PASCHAL Ojezele, the Gulder Ultimate Man 2012 is living up to his dreams. He has been busy soliciting for support for his Little Hands Initiative. He has also been enjoying the title that brought him fame and fortune.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with him about the experience and sundry issues.
How will you describe the experience since you were pronounced the Ultimate Man?
My experience since I was pronounced the Ultimate Man has been like another quest, ultimately challenging and intriguing. Every step comes with its own challenge, thank God, we are able to overcome.
Would you say it has been a roller coaster journey?
Definitely not a roller coaster journey. It has its own ups and downs but worth every experience, every moment. Yes, it is.
What is the best thing about the title?
The money definitely, the prestige also and doors it opens. The place, name and title it gives.
What are your achievements so far?
For starters, I have been able to reach out to the upcoming generation, visited schools and delivered educational materials to the less privileged. I went to Franford School, Abule Egba, Lagos; Intellect Group of Schools, Benin; St. Vincent College, Warri, which is my alma mater. I also found an NGO for creative youths and children, Little Hands Initiative, with the aim of encouraging creativity, fostering and rewarding originality amongst the contemporary youth. I also plan to expand it to cater for abused and broken children, build them into well rounded adults that will run with dreams, dragging the nation in the right direction.
Orphanages were not left out too, bringing smiles to little broken hearts. We went to one orphanage in Edo and two others in Benin City.
I have also visited some notable Nigerians to seek support for my cause and quest to put smiles on young faces. I visited Oba of Benin for royal blessings, organized a free check up and healthcare for the citizens of Edo State. I also visited the political father of Action Congress Party, Chief Tom Ikimi, who is from my hometown, Igueben. We also paid a courtesy call to the Esama of Benin, HRH Chief Osawaru Igbinedion, the Ivie of Abraka Kingdom, Miss Christabel Obvwebi, the Ovie of the same kingdom amongst others.
We are also building a head of steam, gathering momentum for a project in collaboration with Edo State Government for the development and harnessing of nascent creative talents for secondary school students in the state.
If you have a second chance, would you give GUS a trial again?
Nope, it’s done and dusted. I am moving on to greater challenges unless it is a contest amongst the past heroes.
What is the next step now, are we going to be seeing you in movies, music like past Ultimate Men or are you on a different direction?
Movies require a large chunk of my time and for now, I am a bit too busy. I can take a rain check on it anyway.
What is the greatest lesson you have learnt as Gulder Ultimate Man?
The greatest lessons I have learnt could be voiced in form of a cliché, Be yourself, be original, the race is not for the swift neither is the battle to the strong.
Are you in a relationship now?
Tell us about her?
I don’t want to go into my private life, sorry.
Among past winners, who is your favourite?
I would say Michael Nwachukwu, Dominic Mudabai. They are always there whenever I need them and have been immensely helpful and generous with their advice and help when needed.
What about your cash prize, how did you spend it?
That is a very classified information. I invested in business, importation, then real estate.
- SHADE WESLEY-METIBOGUN
This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, June 11, 2013