It was a moment of joy, fun and excitement at the just concluded Lagos Grows Talent, an initiative of the Lagos State Government, which saw three talented individuals win the ultimate cash prizes.
Meanwhile, the audition for the talents hunt project witnessed thousands of individuals, who came out to showcase their talents. The auditions, which started on Tuesday December 18, 2017, held at five different locations within Lagos state including Victoria Island, Ikeja, Badagry, Epe and Ikorodu.
The final audition, which held on December 21, 2017, featured amazing talents and celebrity judges such as Toyin Abraham, Yomi Fash-Lanso, TY mix, Sotayo Sobola, Humblesmith, Caroline Danjuma, Aisha Lawal and Alariwo, who helped in selecting the winners.
After the auditions, a total of 10 contestants were chosen from each location of the audition to perform at different centers of the popular One Lagos Fiesta, a yearly event organised to mark Christmas and New Year in Lagos. The contestants include Ishola Idris rapper from Epe; Dream-Catchers dancers from Ikorodu; Cashflows Dance duo from Ikorodu; Skeleton Contortionist from Lagos Island; Torna rapper from Lagos Island; DMJ a dancer from Badagry; Korede rapper from Badagry; Nifemi the Child dancer from Ikeja; Ademola the drummer from Ikeja and Babatunde rapper from Epe.
After their first outing, Ishola Idris, Torna, Skeleton, Cashflow and Dream Catchers emerged as top five contenders and were chosen to perform at the Grand Finale of the One Lagos Fiesta, which held at Eko Atlantic. Olisa Adibua, Comedian Tee-A and Nollywood actress Toyin Abraham hosted the show, while Nollywood actress Eniola Badmus hosted the Agege show.
In the end, 13-year old Ishola Idris, a rapper, beat the other four contestants to win the cash prize of N1.5 million. Rapper Onyekachi Alexander otherwise known as Torna came in second with cash prize of N1million, while contortionist Goualin Vidal popularly known as Skeleton came in third and went home with the cash prize of N500,000.
Speaking after his emergence as the overall winner in the competition, Idris Ishola, who was filled with joy said, “I’m very happy that I won; I feel very good, I feel nice. It was a tough competition and I receive the money; I will use the money to help my family because we are poor. My parents know about this and they support me. Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is a very good Governor; I thank him for this opportunity, he’s the best Governor.”
Also, speaking with Torna, the 1st runner up said, “I’m very happy right now; I’m a boy of the people, I know what my fans want and I will always give them what they want. I really believe I was going to be the winner, but God knows why everything happened like that; I’m just happy all the way. I thank Governor Ambode for an opportunity to showcase my talent, as Lagos Grows Talent is a great platform for people like me, who don’t have the means to showcase their talents. He continued: “Governor Ambode is my daddy, I’m a proud Lagosian born in Surulere and I’m always grateful. Lagos has impacted me a lot, as my parents couldn’t afford to pay my school fees. The cash prize is an opportunity for me to further my education. I owe it all to Lagos and Governor Ambode for his passion for the youth.”
For the 2nd runner up, Goualin Vidal a.k.a Skeleton, “I discovered my talents eight years ago and I feel happy right now, though I didn’t win. I thank Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for this platform; he gave us the opportunity to prove ourselves to the world. I’m sure I deserve this position and I enjoyed myself.”
Addressing the gathering, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said, “I thank everyone for working towards the betterment and growth of Lagos state and I believe we would do more next year. I wish the winners and other contestants the best in 2018 as together; we forge ahead to make Lagos State a better place for all of us. Happy New Year,” he said.
Ambode also disclosed that consolation prizes of N200,000 each would be given to other contestants who made it to the top 10.The commissioner for Information, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, who is an integral part of the project, said that One Lagos Fiesta has provided not just talents, but employment opportunities to several people.
“It is a fiesta that has provided direct, indirect and induced jobs to more than 6000 people like musicians, dancers, technicians, stall owners, brand ambassadors, food and beverage sellers as well as security guards and transport services owners.”
Ayorinde further stated that the event was in line with the vision of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in using tourism, arts, culture and entertainment to boost the revenue of the state. The Fiesta has so far kept Lagosians, especially youths, happy and busy during the yuletide.
The final leg of the One Lagos Fiesta saw performances from notable artistes such as Davido, Wizkid, Olamide, Simi, Adekunle Gold, Ice Prince, Sound Sultan, at the Eko Atlantic, while Small Doctor, Obesere, Malaika, Junior Boy, Ice Prince and more performed at the Agege Stadium for the people on the Mainland. DJs like Dj Jimmy Jatt, DJ Spinall and DJ Enimoney thrilled the crowd with electrifying music.
The Lagos Grows Talent is an avenue to pitch uprising stars into the limelight, gives exquisitely talented individuals the platform to become the next celebrated personality in the entertainment industry. For most talent shows, there is a restriction to a particular genre of arts, but Lagos Grows Talent gave room to the most heterogeneous form of aesthetic and artistic displays of talents amongst the mobile and residential Lagos youth.