From the first day they auditioned at the Ikeja centre, it was clear that these youngsters were special. As they twirled and spun around on their unicycles, it didn’t take the judges long to hand over the golden ticket to GKB Unicyclists as qualifiers for Lagos Grows Talent, the talent hunt initiative of One Lagos Fiesta.
For the past three years, Lagos Grows Talent has been a major highlight of the annual fiesta- not only because of the cash prize it awards the winners (a whopping one million naira) but also because it affords the budding talents the opportunity to be seen by millions of people across the world.
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In the past editions, the eventual winners were musicians- rappers in particular. In 2017, 18-year-old Ojo Ogunlaja finished first while 13-year-old Ishola Idris followed suit in 2018.
GKB Unicyclists put together by Kuyoro Olalekan a twenty-five-year-old former skater is a group of youngsters around the Gbagada-Bariga axis of Lagos. Unlike bicycles that have two wheels, unicycles, as the name implies, have only one and are commonly seen in circus shows. Olalekan started attending parties in a clown’s costume to make ends meet. Two years later, young children from his neighbourhood began asking him to teach them and his GKB (God Knows Best) Academy took off.
Today, he has nearly ten kids ranging from ages 6 to 15 in his group who see him as their mentor. Their decision to enter for Lagos Grows Talent was borne out of the desire to show the world what they could do. What a great decision that was!
At the grand finale of One Lagos Fiesta which held on New Year’s Eve, the unicyclists delighted the crowd each time they got on stage. The massive crowd- three hundred thousand people by estimates- shouted in amazement as they perfectly executed their routines.
It was no surprise then when they were announced as winners and awarded the one million naira cheque. The” Chief Host” of the fiesta, Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode beamed with smiles as he saw an example of the manifestation of the state’s vision of setting up One Lagos Fiesta.
Two other winners were awarded on the night: the first runner-up Isaac Mike, aka Bright Izzy from Epe and second runner-up, the group JohnKay made up of Samuel Olanrewaju/ Joseph Oyebola.
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