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I’ll spend prize money on my poor family –Ishola Idris, winner, Lagos Grows Talent.

For the three lucky winners and other contestants of Lagos Grows Talent, the just concluded talent show organised by the Lagos State government was a memorable event and opportunity of a lifetime.

Kicking off on December 18, 2017, the auditions for the talent show had witnessed thousands of youths trooping out to showcase their talents at five different locations within Lagos State including Victoria Island, Ikeja, Badagry, Epe and Ikorodu.

The auditions, which ended on December 21, saw amazing talents and celebrities like Toyin Abraham, Yomi Fash-Lanso, TY Mix, Sotayo Sobola, Humblesmith, Caroline Danjuma, Aisha Lawal and Alariwo judge the contestants based on creativity and talent. At the end of the day, 10 contestants were chosen from each venue of the audition to perform at different locations of One Lagos Fiesta – an annual event of riveting music and entertainment.

The 10 successful contestants included Epe-based young rapper, Ishola Idris, Dream-Catchers Dancers from Ikorodu, Cashflows Dance duo from Ikorodu, Skeleton, a contortionist from Lagos Island, Torna, a rapper from Lagos Island, DMJ, a dancer from Badagry, Korede, a rapper from Badagry, Nifemi, kid dancer from Ikeja, Ademola, drummer from Ikeja, and Babatunde, a rapper from Epe.

Out of all the contestants, Ishola Idris, Torna, Skeleton, Cashflow and Dream Catchers emerged as top five and were chosen to perform at the grand finale of One Lagos Fiesta held at Eko Atlantic, Victoria Island, Lagos. The show had On-Air-Personality, Olisa Adibua, comedian Tee-A and Nollywood actress, Toyin Abraham playing the hosts while actress Eniola Badmus hosted the Agege leg of the concert.

At the end of a tough battle between the final five contestants, 13-year-old rapper, Ishola Idris, beat four others to win the cash prize of N1.5 million. Onyekachi Alexander aka Torna also a rapper, took the second position, smiling home with a cash prize of N1 million while Goualin Vidal aka Skeleton, a contortionist, came third with a cash prize of N.5 million.

Asked how he felt winning the grand prize, Ishola said: “I am very happy that I won. I feel very good, I feel nice. It was a tough competition and I received the money. I will use the money to help my family because we are poor. My parents knew about this and they supported me. I thank Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for this opportunity. He is the best governor.”

Also speaking, Torna, the 1st runner-up, said: “I am very happy right now, I am a boy of the people, I know what my fans want and I will always give them what they want. I believed I was going to be the winner, but God knows why everything happened like this. But I am happy all the way. I thank Governor Ambode for an opportunity to showcase my talent. Lagos Grows Talent is a great platform for people like me who don’t have the means to showcase their talents.

“Governor Ambode is my daddy, I am 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.”

On his part, the 2nd runner-up, Goualin Vidal aka Skeleton, a contortionist, said: “I discovered my talents eight years ago and I feel happy right now even 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 deserved this position and I enjoyed myself thoroughly.”

Congratulating the winners, Governor 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’ll forge ahead to make Lagos State a better place for all of us. Happy New Year!”

The governor, however, said that N200,000 including consolation prizes would each be given other contestants that made it to the top 10.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, explained that One Lagos Fiesta has discovered not only talents but also provided 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,” he said.

Ayorinde further stated that the event was in line with the vision of Governor Ambode in using tourism, arts, culture and entertainment to boost the revenue of the state.

But then, it’s not all about winners of Lagos Grows Talent showcasing their talents, the grand finale of One Lagos Fiesta held at Eko Atlantic also witnessed amazing performances from established artistes like Davido, Wizkid, Olamide, Simi, Adekunle Gold, Ice Prince, and Sound Sultan among others. DJs Jimmy Jatt, Spinall and Enimoney equally thrilled the crowd with electrifying vibes.

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