The ancient city of Ibadan was last Friday literarily set on fire as the grand finale of Yoruba cultural music talent hunt, Ariya Repete held with fanfare at Trans Amusement Park.
Juju maestro, King Sunny Ade led other artistes like Fuji King, K1 the Ultimate, Alabi Pasuma, Taye Currency, Adekunle Gold and other up and coming artistes to what has been described as the mother of all shows.
It was indeed a night to remember, as the legendary artistes and contestants kept the audience excited by their magical performances. Amid tight security, revelers had the fun of their lives, dancing and gyrating to undiluted juju and fuji music, while Goldberg beer flowed freely. Goldberg, a premium brand from Nigerian Breweries Plc, had sponsored the show.
At the end of it all, Onimama Fausiya and Leye Williams both emerged overall winners of this year’s edition of Ariya Repete. Fausiya, a budding female fuji musician from Ilorin, Kwara State clinched the overall prize of N1 million plus a recording deal in the fuji category, while Williams, a talented juju artiste from Osun State clinched the same prize of N1 million with a recording deal in the juju category.
An elated Fausiya, who is the first female artiste to clinch the Aare 1 of Fuji music on Ariya Repete platform, could not hide her excitement when she was announced as the winner. She responded to the hearty cheers of the crowd who was astonished by her breathtaking performance.
Fausiya revealed that the belief she had in herself due to the inspiration she got from her dad who is also a fuji musician led her to choose music as both her passion and career. “I always watched my dad during rehearsals with his musical band while I was growing up, and it instilled the level of confidence and inspiration that has helped me in my own musical sojourn,” she said, adding, “Words cannot express my feelings at the moment, but I know that Ariya Repete has changed my life for the better. I will never forget this day.”
Williams, who was crowned the Aare 1 of Juju music the same night also made history by being the first juju artiste to be crowned under the cultural music talent hunt platform. He expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Goldberg and Nigerian Breweries for making the cultural contest an expanded music platform that will also identify with aspiring juju artistes in Nigeria.
“I have not seen any other cultural music contest like Ariya Repete in the Southwest. My story and victory is a testimony that juju music is alive again and will be revived fully amongst the youths who aspire to promote our juju musical heritage, courtesy of Goldberg,” he said.
Azeez Ajani and Wasiu Onilewura emerged first and second runners up in the fuji category and carted away N750,000 and N500,000 respectively, while Adeniyi Temitope and Yomi Bright emerged first and second runners up in the juju category and also went home with N750,000 and N500,000 each.
Other contestants in both fuji and juju category who made it to the final this year received consolation prizes of N100,000 each.
Franco Maria Maggi, Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, congratulated the winners and implored them to be good ambassadors of the platform, Ariya Repete, which has brought them to the limelight. “Congratulating you will not be enough, but I must enjoin you to be good ambassadors of this platform that seeks to discover and promote indigenous Yoruba music genres that have made you the newest fuji and juju superstars in Nigeria,” he said.
He challenged the other contestants to keep alive their dreams saying that they are all winners and must remain good ambassadors that should represent their musical passions in a positive light.
Fuji legend, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal (K1) used the occasion to acknowledge the success of Ariya Repete in its maiden edition, saying that Nigerian Breweries has proved her capability of growing an entire music industry in Nigeria.
“To those of you that bring fuji and juju music back to reckoning, the industry thanks you. I hereby use Ariya Repete platform to commend Nigerian Breweries for their immense support to boost the industry that will preserve the cultural heritage of our people,” he affirmed.
With Ariya Repete, Goldberg continues to bring to its consumers the best of fuji and juju music, two indigenous Yoruba music genres, aimed at promoting the culture of the people of South Western Nigeria, in line with the brand’s 3-point agenda of culture, respect and enjoyment.