On Friday, 2 December, 24-year old Tamara Eteimo emerged the winner of the 2011 Next Movie Star reality show. The Bayelsa State native was adjudged the most outstanding and talented in the reality television show.

Tamara’s victory, announced by Afro juju maestro, Sir Shina Peters, comes with a brand new SUV, cash prize and three movie roles.  Not just that, she will be heralded into the Nigerian movie industry popularly called Nollywood, with a lot of pomp and reverence.

In her reaction, an elated Tamara, who was at first incoherent with emotions, said “right now, I’m the happiest in the world. I’m extraordinarily excited. I knew my persistence, talent and hard work were going to pay off some day and I’m most grateful to God that it came through today. My appreciation goes to my parents and siblings for the huge support ever since they learnt of my involvement in NMS and I say a big thank you to the organisers for providing a platform for young people like us to actualise our ambitions. I’m going out there to make a difference.”

Pitted against equally talented youths drawn from all over Nigeria, Tamara, a Theatre Arts graduate of the University of Port Harcourt, made it to the last eight; the first time eight contestants would be announced as finalists.

“This year’s edition has been unique. It started right from the audition stage; we were awestruck by the quality of talents we saw; their zeal, energy and courage were beyond our expectation. At some point, the judges were bewildered, choosing 24 of the wannabes for the training and grooming session and then, 16 housemates, instead of the normal 12. It was very tough inside the house. In fact, eviction became quite tough because all of them were unique in their own ways. But we had to conform to the rules,” said Sola Fajobi, the show’s executive producer, adding, “the 16 contestants have gone through thorough and successful grooming by seasoned professionals in diverse endeavours; viewers voted, judges made their decisions and we are proud to introduce Tamara Eteimo as the 2011 Next Movie Star. As you have all seen, she has the charisma, she exudes aura and is quite talented. She will no doubt, make her mark out there.”

Witty budding actor, Tomiwa Kukoyi; soft-spoken Aisha Alli-Balogun and Vivian Egbon, were first, second and third runners-up respectively.

Now in its seventh year, the Next Movie Star, acclaimed as the most consistent TV reality show, has churned out an appreciable number of talents who are doing well in their respective careers like the last three Big Brother Africa winners, Karen Igho, Uti Nwachukwu and Kevin Chuwang Pam; Kingsley Ogbodo, Portia Yamahan, Enoch Hammond (Ghana), Avinette Sirleaf (Liberia) and Akio Precious Ilami.