On Saturday 28th September 2013, Nigeria saw Olawale Ojo crowned the Winner of the MTN Project Fame West Africa season 6. It was everyone’s delight to see a 400 level Agronomy Student of Ladoke Akintola University, go home with a cash prize of N5 million , a fully loaded SUV and a recording contract .
The finale show saw the ‘”Sensational Six” (Finalists) – Olawale , Immaculate , Roland , Magret , Niniola and Omolayo, entertain attendees with one performance each .
Recently Nigeriafilms.com reporter had a chat with the winner, Olawale Ojo, first runner up, Immaculate and third runner-up, Niniola on their journey so far and their plans for the prizes .
”The competition has taught me a lot” Project Fame winner, OLAWALE OJO
Life in the academy ?
First few weeks in the academy was not too pleasant , because I didn’t even believe in my self then . What I do was to just go on stage and do what I know how to do better . Even at a time I was abused of singing without emotion, but as time goes on I got used to it and pushed ahead .
How did you feel when announced winner ?
My mind went blank. I am grateful to God and appreciate those who believed in me and voted for me massively. It’s actually not all about my talent but those who believed in me and voted me to the top and all I have to say is thank you and I promise I will never disappoint them .
Any plan for the money, contract and car presently ?
I think for now I will focus on the recording contract , because there is nothing for me to spend the money on . And I have been surviving without the money , but as time goes on I will think of how to invest it. There is a difference between spending and working. If there is one thing I can buy out of the money for now, it would be a lovely piano. I had one but it’s not really good. I would give it to someone.
Have you been to a reality show before Project fame?
Actually , I have never been to a reality show or any form of audition before. Project fame is my first attempt . Though a friend actually pushed me into the competition. He said, why was I wasting my talent in the corner of my house, because I’m always playing my piano and also involved myself in church activities. I was very nervous when I went for the audition. But now I am glad and thank God it’s now a history.
What do you think make people to like you ?
It was when I did Asa’s song. The moment I did the song, everything changed. It was then I comprehended all the things the faculty members taught me and I began applying their lessons.
Were you ever intimidated by anyone in the academy ?
I wasn’t intimidated by anyone, and I think we are all unique in our own ways . What I do was just to make sure I give the best and I did not forge myself .
What were your winning strategies?
My winning strategy was just being myself. The second factor was God.
Any challenges in the academy ?
My greatest challenge was being nervous and rigid on stage but as time goes on I was able to overcome it .
What was your father’s reaction to your choice of profession ?
He wasn’t happy with it , but his discouragement really taught me how to be a fighter. If I didn’t give it a fight, I wouldn’t have been where I am today. His discouragement was a motivating factor that propelled me to greater heights. And he was indifferent because I am the first musician in my family. Thus, it didn’t really appeal to him. However, when I was picked after the audition, he was happy.
As a student , how would you manage academics and the stardom ?
I would just be myself. I was in school before Project Fame and I have been rehearsing. Thus, it won’t disturb me much. Let me just wait and see how it would play out because I have not tasted stardom before. I don’t know how it feels out there.
What’s your genre of music?
I am an R n’ B singer but due to my flexibility, I can perform well in other genres too. The competition has taught me a lot.
‘My expectation was to get to the top and be number one slot. ’ – IMMACULATE PATIENCE EDOCHIE, 1st runner-up
How do you feel as first runner up?
I feel grateful. I was actually speechless. I don’t have the right words to describe the feeling. I am so happy. It shows that hard work pays, I am so happy.
Your expectation while going into the academy?
My expectation was to get to the top and to be number one slot. However, I’m still okay with the second position. From the onset, I performed as if I was at the final.
Tell us your winning strategies in the academy ?
(Hmmmm), The first thing I do was to blank out my mind from the overlook the money , the car and the recording deal. The reason was that when you have the consciousness that you are in a competition, you will deprive yourself of your originality. So I blanked myself out and desired to be myself and have fun. Because to me music is an expression of your beauty. That helped me to stay focused.
Were there any challenges?
There were lots of emotional incidents. The joy of it was that it made me stronger. While in the academy I was like, ‘I am tired’ and wanted to go home. But I learnt to face it and overcome it.It was not easy because you have to wake up sometimes in the middle of the night to learn songs and train yourself to be perfect . But at last I was able to overcome the worries . And one of the challenges was s the Nancy issue. It taught me to always be prepared. Everybody can’t like you. It taught me how to handle issues.
Your next step from here ?
I intend to disturb all of you with good music. I will make my fans proud. Omawumi is my mentor, she is my reference point. She was not the winner but successful now. It’s not about winning. I am an achiever. Not all winners are achievers. So my plan is to pay back my fans with good music.
What’s your genre of music?
I love African music. And the songs I want to focus on is more of Africa , because there is a lot in Africa which people do not know about so am here to unveil it .
What’s your plan for the N3 million and car?
My plan is to relax and invest later. I want to utilize the fame first before the money.
I want to finish my education before I go fully into music Margaret Cephas
How do you fill as the second runner up ?
Am okay and I feel great because it wasn’t easy at all
Your experience in the academy ?
It was tough for me , though I don’t know about others . But I feel good at least I came the second runner up
Why did you come all the way from Liberia ?
I think its because project fame is meant for Africans and its a big project too . So my coming was never a mistake because today I am been known almost all over the world
Your plans ?
I want to focus on my studies first after which I can go fully into music . And for the money I will keep it at least I have a car to move around
”I’ve learn how to be creative ”-NINIOLA APATA, 3rd runner-up
How do you feel as the third runner up ?
I feel great, happy and grateful to God.
Did you ever think of getting to this stage ?
Yes. Though I wish to be the winner but all the same am glad that I still got something and thanks to my fans because without them its possible for me not t go this far , so am happy .
How did you feel when you were announced the third runner up ?
Sincerely, I was shock because I didn’t expect it . But I give God thanks .
What did you learn in the academy , and how has it helped you ?
The first lesson in the academy was being myself. Be original. Second, I learn how to appreciate African culture. Also, I learnt how to be creative and utilize it for my own good.
Your plan for the N2 million?
I don’t have any plan now because when you are conscious of the fact that you have money, you will squander it. The money would be utilized to help me push my career to limelight