The search for The People’s Hero, a talent hunt show sponsored by Hero Lager Beer, a brand of International Breweries Plc and produced by MTV Base, ended last weekend. The show, aimed at celebrating the richness and the beauty of the Igbo culture through singing, dancing, spoken word and acting, had a jaw-dropping conclusion with beautiful solo performances from each of the eight finalists who gave it their all to win the grand prize.
The only actor among the eight finalists, Ebuka Eze, emerged the winner of the N7 million grand prize and the bragging right to the title of “The People’s Hero”. Justice Alili, a spoken word artiste saved by a wild card last weekend is the first runner up, winning N2 million, while Joel Uzoigwe, a dancer also saved by a wild card is the second runner up, also winning N1 million. The last woman standing, Favour Onyemaechi got a consolation prize of N500,000.
The grand finale was a festival of arts and culture that richly expressed the Igbo tradition. The night began with a dance performance by the energetic Angel Nkwo who did not fail to show passion and creativity in her craft. Toby Okonta, a spoken word artiste whose performance remarkably improved through the show, followed this. Okonta’s piece on the need for a peaceful coexistence in Nigeria and Africa had the audience screaming for more. And in what has become her trademark, Favour Onyemaechi, serenaded the audience and the judges with her melodious voice once again.
Joel Uzoigwe’s non-repetitive dance moves made him a delight to watch for the audience and the judges. According to the guest judge, Nkem Owoh, Joel performed to the superlative order with his dance steps. Ebuka Eze’s performance was according to the judges rich in meaning, content and delivery. Nkem Owoh described his performance as flawless. In sharing his love story, spoken word artist, Justice Alili, also displayed his singing skills as he began his captivating lines with a beautiful song. 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. Commenting on the performances, IllBliss and Rachael Okonkwo, who have been judges from the audition stages, congratulated all the finalists on their improvements through the competition and charged them to ensure they never lose faith in their gifts but sustain the passion that has seen them get to the grand finale.
All the eight finalists proved their worth, as none of them performed below expectation, giving the judges a hard time deciding the winners. The show host, Nedu, said it would have been nice to crown all the finalists because they are all Hero-es in their own rights. As the announcements of the winners beckoned, Nedu asked all the finalists to return to the stage. Favour Onyemaechi, was announced as the last woman standing and rewarded with a N500,000 cash prize
There was palpable anxiety in the air as Nedu announced the top three contestants, namely Ebuka Eze, Joel Uzoigwe and Justice Alili. While Joel Uzoigwe was announced as the second runner up, the audience went agog when Ebuka Eze was declared as the winner and the first People’s Hero.
Pleased with the outcome of the show, the Marketing Director, International Breweries Plc, Mrs. 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. The Marketing Director also said that the People’s Hero and other contestants will be given further platforms to rise by featuring them in the company’s events henceforth.