Hard work and determination they say pays, so was the case for 23 year old under graduate Chinedu Ifezue who emerged as the winner of a brand new Hyundai Elantra car in the Port Harcourt leg of Nigeria’s biggest national consumer promotion, Gulder Ultimate promo.
With his win, the 23-year-old undergraduate of the Anambra State University follows the footsteps of his namesake, Chinedu Odimgbe, who also won a brand new car at the Enugu leg of the Gulder Ultimate Chase, held on the September 26.
However, Ifezue had to surmount several challenges before his eventual ascension into the League of Ultimate Men. Contestants in the Port Harcourt leg of the Gulder Ultimate Chase had to run from the Liberation Stadium to the Polo Club, after which they would retrieve two different scrolls from 500 boxes.
They had to choose between getting the instant gift items and forfeiting the opportunity of winning a brand new Hyundai Elantra or opting for the opportunity of winning the car and waiving their ownership of the gift items found in the boxes.
As the ‘chase’ kicked off, many of the contestants outran Ifezue and by the time he got to the Polo Club Ground, all the gift items had been taken. His only option was to pick up one of the remaining scrolls, which directed him to get a map from the Gatekeeper and compete fiercely with 49 other contestants for the opportunity of winning the only remaining prize – a brand new Hyundai Elantra car.
Despite almost giving up hope, Ifezue’s determination and persistence, which are also part of the Gulder brand’s core values, won him the car. A tearful and visibly shaken Ifezue screamed for joy when it dawned on him that his discovery meant he would be driving home a brand new car.
Speaking on his victory, Ifezue revealed that he had tried to compete in the first Gulder Ultimate Chase staged for consumers in Enugu, but could not because he arrived at the venue late. He attributed his lateness to the monthly environmental sanitation exercise, which was observed that morning in Anambra State, where he currently resides. Instead of being discouraged by the temporary setback, it strengthened his resolve to compete in the Gulder Ultimate Chase. Thus he left Onitsha, Anambra State for Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Friday, October 2 and eventually won the car.
But Ifezue’s journey to Port Harcourt was not devoid of drama. His younger brother, sister and friends tried to discourage him, questioning his ability to compete against other stronger and faster competitors. He said: “When I told my younger brother and sister that I will leave Onitsha for Port Harcourt to participate for a chance to win the car, they discouraged me. They told me, are you going to run with these sticks? By sticks, they were referring to my legs. My friends also tried to discourage me. They told me that I don’t know anybody in Port Harcourt as I had never been there, but I was resolute. I came to Port Harcourt with faith. I had to sleep in the church. When there was no other place to stay.”
Ifezue, however, confessed that he did not reveal to his father or mother where he was going as they were very strict and would not have allowed him embark on the journey had they known his motive. Speaking on his experience during the ‘chase’, he narrated: “I was among the contestants that trailed behind the others. I got tired early in the race. Even though, I trained and engaged in both indoor and outdoor physical activities and though, I took glucose, I got tired. I was praying to get any item, even if it was an MP3 player so that they won’t laugh at me when I get home. I never knew I would drive home the car.
“When I got to the Polo Park, all the boxes were empty. I asked myself ‘what do I do now?’ I had lost all hope. I started to ask my fellow contestants where the Gatekeeper was, but nobody talked to me, nobody responded. I looked around and I saw Canon, the winner of Gulder Ultimate Search Viewers’ Choice.
I then ran to him. He was delaying while up to 20 other contestants had gotten the map and started searching for the box that had the car key. I was among the last set of contestants that was given the map. I looked at the map and tried to read meaning into it. By trying to make sense of the map, I saw the first wooden box, I rushed and opened it, there was no key. I was the only person at that side. I turned and saw another set of boxes. About three to four boxes were empty. I now saw the box with the golden colour that had the Gulder emblem. I opened it and I saw the car key. I can’t say whether I fainted or not because I can’t remember what happened exactly.
Nonetheless, Ifezue, who said he would have gone to all the Ultimate Chase venues for a chance to win the car if he had been unsuccessful in Port Harcourt, promised to give his new Hyundai Elantra to his mother as a birthday gift.
With five cars already won by lucky consumers, 10 more cars are still up for grabs in the national consumer promotion.