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Saturday, August 14, 2010

For Me, Marriage Has Been Fun And Wahala -Julius Agwu

Julius Agwu and Wiffyyyyyyyy
One comedian who knows how to make the people laugh with his jokes is Julius Agwu. The Rivers State born comedian cum musician and a Theatre Arts graduate from the University of Port Harcourt told Adunola Fasuyi how he started comedy during his primary school days as punishment for coming late to school. Excerpts:

You were into music sometime ago, then you stopped. What happened to your music career or has comedy taken over completely?
I did not stop. After the first album, which was entitled: ‘Okombo’, people thought I did not have anything to offer with that song and that I just went into music for singing sake.

Then I did another song which I entitled, My Style’, the album has tracks like ‘Everybody show your handwork’ and ‘Sunita (When will you marry)’. After that album, I got married and I had to concentrate on building a family.

That was the reason I stepped back from music for a while. Presently, I have a beautiful daughter and I’m back onto the music scene because my third album is ready. The album should be out, hopefully, by the end of this month. So, I’m doing both, let’s say my style has an infusion of music and comedy.

What is the title of this new album? Should we expect the same comic lyrics?
The title is ‘D Genius’. Basically, what I do is music-comedy, but I try as much as possible to be eclectic in my style. It is a fusion of different styles from everything joined together.

There are different songs, there is gospel, there is hip hop, and the video of ‘Hello My Baby’ has been on air. There is a song that I featured 2Face ‘No Mind Them’.

I also featured a Ghanaian girl by name ‘Efya’ and many others. There are 10 tracks in the album. The packaging and the CD is being done abroad. It is going to be a bumper package of my music and DVD of Crack Ya Ribs in one.

Do you still do stand up comedy?
If I am called to perform, why not? We are in a business and everybody complements each other. These days, before I accept to perform in a show, I check if it is a show that would add value to my brand. I likewise check if I am going to add value to that brand. It is not every show that I can perform in. There are certain shows that can bring down your reputation, something I have suffered to build for years, no way.

These days, you do a lot of travelling in and out of the country, why is this so?
Oh, it’s all work. Just working hard, continuing and seeing how we can establish what we started long ago. That is the whole idea of the shuttling, because the job has to be done. Aside the Crack Ya Ribs show, I have an album that I’m working on. Besides, I have a brand to protect which I have to guard well.

How would you describe your marriage and does it infringe on your work schedule?
Oh it’s been fun and wahala. You have to explain whatever you are doing at any point in time, unlike before. The fun of getting married to a comedian means my wife does not quarrel with me all the time because if she does, it will form part of my jokes.

So, quarrels between me and my wife, which rarely happens anyway, form part of my jokes. Jokes are from everyday events in our lives you know. About work schedule, it’s just about planning and orderliness and doing the right thing at the right time.

You have reached the top in your career, how would you describe the journey so far and how do you maintain this?
In everything in life, there are challenges. There is the challenge of always re-inventing yourself, making sure that you are fresh, so that people will not say that you are no longer funny or relevant.
Comedy business is not like music business where you can come on stage and sing your old song. In fact, people actually request for the old songs. In comedy, you have to be fresh.

Sometimes, when you give people an old joke, they may hiss and say, ‘we don hear am before?’ ‘na only this joke you know?’ Such words can be embarrassing, so in comedy you must be creative and be on your toes to remain relevant.

So far, its not been easy, of course there were the teething stage but by and large, I have God to thank and I have been very hardworking too. I’m not there yet, but I’m still going.
Is there any difference in the comedy we have presently and the comedy we had in 1996 when A

Nite of A Thousand Laughs started?
If the truth must be told, I will say that then, jokes used to be like story telling. You will wait and be patient and listen to the scenario where they will paint picture for you. It is a kind of visual imagery; you wait until the end of the story before you get the joke.

But jokes have changed, comedy has changed. Now, you narrate happenings as if you are gisting with people then you chip in the joke.

Jokes are now things that people can relate with, day to day occurrences. It is just finding a way to observe things and look for the humour in it. Those days, people can just tell you joke but now, it has to be politically correct.

Your album was reviewed at your show last weekend. What other side attractions did you put to excite the audience?
People that were born in August joined and cut the special anniversary cake, members of the audience had a chance to come onto the stage to crack jokes. People thought it is easy to stand on a stage and make people laugh, but they now know better.

You are quite stylish. How does your career influence your style?
Whether you like it or not, the time we started was the time when a performer or an entertainer is seen as never do well. People see you as a dropout. So, at that time I started, one of my most important rules of being an entertainer is to make sure that I look good all the time.

It was mandatory for me to always look good and correct that wrong impression about entertainers. I made sure I looked very good to the extent that when people saw me, I would stand out and be different.

That was how I built the ‘Julius Agwu’ brand. My outfit, my clothing and my style would speak for me first before I start bringing out what I have inside.

I thought the sense came after the money started rolling in?
No, no, no! I have been a very fashion conscious person right from when I was very young. I took the stylish nature from my dad.

Those days that I was very young, I got what I could afford. I remember when I was much younger, in my university days, I used to buy what we call ‘Akube’ or ‘bend down select’ as many call it, washed it well and iron and each time I stepped out, oh, it was always beautiful. Then it was not a joke, the bend down select was ultimate, but now, levels don change and I buy from where my hand can reach. I don’t want to go into details. I love to look good basically.

You wear more of foreign than native attires. Is that your brand or what informs your outfit?
I dress the way the occasion demands. I wear jeans and T-shirts sometimes. Unfortunately, we live in a country were we don’t respect dress code. What I do with my dressing for event is that I try to make sure that I add value to that event with my appearance.

There is a way you dress to an event at times and someone will send you to go and buy pure water. If you are shabbily dressed to an event, the organisers may not let you perform. Your dressing plays on the audience psyche. When you are well-dressed, people admire you and it makes the job easier too, it gives you confidence but you have to have something in your head and then the clothing will complement it.

What do you think of the slim jeans in vogue for men now?
I love slim jeans but my wife does not like it. She says that people will think I am gay when I wear them but it is just fashion.

What’s your best colours?
I love bright colours because I like to shine. I have always been a bright colour person right from time.

Like how many suits do you have in your wardrobe?
I give out clothes a lot. Right now as I speak, I should have about 60 or more suits. I have a working closet. It is like a room that stores all my clothes, shoes and belts and other accessories.

But if you are too flamboyant, the audience may be distracted with your dressing or…..(cuts in)
That is if you overdress. I don’t overdress. My style basically is what makes me look good. It must make me outstanding and it must fit me.

How do you mean exactly?
Well, if I have my size in colours that I like, they make me look good. It may interest you that I even have Indian wears. Whatever stands me out interests me. For you to stand out, you have to be outstanding and as a public person, you must look good.

Are you a freak for any fashion items?
I am a freak for sunshades, i.e. glasses, shirts, shoes and belts. I like them a lot. I love shopping a lot and it has been causing problem between me and my wife. I am a compulsive buyer.

Those days when I was not married, I could just buy as many as possible, but right now, I check how the family is first. I prioritise. Sometimes, when I buy, I hide it in my boot and after sometimes, I’ll bring it out to wear and when she asks me, I will say, ‘ha, something that has been here since.’

Can you shop all year round?
I don’t think I can. I just got back from the United States of America last week and I shopped for only my wife and daughter. They have caught the bug. I cannot stop shopping for myself or for them.

Any particular designers?
I look out for things that are classy. My glasses is Posh, my shoe is Début, my suits and shirts are from different designers. I go for what is good and classy, it doesn’t have to be well-known designers.

Some people think that wearing native dresses makes one look less expensive, what is your opinion?
I don’t think so. There are traditional attires that are very expensive. You wear traditional attire to suit the occasion. You cannot be going to a cocktail dinner that is a black tie affair and you are wearing agbada, what message are you trying to pass? That you are humble? It does not make sense.

Do you wear clothes made by Nigerian designers?
Of course, there is this young guy called Tunde Marcos. There are a lot of young people that are making marvelous outfits. People are now bold to come out to showcase their talent in different areas unlike before when you can count the number of tailors. Tunde Marcos makes clothes that I wear to big events. I am like his model but it is coded. It is not defined in black and white.

Is there a kind of fashion that you don’t do?
I don’t do Tommy Hilfiger. I try to avoid him, especially after what he said about his design not meant for black people.

9ice Slams Ruggedman In New Song

Nigerian Afro Hip Hop singer, Abolore ‘9ice’ Akande, has reacted in a new song to the jibes being thrown at him by award-winning rap star, Michael Ugochukwu Stephens, otherwise known as Ruggeman.

The hitherto rosy relationship between the two musicians hit the rocks following the release of the controversial song titled Once Beaten, Twice Shy in 9ice’s current album Tradition.

In the song, 9ice claimed in one of his lines that he saw his girl having an affair with a close friend of his. And since the release of the controversial song, particularly at a time when 9ice walked out of his marriage to Toni Payne, people have been pointing fingers at Ruggedman as the man in the middle of the crisis.

Though Ruggeman has debunked the rumour, his moves to vindicate himself from the saga seems not to be enough as 9ice refused to publicly clear the air on the matter.

The Baraje crooner stressed that in a bid to protect his integrity, he has advised 9ice several times to issue a press statement that will reveal the truth about the whole issue, but instead, the Ogbomoso, Oyo State born-singer decided to remain silent.

However, in an interview he granted a soft-sell magazine recently, Ruggeman stated that he won’t forgive 9ice, until he apologises to him publicly.

“Well, I can’t reconcile with him when he does the wrong thing. I can only reconcile if he comes and apologise, but if he doesn’t, I can’t. In fact, I heard that he is releasing an album on my birthday, 20 September and I feel honoured.”

Sources close to 9ice disclosed to NFC that in one of the tracks in 9ice’s forthcoming album, he took Ruggedman to the cleaners, and that is why he decided to make it a ‘birthday gift’ for him.

Meanwhile, when our reporter called 9ice at about 12:03 p.m. yesterday, it was his manager, Dehinde a.k.a. Mode F that picked the call and he claimed that 9ice is too busy to be reacting to such jibes.

According to him, “see Bayo, 9ice is very busy at the moment. He has been doing a lot of shows and is also working on many projects, so there is no time to react to such thing. I have not read the Ruggedman story anyway because we hardly have time to read papers.”

In a recent interview, ID Cabassa, the producer of the controversial song, claimed that 9ice had recorded the song even before the hiccup in his relationship with Payne.

He said that during the recording of Once Beaten, Twice Shy, it was even Payne that prepared the food they ate.


In the face of economic meltdown, and massive unemployment befalling the impoverished country, Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, their president is engaged in misplaced priorities as he has just sunk almost 300,000 pounds sterling into a movie industry in Nigeria where the screen idol and mother of one, Genevieve Nnaji plays a prominent role in.

When President Yahya Jammeh announced last year that he’s a big fan of Nigeria movies little did his subject who he rules over in Gambia know that the amiable and fun-loving head of state has secretly reached the final stage with some Nollywood practitioners to sink about 300,000 pounds sterling into a movie, all thanks to a highly connected London based Gambian, Fatimah Jabbie, who broker the deal between the president and the Nollywood movie experts. Reports in the grapevine even suggest that Jammeh could not hide his love for the lady, as he unequivocally warned against any kissing to be extended to Ms. Jabbie, who was featured in the movie as one of the actresses.

As the producers of the film are working very hard to finetune the “finishing touches” of the highly anticipated movie titled “The Mirror Boy's heritage, it has been gathered that the film which was earlier earmarked for the people of Nigeria had to be changed from Nigerian to Gambia, exclusively gathered. The change of venue for the movie shooting was largely because of lack of funds. The Cross Rivers State Government, the original party that expressed interest in the movie, could not foot the multimillion dollars bills, sources said.

“Unfortunately, the Cross Rivers State Government was not able to provide the Nollywood film company with competitive rates or enough logistical support to shoot film in Nigeria. It was a classical case of no money,” said a highly placed source.

Having been tipped about the Nollywood proposed film, miraculously, and from nowhere, the Gambian Government stepped in. They were just too happy to have Nollywood come shoot in their country on the sole condition that the company capture their amazing landscapes and culture in the film, said our source.

According to the report gathered by “This trailer has been hurriedly put together to meet a deadline for a state function in Gambia, and which the President was to be shown, so don’t even judge yet. Some of the footage of the country is breathtaking, as you all know Gambia is an amazingly beautiful country.

The Nollywood film is expected to be launched in The Gambia soon. President Jammeh is expected to grace the launching ceremony without any of stakeholders who pioneered the purported deal being intimated about the new developmemt.”

While there are activities in the air to celebrate the Nollywood film in Gambia, the country’s life expectancy rate is declining dramatically—thanks to poor health delivery system.

Taiwan, recently extended a huge amount of money to help boost Gambia’s health sector, but donor funds often lands in the hands of corrupt officials. Corruption is endemic in Jammeh’s Government. Government projects are never advertized. They are awarded to parties who are willing to bribe officials in Government.

My battle with men’s advances is worse as a married woman – Omotola

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde is one of the most familiar faces in the Nigerian movie industry. Five years ago, when it looked like the industry was troubled, she diversified into music and came out with an album. She speaks with ADEOLA BALOGUN about her music and marital life.

There are reports in the media that you are back in the studio. What is it all about?

It is about my second album. I have been on it for two years. Now, it is ready. We will be launching it in September. I have shot about four videos now; one has been released and the other one will be released shortly.

I heard that you shot your videos in South Africa.

Well, three of them were shot here in Nigeria; two are being shot in South Africa. One is out, the other one is not yet out. I am not one of those who believe in shooting videos in foreign lands. What happened arose totally out of necessity. It was because the person I wanted to do it lives there; not necessarily that I am crazy about having my videos shot outside.

So, how many do you intend to shoot before you release the album? Or are you planning to bring everything out at the same time?

That has always been my dream, even with my first album. I really wanted to shoot all my videos. This is because I believe that videos don’t necessarily have to be big budget jobs. I have seen videos of international acts such as Celine Dion, and sometimes, they are very simple videos. I would love to shoot all my videos, though I know that there is economic downturn. But we will do our best.

Are you affected by the downturn?

Well, I guess the whole world is affected, but I am not going to say it is a personal worry.

Contrary to the popular thinking that you only strayed into music by accident, you seem to have suddenly turned into a musician...

Suddenly? Well, I have been doing music since 2005. Remember, that is about five years ago.

Of course, I remember that you went into it when you and some other big stars in Nollywood had crisis and some of you were banned from acting.

And that is what I was trying to make people understand. But I just realise that sometimes, you do your bit and leave the rest for time. Basically, what I am trying to say is that at that time, it was unfortunate that it coincided with the period a lot of my colleagues were coming out to sing. It was not something that I started planning that year. I had planned the album, Gba, which came out in 2005, for two years. When it came out, people started saying ‘oh, everybody is now taking to music.’ It was not like that. It was something I had wanted to do. Music is a career for me, and a very emotional one at that, because I write my songs and sing from my heart. I sing my life when I am singing, whether you like it or not. I sing what I feel in my spirit; what I feel in my heart. And I drew closer actually to my music career because like acting, it is a gift also. But while I act out other people’s lives, I feel like most times, I am singing about myself or about things that are very close to me or things that I believe in.

Unfortunately, your first album didn’t fly commercially...

What do you mean it didn’t fly? Contrary to what a lot of people want to believe or accept, it actually was a success commercially. I know that a lot of people bought the album. That is the truth. But I understand that because it is coming from an actress and because it was a debut album, people would want to believe it didn’t sell. The truth of the matter is that I made what I set out to do. I came out and I made a statement; not because I am an actress. I had about three or four hit songs in the album, and I don’t know how many others who are normal singers have hit songs in their debut albums. There is nobody in Nigeria who does not know Nja lo wa, gba. So, for crying out loud, if that is the only thing I achieved from that album, I am fine. So, I am amused when people ask me about the commercial aspect. You see, sometimes, you don’t have to achieve everything at the same time. Sometimes, you keep to your goals. So, for me, it was a success, not only because it was popular but because I made the kind of money I don’t think any other singer made that year. I was paid good money for the album. It was a very successful album for me.

Do you maintain a band?

Yeah, I have a 10-man band and we have been together for long. We rehearse every week. When I came out, I didn’t claim to be the best. I was ready to learn. I give myself kudos for having the heart to do that, because I was coming out at the time despite the fact that I knew the risk involved and what it might do to my brand. But I wanted to use that to encourage other people out there who have dreams but are scared to come out because of what people might say. I want you to know that there is always a beginning, and you can always get better if you know that you love and have a passion for something. So I thank God for giving me the heart and the strength to wade through and to keep going. I pray to God that it gets better. I know that this next album, from what people have said, is an improvement on what I did in 2005, and that is the most important thing. I always tell people that my music career was not borne out of the notion of making money. I would not even put that first. The first consideration is that I want people to listen to my music. I want to connect to people who love my music, and when I have done so, whatever comes with it is bonus. And to God be the glory. When I set out to do movies, I didn’t set out to make money. I set out first of all to enjoy myself. Today, I am making money with it. So, I think that is the most important thing. If you love entertainment, you first set out for the passion. After doing that, if anything comes out of it, fine. That was what I wanted to do, and it continued to get better and better. So, that is exactly what I want to do with music. If at the end of the day anything comes out of that, I will thank God for it.

Do you agree with those who say that your acting career is suffering because of your music?

No, it is not. As I speak to you, I have three movies I am reading their scripts but don’t want to do. Whether you are in demand, whether you get scripts, it is not in question. What is in question is if you want to do it. I don’t want to do those kind of movies anymore. I choose not to do so many movies now also because I am very busy. It is not a matter of one aspect suffering. By God’s grace, I am very good in planning and managing my time. So, if I want to do a movie every other month, I can do it. All I need to do is to collect the money and keep them waiting. It is possible. People can be tricky. They will not tell you they are busy; they just collect your money and keep you waiting. That is why there is a lot of chaos in the movie industry right now. Do you think I don’t know how to do that too? But I chose not to, not because I can’t or because I am not smart. I simply chose not to do that because, at the risk of sounding immodest, I have achieved what I could achieve in the movie industry. I know that my fans who really love me and love my brand want me to do better movies and want me to move up from there. That is what I want to put my energy into now. It is not that I don’t do video movies anymore, I still have a film which is coming out soon and I do have a movie that I am going to do after the album launch in October. What I am saying is that the scripts have to be very good. The production crew has to be very serious. Also, I am trying to help people to aspire. So, for you to have an Omotola on set, you know you have to be very serious. If that is the only thing I can bring to Nollywood, I think it is worth it.

People have been talking about a movie, Ije, in which you and Genevieve starred despite the much talked about rivalry between the two of you. How did it feel to be on set together?

Well, we were hired to do the job. Besides, we had done movies together. Ije was not the first. We have done Blood Sisters, Sisters Love, Games Women Play and so on. You probably don’t see us often doing movies together probably because it is not very easy to pay big acts in a particular movie. If you can afford it, why not? You will see more of that. There is nothing like rivalry. Anyway, once in a while, there is bound to be something like that. There is always going to be rivalry. There is always going to be competition, either from the actors themselves or from fans or from the press. There is going to be expectations. It doesn’t change anything. But what matters at the end of the day is we are all professionals. We will all do our jobs and we will all get along. That is the truth.

Apart from music and a few acting jobs, what other things keep you busy?

I have my home to take care of if nothing else. Otherwise, I am an investor in the real estate. I am an estate surveyor; that is what I studied. I love estate business and I am involved in it.

Which means that you were in a way affected by the crash in the stock market?

Yeah, in a way. The real estate market is suffering from the crash around the world. There are some property you probably had hoped would have appreciated at a particular period but with the crash, the value depreciated.

You got married and in no time you had four children. Was it part of the planning that we have been talking about, so that you would continue with your career?

I am not going to say I really planned it. I won’t lie. I didn’t really sit down and say this is what I am going to do. I never set out from the beginning to make things to be like that. But when I realised how it turned out, I had to move on with it and decide, by God’s grace, exactly how I thought it needed to be. When I found myself getting married and getting pregnant, I had to sit down and make do with what happened. I don’t plan what happens, but I always plan to manage what happens. Directly, I won’t say I plan. But indirectly too, I plan and I allow God to do what He wants to do in my life, and I follow it up by making sure that I maintain it.

Do you still look forward to re-enacting that fairy tale marriage in the air when you want to mark a significant anniversary?

Absolutely. Even though I am still as terrified as I was when we wanted to do it. But I would still love to. May God give us the grace.

Since you have done the one in the air, would you probably opt for the sea, at least for variety?

I am not a fan of the waters, even though I am an aquarian. I am not actually afraid of height. But for some reason, I don’t really like water. I don’t even go on cruising and all that. I find it very terrifying. But the air, I can manage.

Why were you terrified?

It was just the whole idea of flying. And you know that all those flying were done not for business; they were just ceremonial. The idea was terrifying in the sense that everybody in that plane was your responsibility. I think that was the biggest worry. Ordinarily, when you get into a plane, you don’t care since you know that it is the responsibility of the airline to take care of passengers. But in our case, you know everybody, and with the realisation that everybody in the aircraft was your responsibility, that is a lot of pressure.

But whose idea was the wedding in flight?

Actually, it was my husband’s idea. He is very crazy about things like that. We just started discussing the wedding and how we wanted it to go and he just asked what if we did it in the air. And that was it. We didn’t think that anybody would approve of it because it had never been done before. And when he told his bosses, they sat down and nearly laughed their heads off and asked, ‘are you people serious?’ He said yeah. That was how the whole madness started.

People say you are lucky to have a good marriage. Do you also think so?

I am favoured; that is how I would describe it.

A popular and beautiful actress is married to a pilot who himself is very busy. What would you say is the strength of your marriage?

I want to think that I am a destiny child because I just think my life is orchestrated somewhat. It is like God already had a plan of how it would be and I am just lucky to be the one he chose. I found that right from when I was very young, I really don’t necessarily struggle for things. It is not that I don’t work hard, but when I put my heart into something, it works. Even before I knew God, I had always been seen as a very lucky girl. But after I knew God, I realised that it was not luck but God’s favour on my life. I don’t deserve it. I don’t know who I am to get such favour from God. Seriously, it is not me, because if it was up to me, so many things would have gone bad. That is the truth. If it was my power, so many things would have gone wrong. When I was younger, people thought I must be diabolical because if anybody did anything wrong to me or I was very upset with somebody, something terrible would happen to them.

How do you ward off advances from men even though you are married?

The situation is even worse now, but I have come to understand that I have to live with it. For me now, I am friend to everybody. That is the way I live my life now. I have come to realise that everybody is important, so that is why it is very crazy for anyone to write that Omotola is a snub. It is not me. Nobody would say they met me and I snubbed them. Never. I am one of those few people who I say God really blessed and I have come to realise that everybody is important. I know that I look like a snub sometimes. I put up such as a front because I can not afford to be too accessible, just to protect myself as well. But the truth of the matter is that I am one person who gets along with almost everybody. Back to your question, I enjoy meeting people because it helps me to understand life more.

So, those occasional strange calls from men have not caused any problem between you and your husband?

No. I am blessed with a very wonderful man. He is extremely confident in himself. He knows me. I mean people who know me never worry about me because they have an idea of what I can do. So, for me, I give people their space and I am lucky to have a man who understands that. In fact, he taught me most of what I know today. He taught me that in life, you respect everybody because you never know who you are going to meet tomorrow. You never know who is going to be important to you tomorrow. He tells me that I should never be disrespectful to anybody; just know yourself and maintain your self respect. For me, I don’t owe my husband any explanation, so to speak. I am not doing what I am doing because of him. I owe God what I am doing because He is watching over us all. I don’t go harsh with anybody. I have met so many guys who probably wanted to have a relationship with me and at the end of the day, they are my best friends today. And they have helped me in so many ways. So, just imagine if I was harsh to them. Something is going to bring somebody close to you; either they want carnal relationship or they want friendship or they are your fans. Meeting in life has to happen in some way, even by accident. It can happen when somebody bashes your car. I have read in the past when people wrote that I was mad at one guy who hit my car. That is not me. I might be angry or upset that my car is bashed, like every other human being would, but I don’t take it out on the person except the person is being very bad towards me. I will never come out and start screaming, because in life, I believe God would create something to make two people meet in a way. So how do I know that the fellow who hit my car is going to be my lawyer tomorrow? So I never take things for granted.

Monica and Shehu Bow Out of Project Fame

Last night, two more contestants were eliminated from this season’s MTN Project Fame West Africa. The two talents, Monica and Shehu, were part of the five contestants with the lowest amount of public votes today. The other contestants were Adebola, Vwede and Rhoda.

After the contestants were announced, they were given one last chance to perform the songs they sang the week before. All the contestants put their heart into the African songs they performed but at the end of the day someone had to go.

The judges made their choice – Rhoda while the Faculty (The group of music professionals whose main duty is to tutor the contestants) voted for Adebola to stay in the competition. Interestingly, the judges also saved Rhoda while the Faculty saved Adebola last week…

With three contestants left, it was the turn of the contestants who were not part of the five on probation to cast their votes. At the end of the day Vwede had the highest number of votes thereby saving him from elimination. Shehu and Monica were the last contestants on stage and with none of them being saved they were automatically eliminated from MTN Project Fame West Africa.

24 year old undergraduate of Ebonyi State University. Monica Abania loves reading, visiting friends, going to the church and singing. Her favourite artistes include Whitney Houston, Beyonce Knowles, Asa, Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys and Lara George.

30 year old Shehu is one of the few selected from Kaduna. He currently works in an internet café to support his passion, music! He has been in a happy relationship for three years. He believes Project Fame is the ultimate platform for him to showcase what God has blessed him with!

Monica performed Six Pence None the Richer’s Kiss me while Shehu delivered Everything I do by Bryan Adams

With six contestants gone, 12 contestants are now remaining in the Project Fame Academy. Expect things to get tougher and more exciting as the show progresses

MTN Project Fame West Africa is produced by Ultima Ltd, a leading TV production company in Nigeria which has produced many franchise shows. Project Fame is currently in its third season, past winners include Iyanya Mbuk and Mike Anyasodo.

Iyanya was the first winner of MTN Project Fame Season 1 in 2008. Shortly after his historic win he released his first single Love Truly which was positively received. In 2009 he dropped his album My Story which so far has been a critical and commercial success.

In 2009, Mike Anyasodo became the second winner of Project Fame West Africa. His dazzling performances captivated the whole nation and it was no surprise when he was declared as the winner. He has released three good singles which includes the fan favorite Fine Fine Lady.

With this being its third season, the franchise show is stepping it up several notches higher. The winner of this year’s PF will be going home with N2.5M, a brand new Toyota RAV4 and a recording contract. The 1st runner up is set to win home with N1.5M and a Toyota Corolla while the 2nd runner up will win N1M and a Toyota Yaris. The 3rd runner up will end up with N1m