A 300 Level Music student of Federal University, Ikwo (FUNAI) in Ebony State, Christian Okechukwu C, has won the 2017 edition of Vision Africa Icon award.
This was even as the Senator representing Abia Central district, Sen. Theodore Orji, has promised a special tertiary award to the winner.
Speaking during the Radio Icons and Personality Award which took place at the Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia recently, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu represented by his deputy, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, promised that the Abia State government will partner more with the station on talent development.
The governor commended the station for doing well in its corporate social responsibility and also thanked Bishop Onuoha for his idea to organise the music competition.
He said the station has done well in the moral upbringing and the gospel of God, adding that it has gone a long way to change the lives of many in Abia State.
The governor appreciated all the awardees and urged them not to depart from the efforts that earned them the award.
Speaking also, Sen. Orji represented by Hon. Longman Nwachukwu, said he takes the issue of empowerment passionately and derives joy in empowering the youth.
Sen. Orji assured that in line with his education policy, he will reward the winner of the competition.
He expressed his love for the advancement of the cause of Abia youths through education.
In his speech, President of Vision Africa Radio (VAR), Bishop Onuoha Sunday said the station is the only radio station that gives internship students opportunity to learn in the station’s studio.
He said: There are more talents in Abia and Vision Africa Radio is ready to partner the government to assist more future talented youths”.
The Bishop, who said he personally loves rendering songs to God, said the youths that performed decided to be responsible and were equally canvassing for peace, pointing out that without peace, no government can function optimally.
Bishop Onuoha, who also revealed that two weeks ago, Vision Africa Radio celebrated her 20 years anniversary in Dallas, USA, said the vision of the competition was conceived in Dallas, pointing out that he decided to bring the project to Abia State to add value to what government is doing.
He thanked former Governor Theodore Orji, who he said assisted to safeguard the equipment used to start vision Africa Radio and provided a piece of land for the station.
Bishop Onuoha disclosed that the contestants were many but were reduced to eleven through preliminary stage.
Addressing newsmen later, Bishop Onuoha said “Abia has wasting talents and cannot afford to allow that. We must hunt and expose them to greater vigour”.
According to him, VAR would start early for next year edition by reaching out to the youths and starting early to watch them, expressing excitement about the winner getting a scholarship up to university level.
Since the winner is already a level 300 student, he assured that the scholarship would be extended to masters’ level.
In his speech, Chairman of the occasion and former Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd), represented by the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Economic Affairs Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Lady Victoria Chigbu, described the event as a future for future musicians.
General Ihejirika said the competition was aimed at revealing the hidden talents of the youths and congratulated the visioner of the programme Bishop Onuoha.
He also congratulated the awardees and challenged them to sustain the qualities that attracted the award, appealing to them to join hands with Vision Africa to make the society better.
He said “with this competition, no youth will engage in crime”.
Speaking shortly after he was announced winner of the 2017 Vision Africa Radio Icon, Christian Okechukwu thanked Vision Africa for promoting youths in Abia State and Nigeria.
He said: “I never saw my skills and what I can do, I only saw Jesus Christ”.
Okechukwu, who is a year 3 music student of Federal University, Ikwo in Ebony State, said “Vision Africa Radio development is beyond my imagination in promoting young talents”.
Those who were honoured during the event include Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Senator Theodore Orji, the State Chairman Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Bishop Chikezie Elekwa, Rev. (Mrs.) Chioma Johnson, Hon. Chigozirim Stainless, and Sir Emerson Nwakanma among others.
One minute silence was also observed in honour of the former Chairman, Finance and General Purpose Committee, late Sir Bob Ogbuagu.
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