Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
After 12 weeks of crisscrossing different parts of the South East and South South regions in auditions and rehearsals, Nnewi based Highlife artiste, Dons Ifeanyi Frank has emerged the grand prize winner in the 2018 edition of HiLife Fest organised by Nigeria Breweries NBL Plc.
Dons known with the stage name- Anyi Don, beat five other finalists to clinch the crown and prize money of N2,000,000 during the finals of the competition held at Polo Field, Enugu.
Announcing the winner, Chairman Panel of Judges, Veteran Highlife singer, Bright Chimezie said Dons from the assessment of the judges beat other contestants judging from their vocal quality, talent display, audience appeal, sound delivery and general showbiz rating.
Assisted by the 2017 HiLife king, Chibest and flanked by officials of NBL and members of the Panel of Judges, Dons received his dummy cheque and was decorated with the symbolic royal crown, staff of ‘office’ and royal regalia amidst thunderous cheers from the crowd.
Other finalists like Agbom Emmanuel (Delta), 5th position received cash of N200,000, Chinedum Obiajulu (Enugu), the only female among the finalists, 4th position, N300,000, Kalapi Ojuka (Rivers) , 3rd position, N400,000 and Chuks Uwazie(Imo), 2nd position, N500,000.
Fun seekers and music lovers had unlimited fun as various artistes lined up for performance gave scintillating performances during the night show. Enthusiastic fans defied the rain as popular artiste; Phyno was introduced to the stage as the new Brand Ambassador of Life Continental Lager taking over from Nabania crooner, Flavour who was the Brand Ambassador for 2017.
Phyno literarily brought the roof down in a fast paced live performance backed by his session men as he dished out tracks after track from his rich repertoire of songs as the crowd gyrated to the rhythm and rap delivery not minding that it was raining heavily.
Before Phyno mounted the stage, the Elegant Stallion, Onyeka Onwenu also gave good account of herself with her various evergreen tunes like Iyogogo, One Love, Ekwe among others likewise the Zigima Exponent, Bright Chimezie, who gave an energetic performance of his various songs to the delight of the fans.
Commenting after emerging winner, the new HiLife King, Dons Ifeanyi expressed appreciation to Life Continental Lager and the NBL for providing a platform for budding entertainers lacking sponsorship to excel.
He disclosed that the prize money received will not only help him in equipping his band but also give life to his dream of releasing a solo album.
“I graduated as an engineer from the Petroleum Training Institute, PTI, Warri Delta State but I know that music is my natural calling. With this crown, I’m ready to take up the challenge because I’ve been given an opportunity to showcase my talent to the world. Without this platform, I would have remained a local champion but now I can fly because music is all I want to do” he said.
The dance category was not left out of the show too. After several rounds of display of various rich costumes and dance steps, the Umuchiziriegwu Dance group from Nsukka, Enugu State also clinched the winning prize of N2, 000,000.
They defeated other groups like the Asinodricks Africa Dance Group (Imo) and the Kanaowo group (Port Harcourt) who emerged 2nd and 1st runner up respectively with cash prizes of N400,000 and N500,000.