Abuja (Sindiata Post) – Congratulations are in order for Valentine Okoli who has been crowned as the maiden winner of Channels Television’s social enterprise show Fund It Forward.
Valentine, whose social enterprise – Bach ‘Nuudles’ Instant Abacha – was fueled by hunger and the loss of 10kg of Cassava tapioca (Abacha), beat two other finalists to land the N30m grand prize in the climax of nine weeks of intrigues, resilience, innovation, triumphs and heartbreaks.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen! The grand winner of the ultimate N30m grand prize for Season One of Fund It Forward is Bach and Moen Limited!” Mojibade Sosanya, who hosted the show and co-hosted the finale alongside Channels Television’s Kayode Okikiolu, announced to a rousing audience of captains of industries, businessmen, government officials, and a host of dignitaries.
The Chairman and Vice Chairman of Channels Media Group John Momoh (left and in white) and Olusola Momoh (in purple gown) respectively were among the dignitaries at the grand finale.
With a hug from the Minister of Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy Bosun Tijani, Valentine who broke into tears upon his emergence, smiled home with a N30m cheque to “expand” his social enterprise.
Twelve contestants vied for the prize but only three made it to the grand finale.
Thara Aishat Atta of TrashFormas emerged as the first runner-up, earning N15m for herself while Agriffy’s Ayodele (Delz) Erinle was announced as the second runner-up and got N10m as a prize.
Valentine’s win is a fitting cap to his resilience, innovation, and personal story. The 29-year-old’s drive to embark on the social enterprise was fueled by a loss of a 10kg bag of Cassava tapioca, locally known as ‘Abacha’ some years back.
Pushed by that loss, the Abacha Man as he is also known, was determined to make local delicacies stand the test of time and curb hunger and food waste. That led him to establish Bach and Moen Ltd in 2011.
‘No Room For Failure’
Valentine beat two other finalists to win the N30m prize.
Despite going home with the grand prize, Valentine is unrelenting and wants to do more.
“I have not cried like this in a while,” an excited Valentine told the gathering moments after scooping the grand prize. “From the very first day they came to do the Bach story, I have always said I came here to learn, relearn, and unlearn because there is work to be done.
“I really feel grateful. Giving me this N30m is like saying: ‘Guy, we are watching you!’ There is no room for failure now.”
To get the best, the panel of judges voted on five criteria: growth of the show, social impact, business viability, investment readiness, and ability to tell a convincing personal story. Each had 10 marks.
Twelve contestants participated in the maiden edition of the reality show. For nine weeks, they pitched their business ideas and had masterclasses and evictions.
But at the expansive grand finale venue in Nigeria’s commercial capital, only three contestants made it. At the end of the day, Valentine’s story and pitch were compelling enough to earn the judge’s nod as the winner.
‘Leap Of Faith’
Ms Momoh wants the participants to use the show to launch into bigger things.
Excited by the success of the maiden show, the Executive Producer Zemmy Momoh described it as special. She lauded the contestants for taking a “leap of faith” by participating in the show.
“We have been blessed to have some remarkable contestants – Change Agents as we call them. All of them took a leap of faith and they came with us on a new ride. I sincerely hope it is unto bigger and better for them,” she told the company of distinguished guests in the enchanting ambiance. “We want to support them beyond the show.”
Guests at the grand finale also poured encomiums on Ms Momoh for birthing the innovative show.(Channels).