Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Winners of Anambra Talent Hunt Show have expressed deep concern over unsigned cheques issued to them at the grand finale of the 2018 edition held at Marble Arch hotel Awka at the weekend.
Some of the youngsters who bared their minds to journalists shortly after the programme, wondered why they should be issued unsigned cheques despite what they went through in the hands of the organisers of the talent hunt show.
Adanna Enemuo who clinched 3rd position in the acting category of the competition said N100,000 cheque given to her was not signed and that what she heard about the 2017 edition of the talent hunt was that cheques issued to winners last year were signed but the money has not been released till this year.
She lamented that they don’t know if another cheques will be issued to them and even if they will, the organisers would have taken their names; that as it stands, they don’t know why the cheques were not signed to enable them to get remunerated for their efforts.
Miss Enemuo also disclosed that since the talent hunt started from the preliminary stages, they were grappling with transportation costs and hunger claiming that their welfare was not taken care of even though she posited that they were subjected to rigorous rehearsals without food and water.
She said if it wasn’t for the love and passion she had for her acting career, she would have quit from the competition like some others who dropped from the competition due to unbearable transportation costs and harsh treatments. Although she acknowledged that there were no form of sexual harrassment and molestations of any kind from the organisers, her worry was that the cheques they were given were not signed.
Miss Okoro Florence Chidimma who equally participated in the acting category, said some of them came from Onitsha, Nnewi as well as other distant places to partake in rehearsals that were held in Awka yet their welfare did not form part and parcel of the organisers agenda.
Miss Okoro berated the lack of proper organization of the event alleging that the organizers of the Anambra Talent Hunt Show were struggling and scrambling for their individual pockets to the detriment of the entire project adding that in subsequent editions of the talent hunt, the organizers should organise themselves first before seeking to organize other people.
Another young lass miss Chukwuemeka Favour Chidimma who clinched the first position in the acting category of the event held in 2017, said she was yet to cash the cheque given to her since the 3rd of November last year.
She said the event was put together by one Chigbo Nweke whom she said was the president of Bring It On Africa, a non-governmental organization with specialty in harnessing young talents. Miss Chukwuemeka further disclosed that many of them have not received the money they were given since November last year while appealing to the state governor to prevail on the organiser so he can pay them their money.
Also the mother, Mrs.Chioma Chukwuemeka who corroborated what her daughter narrated, said her daughter Miss Chukwuemeka Favour Chidimma clinched the first position in the acting category and a cheque of N150,000 was given to her in the 2017 edition of the talent hunt but her worry was that since November 3rd last year that the cheque was issued to her child, they have not seen the money.
She said whenever she called the said Chigbo on phone, he would respond by telling her to exercise patience that the money was being processed and that the governor was interested in the matter. On other occasions, he would tell her via telephone conversation that those who won last year, their money would be given to them this year during the 2018 edition.
Mrs. Chukwuemeka said to her utmost consternation, when the 2018 edition of the talent hunt was held last week at Marble Arch hotel Awka, she came as Chigbo had instructed but unfortunately nothing of such happened and when she called Chigbo on phone to find out why, he blatantly switched off his phone on her pointing out that even when she later saw him where he was being interviewed by journalists, he ignored her and zoomed off thereafter.
The obviously aggrieved woman noted that with what transpired between her and Chigbo, she suspected that either the money has been given to him and he allegedly squandered it or he played on the intelligence of the children who participated in the talent hunt show last year stressing that the children have been used and dumped and that she thinks the governor should know about the development. She claimed that she spent fortune sponsoring her daughter who travelled from Ogbaru almost on a daily basis to Awka for the talent hunt show.
Meanwhile, Chigbo who granted a telephone interview to our correspondent, exonerated himself from the allegations leveled against him saying that it was his non-governmental organization that organized the talent hunt show which seeks to expose young and upcoming talents to global audience.
Chigbo said they embarked on the journey last year but had some financial straits. He always advised people to keep on pushing their dreams irrespective of money adding that there were winners in last year’s project but the organization was dealing with schools that presented the contestants not individuals.
He however disclosed that they were sending the money to the schools that participated in the competition and contestants should go back to their respective schools to claim their cash prizes.
The State Commissioner for Youth Enterpreneurship and Creative Economy Hon. Bonaventure Enemali in his position, noted that the state started a programme called Anambra Talent Hunt Show aimed at discovering, developing and deploying the talents of Anambra youths for self-reliance and empowerment purposes.