Past Nigerian Idol winners and their struggles

The 2015 edition of Nigerian Idol was the fifth, so there have been four previous winners of the music reality show which debuted in 2011.

However, they have faced varying degrees of struggles in their bids to hit it big in the music industry. ENCOMIUM Weekly takes a look at their career since their victories…

YEKA ONKA -Season One

Onyekachi Elizabeth Gilbert, better known as Yeka Onka, is that lady with an amazing voice who thrilled to become the first Nigerian Idol in 2011.

The Ohafia, Abia-born songstress went home with all of N7.5m, a car, a record deal with Sony and an all-expense paid trip to South Africa  a truly mouth watering package.

Since then, she has released Sable, Help (a song that raises awareness of the plight of homeless children), and Ewa Ba Mi Jo. She has also put together a 10-member all-girls band called G-factor; yet she has found it hard to hit it big in the mainstream of the music industry.


Port Harcourt, Rivers-born singer, Mercy Chinwo won the second Nigerian Idol held in 2012. Her breathtaking performances on the show thrilled and helped her strike gold as she carted away the prizes on offer.

But over the year after her victory, as she revealed to ENCOMIUM Weekly, she did not receive the record deal promised as part of the prizes. This might have led to her not releasing any single during that time as in her words, it was a ‘one-man thing’. Until now, she is yet to hit it big.


The first male Nigerian Idol, Moses emerged winner in Season three held in 2013. In the summer of same year, the 24-year-old nicknamed Teddy bear on the show dropped three love-themed songs – Love in the air, Number one and Love letter which features rapper, Eva Alordiah.

EVOLVE-Season Four

Edo indigene, Evolve Zibili (or simply Evelle) is one strong performer. She knows how to attract and hold the attention of her audience – that’s what you get from singing in the church.

In the last quarter of 2014, she released I’m Naughty (which was produced by Spellz). She followed it up with Kilimanjaro, which she dropped this year.

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