THE youth segment carries the highest chunk of the Nigeria market. That is why many brands that desire to make positive impact need to connect with this unit of the market. To do so successfully would require the establishment of a platform that communicates directly with this segment effectively. Understanding this market niche informed Promasidor Nigeria Plc’s desire to adequately penetrate the youth market by creating the Onga National Campus Cooking Competition.
To qualify for the draw, where 10 students were picked for a campus contest, a student was expected to submit an entry that contained their name, faculty, empty pouch of Onga Cubes, 5 empty wrappers of Onga Cube and 5 Onga powder sachets. After crisscrossing 14 campuses where different forms of activations were carried out along with a cocking contest, a student was shortlisted from each of the campuses for the grand finale held in Lagos.
The 10 that emerged from the raffle draw on a campus had their culinary skill tested and the best three got rewarded. The first got a deep freezer, the second and third smiled home with gas burners. However, it was the best entry that made it to the final.
Among those who made it to the final were the eventual winner, Miss Temitope Oyedija, University of Lagos; Isaac Uzoenyi, Abia State University; Jessica Egbenwonu, University of Ibadan; Miss Arafat Azeez, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB); and Christopher Xyztus, Federal University of Technology, Minna.
Commercial Director, Promasidor, Mr. Kachi Onubogu, speaking on the competition, said one of the tested platforms Onga uses to engage its target audience is Onga National Campus Cooking Competition.
according to him, “Onga brand employs a wide range of platforms in engaging our target audience. One of such tested platforms is the Onga National Campus Cooking Competition, which takes place in selected campuses of universities in Nigeria. It is an effective platform for interacting closely with our target group and engaging them in the art of cooking.”
The winners who emerged from the South West region were: Miss Jessica Egbenwonu, University of Ibadan (UI); Miss Arafat Azeez, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB); Miss Temitope Oyedija, University of Lagos; and Christopher Xyztus, Federal University of Technology, Minna.
So, with the egusi soup and semo recipe, Egbenwonu was considered the best among all the contestants in UI while Azeez was adjudged the best among her peers with her efo riro and eba. At the University of Lagos, Oyedija’s meal okro soup and amala was declared the best. Yusuf Onaopemipo of the Faculty of Agriculture emerged successful at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Also, in the South-South/South East region, while Uchunor Ifeanyi led the pack of nine other contestants at University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) with the oha soup and poundo yam dish; Uzoenyi Ifeanyi of Abia State University (ABSU) outsmarted his peers with the edikaikong soup and poundo yam he dished out to carry the day; Modey Murphy emerged successful at Cross Rivers State University (CRUTECH).
Moreover, Princess Bogare, a pre-Degree student of Faculty of Humanities and Ruth Okwu of Faculty of Education emerged first runner-up and second runner-up in the regional contest held at UNIPORT. While Bogare recorded the feat with the white soup and poundo yam she prepared, Okwu came closely behind with the edikaikong soup and semovita.
Obi Adaku Joy of the Faculty of Accountancy; Cornelius Best Nwanne from the Faculty of Humanities took the second and third positions respectively in the campus activation held at ABSU. Udotin Emem of the Faculty of Social Sciences; and Olakanrun Esther from the Faculty of Technology were declared second and third winners for the OAU; respectively.
With the ogbona soup and garri she prepared, Kekong Deborah Bukie of the Faculty of Engineering dazzled other contestants at the CRUTECH to take the second position; while Odu Maryjane from the Faculty of Education came third with the white soup and poundo yam she prepared.
Speaking at the grand finale, shortly before the overall winner of the competition, Oyedija with her recipe, okro soup and garri; and the first runner up, Isaac Uzoenyi emerged, the Commercial Director, who was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm put up by the participants in the competition, enjoined all the finalists to see themselves as winners.
His words: “We are proud to have all of you here today. See yourself as a winner whether or not you clinch the star prize. As long as you are one of the 14 contestants here today, you are a winner. You will go home with a prize.”
Astonished by the outcome of the grand finale, especially after she was declared the winner and the mouthwatering prize that came with being the winner, Oyedija revealed that when the competition started, she was confused over where to start her cooking from, though later her confusion evaporated.
On who inspired her cooking skills, she disclosed that it was God, her creator, who endowed her with the culinary skills. She dedicated the award to God first, and then to her mother.
Summing up the competition, Senior Category Manager, Promasidor, Edna Obi, observed that the event achieved its objectives which included giving students across select campuses the opportunity to sharpen their culinary skills, enlighten the public on the wide variety of dishes enjoyed by different cultures across the country and create an emotional bond between the brand’s target audience and Onga Seasoning through active engagement and one-on-one interaction.
She is confident that Promasidor would continue to embrace laudable ideas that would contribute to the development of its target audience and the society at large.
In a chat, Oyedija disclosed that her choice of okro soup and amala was not a choice, because it was what she picked from the ballot box provided. According to her, she entered for the competition just to try her luck. Asked if she dreamt of winning, she said, “Yes. I dreamt of winning and prayed to God, too. I would even play with my friends that when my car comes, they would have the front seat.”
She also stated that preparing her recipe well, finishing her cooking on time and having a clean table gave her the edge over other contestants.
Speaking on how she felt when it was announced that she was the winner, she said that initially she was confused and did not know if she was to jump up or cry. “But I remember that I fell on the ground,” she said.
Oyedija thanked the promoter of the contest, saying participating in the competition was an awesome experience for her, as she had made new friends and learnt new things.