By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
Dubar Stadium in Oyo was set alight last week, when it hosted 40 Fuji artistes who competed for a slot to proceed to the semi -final stage of the annual Fuji to’ Bam competition on the stable of Goldberg Lager Beer, a brand from Nigerian Breweries Plc.
As part of the arrangement for the concert, the Goldberg team had earlier paid homage to the paramount ruler of the ancient town, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111.
The monarch, while receiving the Goldberg team in his palace led by Emmanuel Agu, the Portfolio Manager, Mainstream Lager & Stout Brands, Nigeria Breweries, lauded the management of Nigerian Breweries for its enduring concept at ensuring the promotion of Yoruba culture through Fuji music.
He said the management stood firm irrespective of the present economic downturn in the country by not downsizing its staff.
Oba Adeyemi appreciated members of staff of the company for their unalloyed commitment at ensuring the trend of the company in the past 70 years.
Earlier in his address, the Portfolio Manager, Mainstream Lager Beer & Stout Brands of the company, Emmanuel Agu, hinted that the visit to the Alaafin became imperative because of the recognition and respect the company accords the rich Yoruba culture.
Agu emphasized that the avenue was to discover potential Fuji artistes the brand would be ready to showcase to the world like the stakeholders’ artists in the Fuji music industry.
After paying homage to the Alaafin, the train of the Goldberg team moved to Dubar Stadium, the venue slated for the event.
Out of the 40 contenders for the competition, 20 were eliminated, leaving behind 20 others for the semi final stage of the competition.
The successful contenders who emerged at the Fuji to’ Bam concert were Alausa Olalekan, Kuyeti Sikiru, Olowokere Ayoola, Sadiq Ishola, Mufutau Alabi, Idris Morakinyo, Alayo Omoowo, Temitope Ajani and Yusuf Atanda.
Others were Abdul Amoo Ajibola, Olaniregun Habeeb, Oluwagbemiga Adeyeye, Bukola Omo-Daddy, Adewale Saheed Ishola, Ilesanmi Sogo, Abiodun Olooto, Wasiu Omobello, Sir Shina Akanni Ademola, Tayelolu Akanni Confidence, and Oyeniyi Ismaila.
Agu used the medium to admonish the participants to be focused and show commitment in their renditions to move to the final stage of the contest.
He emphasized the need for the contenders to understand the theme of the competition this year, Fuji Sowapo, which literarily means ‘One music, One People’.
He further explained that the focus of the contest this year is improving on collaboration amongst Fuji musicians.
Meanwhile, Agu expressed satisfaction with the quality of renditions by all participants in this year’s competition. He said the contestants showed “very high level of determination to proceed to the next stage of the contest.”
According to him, it is impossible that all participants will qualify in competitions like this.
Agu, therefore, advised those who did not qualify for the semi final to go back and improve on the areas identified by the judges.