WINNERS of the cultural TV reality show, Heroes: Back to the Roots, have been unveiled.
According to the organisers, after a painstaking 104 days, traversing many states, the first batch of contestants were admitted for a 10- day orientation exercise in Kaduna, from where they moved to Plateau, where they spent another 10 days which pruned the contestants down to 37.
These final 37 later moved to a camp in Niger State where after 60 days, the activities which aired on NTA, produced the lucky winners. Akwa Ibom-born Happiness Udodang emerged the overall winner, while Luter Emmanuel Ikyobo (Benue State) was the first runner up. It also emerged that Chelsea Chinenye Oguejiofor from Anambra state clinched the second runner up position.
The ultimate winner, Happiness Udodang gets a car, N2m, as well as a lead role in a film that will be shot with the 10 finalists of the show, while the others N1.5m and N1M, respectively. They will also undertake many projects in line with the preservation of Nigeria’s culture during their tenure.
The 2014 edition of the TV reality show culminated in an event to recognize individuals and institutions that have contributed in no small measure to a better understanding of Nigeria’s cultural legacies with great emphasis on cultural tolerance.
Some of those recognized include, Best Supporting Governor given to Niger state Governor, Alhaji Babangida Aliyu. Chief Godwin Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State was adjudged the Best Governor, while Cross River state clinched the title of Nigeria’s cleanest State. Most Culture Friendly State went to Niger.
Piqued by the dwindling fortunes of Nigeria’s very rich cultural heritage, especially amongst the youth, a creative mind, Chinyere Ogbukagu, who heads Havilla Timeless Production, based in Jos, Plateau State after several years of brimming with the idea, arrived at a concept of using television to engender the cultural values of the various ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. After meeting, Ifeanyi Onyeabor, a renowned Nollywood director, the idea took flight, and metamorphosed into what is now known as Heroes: Back to the Roots, a television reality show which sets culture-based tasks for housemates who are in contest from all the states of Nigeria and FCT, with the sole motive of letting ethnic nationalities in Nigeria to better understand one another.
Entry for Heroes: Back to the Roots, starts with obtaining the form, and followed shortly by nation-wide auditions in the six geo-political zones, where applicants are first screened for eligibility. Eligibility is strictly determined by the panel constituted for auditions that are drawn from the creative community. After the auditions, five persons are selected from each of the states and FCT for the final screening to arrive at the 37 finalists-one from each state and FCT- to compete in the house where they would co-habit for 60 days. Contestants who have great understanding of their culture are usually on an advantageous pedestal to emerge victorious.
Apart from re-awakening the interest in culture, the show also highlights the various tourism potential abundant in the various states where the cast and crew of the show are visiting. The stay of the crew and cast in states like Imo, Bayelsa, Kaduna, Niger etcetera, obviously highlighted some of these places of interest.
Heroes: Back to the Roots was produced by Chinyere Ogbukagu through Havilla Timeless Production. Ifeanyi Onyeabor was Technical Director.