Vanguard (Lagos)

24 November 2012

Nigeria: Jungle Mistress Onyinye, Recounts Ordeal

interview

There is one name which will continue to ring bell as far as this year's edition of the Gulder Ultimate Search reality TV show is concerned. The name is Onyinye Udodi, the 23 year-old girl who would have become the first female contestant ever to win the competition. But she was narrowly edged out by her close rival, Paschal Eromosele who evenually won the star prize. She recounts her jungle experience.

How were you able to conquer the jungle with your hair-do?

I purposely made this hairstyle for the competition. I had to roll my hair in the Akwa-Ibom State style so that I could carry it for a longer period of time and it didn't weigh me down. It is merely wool and capable of withstanding any condition ; water, dust and the rest.

While you were in the jungle, you got tangled with Paschal. Was it why you lost to him?

What you see on the screen is based on your perception of it. But for me, Paschal was my best partner in the jungle. Ever since I have been with him, we always relate with each other. And each time, we were paired together, we were always winning. I think there was a bond between us, but we are just friends.

How are you going to spend your money?

How I'm going to spend my money is my personal decision .

Are you going to pay your tithe?

Definitely, I will pay my tithe.

Are you the first child in your family?

I'm the last child.

Did your boy friend miss you?

I'm sorry, I don't have a boy friend.

Onyinye and her mother, Barr. Martha Udodi

How old are you?

I'm 23 years.

You don't have a boy friend, are you saying you are a virgin?

My God....

When you went for selection, what was uppermost in your mind?

What was uppermost in my mind was to win. I didn't settle to be the last woman standing. That wasn't what I wanted, rather, I wanted to win the ultimate prize.

How did you feel losing to your friend in the jungle?

I felt much better that I lost the crown to Paschal, and not to someone else. I think it's a twist of destiny and I feel I can handle it better because it is him.

But when Paschal was announced as the winner, you felt so bad. Why was it so?

Yes, when he was announced as the ultimate winner, I had mixed-feelings. This is because it looked somehow when you know that you were there at that point in time, only for me to leave for someone else to take the shine off me.

I had mixed-feelings and outburst of emotion, which resulted in my breaking some stuff in the jungle just to let out my emotion.

You felt bad also that you didn't make history as the first female contestant?

I felt so bad also that I didn't make history. I really wanted to make history as the first female contestant to win the ultimate prize but luck was not on my side.

There is this feeling that you were restless and that was why you lost the crown to your close rival. How true is it?

People thought I was restless but I think I was just counting on my instinct to discover the gatekeeper's fortune in the first place. I had this rush on my head to quickly dig and if I couldn't find the fortune box, go to somewhere else in order to beat time and be ahead of my rival.

But I guess, it's a twist of destiny for Paschal to have found the Gatekeeper's fortune.

How do you intend to build on this platform?

With this platform, the organisers have given to me, I intend to build on it. I'm going to generate more money than I have gotten so far. It's a platform I appreciated so much. What I'm going to be doing with the money is still under wrap. But I assure you I'm going to spend the money judiciously.

Are you thinking of going into showbiz?

Not really showbiz per se. But I'm considering of going into modelling.

Have you modelled before now?

Yes, I have modelled before.

While you were in the jungle, what was your driving force?

God and my principle which is to take things a step at a time. I kept on praying because it wasn't easy; the mental pressure , the expectancy and all that.

Did your parents object to your decision to participate in the competition?

They full supported me. But my mother was not really in support of it but, after a while, by God's intervention, I got her full support. I am happy she is here today to witness what her support has done in my life.

Tell me, the first thing you will do with the N4 million?

N4 million is a whole lot of money for a 23year-old girl like me. The first thing I am going to do with the money is to go and pay my tithe in the church. I really have lots of projects lined up and I put them in mind before I came here.

But I have to be grateful to God for taking me this far and making me to have enough resources to take care of the projects.

Are you a graduate?

Yes I am a graduate.

What did you study?

I studied Computer Science Education at the University of Nigeria Nsukka(UNN). Before I entered for the competition, I was doing contract jobs.

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