Homecoming of a homeboy

Last Tuesday, the city of Ibadan, Oyo State, flung open its warm embrace to welcome one of its sons, Olanrewaju Alawoki, a finalist in the recently concluded Nigeria Breweries Plc-sponsored reality television show, Guilder Ultimate Search 8. The city wasn’t being carefree with its hospitality. Olanrewaju, who was regarded as a Mummy’s pet at the beginning of the show, had shocked viewers and fellow contestants to emerge tops among Batch B contestants. Though he didn’t go too far in the contest, he had already made a statement that being lanky does not mean he is languid.

Months after the 2011 edition of the show ran its course, the champions, comprising Ultimate Man’, Christopher Okagbue, the last female contestant standing, Anastasia Azike, Kevin Durst, Anthony Igwe, Fejiro Ejogbamu, Tony Horsfall, Promise Ojiegbe, Sunday Gyang and Patience Ihongbe, have embarked on the ‘Guilder Ultimate Search 8 Road Show’, which will see them travelling to Oyo, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Rivers and Lagos states. Senior Brand Manager, Guilder, Ita Bassey, describes the road show as an extension of the reality show which is a homecoming of sorts for the contestants. “The states we plan to cover during the tour are the states of origin of the various contestants. It will afford the Champions an opportunity of interacting with their state governors, governors of other states, learning about different cultures and traditions, paying visits to important historical sites, make guest appearances at selected radio stations; which will afford the ardent lovers of the reality TV show the opportunity of interacting with the champions via call-in programmes,” says Bassey.

Receiving the champions at the government house, Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who came in midway into the reception, was obviously delighted at the presence of the champions as he chatted with them like buddies. Advising the winners to spend their cash prize winnings from the show wisely, the governor encouraged them to seek knowledge because it would lead to skills acquisition which could be turned into a source of livelihood.

He also implored them to acquire a skill which they would use in empowering themselves and youths of their various states and localities. In particular, he advised Alawoki to develop a youth empowerment programme for the youth in the state which he promised to support if the concept was novel.

The Deputy Governor, Moses Adeyemo, lauded NB for its corporate social responsibility activities. He said: “There are many corporate bodies making fantastic profit in Oyo State and in Nigeria. Yet, they are not doing enough in terms of corporate social responsibility. It is good to know that Nigeria Breweries is very serious about youth empowerment and development, especially with the Guilder Ultimate Search and its other initiatives.”
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