Dennis Okike, the winner of the last edition of Gulder Ultimate Search who won N10 million cash prize is living his dream. Though he has been away to the East for quite a while now, he is getting ready to come back with a bang. ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with him on life as the Ultimate man, how he is spending his prize money and much more…
Life after my victory has been better than it used to be, it gives me a sense of responsibility. A lot of people now look up to me to solve issues. Gulder Ultimate Search has made me a better person.
What has changed about you since then?
I have realized that life is much easier now, I am more composed now. I think faster than before. In a way, I have come to realize the part of me that has been hidden for long. Winning GUS should not make you proud. You don’t even need to tell someone who you are, your carriage will do the talking. And if I make a mistake, people will not say Dennis made a mistake but they will be screaming that the Ultimate man has made a mistake. So, I am more careful of what I do in public. I know I need to set a standard that will speak positive of the brand.
What were you engaged in before going for GUS?
When I finished school, I started business. I once worked with GTBank, I was just trying to make honest living. I was into acting, modeling, I was everywhere at a point. I just wanted to be busy making a honest living.
I saw it on television. I came back from work one day and I saw it. It seemed exciting to me when I saw it. But the idea to be part of it came when I saw my best friend go for the competition. I was really encouraged that I could do it as well. I put in for the first time, scaled some stages but was eventually dropped. I was encouraged to go again. So, I prepared for it, used all I had to learn how to swim and all that.
How many times did you put in for the competition?
What are the challenges that come with the title?
The challenge of living up to your responsibility. You need to be focused; if not, you will fall. My friends used to say if you are not there, nobody will take you serious. Now, my voice is being heard in the family, among my friends. I just need to continue to live up to that.
How are you enjoying your prize money?
I have friends who always watch my back. GUS 6 and 8 sang into my ears that the money was not much that I had to be careful of how I spend it. No matter how big you give to people, they will talk. No matter how small, they will still talk. I know I can’t satisfy everybody but I did the little I could do. I made sure there is reserve somewhere. I took care of my family ,my little sisters, my father couldn’t finish a project, so, I took it over. I also went into exportation. The good Governor of my state had a talk with me. I believe it will be positive, it is about youth empowerment. That is how I spent it.
What has been engaging you since you won?
I have been doing advert. I shot a movie entitled, Malaysia Boy. Since I came back from the jungle, I have been in the East to settle some personal issues. When they call you and you are not in Lagos, they will move to the next person. So, it is still putting me back a bit. I have had little delay here and there, I thank God that they also ended up positively. I had a setback before going to the jungle, it turned out to my advantage later. I was able to prepare for the contest and of course, God helped me. I sowed all I had in church, including my transport fare. A small voice told me to do so, I thank God that I did that.
What has stardom caused you?
The good, the bad and the ugly, but more of good. Everybody wants to say hello to you. At a point, some people started impersonating me. It means I have tried, any way, there is nothing good that does not have its negative side.
How do you cope with female admirers?
I have a warm rapport with a lot of them, a lot want to get closer than usual. But from the conversation, you will know who is who, I just need to be focused. I try to be diplomatic, create a healthy environment for everybody. With my title, I have more female fans. Female folks have more time to spend on the internet.
Were you in a relationship before going for GUS?
I don’t talk about my relationship but yes, I was in a relationship before GUS. It is positive and on a healthy side.
– SHADE WESELY-METIBOGUN