By YOMI AWELEWA
M-Net, premium entertainment content provider for MultiChoice’s DStv, has always prided itself as ‘the home of magic’. That ascription has made one wonder from time to time, what justification is there in the claim? There seems to be one thousand and one reasons M-Net defines itself home of magic, but a clear one that rings a bell is its music talent-search reality show, now named Glo Naija Sings after the signing of a mouth-watering three-year deal with Nigeria’s indigenous telecommunication giant, Globacom.
That partnership heralds the era of real magic for young Nigerian talents who might want to pursue careers in music. M-Net’s Glo Naija Sings’ platform is a veritable vehicle for transforming and enriching lives through creative engagement of raw talents.
The new deal ensures that the title of the reality show, hitherto Naija Sings during Season One, is changed to Glo Naija Sings beginning from Season Two as a result of the headline sponsorship. Globacom is responsible for providing the cash prize of 100,000 US Dollars to one lucky contestant in a winner-takes-all fashion. Jon, the 18-year-old prodigy who won the first season walked away with the cash and a record deal. This time around, Globacom has added a Toyota RAV4 SUV to the winner’s booty. It also promises to endorse the winner as one of its glamorous ambassadors, a position that comes with many other freebies.
On its part, Storm 360, M-Net’s strategic partner for the reality show, provides the winner with a recording contract while M-Net will strive to help push the winner’s career to an enviable level using its numerous platforms across sub-Saharan Africa.
Was it not Ruth Scott who said: “Success depends, above all, upon people”? She counselled: “Build relationships, teams, partnerships and motivate people to contribute. Cultivate leadership, creativity, excellence. Listen; seek new ideas and advice”. All these M-Net considered and put to practice. The result is mind-blowing. From the quality of relationship built to ensure success and sustenance of the show, to the quality of teams assembled to handle the show’s production from start to finish, and the enormous logistics mobilised to ensure a smooth running of activities, M-Net has justified its position as one of the leading pay-TV premium services and programmes providers.
Translating the new ideas and pieces of advice offered it into reality, M-Net, as a departure from the first season, appointed a resident judge, Tosin Martins – one of Nigeria’s finest singers, to rove through the length and breadth of Nigeria, scouting for talents. Tosin travelled with the production team to seven cities: Benin, Enugu, Port-Harcourt, Calabar, Kano, Abuja and Lagos, where regional finals held and selected 23 contestants for the semi-final showdown in Lagos. It was a month-long trip that began in the middle of July and ended in mid-August. Though tasking, Tosin did not relent in his effort until he had picked the Top 10 for the finals, which started screening on DStv Channel 102, M-Net West, on Sunday, October 17.
For these talented Top 10: 22 year-old Boma Tolofari, 27 year-old Casey Edema, 27 year-old Ekeng Bassey, 20 year-old Fred Akoh and 14 year-old brother Jeff Akoh (known as Da Brodas), 19 year-old Moses Obi-Adigwe, 23 year-old Najite El-David, 25 year-old Niniola Apata, 24 year-old Peace Nwokolo, 17 year-old Rasine Brown, and 25 year-old Shedrack Duru, the journey had been tortuous. The ten finalists, like the thousands that auditioned at different venues across the country, spent hours in queues to realize their ambition. Some travelled to other regions to make up for missing an audition in their region, all in a bid to secure a spot in the finals.
Tosin Martins, at the end of the rigorous exercise, expressed optimism that he had selected Top 10 unique voices for the second season of Naija Sings. Responding to Olisa Adibua, the show’s anchor’s question as to what special qualities stand these ones out of the crowd, Martins listed confidence, unique voice texture, ability to choose the right song that allows their voices to shine, and much more important, their raw talents. He has no doubt that a superstar will emerge from the group.