A renowned spiritual leader, His Holiness Olumba Olumba Obu of Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, has doled out, at least, N50 Million to appreciate gospel artists, film actors, producers and other creative directors.
The spiritual leader also gave out financial and material awards to over 400 personnel, both dead and alive who worked in his establishments and offices since the 1980s.
The 20th Edition of Brotherhood Music and Merits Award night which seeks to encourage talents, creative and outstanding performances in arts, administration and evangelical feats featured different categories.
It held on New Year’s Eve at the headquarters of the organisation in Calabar and attracted teeming participants from Nigeria and abroad.
The event was not limited to faithful of the spiritual organisation as officials of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) from the state were involved and had graced the award night.
Greater chunk of the financial awards went to struggling young gospel artists, music producers, film actors and directors.
Against the earlier budgeted N250,000 billed to be given out to successful nominees, the spiritual leader raised the prize money to One Million Naira each.
Leader Obu said, “such amount was too low to be given out to the winners. I have raised it to One Million Naira each. Each of them should be Millionaires.”
Information officer of the fold, The Patriarch, Shepherd Joseph Abba said their leader is always compassionate, always looking for avenues to empower and encourage genuine, budding talents.
“He likes to lift people out of squalor and abject poverty. He has appreciated how the artistes were struggling to succeed with their innate talents. It is hoped they will judiciously utilise the award so as to yield more for them”, he said.
One of the winners, Uboho Claytus Udo, a young single woman in her 30s who runs a pure water and retail soft drinks shop in Calabar to feed her children, also won N1m for her first single album.
“I am lost for words. I want to thank our Father immensely for this very surprise New Year gift, totally unexpected. It shows what this year has in stock for me”, she said.
In the film categories, upcoming music stars and actors, Meshark Okon Akpan and Irene David Ulaeto, a broadcaster with StarCross cable TV network also won awards.
The organisers of the annual event also recognised well performing individuals, including humanitarian groups like Universal Mercy Fellowship which had conducted outdoor charity activities in 2021 on the streets and at welfare centres and orphanages in Calabar and other countries.
Earlier, the spiritual leader had also rewarded over400 personnel dead or alive who had worked in different departments, establishments and offices of the his organisation from Year 2000.