Inside Abuja

Taking youths off the streets, musically

Over the weekend, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) witnessed a harvest of musical talents as a reality TV show debuted in Abuja. CALEB ONWE reports


Human resource development experts have established that latent talents abound in every society and that it only takes critical minds and vigilant eyes to spot them. It was a bumper harvest of talents from the streets at the weekend as the Season One of “The Song Nigeria Talent Hunt Reality TV Show” flung its doors open in Abuja.


The show paraded 20 youths of different ages, but not exceeding 30 years. They were selected to showcase their musical talent and win fantastic prices. The organisers of the show said it was conceived and launched as a strategic talent hunt to take young people out of the streets.


The concept behind the show is that Nigeria would be a better place, if the youths can be guided to channel their energies in the right direction and make economic ventures out of their natural talents.


Watching a 16-year-old, Imo State-born girl, Ijeoma Akamihe, sing and hold the audience spellbound with her sonorous voice, showed that the streets are filled with raw talents, waiting to be harvested.


The little girl, who said she is a secondary school leaver, waiting for admission into the university to study law, summoned the courage to compete on stage with other youths far above her age. Ijeoma was charming and exuded a lot of charisma as she dazzled the audience with her songs. Her sterling performance on stage electrified the venue of the contest.

But she said that she was simply living here dreams of becoming a musical star. She stated that mustering the energy and courage to compete with people who are much older than her was not a big deal, given the mentorship she had undergone.


According to her, a well-known female gospel musician, Mercy Chinwo, who is her role model, also attended a music competition at a very tender age and dazzled her audience.


“By God’s grace, I want to be a well known musician, a gospel song minister for that matter. I came for this competition to widen my horizon. After reading the biography of my mentor in music, Mercy Chinwo, I discovered she also went for a competition at a very young age.


“Apart from the inspiration I got from my mentor, it is also my calling to be a gospel musician. I have always sang in churches and also led in the choir.


“Education is my priority first now, as I want to study law but I want to make a mark in the music industry,” she said. Two other contestants were identified as young graduates, who seem to have found their destinies in music, instead of the professional courses they undertook at the higher institutions.


Abigail Benson, who hails from Cross River State and a graduate of Mass Communications, said she joined the contest to harness the innate potentials that had been bottled up in her for a long time.


She noted that pursuing a music career was a desire she had nursed for a long time and finally coming to fruition with the opportunity presented by the competition. Usha Williams, a graduate of Economics and an indigene of Benue State, said he had desired an opportunity to express himself in a global music stage. Williams, who was one of the few contestants that impressed the audience with his performance, appears to have decided to abandon the dream of becoming a famous Economist and focus on building a career in music. Pretty Onyejiaku, the brain behind “The Song Nigeria Talent Hunt Reality TV Show,” said her motivation to invest in youth empowerment was a lifelong desire. Onyejiaku, who is also media professional, noted that her years of media practice had shown that the streets of Nigeria were filled with  talents waiting to be harvested and properly processed.


She said that most of the social vices challenging peace and security of the country were due to abandoned and decaying talents on the streets.


According to her, the competition was her modest contribution to salvaging the youths from restiveness and other social maladies that are capable of destroying human dignity and peaceful coexistence in the country.


“I organised this event because when you look at the streets, you find many talented Nigerians, who just need support and won’t be on the street, if they get a support. We have so much banditry and kidnappings, armed robbery and other vices on our streets.


This is what motivated me to consider the competition as a way of addressing the youth restiveness. I am doing this to get involved and make positive impact in our society.”


She explained that, “The Song Nigeria Reality TV Show “ was an initiative that would give Nigerian youths the opportunity to showcase their talents with a good amount of entertainment values.


“This show aims at supporting young artistes, who want to achieve their goal of becoming superstars. This is part of our efforts to empowering Nigerian youths, reduce the increasing rate of unemployment, hunger and all kinds of social vices, youth restiveness and unrest in the country.


“The Song Nigeria is proudly Nigerian Talent Hunt Reality TV Show. The Season One of the  4-week Reality TV Show will see 20 talented young talents competing in order to earn support and push for their musical careers.


“They would use their ideas and creativity, along with their music acumen, to win challenges. Contestants are subjected to long hours, grueling deadlines, intellectual challenges, personality clashes and intense scrutiny under the careful watch of their supervisors and judges of the show,” she said.


Inside Abuja gathered that, “the last person standing will go home with a car and a record deal. The contestants will have an opportunity of interacting with a select group of top CEOs and successful record label owners for advice and inspiration. “The Competition will bring the reality of the pains and gains of musical journey into the living rooms of the millions of viewers.


“Participation in this Reality Show is open to every Nigerian citizen irrespective of Race, Gender, Tribe, Ethnicity or Religion. Participation is open to Nigerians in the Diaspora, provided they meet the eligibility requirements and are willing and able to cover their own travel expenses to and fro,” Onyejiaku said.




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