The Frills, Thrills of ‘The BBM’ Talent Carnival
It was glitz, glam, and glitters on Sunday, October 10, as the Big Break Moment Africa, also known as ‘Talent Carnival’, a television reality show that provides a platform for undergraduates to showcase their talents and get rewarded for it, climaxed with a grand finale that saw the crowning of Joel Jones as the winner of this year’s edition.
The Convention Center of the Eko Hotel &Suites Lagos, venue of the event was practically shut down with the predominantly young population who besieged the facility to cheer and celebrate their friends, school mates and favourites who made it to the final top 10 housemates on the show.
The top 10 Dream mates as the contestants are also addressed included Joel Jones, Dionne, Dotar, Dammy Kush, VictorRhymes, Anoneemous, Bosslady, Dabelu, Blessing and Smith. No fewer than 500 upand coming entertainers from the fields of acting, singing, dancing and more participated in the reality TV show that staked N30million as grand prize.
With Denrele Edun and Ushbebe lightening upthe show and the faces of people as hosts of the night, three Hollywood stars –Andria Adams, Jonathan Coleman, and Dr Calvin Bonds added more vibes to the funnight as judges of the epoch contest.
The final top 10 Dream mates were whittled down to five before the last two standing and then eventual winner emerged. As winner of this year’s edition, dancer Joel Jones drove home in a brand new 2021Geely car courtesy Skywise Group and 10-million-naira cash prize.
He had in the 300 hours show also won for himself 300,000 Naira the Debate competition, which was won by Dionne, who also emerged the overall 1st runner up. He was also given a plot of land by a special guest. Elated by the outcome of the reality show, some excited guests at the event decided to surprise the runners-up with various prizes.
The Executive Producer of the show, Orbby Agwuncha, popularly known as BossLady Law, announce a one-week get away trip to Dubai for the top five contestants, which include the winner and four other runners-up, and an additional one-week professional training for each of the top five winners in their talented, skills area in Dubai. Also, an Abuja based special guest, who was simply identified as Dapo, rewarded the 1st Runner-up, Dionne with two million Naira and one million Naira each to the 3rd, 4th and 5th place winners.
Speaking with TNR, the Founder, Big Break Moment Africa, Tayo Folorunsho said: “It’s been a wonderful journey camping the students from different Nigerian institutions. Big Break Moment is merging entertainment with education. This is what the students want – a platform that stimulates their creativity. This is just the beginning of big things.”
Though in its third edition, the talent hunt is opened to students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria. A first-of-its-kind edutainment competition, this year’s edition is the first edition that was broadcast to the global audience that watched the show on popular digital channels.
The reality show first started as a 72-hour competition in 2017 at the University of Abuja. It was up to 100 hours in 2020 and then 300hours for this season of the contest.
Elated at the success of the show, Folorunsho stated that auditions for this year’s contest started in Abuja and held in Enugu, Port Harcourt, and Lagos, as well as online to give opportunity to many students who are currently at home due to the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike which had seen most Nigerian universities closed since February 14.
Commending the reality show, Abuyere in a chat with journalists after the event said, “Big Break Moment Africa is an amazing opportunity for the Nigerian students to shine. Nigerian youths areself-motivated and talented; they should channel their talent and develop it. The right opportunity will locate them.”
On her part Agwuncha said: “Through this contest, students who are passionate about their talents are given the platform to exhibit their talents and they can make a living out of their passion. The contestants are very happy for the platform; it will make a lot of difference in their lives. They should remain humble and not be distracted.”
Commending the convener of the show, Oluwo of Iwo Kingdom, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi (Telu 1), who also doubled as the royal father of the day, said “I thank God because He reigns. I thank the convener, the producers, and everyone present. I am a king that wants to change the status quo.”
“Our culture and tradition is [sic] our identity. I was enthroned in 2015 and God has been supporting us,” added the monarch who was accompanied to the event by two other traditional rulers.
He continued: “When Tayo came to me in 2016 when he was in Abuja that he wanted to do an edutainment show, I told him to be consistent that money doesn’t run the world but ideas and even money comes from ideas. This is about talent education; this is success. When you are enterprising, always chin up, and don’t look down.”
Notwithstanding the late commencement of the event, special awards were presented to sponsors and partners of the project including Elvis Abuyere, CEO of Skywise Group; Agwuncha, and Mikano Ltd among others.
The show which was scheduled for 5pm did not start until about 8:25pm with Bryan Okwara coming on stage to reel out the reason for the night.
Other special guests at the event include Charles Oputa aka Charly Boy or Area Fada as he is also known and addressed; DJ Neptune, who switched the party to a higher tempo; Johnny Drille, Dupe Noma, among others.