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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Celebrities @ WWTBM, support charity homes

A new wave may have begun to creep into the burgeoning television show sponsored by the leading Global System for Mobile (GSM) operator, MTN Nigeria, also known as the Who Wants to be a Millionaire? (WWTBM).

This wave came with the special initiative to invite celebrates from various parts of the country to take part in the lively TV game show, all in the spirit of the season and for the upliftment of less privileges in the country.

So, the celebrities came to the show, playing like every other person could have with added humour as they played not for keeps like the ordinary folks who would enter the hot seat of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? with some anxieties.

And it came to pass that these were celebrities, men and women who nature has blessed with talents and kept in the full glare of the rest of the Nigerian society by virtue of their status or the success they have achieved in life endeavours.

As explained by the organisers, they were playing for that class of the community for whom celebrations could mean nothing; those who may not be too fortunate to see a TV and know what the celebrities do or manage a smile at Christmas or any other festivity at that.

They all came to the studio ready to play for others and in the process with predicated unusual entertainment at their back of minds, which turned the studio into a carnival of sought.

Equally, they would not be taking their money home as their wins would be for charity.

Coming from the eastern part of the country, was the popular Chief Chika Okpala re-enacted the images of Zebrudaya in the Masquerade, featuring along side football mathematician, Chief Segun Odegbami, on the hot seat.

Also, there was the pair of Kunle Hamilton and Joke Silva as well as Segun Arinze and Bola Adesola to name a few of the actors and actresses that formed the audience of the special edition.

Particularly, all the tension that usually attend the programme because of those who want to win being anxious about their chances was forgotten, even for home viewers as the serene beheld of these guests on the hot seat showed they were relaxed, cracking jokes as they attempted to respond to questions from the show presenter, Mr. Frank Edoho of the Franki do-do fame.

For Segun Arinze famous for his notorious ‘bad guy’ cross on screen, the tide shifted as he freely cracked jokes and searched for answers with Adesola, who obviously was very creative. For instance, in their search for answer to the number of squares in a Chess board.

And for the celebrity writer, Mr. Kunle Hamilton and one of the greatest Nollywood stars, a point of reference to most young actresses, Ms Joke Silva, was a creation of their own sparks to wrestle over N500,000.

Faced with a barrage of selected questions from Biology, Music, History and Geography, among others, the two made fun to answer questions and really knocked home the lesson of such a programme, even as they found it somewhat disguising when challenged with the question of how many countries surround China.

Sometimes, one thing with the host, Frank Edoho, is that he asks some questions, which often give the feeling that he doesn’t like parting with his money. And it makes the programme to be more interesting: to create a puzzle and fun and then knock off the guys.

But it was the pair of Segun Odegbami and Chika Okpala that really got knocked off. From a high earning of N1m, the duo tumbled to N250, 000 just because of one of the safeguards that if you supply a wrong answer outside the safe zone, your earnings will drop.

Known in his soccer playing days as Mathematical Odegbami because of the prolific way he scored goals, the ace goal poacher found a match in Okpala who, as Zebrudaya Okorigwe Nwogbo, amused TV audience across the country, as he felt at home doing what he knows best, while the time lasted.

On this special edition of the millionaire show, Okpala entertained by having hilarious rib-breaking times. But there was a part of him, a kind of pain that he was to reveal much later.

The Millionaire celebrity show held under the theme, ‘You Too Can Give Your Part to Charity’ also featured Hamilton and Silva, who decided to give their prize money to Hope Foundation and others. While the irrepressible comedian and master of the fun business, Zebrudaya remarked that part of their take would be given to Clarius who has gone blind.

Now that is playing the master in real life. Clarius and Gringory were Zebrudaya’s houseboys in the TV soap, Masquerade, one of the best ever-on Nigerian TV screens. But quite unfortunately, Clarius has become an endangered specie after spreading joy and laughter to a number of homes across the country. On the Millionaire show, Zebi, as he was fondly called by screen wife Ovuleria remembered his playmate.

Outside of this it was like a carnival in the studio. Both producers of the programme, GetTV officials and MTN led by Chief Marketing officer, Mr. Bola Akingbola, accompanied by the MTN Corporate Services Executive, Mrs. Amina Oyagbola, and Executive Director, MTN Foundation and Mrs. Funmi Omogbenigun, Head Corporate Communications, were elated to see the result of their efforts, putting money and technology together to bring joy and hope to those who sometimes find them unaffordable.With this, it is another way of forming allied with celebrities in the country to uplift some souls like that of Clarius, which was described by some audience as Who Wants to be a Millionaire being on the right path.


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