By BENJAMIN NJOKU
After nine years of dazzling millions of television viewers in Nigeria as the first host of the Gulder Ultimate Search, Nollywood play boy actor, Chidi Mokeme is back as the anchor of this year’s reality television show.
Gulder Ultimate Search 9 finalists were unveiled last Sunday, at the selection in Lagos.
At a glamorous final selection party held inside the New Expo Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites, Mokeme was announced as the host of this year’s edition by the event compere, Cool 96.9 FM on-air personality, Freeze. Also at the event, the last 12 finalists were unveiled.
They are: Female: Kofya Brown, Bornford Patience, Ayo Ojueromi, Uzor Osimkpa, Udodi Onyinyechukwu, and Ezeh Priscillia. Others are: Male: Ujam Emmanuel, Nuhu Haruna, Ogbuefi Michael, Ifet Iniobong, Ojezele Paschal and Adah James.
This year, over 30,000 young and agile Nigerians registered to participate for the search. They all went through several physical and mental exercises at locations in Owerri, Benin, Makurdi and Lagos. Out of these, 30 contestants were selected and invited to Lagos for the final selection process.
Last night, 12 were selected to proceed to the Usaka Forest in Obot Akara Local Government area of Akwa Ibom State, where this year’s edition of Gulder Ultimate Search will hold.
The GUS 9 winner will walk away with a cash prize of N9 million, N500,000 wardrobe allowance and a brand new SUV worth N10 million.
This is in addition to the bragging rights of being referred to as the Ultimate Man or Woman, with its numerous benefits. Last year, it was Darey Art Alade and Bob Manuel Udokwu, who jointly hosted the show at Ososo Forest in Akoko Edo, Edo State.
For this year, apart from Mokeme, three past winners of Gulder Ultimate Search will be playing the role of Gatekeepers. They are Dominic Mudabai (Gulder Ultimate Search 4 winner), Michael Nwachukwu (Gulder Ultimate Search 5 winner) and Christopher Okagbue (Gulder Ultimate Search 8 winner).
Mokeme anchored the first two seasons of the reality show (2004 and 2005) and Austin ‘Tintin’ Imevbore, a former on-air personality, also anchored Season 3 (2006). Bob-Manuel Udokwu has been the show anchor for the past five seasons (2007 – 2011), while Dare Art-Alade co-anchored Season 8, which was held in 2011, with Udokwu.