Toke Salami and her brother at Nigeria's Got Talent auditions
Reality TV show Nigeria’s Got Talent made its debut on Sunday 16 September after touring through major cities in Nigeria searching for the most talented Nigerians. The show will air weekly on Silverbird TV, TVC, AIT, Soundcity (DStv) and in the UK on HITV.
The show took a thrilling twist as 11-year-old Toke Salami, who was accompanied by her family members to the Ibadan auditions, put up a heartfelt performance of a gospel song. Nathaniel wowed the crowd using his whole body, especially his mouth to produce a full range of beats, and the Ayan Agalu Cultural Group showcased their talent which involved passing on messages with the use of the talking drum.
In Port Harcourt judges were entertained by the ‘Hero of Africa’ who hung padlocks on his eye lids and inserted four inch nails into his nostrils. He was sent packing alongside a 24-year-old man who showcased what can only be described as a semi-dance (he called it modelling, however). Thankfully, another 24 year old, Marilyn Ogechi, redeemed the garden city by showcasing a unique talent of playing the saxophone with her hands. She got a go ahead from the judges to the semi-final round.
"There are reality shows and then there are reality shows," said the Project Manager, Adaora Mbelu. "The hilarity of some performances aside, in a country where there is an emphasis on lack of opportunities, it warmed the heart to see a wide range of enthusiastic, excellent performers, far beyond music. This is such an amazing country with truly talented people."
The Airtel sponsored show will air on TV stations across Nigeria from September to December 2012. The Got Talent franchise, which is in its sixth year worldwide, has produced many notable performers in the last couple of years including Diversity, Bianca Ryan and Britain’s Got Talent’s 2009 runner up Susan Boyle, whose debut album became the fastest selling UK debut album of all time, selling over 3 million copies in the US.
Nigeria’s Got Talent is sponsored by Airtel and supported by Cool FM, Wazobia FM, Nigeria Info 99.3 FM and Tasty Fried Chicken.