25-year-old Kingsley Kings, a graduate of Linguistics, Abia State University, Uturu, on Sunday defeated 10 other contestants to emerge the overall best of the 2019 Vision Africa ICON Music Reality Show finals.
The colourful event, which took place at the Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia, had the theme, “Peace and security, panacea for sustainable development.”
In a speech, Bishop Sunday Onuoha, the President of Vision Africa International, Umuahia, said that the competition evolved out of the dire need to discover fresh talents, train and empower them to pursue a career in music.
Onuoha said: “Years ago, we came to realise that there are so many young persons with musical talents around us but do not have a platform to nurture, develop and harness those gifts.
“To bridge the gap, the Vision Africa Personality Award/ICON Music Reality Show was birthed.
“Our aim is primarily to discover new talents among our youth, support and motivate them, train their voices to translate their motivation and springboard their long-held dreams into effective musical career.”
The cleric further said that by increasing their musical capacity and mobilising Vision Africa Radio facilities to support them, “we provide the much needed technical assistance to ensure we bring out the best in them and encourage them to pursue their dream.”
He commended all the contestants, numbering 192, for their participation, pointing out that the show was not essentially about winning the prizes at stake.
“It is about the total development of participants with the eventual objective of giving glory to God through music,” he said.
He further urged other contestants not to relent in carving a niche for themselves in the vast potential of the music community.
He said, “Opportunities still abound to chase your dreams and the stage is forever set for the determined.”
Onuoha said that aside from the cash prize, the winner was entitled to a one-year sponsored music promotion and a recording contract.
“Contestants go home as better people, exposed and advanced to get to another level,” he said, adding that while some got scholarships to the university, others got equipped to pursue their career in music.
He hoped to grow the show “and open it up to youths from other parts of the country and the world” and solicited the collaboration of interested philanthropists.
The bishop of the Methodist Church Nigeria said that the personality award was for “professionals and entrepreneurs that have shown lasting leadership qualities in business and individuals, who have made significant contributions to community development through impactful investment.”
The Chairman of the ceremony, Obong Victor Attah, commended Onuoha and the organisation for organising the competition, designed to discover budding talents in music.
The former governor of Akwa Ibom urged the youths to avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the show to excel in musical career.
According to him, “the future belongs to those who see opportunities and make good use of them.”
In a keynote address, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, underscored the imperative of peace and security to sustainable development in Nigeria.
Buratai, who was represented by the Commander, 82 Div. Military Intelligence Brigade, Col. E. J. Cleopas, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to embrace peace for Nigeria to move forward.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the five prominent Nigerians, including Attah, Mrs Uju Agomoh, the Executive Director, Prison Rehabilitation and Welfare Action, Chief Cosmos Ndukwe, the Commissioner for Trade and Investment and former legislator in Abia, were conferred with the Personality Award.
Other recipients were Mrs Charity Obioma, a prophetess, Chief Okechukwu Ndukwe, the General Manager, Abia State Estate Development Agency, and the Speaker, Abia House of Assembly, Chinedum Orji, who converted his award to the Abia Seventh Assembly.
(Edited by Sam Oditah)