How Project Fame’s Olawale beat colleagues

THERE was wild jubilation among friends, fans and family members who had thronged the venue of the MTN Project Fame’s grand finale, in Lekki, to cheer Olawale Ojo to victory. Even his father, Mr. Jacob Ojo appeared stunned by the success of his diminutive son, having tried, repeatedly, to discourage him from taking to music. One could tell, that Olawale himself could not believe he had edged out others and is about to be crowned ‘king’ over them, including those, whose musical prowess he had respected on camp.

But the decision had been taken by fans of the MTN-sponsored Project Fame West Africa music reality show who voted for their preferred candidates among the ‘Sensation Six’, as this year’ finalists were called.

With just the collating company, Alexander Forbes armed with the result, the last ceremony continued Saturday night at the Ultima Studio, Lekki, Lagos, as the contestants graced the stage, singing their last songs, each, just to entertain the studio guests.

Amidst the tension and anxiety that pervaded the studio, the last shot at music, by the 400level Agronomy Student of Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, was a near-perfect rendition of Asa’s Beautiful. He had sung it half-way when he delved into the Fuji genre, not losing focus of the theme of the song. He sang his mother’s praise in a high tempo fuji beat and slide back smoothly, to Asa’s slow and sonorous tune as he wrapped up the performance that got the audience clapping and cheering excitedly.

Even though he is more at home with the Jazz genre, perhaps his versatility was what endeared fans to him, gathering the highest number of votes that upstaged other five finalists.

Before then, he had survived the intrigues and suspense engendered by ten weeks of intense competition involving him and the other 17 contestants, who were admitted into the academy, in August. His uniqueness, right from the first performance, was evident such that one of the show’s judges, TY Mix, admitted that the young man always made whatever song he rendered sound better.

The highlights of his stay in the academy were his flawless rendition of Asa’s ‘Beautiful’ and collaboration with Tiwa Savage. He swiftly wormed his way into the hearts of millions of students and the teeming West African audience who daily took to the social media like Twitter and Facebook, to register their admiration for him. Even across the globe, during the finalists’ interaction with the audience on google+, parents and kids still heaped praises on the young man.

‘The Pimp’, as he is fondly called by friends, won for himself, N5m cash prize, a brand new Toyota SUV and a recording contract that is worth millions of naira for his effort in the competition . He becomes the sixth winner of the popular TV show, joining past winners Iyanya, Myke, Chidinma, Monica and Ayo.

Immaculate Patience, the 22-year-old belle from Benue State, was named first runner-up, winning a cash prize of N3m and a car, while Margaret Cephas, a Liberian and the only Non-Nigerian to make it to the top six came 3rd place, winning N2m and a car.

Niniola Apata and Omolayo Babawale, received N2m and N1m respectively for comining fourth and fifth positions, while Roland Ricketts went home with N500, 000 for being number six in the competition.

The show kicked off in June 2013 with a Project Fame tour held in three cities Abuja, Port Harcourt and Lagos.

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