End of Season one of UDOMcares
With Michael Bush
1.0 What seven months these have been! After months of Mr. Thomas Etuk coaxing me to restart 20 QUESTIONS, I caved in as it were last September on the condition that he would do everything to also get the witty Parlour Game that my mentor, Mr. Eddy Ekpenyong, handed over to me some 20 years back, on television and online. I remember Miss Nseabasi Valentine, one of those days, recommending Mr. Nsisong Essien, as one Video Editor I would need; except that his hands are full. I told her I shall get him, and I did!
2.0 The inaugural meeting had Mr. Etuk who by then had taken his place as ConsulTee, Mr. Ime Benson who has been with me every step of the way on 20 QUESTIONS as Technical Adviser, Mr. Nsisong Essien (Technical Supervisor) and one, two other hands. We agreed on Tropicana as a befitting venue and so it has been. The dry run at Sun Centre was a massive indicator that audience participation as well as aerial acceptability was assured. But, as all good things go, there was a last-minute snag with the first sponsor; which is a story for my book!
3.0 That bad news wasn’t for long or ubiquitous. When I shared the vision with Director-General of Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation, Pastor Anietie Ukpe, he did one of those things you hardly see from one Akwa Ibom person to the other. He asked his Director, Programmes, Mr. Fonke Ibokette, to allot us airtime on television and radio; even before cost was discussed let alone payment made. Nine months after, the words spoken that day by the AKBC DG continue to echo in my head: ‘Mr. BUSH, I have been following your impactful, quality work. I know that having your programme on our stations shall add value to us and bless the people’.
4.0 Pastor Ukpe is not just a talking DG; he’s talk and do. He matched action with those words when he also directed a monumental slash in charges. That’s how we were able to launch the programme in the opening week of October, last year, with the support of only King’s Kids Christian Schools and a few others. Those who thank me every day for returning this education-ladened show should please always also remember ConsulTee and the rest of my team, King’s Kids Christian Schools, Sir Emem Akpabio, Mr. Don Etim, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem, Ntufam Elijah Iyak, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Ime Okon, Radar Newspapers, Elder Ufot Ebong, CPS Ekerete Udoh, AKBC Radio & Television, UniUyo FM, leadership and membership of The 20 QUESTIONS Community plus Elders Council, Sponsors, Supporters (Mr. Charles Udoh, Hon. Aniekan Bassey, et al), Partners (D’Angelo Hotel, Neocakes, Campiq Media, Integrity Lighting, Risen Voice, etc) and the many people like Mystery Voice and Messrs. former DG Wisdom Udoh, Ansa, Miracle Keewordz Blaise, Ndifreke Chuma who played and continue to play important roles.
5.0 Things changed on the programme quite fast. In December, just two months after its re-debut, a chanced meeting with Accountant-General of the State, Pastor Uwem Andrew-Essien, through the instrumentality first of longtime BUSH HOUSE NIGERIA senior fan and contributor, Mr. Okon Willie Nna-Etuk, and later of my brother and friend, Mr. John Andrew, hinted of a bigger picture. Then I spoke with Hon. Commissioner, Finance, Mr. Nsikan Linus Nkan; Executive Chair of Board of Internal Revenue, Mr. Okon Okon. These three UDOM friends bought the idea of floating UDOMcares on the programme!
6.0 Seven months thence, what a delight 20 QUESTIONS has been judging by the concomitant monumental education, fabulous entertainment and breathtaking humour. On the side, we may not have achieved my heart desire for the people a la UDOMcares but appreciable impact has been made. Don’t miss our UDOMcares finale (January, 2019 recordings for February) when we end Season 2 and sign off the series. On that day, we shall flaunt our UDOMcares report card for you to see.
7.0 Some men deserve to be mentioned twice over for helping our UDOMcares mission: Pastor Uwem Andrew-Essien, Dr. Nathaniel Adiakpan (what a man!) and of course, Chairman of Ibom Power, Engr. Etido Inyang who, apart from having sponsored 20 QUESTIONS during the Akpabio Early Years, now singlehanded sponsors another concept of ours, UDOM AKWA IBOM IN 30 SECONDS. I cannot also ever forget the even greater emotional and psychological back up I have received from Mrs. Nneka Irene BUSH, Miss Winnie Adiahachi BUSH, Bishop (Dr.) & Pastor (Mrs.) Gabriel Nkenang, Pastor (Mrs.) Mercy Edet ‘UfanBUSH’ and Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Usenobong Akpabio. ConsulTee belongs in this category. Ditto Panelists Idy James, Osondu Ahirika, Saviour Ekpe, with Raphael Edem, Nseabasi Valentine and Ini Ememobong (the three Panelists at large); Charles Mandor, Stephen Godwin, Udeme Mbossoh, Essien Ukpe, Ph.D., Usoro Peters and Aniekanabasi Paul who just came through The 20 QUESTIONS Clinic!
8.0 Also in this league are all those who work so hard for the programme to go on air but who get little or no mention: cameramen, editors, lighters, photographers, everyone. Worthy of mention: 24/7 fans of the programme and indefatigable members of The 20 QUESTIONS Community who troop out every time to support us during recordings and sundry 20 QUESTIONS events. Rest assured God sees your untold sacrifice. Reward cometh!
9.0 Let’s conclude this rather SO LONG A STORY by giraffing back at yesterday: as you’d see in the photos hereunder, we had a great crowd and an even better ending to what has been a good season. Many thanks, Pastor Uwem Andrew-Essien (who came too, too, too early and therefore missed all the action), Mr. Okon Okon, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Usenobong Akpabio, Engr. Etido Inyang, Pastor Anietie Ukpe, Pastor (Mrs.) Aniebiet Unwana Mbede, Political Science students of the University of Uyo, and all those who turned up and added colour all the way. Congratulations to all of us; winners of Panelist of the Year, Fan of the Month and Audience Member Awards, those who gained in one way or the other, our Supporters and Partners and you. God bless 20 QUESTIONS!