• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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MDA 8: Who takes home the crown?

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As the Maltina Dance All Season Eight, “Rhythm of Happiness” (MDA 8) is set for what will obviously be an explosive grand finale on Saturday, the question on the lips of Nigerians as they await the emotions, suspense, thrills, turns and twist is which of the four remaining families that made it to the finale will win the coveted title of Nigeria’s number one dance family. The big question is whether the South-South geo political zone will retain the title again this year.

It will be recalled that the Onye family in 2007 was crowned the best dance family in Nigeria, Opuwari family reigned in 2008, the Ekubo’s in 2011, they were followed by Green Family in 2012 and Briggs family from same region were crowned winners in 2013.

How did this happen? Let’s go back and see how the zone achieved this feat. The first edition of the show had the Onye family crowned winner of the MDA in 2007.Chukwuma Onye was the family representative followed by Chief Albert Onye – Dad, Lolo Eunice Onye – Mum Anderson Onye – Brother Chika Onye – Brother. They all gave good account of themselves as they display fascinating and exhilarating dance steps.

For their dexterity on the dance floor, the victorious winning family won a brand new family car and a sum of two million naira (N2 million). The second and third winners went home with one million naira (N1million) and five hundred thousand naira (N500, 000.00) each. The remaining families were also given the sum of one hundred thousand naira (N100, 000.00) each while the last girl standing went home with additional one hundred thousand (N100, 000.00). The Opuwari Family won the second edition in 2008. As if it was a planned gang work, the family scaled all the huddles in the second edition of the show after putting up what was described as a world-class performance to take home the first prize. While the Ebhohon and Francis families emerged as the second and third place winners respectively.

This time around, there was an upward review of the prize money with the winning family taking home a brand new family car and a sum of N2.5 million while the second and third winners went home with one million naira (N1million) and five hundred thousand naira (N500,000.00) each.

Fate played the determining force as the Ibiam family, twice nominated for eviction became lucky winners of the third edition At the very exciting grand finale of the event held at Landmark Village Centre Lagos, the Ibiams led by their daughter Queen, were voted winners beating the Omokhai and the Eyesioh family to the second and third positions respectively.

It was a very keen contest between the three remaining families; the Ibiams, the Eyesiohs and the Omokhais. They all displayed breath-taking dance steps to the admiration of invited guests and television viewers nationwide. The Eyesiohs were particularly outstanding on the night given the acrobatic display of their elderly father and many in the audience were easily carried away by his dance steps but their votes and that of other last minute voters was not enough to give them the crown and the fortune that goes with it. As usual, it was the prerogative of viewers to act as judges and it was indeed these votes which gave it to the Ibiams.

For emerging winners, the Ibiams were presented with a Cheque of N2.5m and keys to a brand new Toyota Family Car.  The Omokhais who came second went home with a cheque of N1 million while the Eyesiohs went home with N500, 000.00.

The Adejo family, who qualified from Kaduna, took the victory stage at grand finale of season four as they danced their way to success and fame. The family hails from Kogi state. Nigerians will remember vividly the spectacular flip by the family representative, Lemmy Adejo which drew thunderous applause from the live audience at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos.

The Ekubo family from Bayelsa State, but resident in Port Harcourt, Rivers State was crowned Nigeria’s number one dancing family as the curtains finally fell on season five of the competition. For their effort, they went home with N5million and a brand new Toyota Siena. The Dare and Utogo families came second and third respectively with a cash prize of N1 million and N500, 000.

Season six of the competition tagged “The Most Spectacular” came to a close as the Green Family from Rivers State emerged Nigeria’s Ultimate dancing family and took home the grand prize of N 6 Million, after another upward prize review and a Toyota Avensis car.

At the end of the show, one could not help but scream “what a spectacular night” and cheer the Green’s, who in their dance to fortune, delivered the very best to the crowd and earned a standing ovation. They were presented with their cheque and car key by the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who was the special guest of honour.

The Green Family alongside the Efiokwu’s, Boyle’s, Zibe’s and the Eghove’s that qualified for the grand finale gave their last performances to thrill the audience as well as help boost their votes. The end of the performances saw the Green’s emerge winners after garnering the largest votes from Nigerians, while the Efiokwu and Eghove families emerged first and second runner-up and took home N 1 Million and N 500, 000 respectively.

In season seven of the competition, the Briggs family from Port Harcourt, Rivers State emerged winners in what would go down as one of the most hotly contested finals in the MDA history. They went home with N6 million and a brand new car. The first and second Runners up got N1million and N500, 000 respectively.

For the 2014 edition, the battle line has been drawn between the four families remaining in competition after the eviction of the Maisamari and Leonard families who both qualified from the Abuja auditions. The Oladapo and Nwaeze families from Lagos and the third eviction saw the Williams and Dide Families from Port-Harcourt leaving the academy.

The four families that will battle for crown include two families from the south-south – the Utere family (Akwa Ibom), Odigie family (Edo). The two other families- Uzodinma and Unanka families- are from Imo State. The question on the lips of millions of viewers is whether the region will continue its impressive trend of producing Nigeria’s best dance families. With a whopping N10 million grand prize as well as the highly coveted title of Nigeria’s number one dancing family at stake, Nigerians are waiting to see the family that would take over the crown from the Briggs family. The competition will also see the first and second runners-up take home N3 million and N1 million respectively.

The reason why the zone has performed so well over the years, according to Bimbo Obafunwa, the dance director is not farfetched. “Families from this zone often spend months, if not years, training and sharpening their dance skills. It does not happen overnight. Dancers from other zones have a lot to learn from them. Will this year be different? I can’t predict because it is Nigerians that would ultimately vote and pick their favourite families.”

Adewole Adedeji, senior brand manager Maltina, said the MDA is one way among many that NB Plc is restating its brand values. “MDA is about the dancer’s creative ability, knowledge of different dance styles, stamina and fitness. The task is no doubt enormous but it is a delight to see the result it has been producing in the last 7 seasons. Some of the dancers have taken their career further than the Maltina Dance All stage; while some are dancing locally others are doing it internationally.

“We put a lot of work into it. Every year there is something bigger and better. What we are doing with the show is ‘sharing happiness and to also create more emotional connection with consumers because families and dance are two winning components in the Nigerian environment. Nigerians love to dance.

Maltina is continuously nourishing millions of Nigerians. It’s still the most fortified malt drink in the market. It’s also the biggest malt brand in the market”.

The grand finale holds tomorrow at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos. Will the South-South zone sustain the winning streak? Only time will tell.

IFEOMA OKEKE