Seven years after his absence, Nollywood hunk, Chidi Mokeme, finally makes a grand return as anchor of Nigeria’s number one reality television show, the Gulder Ultimate Search. Mokeme’s return was announced at the final selection party held to unveil before the public, the 12 finalists who would make the trip to the rugged Usaka forest in Akwa-Ibom State, venue of this year’s competition.
The 12 qualifiers for this year’s edition are: Ujam Emmanuel, Nuhu Haruna, Ogbuefi Michael, Ifet Aniobong Ojezele Pascal and Adah James. Others are Kofya Brown, Bornford Patience, Ayo Ojueromi, Uzor Osimkpa, Udodi Onyinyechukwu and Ezeh Priscilla.
The 12 qualifiers emerged from a pool of 30 successful aspirants selected from the regional screening exercises held in Makurdi, Benin, Owerri and Lagos. The initial 30 contestants from all the regions were put through rigorous oral interviews and intense medical and psychological examination before the final 12 were selected.
Indeed, it was mixed feelings for the contestants after the Final Selection Party; joy and relief for the successful ones, pain and anguish for the unsuccessful candidates.
The 12 lucky contestants will slug it out for who will become the champion in the year’s edition of Gulder Ultimate Search with the theme: The Gatekeeper’s Fortune.
Chidi Mokeme, it would be recalled, was the first anchor in Gulder Ultimate Search, back in its inception in 2004. He would repeat the role a year later during the second edition of Gulder Ultimate Search. Mokeme replaces another Nollywood actor, Bob Manuel Udokwu as anchor of the reality TV series.
While Chidi Mokeme will certainly be putting the contestants through their paces in Gulder Ultimate Search 9, he will also be joined by the trio of Michael Nwachukwu, Dominic Mudabai and Christopher Okagbue, past champions of Gulder Ultimate Search in the fourth, fifth and eight editions respectively. The three Ultimate men will be returningto the jungle as Gatekeepers in this year’s edition.
If the indications of this year’s edition of Gulder Ultimate Search are anything to go by, then the ninth edition promises to be even more exciting. This year featured more than 33,000 aspirants indicating their interest to participate in Gulder Ultimate Search, a record number since the commencement of Gulder Ultimate Search nine years ago.
Also, the cash prize for the winner of this year’s edition has been increased to N9 million, N2 million more than the prize money for last year’s edition. The winner will also go home with a brand new SUV and a swagger allowance of N500,000. None of the 12 qualifiers will go home empty handed as they will all get various cash prices with the last placed contestant getting N1m while the first runner up will get N3 million. There will also be a special cash prize of N1m for the best performing female in the competition