The battle for N7 million grand prize and the bragging right to the title of 'The People's Hero', came to a nail-biting end when 28 year-old Ebuka Eze from Anambra state beat other finalists to clinch the crown last weekend. Eze was among the eight finalists who advanced to the grand finale after surviving a series of evictions.
Expectedly, the finale started with the eight finalists displaying their skills to a live audience as well as the judges. For the finale, veteran actor Nkem Owoh was the guest judge. Staying true to the theme of the contest which aims to celebrate the rich culture and arts of the Igbo tradition, contestant Angel Nkwo opened the night with an energetic dance which drew a loud applause from the audience. Her performance was quickly followed by Toby Okonta, a spoken word artist. For his presentation, Okonta chose to centre his piece on the need for a peaceful coexistence in Nigeria and Africa. Not to be outdone, the next contestant Favour Onyemaechi, serenaded the audience and the judges with her melodious voice, hoping to score a good point. The dancer in the mix Joel Uzoigwe dazzled his audience with his eclectic moves, fetching a laudable remark from Owoh while Justice Alili proved he was indeed blessed with gift of the gab with a beautiful piece on his love story. He was praised for his rich lines. Ellis McReynolds thrilled the audience to no end with his rich voice, while Tehilla Terex's spoken word performance ended the night's performances on a very bright note. Of all the performances however, it was that of Eze that dazzled the judges most. He was announced the winner of the show which was organised by Hero Lager, the brand from International Breweries Plc. Alili emerged first runner-up, winning N2 million, while Uzoigwe took the second runner-up, also winning N1 million. The last woman standing, Onyemaechi got a consolation prize of N500,000.
Pleased with the outcome of the show, the Marketing Director, International Breweries Plc, Tolulope Adedeji said "the show has been absolutely phenomenal as it has uncovered talents that never had a platform to showcase their talents to the world". She added that the show has also celebrated the Igbo culture in a contemporary manner. Adedeji also assured the winner and other contestants that they will be given further platforms to rise by featuring them in the company's events henceforth.
The Country Manager, Viacom CBS Networks Africa which produced the show, Bada Akintunde-Johnson, described the show as incredibly successful having achieved all the objectives set for the show. According to him, it gladdens the heart to see young people whose talents were at raw state when discovered, turn to excellent artists in a matter of weeks.
For the winner Eze, it was a dream come true. He said he had longed for such an opportunity for many years and winning on the first of its kind means a whole lot to him. He commended Hero Lager Beer for showing commitment to its people through creative platforms that help the youths to find their voice, not only in their immediate community, but also all over the world.
The People's Hero reality show marked the brand's unique way to celebrate the region where it has enviable dominance.