The MTN Project Fame Season 4 started yesterday and the final 17 were unveiled. We present to you the contestants below and their unique voting numbers .
He says he has been singing for as long as he can remember. As a child he has sought expression for his singing and found the church choir an avenue to fulfill that desire. Born in the beautiful city of Markurdi where he spent his childhood experiencing traditional northern music, this indigene of Rivers State is musically Nigerian and loves the music of Banky W, Timaya, and Tuface Idibia. He also admires works from Chinua Achebe, Niyi Osundare, Sam Loco Efe (RIP) and other Nigerian artistes. His favorite foreign artiste remains Lionel Richie. He has a good appetite for rice, plantain and peppered chicken and can eat it over and over again. The one item he would not want to do without is what he fondly calls his ‘manuscript of life’ The Bible. He says he is ready for the challenge and plans to enjoy every minute in the Academy!
Chidinma Nnena Nebo:
Chidinma is a 19 year old student of the University of Port Harcourt in Rivers State of Nigeria. She is the second child but first girl in a family of seven people, two dogs – Bully and Hitler, and Sarafina, her adorable cat.
Fluent in English and Igbo languages, she loves to watch herself sing or act in the mirror and her favourite place is home. In her leisure and at weekends, she swims, watches movies, does house chores and attends church. She admires Beyonce, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson and Genevieve Nnaji. She looks forward to the Academy being interesting, educative, fun filled, and inspirational.
He comes from a large nuclear family and is the tenth child of four sons and six daughters. Emmanuel began singing early in life. When his family fell into hard times, singing together became a source of solace and this was when Music became an even bigger part of Emmanuel’s life. He has memories of his sister singing with him from his childhood right up till she left home for University. She was his closest companion and so when she left, Emmanuel desperately threw himself into music. To him, music was synonymous with his sister and so it reminded him of her. Whenever he listened to and sang along with his favorite male vocalists, the tears would roll down his cheek.
His first stage performance was at a wedding in 1998, memory of which remains indelible in his heart because he made his first two hundred naira from that event. It’s been a long road from that first stage performance and Emmanuel says he will forever remain grateful to his elder sister Mobolaji Grace for introducing him to the music that he loves and follows so dearly now. Not only does he sing, he plays the drums, piano and the guitar. He derives inspiration from J Moss and Asa. Emmanuel imagines that the Academy will be challenging and inspiring and he is looking forward to this. Even though they are long way away from the days where music gave them refuge as scared little kids who didn’t know what the future would bring, Emmanuel is still grateful to his sister Mobolaji Grace and looks forward to making her proud in the Academy.
She is industrious and has worked both as a singer and events planner. Ese is calm and sure of herself; one of those types who exude a maturity that is beyond their years. She seems to have a deep reservoir of strength within her, into which she reaches to give what is the best of herself whenever she is faced with a challenge.
Many artistes inspire her but so far, Beyonce Knowles and Omawumi have struck the biggest chords with Ese. In her own words, Ese is in the Academy to learn and give stardom a shot. This is a huge challenge as she agrees but then, she says… ‘I’m not nervous, I’m actually calm’.
She is an R&B lover and her favourite artistes include Beyonce Knowles and Kojo Antwi. Despite being pretty young, Ethel directs her church choir and is grateful to her pastor and his wife for encouraging her thus far. She is passionate about good music and absolutely loves to sing, dance and write songs.
Regardless of not having had secondary school education, Ethel speaks very well and has the comportment of a little princess. She tried out for the keenly contested Mentor 2011 Ghana’s music reality TV show, that featured thousands of talented singers and almost won coming fourth at the end of the show. The young woman believes that Project Fame will be an enriching experience and is excited as this is her first trip outside of her beloved Ghana. Ethel says she is ready to live and give her best in the Academy and is determined to do Ghana proud by bringing back the winning prize. Ethel enjoys a good laugh and she hopes to be smiling till the very end.
He exudes confidence in every step and is quite cheeky too. He is the last child in a family of four children; he has two older brothers and one sister. His friends call him Chubby Geralds and he is in his fourth year of studying Mass Communication at Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo State, Nigeria. He is fluent in English and Yoruba languages and Lagos is where he calls ‘home’.
Isaac started singing at age 8 in his church choir and his career as a singer has been greatly spurred by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Neyo and Jazmine Sullivan. Isaac would never tire of eating well prepared rice and spaghetti laced with lots of vegetables. The Chubby fellow who likes to look on the bright side of life, says that he is more that ready to give his best in the competition.
’Joba’ or “JJ” as he is popularly called by his friends was born in the rustic Town of Ibadan, Nigeria on the 5th of February, 1988. As a child he was attracted to drums and picked it up fast.
After mastering the drums he took an interest in singing and kept singing through his degree in Human Physiology, at the University of Ilorin Nigeria. He is the firstbrorn and has a wonderful brother and sister. After NYSC he has found a sense of purpose working with his mum –at the Sickle Cell Foundation-An NGO, creating awareness about prevention and management of the condition. They also actively counsel both the public and those with the condition about living a fulfilled life.
Jesujoba says he plays volley ball and table tennis pretty well and his favourite artistes and authors include the likes of Darey Art Alade, Brian McKnight, RMD, Denzel Washington Sydney Sheldon, among others. Joba would laugh out loud at a good joke, but could jump on a bed at the sight of a cockroach!
As children they sang and he has been singing since. He was good enough to be noticed by Jetta Amata with whom he has done a couple of stage performances. He has earned a BSc in Political Science from Madonna University, Okija, Anambra State. Though he has always dreamt of being a lawyer, his love for music has subdued every other dream, and he believes he has a good chance at winning MTN Project Fame West Africa Season Four.
Joseph’s taste in music has been influenced by the likes of R. Kelly, Boys2Men, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Eric Benet. Joseph loves to watch movies and regrets that there will be no television in the Academy. However, he is determined to have fun but adds that this will not be complete if his best meal ‘Egusi Soup and Eba’ is not constantly included in the menu!
He is a 23 year old student of the University of Abuja, Nigeria, and speaks Hausa, English, Kagoro and a little Yoruba. Not only does he sing, he’s also a skillful footballer. Kamar’s favourite artistes include Ne-Yo, Michael Jackson, Boyz II Men, Banky-W, Sound Sultan, Bez, Darey, WizKid, Mariah Carey, 112, Usher, Joe, Doneh Jones. He expects the academy to be fun and competitive.
Monica is a 22 year old Benue state singer, who started singing early in life and has found fulfillment in it. She is the last child of a family of four boys and two girls, and she holds family dear to her heart. She speaks the English, Idoma and Igede languages fluently.
She likes to use her hands and enjoys nail grooming, braiding and fashion designing. In her leisure, she sings, writes songs, reads and watches movies. She totally adores artistes like Brandy, Tiwa Savage, Stella Damascus, Asa, Majid Michael. Her one must-have item is her Bible.
Monica exudes an air of confidence and has a go-get-it outlook. She also loves being the last born and enjoys being doted on by the rest of the family. She looks forward to a challenging time in the Academy but promises to have as much fun as she can.
Princess is a young Liberian singer. She was born in October 1991, and started singing at age eleven. As a high school student, she joined her school and church choirs and got a scholarship from her school for her singing abilities. She won the keenly contested ‘A Star is Born’ 2011 Edition of Liberia’s music reality TV show that featured myriads of talented singers. Her favourite artiste is Whitney Houston, and she is excited because she sees the Project Fame Academy as a place to advance her music career, expand her horizon and learn more about music and people from other parts of West Africa.
Apart from coming out tops, one of her biggest hopes for the competition is to bring pride to Liberia much the same way as Nicholas Buigar did in season two.
Pretty Rachael is the daughter of a naval officer father and a mother who is a caterer. Born in June, 1989 in Lagos, she is the third amongst five daughters and grew up closely knit with her sisters (who she refers to as her best friends). She grew up an ardent music lover and joined the choir at the tender age of 6.
Rachel comes across as soft spoken and reserved; but stops at nothing to sing her way into the hearts of her audience; indeed it seems that singing is where she has channeled all of her depth and energy of expression.
Rachael’s musical abilities have improved over the years, because she’s been inspired by icons like Beyonce, Kim Burell, Christina Aguilera, John Legend and several others. In a bid to take her musical career to the next level, she decided to try out for the Project Fame Academy and hopes to sing her way to the very top of the competition.
Roy will stop at nothing to be the best at what he is out to do. The tallest dude in the academy was born in November 1984, in Lagos, Nigeria. He is the third of five boys and one girl and speaks Igbo and English Languages. He started singing as a child. He remembers his days at the University of Benin fondly and enjoys meeting people and loved his former job as a Customer Service Officer.
Roy had to make a huge decision when he was invited for one of the crucial stages of the competition. He was refused a short leave and was given the option of resigning which he took!
The ever-smiling Roy says his singing has been influenced by artistes like Michael Bolton, J Moss, John Legend and a few others. He loves movies and always looks forward to seeing people like Denzel Washington and Jason Stratham on the big screen. His typical pastime activities include going out with friends and attending choir rehearsals.
Ruth believes women should stand up and give life their best. She graduated with a BSc in Philosophy & Logic from the great Imo State University (IMSU), Owerri, Nigeria and is fluent in English, French and Igbo. Ruth was born on the 8th of June, 1989 and is the first born of Mr. & Mrs. Peter Chukwu of Aba, Abia State. She says Mr. Callistus Anopue her coach taught her very early to accept her person, which has helped her to discover, understand and appreciate herself.
She loves singing, writing and spends her leisure time reading. Her favourite artistes include Beyonce Knowles, Omawumi, Darey Art Alade. Her favorite actor is Mike Ezuronye; the famous Nollywood thespian. She also loves Dan Brown the novelist and enjoys reading his titles.
Ruth has a strong personality and argues passionately for women. In the world of Philosophy, Simone de Beauvoir the French philosopher and feminist holds the greatest appeal for Ruth. Ruth loves a lot of comedy and is determined to make a mark in the Project Fame Academy.
Her favourite hangout spots are church and studio; and the Oprah Winfrey Show is a must watch for her.
Velma is a pretty Freetown born singer, who has been singing from childhood. Born 28 years ago, she was jealously raised under the watchful eyes of her mum. She fluently speaks English and Krio languages, loves cooking, dancing and spending quality time with her friends. Velma’s style of singing has been influenced by Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and Keri Hilson. This former pharmacy-student of College of Medicine, Sierra Leone is ready to learn and give her best in the Academy, as she has come to accept it as the next phase of her life.
She is particularly excited because she is following after Brenda –her aunt who made it to the academy in the first season of Project Fame West Africa.
Yvonne is a student of International Studies and Diplomacy of the University of Benin. Born in Lagos, and an indigene of Anambra State, this diva is 20 years of age and stands at 5ft 10inches. She loves swimming, which she describes as her second passion. Yvonne also loves to watch movies as well as do a lot of writing.
Yvonne is the shy type but she says that the moment she kicks into her act, she keeps going. Even though Project Fame will be her first experience with performing for a crowd, she is willing to give it her best shot, and hoping to make her father very proud of her. She speaks of him with a twinkle in her eye and sometimes wishes she was still a toddler with her ‘daddy’ at her beck and call.
Yvonne looks up to artistes like Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce Knowles, Natalie Portman, Joke Silva, Kate Winslet. With her infectious laughter she says she wouldn’t mind eating plantain with fried eggs constantly in the Academy. She expects the Academy to offer “good family-like bonding” and hopes that beyond the learning and performing, long lasting friendships will be born.
Zaliha is a Physiology student of the great Ahmadu Bello University, Kaduna State of Nigeria. She speaks Hausa, English and Yoruba languages and likes to read, sing, watch movies and visit friends. She was born in July, 1991 and has been singing as a hobby before now.
She has a voice that catches people by surprise as it did the Project fame judges. With a voice like that coming from Zaliha’s small frame, a lot is to be expected. She’s set to take her singing abilities to the next level and believes that Project Fame Academy is the one place where she can achieve her dreams if becoming a professional singer.