Nigerian singer, Timi Dakolo emerged winner of the inaugural season of Idols West Africa in 2007, with his victory, he got a recording contract with Sony BMG, in addition to other prizes.
Dakolo was born on January 20, 1981 in Accra, Ghana to a Nigerian father, Bayelsa-native David and a Ghanaian mother, Norah, who died when Dakolo was thirteen years of age.
Despite being born in Ghana, Timi has a Nigerian passport and does not claim dual citizenship. His grandmother Ateni Dakolo and his aunty Susan Larry, who lived in Port Harcourt raised him, and he credits her as his early singing teacher.
So deep was their relationship that Timi declined an offer to move to Lagos with his parents, opting to stay back in Port-harcourt with his grandmother.
He started singing in church at the age of twelve. In 2003 he joined the singing group Purple Love as a founding member. They dominated the Port Harcourt club circuit, but disbanded in 2005 as all its members had gained admission into the University of Port Harcourt. Around that same period, Timi won a local talent hunt contest G.E FACTO held in Port Harcourt.
In 2006, Dakolo auditioned for reality show Idols West Africa in Calabar. His songs of choice were Commissioned’s More Than I and Lemar’s Time to Grow.
His vocals impressed the judges, and he was seen as a contender for the prize. A week before the viewing of the Top 24 performances, Dakolo received the news that his grandmother had died.
Dakolo first auditioned in Calabar, Cross River State of Nigeria with Commissioned More Than I and Lemar’s Time to Grow. While in the competition, Timi Dakolo was never in the bottom 3. In the final three weeks of the competition it was revealed by the producers of the show that Timi had the highest number of votes each of those weeks.
While in the competition, Timi’s grandmother died, a week before the viewing of the Top 24 performances. This was a big emotional blow to him. At that time, he turned to his Christian faith for strength to pull through in the competition. Before going to Idols West Africa, Timi was a student of Communication Studies in the University of Port Harcourt.
After winning Idol West Africa in 2007, on January 1, 2008, on New Year’s Day, Timi Dakolo was shot at the lobby of the Presidential Hotel in Port Harcourt.
He had gone to the hotel to attend a church service in the company of his friends. The attack was a random act of violence by a faction of Niger Delta militants and did not target Timi.
Although a hotel security guard was murdered in the attack, Timi escaped with a flesh wound, was rushed to the hospital, treated and discharged on the same day.
Dakolo released his first single comprising three songs in October 2009.
In 2011, he released the song “There’s a Cry”. The music video was filmed in Nigeria. He is currently signed with Lone Records/Now Muzik.
Timi Dakolo is one of the Judges on The Voice Nigeria.
He married his sweetheart, Busola Dakolo (nee Amupitan) in 2010. They have three children.
Who is Rema? Nigeria’s youngest hip hop singer
Born into a Christian family in 2000 in Benin City, Edo State, grew up singing and rapping in local churches and schools at a very young age.
He started music early as he rapped in his secondary school and church. While still in school, he created his own group with his friend “Alpha P” who according to sources met him in church and both have since made music together.
In 2013 Rema and his Friend Alpha P formed a group known as RnA which represents the first initials of their name. Rema alongside his friend Alpha P showcased their talents to the world in 2015 for the first time on stage at the annual talent hunt competition Dream Alive with Pikolo Season 2.
The duo is known officially released their debut single titled MERCY. The mid-tempo song was recorded in the dream alive studio in Benin City while the video was directed by notable Benin based video director Whyte House Pictures.
Both gained huge fan appreciation when they performed at the Glo Slide and Bounce in Benin and Lagos. However, Rema continued singing with Alisong until he got signed by Don Jazzy’s younger brother D’Prince, Jonzing World record owner, into Mavin Records.
Rema first came to limelight in 2015 when he and his friend Alpha P (stage name RnA) made it on stage to showcase their talent at the Dream Alive with Pikolo, of which they emerged winners.
They were signed into the record label of Peak Entertainment owned by Mc Pikolo the organizer of the Talent Hunt as part of the entitlement of winning the competition.
They released Panda Cover, Starboy, and a hit track titled Mercy in 2015. Rema was taken up by D’Prince who helped him get signed to Mavin Records.
He came through with his debut project titled REMA-EP. Even though it was his first major release, the EP made its way to the NO.1 Album on Apple Music Nigeria.
Cordelia Emeh, Investment analyst turned Nollywood actress
Cordelia Emeh is a dynamic and multi-talented actress/Producer. She started her acting career as a teenager in Nigeria, taking part in several stage plays.
In 1991 she got a lead role to feature in a Soap opera by the then Frontline Television Limited in Nigeria led by Dolly Esindu but could not continue with the project due to family demands and other pressures at the time.
Emeh got back to pursue her passion and dream in acting after several years when she relocated to the UK.
In 2012 she started going for auditions and making herself available to work with film makers with determination to not let her passion die.
She has worked with various directors and producers, including Toyin Moore, Nelson Spyk, Rhoda Wilson and Dolly Unachukwu.
Featured in TV Soaps and Movies some of which are; International Games, Blood Type, Captivated, “69”, Housewives & Girlfriends 1&2, Enchained, Apostle Do Good, In a Strange land, Love Zone, Tears of the Rich, Love Triangle, DIVA DIVA, Sister Sister, Maids of Dockland, Silent Journey, My London Slave and many more.
Best Newcomer Actress – BEFFTA 2015 (Blood Type and CAPTIVATED)
Cameroon Film & Academy Movie Awards 2016
Best supporting actress – BEFFTA 2016 (Nominee) –(“69”)
Best supporting actress – African Film Awards 2016 (Nominee)-(Housewives & Girlfriends and “69”).
BEFFTA Top 1000 Honors Award 2017
Cordelia is keen to take her career to the next level and is committed to promoting African Films in diaspora.
She recently ventured into producing films and working in partnership with other producers to make UK Nollywood a force to reckon with. Her first Production is a joint collaboration titled SILENT JOURNEY.
Her second is the recent film MLS (My London Slave), all to be released soon.
Cordelia is a member of the UK Nollywood Actors Guild, the UK Nollywood Producers Guild and the UK Christian Drama Ministries Association. She is an accountant, wife and mother of 4 beautiful children.
Who is Marytonette Okudare? Lawyer turned musician AKA Biwom
Marytonette Okudare is a singer, songwriter, and entertainer from Cross-River State in Nigeria.
The Neo-Afropop artist started singing when she was 5 and her passion for music grew from just singing to playing the keyboard when she was nine.
She has a degree in Law and has been called to the Nigerian Bar. She left law to pursue a career in music.
Using her spare time in the university where she bagged a degree in Law, Biwom recorded her first single, participated in a handful of music competitions and gained a reasonable degree of recognition.
In the last quarter of 2018, she released a single titled Faya and has now followed up with the just-released Krizbeatz-produced pop ballad dubbed G-Wagon.
G-Wagon which is her debut since penning a deal with Xcelar Music Group puts her impressive vocal dexterity on display and is accompanied by a colorful Clarence Peters directed video.
The singer embodies a cool girl vibe with a bold alternative aesthetic and an unmistakable pop appeal.
Learn more about Biwom.