At the back side of Garrison Junction in Port Harcourt, an unassuming building houses a centre where the hhottest music talents in Nigeria gather every year to contest for the topmost seven slots that launch the lucky winners into stardom.
The proprietor of Wisdom-2-Wealth (W2W), known by close associates as the Prince of the Niger Delta, Anyamate Kio, told BusinessDay in his top-floor office that ‘Divine Icon’ is only one of four schemes aimed at leading Nigerian youths to self-discovery through entrepreneurial mentorship and deep training in music. The music contest comes in the form of housemates in seasons since 2013 that lead to a breakout into stardom.
Last weekend, the stars spilled out on a large stage, the Atrium, on Ken Saro-Wiwa Road in the glare of the whole world. Kogi-born Lasis Wealth who bagged instant N500,000 plus huge offers and enlistments.
Kio calls it an inspirational music talent hunt programme out to train music artistes from 16 years and above to become music celebrities. “You enter as nobody, you depart as a superstar’, he tells his mentees who eye the N2.5m deal as well as the exposure it brings. Wealth, the winner, testified that before he came to the house, he saw music from a very narrow perspective, but after the housemanship, his mind was blown. He thinks and sees professionalism. “My plan is to work W2W and push the frontiers”,
The contest at Atrium was as hot as anything that promises stardom to Nigerian youths with four Deltans, three Rivers music talents joining the others from Imo, Kogi, Akwa Ibom and Ebonyi states in search of fame. At the long run, Wealt led Akwa Ibom-born Mfon Inyang (N300,000) and Delta’s Emmanuel Ubiebifaye (N300,000); as declared by Asu Ekiye, Chinelo Dillimono, Rev Ken of Wish FM, Laura Ozere, and King Buskie who were the judges.
The whizkid has other packages in W3W scheme including what he calls ‘Loans Without Collateral’ which tries to match training with seed capital, unlike other entrepreneurship training schemes around. “We call ourselves the NGO for mind, business, and project development towards sustainable leadership, peace and prosperity.”
He went on: “The third platform is the Vocational Training Platform where we give skills to the trainees on different vocations such as soap making, bead making, hair dressing, computer training, web development, etc. That is the capacity and vocational platform in house. The fourth one is what we are bringing on board, Icons Mind Magazine, a celerity magazine that is going to showcase achievers in various endeavours. They will have to give their stories that would serve as stimulus to beginners to realize that if this person can make it, after going through this, I too can make it.”
Kio uses his own experience to motivate others, having lost his father early in life, yet, he graduated at 21, with a mother who has little or nothing. “My mother had no money to train me even to a secondary school.” He said he now teaches young persons the secret of success. “For instance, in teaching Economics, make the students not just to learn to speak its language; using the techniques of need and want; demand and want, etc. Some persons ask for salaries without even proving they are employable. Always endeavour to offer more than you earn so your employer can keep you at all cost. Your success in life does not depend on anybody but on you.”
Journey to stardom:
Kio revealed the steps. “We started with over 500 contestants in Season 6 in 28 states in Nigeria and Abuja plus two African countries (Liberia and Zimbabwe). I had to stop the African countries leg because this year, we limited it to Nigeria. From this, 58 were chosen to come for the quarter finals after which the performance and voting were able to get 25 to go to the semi-finals. Five dropped out at quarter finals and the rest 20 remained in the house. Elimination continued continue every weekend until November 25, 2018, when it was time for the grand finale with about eight contestants where Lasisi Wealth stole the show.”
Kio said he felt fulfilled:
He said 2018 witnessed the launch of celebrity magazine to promote excellence in the oil region. He said the cash award would increase to N600,000 in 2019 or in Season 7.
Awards were presented to outstanding persons in the oil region. One of the awardees, Smith Nwokocha, said: “This award is proof that African Youths and Niger Delta youths are very enterprising. I urge every youth here present to contribute their quota to the development and growth of Nigeria, and of course Africa as a rising continent.”
The ‘Divine Icon Music Talent Hunt Season 6’ started with Red Carpet around anchored by the winner of Season 5, Ebenezer. Everybody who spoke praised the Prince of the Niger Delta, kio, for the initiative and called for it to be sustained.