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’
Read more: Nella Rose looks in high spirits as she touches down in Australia ahead of I’m A Celebrity launch as fans predict major clash between the YouTuber and Nigel Farage
But Nella herself was once embroiled in a race row and was forced to apologise for a series of shocking tweets.
The YouTube star posted a string of offensive messages on Twitter from 2012 until 2016.
In the historic tweets, she had complained about being on a bus with Somalians and wondered why black girls made certain make-up choices.
But in a later video, shared in 2020, she expressed her remorse while admitting she felt she was ‘anti-black’ at the time and sorrowfully questioned how she ever thought such tweets were ‘acceptable’.
In the video from three years ago, Nella said: ‘I cannot explain how sorry I am for those tweets. Borderline those tweets were terrible, I’m not going to lie to you…’
She added: ‘They were terrible but I’m not going to come on here and be like ‘I was 12, I was 13, I was immature, I was the product of my environment…
‘Two wrongs don’t make a right. I was foul mouthed. I was rude. I was dead wrong. I was ignorant, I’m not going to lie. I was anti-black and it’s weird to say because obviously I’m black but I was anti-black.’
Nella went on to make the heartbreaking admission that she ‘hated being African’ when she was growing up in London.
She said: ‘When I was growing up, living in London, it’s not that I hated being black, but I hated being African. When you’re in year seven, year eight and stuff like that, Africans were always getting cussed…
‘People were getting cussed for having big lips, I was getting cussed for my nose and having picky hair…
‘I was so ashamed of being African that when it came to bringing packed lunch in, I didn’t want to because I was scared that I would stink up the place…
The influencer added that she wondered how she ever held such views in the first place and thought her comments would get the ‘attention’ of the Somalians she was complaining about.
She said: ‘I genuinely sat there and believed by cussing Somalian people, I would turn the attention of what people were saying about me. I don’t even know how I thought that was acceptable.’
The down-to-earth content creator is now regularly featured on Footasylum’s YouTube channel, often appearing next to famous faces such as Chunkz and Filly.
She also has her very own YouTube series with fast fashion brand PrettyLittleThing dubbed The Pink Courtroom.
Nella Rose and Oobah Butler arrive at Nachtresidenz during the MTV Europe Music Awards 2022
But despite all her achievements and resilience, Nella told the I’m a Celeb team for her profile that she was ‘fearful of everything’
The show puts toxic relationships centre stage, airing out lovers’ cheating as well as other indiscretions.
Her incredible YouTube career has garnered her many opportunities outside of the platform too.
In 2021, Nella was a co-presenter with Oobah Butler on MTV’s Catfish UK, uncovering the internet’s best liars.
The viral sensation has had her own line with PrettyLittleThing, and is also an ambassador for Fashion Nova’s Curve range.
She also has her very own streetwear clothing line named Faces London.
But despite all her achievements and resilience, Nella told the I’m a Celeb team for her profile that she was ‘fearful of everything’.
She described herself as an ‘open book’ whose role in the camp is to keep morale and humour high.
I’m A Celebrity 2023: Meet the campmates
Claim to fame: Former leader of the UK Independence Party and leader of the Brexit Party.
Phobias: Nobody likes rats, snakes and I am dreading anything to do with heights.
Biggest misconception you want to dispel?: I have been demonised over the years and so it will be nice to show people I am not nasty.
Role in camp: Lead on starting up plenty of campfire discussions.
Aside from your family, what will you miss the most whilst in camp?: A pint in the pub and the news.
Best & worst attributes: I hope to cheer people up when they are down. Worst? I am impatient and I do snore.
Dream camper: As a controversial political media figure, I never name names… But I am looking forward to meeting interesting people from all different fields
Claim to fame: EastEnders actress.
Phobias: Rats. I hate them!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle?: I can be a little ditzy at times but I am definitely not a ‘dumb blonde’. I want to show I can do the trials, challenges and get stuck in.
Role in camp: Shoulder to cry on, help others if they are feeling low in camp.
Aside from family, what will you miss most whilst in camp?: Snacking. I am a little muncher and I am going to miss my morning cup of tea, too!
Best & worst attributes: I’d like to think I will be good if people are really struggling. I am not, however, very good at being bored, nor am I a morning person either.
Dream camper: Ed Sheeran. If he brings his guitar into camp, he can sing for us.
Claim to fame: First Dates star.
Phobias: I am scared of everything. I am dying to find out how vile the food will be!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle?: I don’t think there is anything but I am looking forward to learning more about myself during my time in the camp.
Role in camp: I will definitely muck in with all the jobs. I don’t mind cooking or cleaning the toilets.
Aside from your family, what will you miss the most whilst in camp? My bed. It’s super comfy. I will also miss a cup of coffee in the morning.
Best & worst attributes: I like to have fun but I do snore and I am impatient!
Dream camper: It’s going to be nice to meet everyone but I’d love to see Dolly Parton, The Rock or Snoop Dog in there.
Claim to fame: YouTuber and Catfish UK star.
Phobias: I am fearful of everything!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle? I am a pretty open book.
Role in camp: Keep the morale and humour high.
Aside from your family, what will you miss the most whilst in camp? My phone… I am always on it!
Dream camper: Alison Hammond or Adele.
Claim to fame: Hollyoaks star.
Phobias: I am a bit scared of the dark. When you go to the House of Horrors at Halloween and things jump out at you, I am not very good when I can’t see!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle: It will be nice to go in as me and not as my Hollyoaks character.
Role in camp: Grafter or chef, I am quite good at cooking. But I’ve never cooked on a fire before. Aside from family, what will you miss most whilst in camp: Football and my creature comforts.
Best & worst attributes: I’d like to think I am a nice person and a good team player. I am not lazy but I do have a few bad habits like picking my nose. My girlfriend has been trying to train me to stop!
Dream camper: Sir Alex Ferguson or Neil Warnock.
JAMIE LYNN SPEARS
Claim to fame: Zoey 101 and Sweet Magnolias star.
Phobias: I am scared of everything.
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle?: I think this is a nice chance to show who I really am.
Role in camp: Hopefully I will be the one who can support everyone.
Aside from family, what will you miss the most whilst in camp? A normal bathroom, air conditioning and my bed.
Best & worst attributes: I think my best quality is it takes a lot to hurt my feelings; but I am impatient and my family would say I get in a bad mood a lot.
Dream camper: Nicole Kidman, she is my favourite actress in the whole wide world, or Reece Witherspoon.
Claim to fame: Made In Chelsea star and radio presenter.
Phobias: I am not a creepy crawly guy and I hate anyone or anything touching my neck.
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle?: Since the age of 21, I’ve spent my whole life on TV and so I feel whether people have a good or bad opinion of me, it’s probably warranted!
Role in camp: I’m a ‘yes’ man so cooking, cleaning I will do whatever they want me to do.
Aside from family, what will you miss most whilst in camp?: I know this sounds lame but gaming.
Best & worst attributes: I’d like to think I am the court jester and I don’t take things too seriously, so if anyone is having a bad day I would like to put a smile on their face. Worst? I am quite forgetful and I am bad at focusing on things.
Dream camper: Stephen Fry. I think I would self-combust if he was going in the jungle!
Claim to fame: This Morning presenter.
Phobias: Insects and I freeze every time I see a spider and I am not sure what I am going to do if I am in a trial with them!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle?: I would like people to know I am very clever at knowing useless information!
Role in camp: Mum. I am very motherly and I also love chatting to people.
Aside from family, what will you miss most whilst in camp?: Getting up to blow dry my hair and putting a bit of make-up on!
Best & worst attributes: I am an optimist and I love meeting people from all walks of life. Worst? I can be quite nosey and I am worried about my temper if I am too hungry.
Dream camper: Dawn French, I love her.
Claim to fame: JLS star.
Phobias: Heights. I have pulled out of a skydive with JLS in the past because I was too scared!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle: To show I am not just a member of a boy band. It will be nice for people to learn more about me.
Role in camp: I’d like to think I will be a shoulder to cry on and a mediator.
Aside from family, what will you miss most whilst in camp?: My fantasy football app! I am obsessed with it! Four weeks without music is a long time, too.
Best & worst attributes: I’ve got three children under the age of ten and you definitely need a lot of patience for that! Worst? Rochelle would probably say I get ‘hangry’ if I don’t have enough food.
Dream camper: Paddy McGuinness – I’ve done Soccer Aid with him before and I know he’s funny, he gets stuck in and he is hands on.
Claim to fame: MasterChef star and food critic.
Phobias: Horrible people.
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle: People think I am quite forthright and scary but I don’t think I am scary! Hopefully people will see this.
Role in camp: Shoulder to cry on and I am a practical cook so I can help out.
Aside from your family, what will you miss the most whilst in camp? My three cats and my make-up bag. I love a bit of glamour.
Best & worst attributes: I would like to think I am funny! My worst quality is lack of sleep. I like my sleep.
Dream camper: Queen Camilla. She would be very practical. And Madonna – she could perform tracks from her Greatest Hits tour!
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