winner of Nigerian Idol Season 8, Victory Gbakara, has revealed that he wasn’t expecting to emerge as the winner of the eighth edition of the reality TV show.
He made this revelation in a chat with Vanguard, shortly after he was announced the winner of the show: “I didn’t see it coming, but I prayed about it.”
He described his closest rival, Precious Mac, as “an amazing singer with a very good foundation,” adding: “whatever happens, I am grateful that I met people like her.”
Victory was announced the winner of the show after eight weeks of competition. He defeated Precious Mac to clinch the grand prize.
The keenly contested show, which commenced airing on DStv and GOtv on April 23, had over 10,000 auditioners whittled down to 29 contestants, who were further trimmed to the top 10 contenders.
Victory went home with a cash prize of N35 million, a brand new SUV, one Bigi Refrigerator and one year’s supply of Bigi soft drinks, an all-expense paid trip courtesy Tecno, a music record deal by a reputable label that will include a video shoot, one year supply of WAW detergent, and a fully installed DStv Explora with one year Premium subscription.
By winning the eighth edition of the singing competition, Victory Gbakara has joined the elite group of winners that have emerged since the show’s return in 2021. He will now be considered peers with talented winners like Kingdom Kroseide, who won the title in 2021, and Progress Chukwuyem, who won it last year.
While reflecting on Victory’s performances all season long, Obi-Asika, one of the judges, said: “Victory Gbakara has always been a star and one could see his potential right from the auditions stage. We the judges are proud to watch him grow throughout the competition and emerge as the show’s winner.”
According to the CEO, West Africa, MultiChoice, John Ugbe: “Nigerian Idol has become a powerful platform for investing in the Nigerian entertainment industry, and has grown to become a vehicle for aspiring exceptional singers, who can make a mark. The industry is projected to reach $14.82 billion by 2025, and we need to be deliberate about its trajectory and how young Nigerians will contribute to that future.
“Nigeria is rich with creative ingenuity and music talent that can shape the world, and we are proud to play a role in actualising this dream for thousands across the country. We have invested in doing even more.”
The 2023 edition hosted by popular media personality, IK Osakioduwa featured three judges – music executive Obi Asika, singer-songwriter Simi and award-winning artiste, D’banj. Since its inception in 2011, Nigerian Idol has served as the springboard to launch the music careers of young aspiring singers in Nigeria. Serving as a platform for budding artists to reach an audience, tap into fame and eventually commercial success. Nigerian Idol has transitioned beyond being merely an entertaining show and has become a key indicator of trends within the music industry in Africa as well as a strategic investment in the industry.
Victory, albeit still stunned by his win, thanked the show’s organisers and fans for the opportunity. He said, “I can’t contain my joy. I am so happy, guys. This journey has been a life-changing experience, and it would not have been possible without the support and love of my family, friends, and especially my incredible fans.”
Speaking on the grand finale, the Head of Content and West Africa Channels, Multichoice, Dr. Busola Tejumola said “At Multichoice, we are very intentional about what our content can do for our audience and the community at large. Beyond its entertainment value, Nigerian Idol is a catalyst for economic growth towards enriching lives and we are happy to be a part of Victory Gbakara’s journey.’’
Nigerian Idol contributes economically and through talent development to the Nigerian music industry. As a rapidly growing sector in the entertainment industry, music has helped to elevate Nigeria’s image and cast a good light on the nation. It also contributes in a significant way to the country’s GDP and is expected to improve as more stars like Victory Gbakara create great music that can attract listeners worldwide.
Statistics, however, have revealed that ‘Nigeria’s music revenue grew from 26 million U.S. dollars in 2014 to 34 million U.S. dollars in 2018, and by 2023 the revenue is expected to amount to 44 million U.S. dollars’.
MultiChoice Nigeria, through Nigerian Idol and other music programs and channels, contributes to the sector’s growth by providing jobs for hundreds of production members, stylists, makeup artists, and other musicians on the show.
The grand finale saw performances from the top 10, award-winning singer Simi, ballad king Johnny Drille, Fast-rising star Fave, and Nigerian Idol season 7 winner Progress. Nigerian Idol Season 8 was sponsored by Bigi Drinks and Tecno Mobile.