The lucky contestants emerged from the auditions and selection parties held in the eight selected cities in the western part of Nigeria. The cities are: Sango-Ota, Egbeda, Oyo, Ilesha, Akure, Ado-Ekiti, Ibadan, and Sagamu. Twenty contestants were picked at the audition held in each of those cities; the figure was eventually reduced to five at the selection party for each zone. The budding artistes are now qualified for the quarter final of the competition, which holds at Durbar Stadium in Oyo town next month.
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Agu, Portfolio Manager, Mainstream Lager & Stout Brands, Nigerian Breweries, expressed satisfaction with the quality of renditions by all participants in this year’s competition. He said all the contenders showed “very high level of determination to proceed to the next stage of the contest.” According to him, it is impossible that all participants will qualify in competitions like this. Agu therefore advised those who did not qualify for the quarter final to go back and improve on the areas identified by the judges.
Mr Agu also disclosed that of the 40 contenders, 20 would be eliminated in the quarter final in Oyo; another 14 would be eliminated in the semifinal in Ado-Ekiti while the last 6 would proceed to the final in Ibadan in July.
Corroborating him, Patrick Olowookere, Corporate Communications/Brand PR Manager, NB Plc, disclosed that as part of the activities lined up for the quarter final of the competition, the Goldberg team would visit the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III. He said the team would also pay a visit to the Owa Obokun of Ijeshaland, Oba (Dr) Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran II during the semifinal, while a courtesy visit would be made to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji as part of activities for the final.
At Nigerian Breweries Plc, he stated, “respect is one of our core values and as a reflection of that, Goldberg, in 2012 inaugurated Fuji t’o Bam competition, to promote the cultural values of the Yorubas. This initiative is therefore a testament to our resolute determination to contribute to the socio-cultural development of the people of South-west Nigeria.
He further said “four years down the line, the initiative, Fuji t’o Bam, has continued to grow from strength to strength, with notable Fuji artistes now part and parcel of the project. It is our belief that as the music activation continues, Fuji ’o Bam will continue to discover more Fuji talents that will fit into the shoes of icons like KWAM1, Pasuma, Saheed Osupa and others.”
The highlight of this year’s contest so far was the appearance of the reigning WURA 1 of Fuji t’o Bam, Akeem Okiki at the venue of the 2016 Goldberg Fuji talent hunt selection party held in Ilesa, Osun State. Okiki, an Osun State-based Fuji artiste, who won the grand prize for the Season 3 of the annual contest at the Trans Amusement Park, Ibadan, advised the participating artistes to be focused and disciplined on stage to win the crown.
According to him, anybody who would triumph in the contest must be ready to satisfy the judges; whom he said are veterans in Fuji music. “The judges have their standards that any successful contestant must meet; otherwise such artistes would be shown the exit door of the competition”. Okiki thereafter performed to the delight of guests and fans who thronged the Waterside Centre, Ayeso Area in Ilesa, venue of the selection party.
The overall winner of this year’s edition will wear the crown, The WURA 1 of Fuji t’o Bam, which comes with a cash reward of N1 million.