The Havannah Hotels, Egbeda, Lagos, hosted the casting event on Wednesday, and hopefuls including a blind man, named Ibraheem Kareem, arrived en masse for the opportunity to hit the limelight.
Kareem wowed everyone after he disclosed that he came from Ilorin, Kwara State purposely for the audition.
Speaking about his participation, Kareem, whose stage name is Fuji Solution, said people should not look at his disability, rather, he should be assessed based on his stage performance, adding that he was not born blind.
According to him, he heard about the exercise in Ilorin over the Radio and was determined to participate. Kareem, who was led into the venue of the audition earlier than many other contestants, could not make the selection list as he bowed to the superior exhibition of skills in Fuji music by his counterparts.
Salam Wasiu Olanrewaju, an Agricultural Engineering graduate of Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State was another contestant at Egbeda.
Olanrewaju said his decision to go into music was unconnected with his inability to secure a gainful employment as an Agricultural Engineer.
His words: “This is my talent; it has nothing to do with inability to secure a white collar job. I do what I love most. I wish I win so that I can actualize my dream of preaching one love. Music is a powerful instrument one can use for that.”
Addressing the contestants before audition, Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Agboola (a.k.a SK Sensation), Chairman, National Project Committee of the Fuji Musicians Association of Nigeria, who is also Chairman, Panel of Judges; encouraged them to put in their best. He said the judges were looking for the best amongst them; thus every participant will be given equal opportunity.
Other members of the Panel are: Alhaji Isiaka Ayinde (a.k.a Fine Kabaka), a Fuji musician; and Mr. Adekunle Abolade, Radio/TV Presenter and Yoruba Film Actor.
Apart from the venue at Egbeda, audition was held at Maridom Palace Hotel, Sango-Otta. Egbeda is in Alimosho local government area of Lagos state, while Sango-Otta is in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State.
At the end of the keenly contested auditions, a total of 40 outstanding potential Fuji talents grabbed the selection ticket at the two centres.
Speaking after the audition, Agboola described the audition as keenly contested by the budding Fuji artistes with exceptional talent. He applauded the Goldberg Fuji T’o Bam consumer engagement platform which “over past editions, has created credibility and fairness for all contestants, thus making it the first Fuji music talent hunt in the history of Fuji music in Nigeria.”
Agboola added that the show is a platform where the best talent emerges as winner at the end of the thorough and exciting session.
His words: “We will ensure that we create a level playing field for all contestants where we look at their singing abilities and their dexterity in performing and managing stage space. So far, we have not been disappointed with the level of the contestants this year.”
It will be recalled that Akeem Okiki from Akure, Ondo State won the last edition of Goldberg Fuji T’o Bam music talent.