Odudu: From wild card to Gulder Ultimate Search winner
If you ask a lot of viewers who have been following this season’s Gulder Ultimate Search Age of Craftsmanship, they would likely say Odudu cut an unassuming figure at the beginning until the later part of the show.
He did not have the puzzle-solving skills of Damola or the tact of Damilola. In fact, he seemed to just always do enough not to be evicted while staying in the shadow. It wasn’t until he won the 14th task that many began to notice him.
But Odudu’s story in the Gulder Ultimate Search did not begin from there. Some would say he got in on a stroke of luck as he came into the jungle as a wild card.
More than 20,000 Nigerians applied for this season’s Gulder Ultimate Search regional selection process before those who made the long list were sent to the Sea School. Ultimately, 20 names were shortlisted with 16 of them confirmed. Odudu was one of the last four and was only confirmed to join the rest on the unveiling day.
When the contestants arrived at the jungle for the first time, the host, Toke Makinwa, asked the wildcards to identify themselves and urged them to make the best use of that opportunity. Odudu did just that as he blended into the game, with a commitment to giving his best.
He was a member of Iroko clan that also had members like Damola, Yankari, Esitima, Tobechukwu and Gerald. It was considered the strongest clan in Amorokin camp. Thus, it seemed difficult for Odudu to have been noticed. Gerald was predicted as a possible winner due to his performance in the early period of the show but he was one of the first to be evicted. Esitima found three boomerangs and was one of those who made it to the top seven. Damola, who was also in the same clan as Odudu, also made it to the final.
So it wasn’t an easy ride for Odudu who seemed to have been overshadowed by seemingly better contestants. He, however, held his own throughout the individual tasks, helping his team and also staying in the game.
It was during the individual tasks that Odudu began to show why he was a worthy winner. It seemed all the energy, strategy, and endurance in him were let out in full bloom. While it seemed that other contestants were beginning to get tired, he was just beginning and he maintained this level of performance till the end.
In the final episode of the show broadcast on DSTV on Boxing Day, Odudu emerged winner of the 2021 edition of the Gulder Ultimate Search after finding the Chest, which contains the secret of the proverbial Akolo’s secret brew.
Odudu went home with N50 million worth of prizes, including an SUV and a return ticket to Dubai. In addition, he has become a role model for young Nigerians on the importance of taking up an opportunity and making the best use of it. He is truly a worthy winner.