Fulfilling the dream of Nigerian youths

Nseobong Okon-Ekong reports that sponsors of the Nigerian Idol talent hunt contest are happy with the impact of the show in five years, even as the current edition races to photo-finish

This is probably the most exciting time of the year for Modupe Thani, Head, Events and Sponsorship, Etisalat Nigeria.

With the on-going Nigerian Idol talent hunt contest, she has the opportunity to demonstrate her passion of getting young talented Nigerians to challenge themselves, discover their talents and improve on their skills. This is one of the reasons behind her company’s sponsorship of this platform for five consecutive years.

As a youthful, vibrant brand with a wide range of offerings targeted at the youth, Etisalat is connecting with the youths through one of their passions, music. The Nigerian Idol competition has in many ways fulfilled its objectives since Season 1. Products of the competition have continued to shine and soar in the Nigerian music industry.

Season IV winner, Evelle recently launched two singles and a music video. Currently, she is churning out her own music, gaining fans nationwide and abroad and has featured in advertisements for different brands. Using her unique story, it is obvious that fulfilling the dreams of young people is Etisalat’s major objective. Nigerian Idol’s unique platform has achieved it flawlessly.

There is no gainsaying that the platform has impacted the lives of the contestants. Many past contestants have moved on to do greater things in their lives. All previous winners have successfully followed one dream or the other. This is a consequence of trainings and lessons imparted to them. These have made tremendous impact in their lives. It is also the driving force in their musical career.

Every year, there is a deliberate effort to make Nigerian Idol better than the previous one. Season 5 has been outstanding. Thani spoke of a careful selection scheme that has brought extraordinary talents from the nooks and crannies of Nigeria.

Season 5 is bigger and better with twists and turns. The intention is to shock the viewer as the show continues to run. Now in its leading contestant segment, the public is getting more involved with its votes. There is also the novelty of saving a promising contestant with low votes through the instrument of the judges ‘wild card’.
These decisions are usually based on confidence on stage, carriage, composure and general showmanship of the contestants amongst other parameters. The gala stage of the contest is no less exciting since the Etisalat-sponsored Nigerian Idol is about discovering and grooming talents for the Nigerian music industry.

Expectedly, the gala stage of the competition will have very stiff competition, amazing vocal talents, great performances, constructive criticism and encouragements from the judges when necessary.

One novelty of Nigerian Idol Season 5 is Cliq Idol an online audition competition which afforded talents who could not make it to the five screening cities for the auditioning an opportunity of turning their dreams into a reality from the confines of their homes by singing and uploading a 60-second video on www.cliqidol.com.

Essemm Nsofor, Solomon Orubo (Solo), Ame Igiri, Onifade Michael and Save Alo emerged as contenders for the Cliq Idol competition but it was Solo who won the maiden edition of this competition. This is one of the twists of Season 5. Although Solo did not get to the top 12, he lived his dream for a while and won himself an iPhone 6.
The contest ends in June with the winner going home with N7.5 million cash, a brand new car and a recording deal with Universal Music Company worth N7.5 million, amongst other prizes.

For emphasis, Thani explained that her company is also involved with other youth-oriented endeavours. One of the innovative ways Etisalat has developed to deepen its engagement with young people include youth-centric product called Easycliq.

It also has a new data bundle, called Smartpak, which connects young people through a variety of social media platforms. In existence already is Cliqfest, a two-day regional programme which tours tertiary institutions annually with a mix of entertainment and life- coaching sessions. THISDAY

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