On Saturday, November 1, the main hall of the Women Development Centre, Awka, Anambra State, was filled to capacity with special guests who had come from all walks of life to felicitate with Chinedu Ubachukwu, winner of Gulder Ultimate Search 11. It was in fulfilment of the pledge by the Council of Elders who informed the GUS 11 winner, through Chidi Mokeme, the Anchor man, that he would be rewarded with lavish gifts and a party fit only for royalty, would be held in his honour.
In attendance at the Reveal Party were the Executive Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano and other high ranking officials of the state including the Chief of Staff, Prof. Joe Asike, several commissioners, advisers and senior special assistants.
Also in attendance were two high ranking traditional rulers: Eze Christopher Nwabunwanne Idigo IV, the Ogalagidi and Igwe of Aguleri and His Royal Majesty (HRM), Eze Chukwuemeka Eri (JP), Ezeora the 34th and Eze Aka ji Ofor Igbo. The traditional rulers were accompanied by their cabinet members.
The Nigerian Breweries Plc. delegation comprised Walter Drenth, Marketing Director, Kufre Ekanem, Corporate Affairs Adviser and Emmanuel Agu, Marketing Manager – Gulder, Legend and Life, among others.
The show kicked off with a dance dramatization of the Gulder Ultimate Search 11 backstory by The Glorious Dawn, a drama troupe. At the tail end of the drama performance a figure that adorned a red cloak, bearing semblance to an emissary of the Council of Elders, approached the stage. His appearance aroused the curiosity of the audience.
The figure let go of the cloak and it turned out to be Okey Bakassi, the event’s compere and his grand entry like an emissary of the Council of Elders thrilled the crowd.
The audience were also entertained by a video which chronicled the Gulder Ultimate Search 11 experience including the rib-cracking and exciting moments, periods of tasks and struggles, bouts of emotions and ultimately the discovery of the General’s Helmet by Chinedu Ubachukwu, the winner.
Walter Drenth, Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc., extended his special gratitude to the state governor for his warm embrace and support for the programme. According to him: “His Excellency and the good people of Anambra State ensured that Gulder Ultimate Search 11, turned out to be the best reality show that the Nigerian people have ever seen.”
According to him, Gulder Ultimate Search 11 was created in 2004 to engage youths engaged 18 and above, and provide them with opportunities to demonstrate their intellect, strength, ambition, courage and success in a spellbinding TV show.
The Marketing Director added, “Year on year, the Gulder Ultimate Search series highlights the multidimensional struggle of contestants; their struggles against themselves and nature, the search for hidden treasures, solving riddles and puzzles; crossing obstacles and great barriers and challenges; mustering physical and mental strength, working together, individually, collectively and as members of sub teams, promoting qualities of confidence, discernment, focus, courage and success, all values which the Gulder brand stands for.”
He added that the increase in the number of contestants from 10 to 14 was historical.
Walter Drenth further stated: “Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, many will agree with me that the climax was reached in the last 28 days as we were all entertained to an original Nigerian adventure programme of world class standard. We all witnessed the contestants’ battle against the wild and nature. We all saw them get stretched to the very limit of their endurance. We went as far as voting for them on a weekly basis to ensure that our favourite amongst them turned out as the Viewers’ Choice and we all watched them wrestle within the undulating plains and rough canopies of Aguleri forest in Anambra State. They have searched and seen the General’s Helmet buried far in the forest. And on national and cable TV, we witnessed the emergence of another Gulder Ultimate Man who surmounted all the odds to find the lost treasure. It was an ultimate ending to a fantastic show.”
In his welcome address, the executive governor said he was glad to be a part of the Reveal Party. Chief Obiano, an indigene of Aguleri, recalled his childhood days and the tales he was told about the Aguleri jungle where Gulder Ultimate Search 11 held.
He said: “I want to confirm that the forest this exercise was carried out is a revered forest. When I was growing up, we were frightened to pass through that area. Because mythology had it that one of the greatest giants in Aguleri used to live very close to that forest and also that the forest has a concentration of wild animals and birds of different species; many yet to be discovered by science. So I was very thrilled that the ultimate drink and the owners of the ultimate drink were able to find the ultimate place for that exercise.”
The governor also told the audience that he visited the contestants in the jungle. Speaking on his jungle experience, Chief Obiano stated: “And to make sure that they were in the right place, I visited the jungle and I can confirm that it’s the same old revered jungle that these ladies and gentlemen spent 30 days and nights in. I saw the huts they built themselves, I saw how excited and how involving they were in the exercise. I was truly marvelled. It reminded me of my scouting days and I couldn’t help but share some scout songs with them. I asked a question, supposing you guys don’t find the treasure, what happens? They assured me that someone must find the treasure and I’m happy someone it.”
The governor then thanked Nigerian Breweries for finding the Aguleri jungle as a suitable location for Gulder Ultimate Search 11.
History was also made when the Council of Elders decided to gift the governor with the chair which Gulder Ultimate Search Anchor men sit on when interacting with the contestants at The Place of The Talking Drum. Governor Willie Obiano became the first ever mortal – asides Gulder Ultimate Search Anchor men, to sit on the chair when he visited the contestants in the Aguleri jungle.
Chidi Mokeme who delivered the Council’s message said: “His Excellency, you became the first mortal to sit on the chair at the place of the talking drum, asides the Anchor men. And with that declaration, they gave me a mandate also that this must be presented to you for safekeeping and as a reminder of that memorable visit into the jungle. And so Your Excellency, on behalf of the Council of Elders I present this gift to you.”
Obiano said he would treasure the gift because of the way unique was it was carved.
The contestants were then called on stage in order of eviction.
First on stage was the duo of Blessing Eriata and Loretta Erijakpor. They earned N1,025,000 for stay in Gulder Ultimate Search 11. Ikenna Iwuoha and Sandra Nwagbairo won N1,125,000 while Joshua Nwagbaso went home with N1.2 million.
Dr. Ikenna Emedike, Sharon Robinson, Noela Iroh and Evi Addoh went home with NI,250,000, N1,300,000, N1,350,000 and N1,400,000 respectively.
Samantha Appi, the smallest of the Gulder Ultimate Search 11 lot, emerged the Last Woman Standing. In addition to her N1,450,000 prize money for emerging fifth in the programme, she also drove home a brand new Ford Eco Sport. Samantha who cried as she received her prize said Gulder Ultimate Search 11 will present her with the opportunity to set up a foundation for girls which she had craved for years.
Prof. Joe Asike, the Chief of Staff to the Anambra state governor, Dr. Onyeka Ibezim the Special Adviser to the governor on Youth Empowerment and Kufre Ekanem, Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc., presented Samatha’s car prize and cheque to her.
Otto Canon emerged fourth and won N1,500,000. In addition to the cash prize, he emerged the Viewers’ Choice which also won him a brand new Ford Focus. This was presented to him by Kufre Ekanem and Emmanuel Agu, Marketing Manager – Gulder Legend and Life. Otto thanked the viewers that voted for him stating that he did not know the extent to which he was that loved.
Emmanuel Afolabi and Nne Cosy Joe were joint first runners-up and won N2,750,000 for themselves.
Chinedu Ubachukwu, the winner was ushered in by several warriors who chanted battle songs. There was uproar from the audience as he stepped into the hall. Looking every inch like a warrior, an axe dangled from his side as he wielded a shield, while he clutched on to the General’s Helmet which he found.
As the crowd stood in his honour, he was received on stage by the Executive Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano and the Nigerian Breweries Marketing Director, Walter Drenth. The highlight of the occasion was the official presentation of a dummy cheque of his N10 million cash prize and a dummy key to his brand new Ford SUV.
Dennis Okike, winner of Gulder Ultimate Search 10 also stepped on stage to crown his successor with the Helmet, marking a final affirmation of Chinedu’s status as the Last Man Standing and Winner of Gulder Ultimate Search 11.
The surprise act of the evening was Mavin Records duo of Don Jazzy and Dr. Sid. They thrilled a delighted audience to some of their smash hits like Pop Something, Over The Moon and Dorobucci.
While the contestants on stage swayed to the beats and lyrics of the hip hop superstars, the crowd danced in excitement.
The final reveal party turned out to be full of splendour, exciting and grand, just like the Council of Elders pledged. It proved to the a befitting and rewarding end for the contestants who defied harsh weather conditions, unforgiving jungle elements and hunger, having been stretched beyond the limits of their endurance.