It’s been an exciting couple of days for the Dare 2 Dream initiative as the Kinabuti team alongside the Pulse TV crew have been travelling through Nigeria in search of the lucky girls whose dreams are about to take them to big places. The event got off to a roaring start with a press conference which held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos. In attendance were the project sponsors including Uche Mojekwu (Head Corporate Communications FCMB); Chineye Akukwe from Golden Penny and Gautam Hathiramani (Deputy Managing Director, Dana Air).
UniPort – Port Harcourt Screening
Following a successful press conference, the team headed out to the University of Port-Harcourt via Dana Air where the first selection was slated to take place. UniPort proved to be a hot bed of talent as the judges – Thecla Winklie (Reporter, NTA); Didi Oliveira (London-based stylist) and Caterina Bortolussi (Creative Director, Kinabuti) were blown away by the amount of talent they encountered. NTA’s Thecla Winklie was even so impressed that she offered 2 performers the opportunity to come on her show in Lagos! At the end of the day, 15 girls were selected to proceed to the next stage.
Day 3 saw 24 contestants emerge from hundreds in the city of Port Harcourt while day 4 saw the 24 pruned down to 6 finalists with 2 other musicians and comedians emerging as well.
Perhaps the most unforgettable moment of the day was when Port-Harcourt’s first son, Duncan Mighty hit the stage. The ‘Wene Mighty’ singer had the crowd singing along to his hit single ‘Port Harcourt Boy’. Lunch was also provided by Golden Vita.
UniUyo – Uyo
Next up the team hit Uyo via Dana Air in search of the next BIG talent.
Uyo proved to be a very hospitable place for the team as they were accorded a warm welcome by the students of the University of Uyo. This was made all the more special by the presence of one of Akwa Ibom’s celebrity daughters, television personality Yvonne Vixen Ekwere, who was one of the jurors. The students screamed with joy as she got on stage to address them as a living proof that dreams do come true.
This was followed by 3 intense days filled with laughter, tears and discovery as the team combed through University of Uyo in search of the finalists who would make it to boot camp in Lagos. The jury, consisting of Thecla Wilkie (Reporter, NTA); Yvonne Vixen Ekwere (Media Personality); Didier Oliveira (London-based Stylist) and Caterina Bortolussi (Creative Director at Kinabuti), had a hard time selecting the 6 finalists.
The contestants worked hard in the 3 days of selection and so many improvements were made along the way. Eventually, 17 finalists were chosen and they performed along side local student artists from UniUyo.
A highlight from the event was when Thecla Wilkie announced the comedian who would join her on her show in Lagos and participate along side the two singers who had earlier been chosen in Port Harcourt. The students were thrilled as one of their own was on his way to realizing his dreams!
Through it all, Golden Penny kept the students and jurors well fed while cooking classses were also offered. FCMB was also on hand to lend their support offering makeup classes and prizes to deserving performances.
Dare2Dream, this time, gave the chance to showcase their talents to up-and-coming designers TAJ who started their work when they watched the Kinabuti documentary “In Our ghetto“. Their clothes were wore by some finalists and TAJ designers also spoke on stage to their student mates and inspire them to follow their dream.
Finally the moment everyone had been waiting for arrived – the announcement of the 6 finalists. It was a tough decision for the jurors but eventually the decision was made and the 6 finalists who would fly to Lagos via Dana, stay at the Federal Palace Hotel and Casino to attend the Dare2Dream bootcamp were announced. It was truly an emotional moment for all.
Watch videos from the Uyo selections
UniLag – Lagos
In continuation of the search for the next big talent, the Dare2Dream team hit the University of Lagos which is the final selection point before boot camp kicks off. The team saw a turn out of contestants as everyone wanted to be part of what is arguably the biggest talent project in awhile.
Unilag saw some busy days for the Dare2Dream team as the first duty for the day was a visit to UniLag 103.1 FM where the team had a good time with Lamu and the rest of the UniLag FM crew.
The 6 aspiring models were selected by a four-man jury panel consisting NTA’s Thecla Wilkie, UK Stylist Didi Oliveira, Health and Fitness consultant Maje Ayida and Fashion enthusiast and blogger at 360 Nobs and Style Vitae, Noble Igwe. Maje and Noble gave inspiring talks, narrating their come-up years.
Watch highlights from the UniLag Screening
Watch highlights from the models’arrival at the boot camp
Dare2Dream initiative selected 14 girls for the final event!
The final event can be best described as exciting; organizers got to pick the Best Designer of Unilag from a shortlist of three designers from the University of Lagos. They include Nina Dominic, Ankara Freak and Abraham Edwards who won the competition and will join Kinabuti as an intern and will be showcasing at the final event on Wednesday 19th November 2014.
The final event was used as a platform to showcase several talents; it was fun to see many step on the stage to show their skills, even the gateman and recharge card seller kicked some rap verses!
The 18 girls reached Lagos on Sunday flying with Dana Air from Uyo and Port Harcourt.
Do you dare 2 dream?! It could be you!
Dare2Dream is a co-production of Kinabuti and Pulse.ng and proudly sponsored by FCMB, Golden Penny and Nescafe.
Stay tuned to Cool FM (Kayla and Freeze) and Wazobia FM (TWII TWI) for weekly updates and Pulse.ng for daily updates.
Media Partners: BellaNaija, Style Vitae, The Guardian, Cool TV, Wazobia TV, NTA, Africa Magic, Spice TV and 360Nobs.
The quest is still on as the team moves to Uyo and finally Lagos where the finale is set to take place on Monday 17th November 2014. The Richard Coker Foundation in collaboration with the Pulse TV crew will also assist in the Creative Incubator programme which will offer cinematography, acting and presentation training to young people.
The Dare 2 Dream initiative is a unique program which, through corporate sponsors like FCMB, Dana Air and Golden Vita, seeks to validate the power of dreams as young girls are offered a chance to become the next big model.
Bellanaija is a Media Partner with Kinabuti Dare 2 Dream Initiative