It was a thundering ovation that rented the air of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos in the early hours of Saturday May 5, as ace actor, Odunlade Adekola announced the 16 contestants that would head for the grand finale of Goldberg’s Ariya Repete talent hunt show taking place today Friday, May 11 at Trans Amusement Park, Ibadan, Oyo State.
The 16 finalists had emerged out of the 32 that took part in the semi-final round of the competition, a rigorous musical battle that lasted throughout the night. The finalists comprised of five fuji musicians, five juju musicians and six traditional drummers. Today, however, they will slug it out with each other and winners of fuji and juju categories will smile home with a cash prize of N2 million each, while the winner of the drumming category will cart home N1 million.
In the weeks leading to the finale, at the Ariya Repete Academy, the contestants had all been taken through a grooming and mentoring session anchored by veterans in the traditional Yoruba music genres of juju and fuji, as well as drumming.
Today’s contestants include Ayegbayo Oluwaseun, Bukola Ahmed, Ode Ayomide, Abiola Oloto, Asafa Oluwanisola, Wale Crown, Femi Bright Ayotunde, Saheed Akande, Muhammed Adewale and Sualimaon Ajao. In the drummers’ group are Ifesowapo, Sakuba, Oludare, Igabiwase, Bata of Africa, and Eniafe.
In his remarks after the event, Portfolio Manager, Mainstream Lager and Stout brands, Emmanuel Agu, said: “Fuji and juju music are up for a rebirth with the quality of talent I see here today, and of course the real winners are lovers and supporters of Yoruba music.
“For a long time in the ‘80s and early 2000s, Yoruba music enjoyed considerable global acclaim, however, the emergence of Afro hip hop and other new wave musical genres being widely accepted by young people in Nigeria has negatively impacted Yoruba music in some ways. Nevertheless, with the introduction of Ariya Repete, which already is in its second year, the glory days of Yoruba music are here again and we at Nigerian Breweries, as a pro-Nigerian brand, are glad to be leading this resurgence.“
Just as in the semi finals in Lagos where top acts like Adewale Ayuba, Adekunle Gold, Taye Currency, Saheed Osupa and Sir Shina Peters all performed, it is expected that frontline fuji and juju musicians will thrill the guests gracing today’s grand finale in Ibadan.