-as he received N10 million and a brand new car in grand style
For Michael Achu, champion of Star The Winner Is, Season 1, it was a night of realizing long dreams and aspirations, as he was finally presented with the keys to a brand new 2014 Volkswagen CC and a grand prize of N10 million, by the organisers of Nigeria’s first music game show, Star Lager Beer. Interestingly, the graduate of Business Administration, Enugu State University now has a recording deal with Universal Records.
He cried, he screamed, he laughed, completely overwhelmed all round with emotions as friends and relatives gathered to watch the glorious crowning moment.
The well attended grand party, which held at the Nigerian Breweries Bar, Iganmu on Friday, October 10, 2014, had in attendance entertainers, including Uti Nwachukwu, host of the game show) Bryan Okpara, Yaw, Dotun, Temi and Mannie of Cool FM, Chris Ihidero, Destiny Amaka, among others.
Michael Achu was not the only person who smiled to the bank that night. One guest, Belinda walked home N50,000 richer after Uti Nwachukwu hosted a mini Star The Winner Is at the event conducting a duel round between Kenny Blaize and Belinda out of which the latter emerged winner.
‘How I intend to spend my N10 million’ -winner, Michael Ochu
I feel good, I feel wonderful. It was a memorable experience for me, being the winner of this maiden edition of Star The Winner Is. All thanks to God Almighty. It wasn’t easy, the competition was tough but at the end, I became victorious. I feel good.
Did you see it coming?
Of course not. I didn’t believe I could win because there were great talents. So, I didn’t expect it, honestly. I think, it was God’s doing. Although, I know I am good, I met better people at the competition. That’s why I am grateful to God.
How did you enter the competition?
It was funny actually. A friend of mine told me about the audition, but I wasn’t interested because I had been to auditions, including Nigerian Idol, but I didn’t qualify. I remember, I won a golden ticket to move into the next stage of the audition in 2011, but I didn’t go beyond that. This time, my friend convinced me to participate, which I eventually did. Fortunately, I got the golden ticket, I entered the competition, and I won.
What exactly worked for you to go beyond the audition and later become the winner?
I worked on myself, pretty hard, especially my stage performance. I also worked on my voice. And I am sure, all these worked for me to the final. In all, without God, nothing would have been possible.
How was the experience?
We spent three weeks in South-Africa, and the experience was spectacular. To start with, the weather was terribly cold, and it affected my voice someway. Talk about my fellow contestants, it was a fantastic experience. Everybody was good in his/her own way. I met great singers and they did very well. But since it’s a competition, a winner must emerge, no matter how good we are.
How do you intend to spend your winning prize?
Like I said, I will divide it into two. One for my mom and the remaining for me. I will invest my own half in music career.
‘My son is destined to be a great singer’ -Tonia Ochu – winner’s mother
I feel so great. I thank God Almighty for making it possible for my son to scale through. I also thank Star for the opportunity, because without Star, my son wouldn’t be celebrated as the first winner of the Star The Winner Is. I am so grateful, I thank God for everything.
When did you notice that your son could sing?
I won’t lie to you, he started singing at an early age, at age three to be precise. If he’s in the kitchen, you’d see him singing. In the toilet, and even in the bathroom, he would be singing. At times, I would be so annoyed with him. I do tell him, “Michael, concentrate on your studies, instead of going around with a guitar. Singing is for women, not men.”
That means you didn’t support him to sing from the beginning?
Not really, but I wanted him to concentrate on his education. But I later permitted him when I realised that he’s destined to become a great musician. That’s why I am very happy. I can see the result now. I will allow him to do music now. I am highly excited. I thank the organisers of Star The Winner Is (smiles).
Your son promised to divide the money he won into two. One for him, one for you. What is the feeling right now because you’re N5m richer?
We’ll discuss that when he comes home. My son is a humble boy, I have no fear. He keeps to his promises, and whatever he promised to do, he’d do it. That’s why I said we’ll sort it out when he returns home.
What’s your advice to parents who don’t want their wards or children to sing?
I have started doing it in my parish. I tell them, allow your child to follow his or her dream. Don’t force them to do what they don’t have interest in. Let them follow their destiny, irrespective of what it is.