On Saturday, September 27, 2014, Geoffrey Orji emerged winner of MTN Project Fame Season 7 carting away N5 million, a brand new SUV and recording contract with Saved Miller. 23 year old Rukky Mercy, first runner-up won N3 million and car while 27 year old Christian Amoah from Ghana was named second runner up and was rewarded with N2 million and car. In an exclusive chat with Encomium Weekly, the winners bared their mind to us.
Congratulations! When you remained among the last three standing, what was going through your mind?
At some point, my mind was already blank because I didn’t know what to think. But what I was saying in my mind was any name they call now, the person deserves to be a winner. So, I now felt relaxed. Anything that happens, let it happen, no wahala. But when I heard my name, I was shocked because I was expecting they’d call Emekus or Ugo but more of Emekus because he had strong fan base. People were hailing him. I called him Emekus for President because the way they hail him was more like a politician. But the truth of the matter was, before I came here, I already believe I was coming to win Project Fame because God spoke to me I was going to win. How I got into the academy was a miracle. This is my seventh year, trying to win Project Fame. So, coming in the seventh year and seven is the number of perfection. I’ve been trying from the beginning, but God decided that the seventh year I want you to come into the Academy.
How far did you get to in the six years of coming?
I was always picked but they will not call me to join the top 24. But eventually this year, I joined the top 24 and I was also picked.
Are you actually saying you hear from God because you sound so spiritual?
Yes, I do. I heard from God. I am a born again Christian. I go to church, I honour God. I’m not a religious person, don’t get me wrong. I’m just a Kingdom person. I believe more in God than in church. I believe we should promote the Kingdom more than the church. Many people are promoting the church rather than the Kingdom which God wants them to do.
Now that you won, what are your plans?
Basically, an appreciable percentage of the money will go into investment. I will also push my music career and find a way at touching the life of my family with the little that I’ve gotten.
You said in your last interview at the Academy that your major challenge was how to gather and arrange your music. How did you now finally overcome that challenge?
It’s consistency. When you decide that this thing, I want to get it into my head, I want to understand how these people do this thing, how they get all this knowledge, then, put it in your mind. Basically, that was what happened for me. I decided to be consistent and follow every detail and take them very seriously. After we were done from the classes, I went back upstairs and then went through what I’d learnt. That was how it became part of me and when they start talking, I must know the next thing they want to say and grab it immediately. So, it was easy for me.
I would have picked Emekus because he also deserved to win and he’s a talented and humble personality that fears God. After Emekus, I would have also picked Ruby because among all the girls, she has this kind of gene and character to carry other people along. In all, they were all good people.
What did you see as your selling point, Iyanya, Chidinma and others were known for theirs…
My strength basically, is God. It’s God that inspires me in anything I do. So, whenever I climbed up there to do something, He’s the one that gave me that strategy on how to go about it. But it’s my vocal that sold me out, so the kind of strength that was in my voice, that’s what pushed me out.
The winner wins through votes. How did you manage to garner the votes that brought you this far?
It’s prayer. I’d been praying since I came into the house. I prayed and fasted telling God I seize the heart of everyone in this world and I say that they vote for me. And I said God, as I’m climbing the stage the judges will not see any wrong about my performance. They will only see the right thing and everything I do will impress them. So, each time I get up on stage that’s what happened. I just took over and God just took over the word I had spoken. That gave me the philosophy that says ‘Life will never and can never give you what you don’t deserve. It will only give you what you demand.’ So, if you demand something positive out of life you’ll get it, likewise negative. So, whatever you say, that is what you see and what you see is what you become.
How supportive were your family?
They were very supportive. I lost my daddy in 2001. From there things became rough for me, for my mom and my younger ones. Sometimes for a month we won’t eat well, what we did was just to live on garri for a week but God brought us out of that level. Then my mom, God was helping in her business, because we had to relocate to Benue State. We used to live in Kaduna. Things started coming up for us and getting balanced. But I couldn’t stay there because I needed to take care of my younger ones. So, I came to Lagos to pursue my career and in the process, I met this family that decided to help me, Mr. and Mrs. Abraham who supported my academics and they told me Geoffrey, you have to go to school in Ghana. That’s why I went to Ghana. I am in my second year now. Last semester before I came to Project Fame, I didn’t have school fees, she didn’t even have money to send, so that was how I came to Project Fame. While in audition they were writing exams. So, everything about my life boils down to God. It’s not as if I planned it to, it’s God that fixed me in that position.
What is going to happen now having won Project Fame?
Now, I’m trying to absorb everything because this is the point a lot of people will start hating you for no just cause. They don’t know where you are coming from, they just believe you just came out from the blues and then you want to take over the industry. I want to use this opportunity to beg all musicians who are already stars to support me in any way they can. I’m their younger brother.