MTN Ambassador, Iyanya Mbuk has decided to keep sealed lips on the widespread allegation that he lied about his N150million endorsement deal with a tech company known as Lenovo. When ENCOMIUM Weekly confronted the All I want is your waist crooner on Sunday, February 16, 2014, he said he has no comment on the issue.
“Sincerely, I won’t say anything for now. I have no comment. I’m in London now”
On February 6, 2014, Iyanya Mbuk reportedly announced to the world that he had bagged an endorsement deal, with yet another tech company, Lenovo. But investigations showed that the pop singer’s purported endorsement deal might be totally fabricated.
The Le kwa ukwu singer posted a photo of himself carrying a Lenovo product, Yoga Tablet on social network Instagram with the caption ‘New Product!!! New Ambassador!!! Brand Ambassador!!!! Lenovo!!!! Iyanya!!!! Task Direct 2014 Started #triplemg’.
Reportedly, Iyanya’s manager when reached on phone confirmed the deal, claiming they made about N150 million – N170 million from the deal. “It’s true, it cost about N150 to N170 million and the duration is 24 months,” Ubi Franklin said.
While the pop singer received congratulatory messages from fans across the world and several blogs reported the story, a recent report of the signing discovered that there might never have been one, as Lenovo said they don’t know anything about the deal.
The news of the signing was quite surprising and puzzling: Why would a PC/tablet/Smartphone producing company sign Iyanya, who is currently a double ambassador for PC producing company, Zinox Computers and Smartphone company Solo Phone? Wouldn’t there be conflicts of interest?
When they reached out to Iyanya and Made Men Music Grouplabel publicist over the signing, they unconvincingly said that Zinox Computers acts as a parent company to Lenovo in Nigeria.
Lenovo is a Chinese multinational technology company with headquarters in Beijing, China, and Morrisville, North Carolina, United States. The company’s gross revenue in 2012 was $29.57b. In 2005, Lenovo acquired IBM’s personal computer business and in 2014 have agreed to acquire the mobile phone handset maker Motorola Mobility from Google for $2.91bn.
It is worthy of note that there was no official statement from Lenovo or photos from the alleged signing unlike with Zinox and SOLO Phones.
Skimming through the official Lenovo website, it was noticed that the Nigerian section of the web page redirects to the South African page. When contacted, Lenovo representatives in South Africa directed us to a representative in Nigeria named Mr. Olumide. Lenovo SA also said they are not aware of the deal.
28 year old Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk born on Palm Street in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. His mother was a head mistress and his father was a forester. Iyanya had described his mother as the household disciplinarian, while his father was the gentler of the two. His parents died in 2008, his mother, 42, and his father, 50. Iyanya’s elder brother died around the same time of his parents’ death. His grandfather was a clergy. Iyanya used to sing in his church’s choir and was the choir master for the children’s choir at 5. He completed his primary, secondary, and university education in Calabar. He is a Business Management graduate from the University of Calabar.
After graduating from the University of Calabar, he worked in a hotel and sang karaoke at a local bar he managed. He began developing his vocal abilities at local bars which include: Fiesta Fries Bar, Mirage Nite Club and West-Life. He cited British singer, Craig David and American hip hop artiste, R Kelly as his key musical influences. Iyanya was motivated to pursue music professionally after watching the celebrity lifestyle of 2Face Idibia and Olu Maintain. He started as a rapper, going by the name “Lofty”.
In 2008, KC of the defunct KC Presh group convinced Iyanya to partake in MTN’s first Project Fame singing competition. He eventually emerged the winner. The 2008 MTN Project Fame competition was the beginning of Iyanya’s music career. Unlike many who dwindle after a major competition, Iyanya’s success had just begun.
On October 16, 2013, 360nobs reported that Iyanya became the new ambassador for Solo Phones Nigeria, a mobile phone company at Computer Village, Ikeja. The one year deal is allegedly worth $220,000 (N35 million). In addition, he got a 2014 Toyota Prado from the deal.
In 2013, Daily Independent newspaper reported that Iyanya also signed a one year deal with Zinox Computers (Nigeria’s first certified branded computers), worth $300,000. The deal will feature Iyanya on Zinox billboards and in TV commercials.
– FEMI OYEWALE