How I became the Ultimate Woman In The Gulder Ultimate Search Season X [GUS X] ; Ifunanya Onike Speaks
”I actually searched for raw palm kernels and when I put them in my salivating mouth, they tasted like heaven!”
“My friend, will you jog” the military officer at the stadium shouted as I arrived at the venue for the Gulder Ultimate Search Season 10 auditions at Owerri. As I raced down from the gate, I tripped and almost fell. The other contestants laughed out loud as
I struggled to maintain my balance. It was the first time I was alone, no family to cheer me on. When the time came for interviews, I was shaking like a jelly fish. I passed my driving test, went on to do the medicals and I was certified fit. I had to wait for a week to receive a text message to confirm that I had made it to the next stage.
During the ‘waiting’ period, I fell ill. My dad was very concerned about my health because he felt the auditions had taken too much of a toll on me. But remained in high spirits, kept my chin up and got better. Then the text message came in, yippee! I had made it to the next stage.
I packed my bags for Lagos, not knowing what lay ahead. When I got to Lagos, I met other contestants who had made it. I was a bit scared because I was the youngest in camp. A psychologist came to test our mental skills and we were given a puzzle. I was the first to solve the puzzle, I did it in three minutes! I was elated. It gave me more confidence to face whatever challenges lay ahead, because I knew there would be challenges. Finally, the day came when the 12 ultimate contestants would be chosen. I knew I had done my best but I was still scared. Then Freeze called my name and told me to proceed to the jungle. It was a surreal moment for me – like a dream. More so because, my older sister had applied three times and she hadn’t got in, and here I was, fragile-looking Ifunanya, going into the Gulder Ultimate Search.
Everything in the jungle was real, people keep asking me “did you really make tents and sleep in the cold with little food?” Heck, yea! I actually searched for raw palm kernels and when I put them in my salivating mouth, they tasted like heaven! The search got harder as the days went by.The tasks grew more challenging and my worst task was ‘Sacrifice’, I had to use my ‘stuff in the basement’ to complete that task. I did my best up until the last moment. Some people tell me I didn’t search well on the final day but the truth is, I deployed my strategy effectively. Eddy was the fastest, so I tried not to loose sight of him. I tried to ensure there was no large gap between us. At some point, I lost sight of both him and Dennis and I couldn’t implement the right technique for the task.
Of the theree of us – Dennis, Eddy and I, someone had to find the tenth symbol, and Dennis did. I had mixed feelings when I didn’t emerge the overall winner, I was sad because I wasn’t the one but I was also happy for Dennis Okike. No hard feelings.
The Gulder Ultimate Search taught me never to give up. Keep pushing, nothing good comes easy. While in the jungle, I saw every one as equal in terms of competitive edge. I didn’t separate male from female, I saw every one as equal and I think that helped me emerge the ultimate woman