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I was depressed about my condition but music gave me hope

—B.O.G, blind singer who won a talent hunt show  

By Benjamin Njoku

Eighteen-year-old physically challenged budding singer,Godspower Ikharehon popularly known as B.O.G who recently emerged winner of the maiden edition of the “SOO Live The Dream Music Talent Hunt” competition, is still engrossed in the euphoria of his victory. The visually-impaired singer just returned from Dublin, where he performed at this year’s Miss Nigerian-Ireland 2015 Pageant.

B.O.G  emerged winner of the maiden edition of the grassroots music talent hunt competition  which rounded off recently, in Ubiaja, Edo State. He was in Dublin alongside the first runner up, 16-year-old, Deborah Christy Odiboh and the second runner up, Destiny Ogunnubi, a trained sound engineer.

Aspirations of music oriented youths

At the grand finale of the show, the initiator, Barr. Sergius Oseasochie Ogun, a member representing Esan North-East/South-East Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives had promised  that the winner would enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Dublin. He later extended the gesture to the first and second runners-up when it turned out that a physically-challenged contestant won the competition.

B.O.G blew the minds of the judges comprising Muyiwa Asenuga a.k.a Nomoreloss, Sydney Shocker, Monique D Vibes and Elcee McEdwards away with his unique voice to emerge the winner of the show. The competition was targeted at giving life to the aspirations of music-oriented youths from Esan North-East/South-East Federal Constituency of Edo State.

The budding singer  wowed the audience when he performed Cobhams Asuquo’s  evergreen single, “Ordinary People” from  his soul-lifting contemporary Christian album. His sonorous voice and dexterity on the keyboard not only earned him  a resounding ovation from the crowd, but it really floored the judges. After a suspense filled performances by the top 10 contestants that made it to the final round, the judges declared  B.O.G the winner of the show.

An elated Godspower, who fell down on the floor with joy, started dancing while being held by his brother, a move that brought the audience and fellow contestants to tears. Having been dazzling from the first day of the auditions with unique voice and dexterity with the keyboard, B.O.G revealed that at a point he was afraid he would not make it through.

“While I was at home I usually believed that I would win but when the auditions started and I started listening to some of the contestants sing, I was afraid that I had lost it all. My condition helped me to be serious in the sense that when I hear the performances of the other contestants, I would be spurred to work harder. The fact that I don’t see their faces is an advantage to me and I worked hard,” he said.

The winner, a student at Ihogbe College for the Blind in Benin Edo State disclosed that at a point in his life he was depressed about his condition but has music to thank for taking him away from his self-pity and putting him in the limelight in his community.

“Whenever I go to church and listen to people sing I feel very happy. In fact, inside me I would wish I was the one doing the songs. There were times I felt hopeless at such moments especially with my condition. I used to say people can walk, sing, see and here I am not being able to see; I felt that was how my life would be wasted but one day I took a decision and made a step to start singing. That decision helped me to get over self-pity and built my confidence that music is for me. Since then, I have never looked back and I must say that immediately I took that first step, God took it up from there,” he said.

While presenting prizes to the winners, a member representing Esan North-East/South-East Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives and sponsor of the project, Barr. Sergius Oseasochie Ogun, said he was happy with the outcome of the event and believed the next edition would be better.

“I am satisfied with the turnout of the event, it was wonderful, my prayer is that by the time we host the second edition next year the turnout will be more than this. That is why I am very anxious to put these guys on the world stage and then prove themselves on the world stage, others will queue in. The idea really is to use this project to get reverse migration.  community, there is an in surge of young people leaving for Europe through Libya.

They are dying in the Mediterranean sea as they try to transit to Italy and I think if you can do something for the young ones to showcase their talent and set up a structure that can tap into that talent, that talent will be taking to great heights,” he said. Applauded for his success by judges, a clearly delighted B.O.G can’t wait to release his first single.

He walks away with a recording contract from Dihoo Records, a cash prize of N200,000, while the  first and second runners up got cash prizes of N100, 000 and N50, 000 respectively.


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