Blind School Agog As Students Turn Entertainers

Michael Odusanya singing R. Kelly song

Odutayo Odusanya

Wednesday January 25,2023

It was a dream come true for many visually challenged persons at the Bethesda Home for the Blind on Friday January 20,2023 in Mushin, Lagos State when they played host to the maiden edition of the X Challenge, a talent hunt contest for the disabled and programmed to encourage inclusion in the entertainment ecosystem.

L-R: Founder, Bethesda Home for the Blind, Revd. Dr Chioma Ohakwe; CEO, X Factor Productions, Mr Anthony Jay Williams; Miss Blind Nigeria, Faith Ihediwa and CEO, M24 Ltd, Mr

The event with the theme, Ability in Disability was organised by X Factor Productions, an entertainment company that specialises in events as well as talent grooming management based in Lagos, Nigeria.

Audience responding to performance of a participant

About 30 students of the Bethesda Home for the Blind participated and showcased their talents through voices, instruments, catwalking and dance steps to the cheers of the audience.

The highlights of the event was when 3 of the 10 contestants were carefully selected from the first round after a thrilling performance.

A keyboardist, Tope Adeniran and a contestant performing

The three were, Ebuka, a law student at the University of Lagos; Michael Odusanya, a graduate from St. Augustine College of Education and Ruth who gave good accounts of their musical talents with New Day track by Celine Dion, Hands of Time track by R.Kelly respectively.

Miss Blind Nigeria, Faith Ihediwa dressed in a gorgeous black gown with a queeny crown strutted the runway obviously showcasing modelling talent and flaunting her petite figure and good looks. A rare talent for a lady with impairment.
Another spectacular performance was done by Tope Adeniran, a great keyboardist who also chose to sing One Love track by Bob Marley.
Most of the participants that contested in the second round were dancers and instrumentalists who danced to collections of Nigerian music stars, exhibiting the latest steps like no other.

Home for the blind

The venue was filled with excitement and participants yelling and responding to beats and gestures.

Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of X Factor Productions, Mr Anthony Jay Williams said their aim was to groom the next generation of Africa’s creative and one of the avenues to achieving it was through hosting talent contests.

Williams added that the major African talent hunt comes up later in the year with a grand prize of 100 million Naira, a brand new SUV and all expense paid trip to Barbados.

“We decided to put something together to recognise talents of the special needs people in community through this event tagged, ‘The X Challenge ‘, as we believe that admitting the winners of this program into the bigger African Talent Hunt which comes up in the future will make the latter more inclusive, unlike any other television programs running in Nigeria.

For the X Challenge, a whooping sum of 250,000 was earmarked for the 1st prize, 150,000 and 100,000 Naira for the 1st and 2nd runner ups respectively .

The founder of the Bethesda Home for the Blind, Revd Dr. Chioma Ohakwe thanked the organisers while addressing the audience for the ingenuity and disposition towards the school particularly the children. She said that with the competition, other Nigerians will see the good side of the special children and stand up to show them more love.

“X Factor Production told me about their vision and i came back to tell my children about it. That the talent hunt is to emphasise our belief that there is ability in disability.
Talking to her students and participants she continued,
“Today is a day of celebration where talents will be showcased for the world to see and we would be better for it. So i wish you would see what have been put togrhwt for you. But if you can’t see it, beyond the competition is the entertainment and plenty of things to be happy brought by organisers for your delight,” she concluded.

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