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Saturday, April 19, 2008

'The AK47’ fired out of The Apprentice


On Sunday, viewers of The Apprentice Africa (TAA) were left disappointed when WBS failed to broadcast the show "due to unavoidable circumstances."

The administrator of, a blog dedicated to Deox Tibeingana, one of the contestants, wrote angrily, berating the station for its unreliability and asking the producers to shift the programme to rival station, NTV. Then WBS screened a strong apology, promising TAA fans it would screen the fifth episode on Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. At the same time though, Arsenal was playing Liverpool in Champion’s League, and knowing Uganda's fascination with European soccer, WBS still left many at crossroads wondering which of the two to watch. For me, TAA prevailed.

In the week's business task, the contestants were asked to design a mission statement and a 30-second television commercial for Sahara Group, one of the big oil companies in Nigeria.

Before that, the C.E.O told them about a twist in the game. He asked Matrix Corporation to choose someone from Zulu Corporation to join their team and the Ghanaian, Isaac became that man.

The brainstorming began as members sought inspiration and ideas that would steer them to victory. Kenya's Eddie, thanks to his drama skills, was entrusted with the directorship of the Zulu television commercial while Nigerian Bukeme who has a degree in English offered to direct the Matrix commercial.

Prudently, the girls even employed a storyboard illustrator to breakdown their ideas graphically while the Zulus were lost in complacency and self glorification, and warned American film connoisseur, Steven Spielberg to watch out because he had a rival in Eddie!

At the end, the teams made a presentation before a panel of Sahara Group executives. The verdict: Matrix Corp won, and a reward came in form of a bike-riding evening with Sahara Bikers Club and an unforgettable dinner at Lagoon Restaurant.

The Zulus waited apprehensively in the boardroom, for one of them would be "fired." Mr. Shobanjo voiced his disappointment at their failure to know their target audience. And during the shooting of the commercial, they filmed in some restricted areas.

The loud-mouthed and cunning-like-the-fabled-tortoise, Akatu, known among his teammates as "AK47"accused Tunde of being an inflexible project manager that sacrificed their victory on the "alter of his ego."

Eddie quickly defended the latter accusing the 'gun' of running away with his mouth only when they were in the boardroom than when they were in the field hustling. Everyone knew Akatu had contributed little.

The Nigerian lawyer had since the start of the show touted himself as a shrewd negotiator and fighter who was even feared by sharks, but when Shobanjo looked him in the eye and "fired" him for doing little for his team, he sank back glumly.

"Oh my God," his facial expression suggested, "tell me this is a bad dream." But it was real.

--Daily Monitor, April 5, 2007