Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Nigeria is said to have over 100 million talented youths but one problem that has been well articulated is that they have not been properly guided to harness their talents and channel them into productive ventures.
To address this issue, the Men of Honour group, from the Global Harvest Church, Outer Ring Road branch, Ibadan, Oyo State, has come up with a strategy to help youths to discover their talents, nurture and direct them towards the betterment of their lives and the country.
This was made known during the maiden edition of Global Harvest Talent Hunt Show, in Ibadan, recently. The event started with registration in late August 2019. And at the end of the registration, at least 20 different groups, comprising 35 participants, were registered. Auditioning and elimination took place on Saturday, October 5 and 12.
The competition focused on three sectors, which are dance, drama and music (voice and instrumentation). The groups competed for crystal awards plaques, cash prizes and many consolation prizes worth over N400,000.
The judges that graded the participants at the grand finale included MTN Project Fame 2010 second runner-up, Adetoun Osodi (Music); gospel music artiste, Hess King; gospel music artiste and worship leader, Joshua Kings; music producer and saxophonist, Dotun Dina; and Emmanuel Elikwu from the Dance Expressions group. The grand finale of the talent show had the top 10 participants and three wild cards, making 13 finalists, who were further screened to six for the finals.
The top six competed for the grand prize and the Dance Alliance team won the competition. The team presented different types of dance drama with perfect blend of choreography and acrobatic display. Team Ife and Mike came second and J-Voice came third. Both teams presented music. The second runner-up said all the songs he presented during the competition were composed by him. The grand prize consisted of N50,000 cash, a recording contract, appearance on radio, pairs of shoes, T-shirts, free meals, writing pads, cosmetics and more.
The first runner-up received N30,000, a crystal award and other packages, while the second runner-up received N20,000, a crystal award and other packages. The leader of the Dancers’ Alliance team that won the grand prize at the competition was Toluwaninimi Oluwakoya, a final year student of sociology, University of Ibadan. He stated that the group had more than 20 members across Nigeria and five of them came to participate in the Global Harvest Church Talent Show, adding that three among the five were also students of UI, while the fifth person was a graduate.
“We are very grateful to God that we won this competition. It was not easy, having to balance school, writing exams and the rehearsals. But we thank God that everything worked out. Four of us are students of University of Ibadan and I am a final year student of Sociology. The girl among us is in 200-level in the Department of Psychology. The other person is a 200-level student in the Department of Computer Science, and Alex is a student of Statistics at the Distance Learning Centre. The fifth person is a graduate and he is the only one working among us,” he said.
Prof. Olusegun Atanda, a mycotoxins and oenology consultant, heads Men of Honour in the Global Harvest Church. He said the reason that led to the organisation of the talent show.
“As the heads of the house, our children are special to us. We have to help them to channel their energy positively, not negatively, instead of going to night parties and clubs, and things like that. So, we thought we should put up something just to discover some hidden talents and at the end of the day, some of them that have one gift or others, will show up and we will be able to catch on it.
“Three among the successful participants have bagged awards for recording contracts. This is a good thing and we are really impressed. But we always encourage our children to go to school and after their graduation or when they are still pursuing their first degrees; they can participate in such a way that the talent discovery programme will not have negative effect on their academic pursuits.
“Many people have been telling me that we should not restrict the programme to a church branch affair, that we should bring other branches into it and see its synergetic effect. I am sure the pastor in charge of this church is very proactive and by next year, we will have a bigger and more successful programme,” Atanda said.
The pastor in charge of Global Harvest Church, Outer Ring Road, Anthony Faleye, said, “The talent show is first of its kind and I am happy we started this as a church because the youths need to be encouraged and the church needs to engage the young people and this is one of the various ways by which the young people can be really engaged in the way of the Lord.
“The Bible says ‘Teach your child the way of the Lord, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. By the grace of God, we are going to sustain the second, third and fourth editions, and it will grow larger and larger by the years in the Jesus Name.”