Who Gets The Free GH¢100,000 CASH?

On Friday, November 28, at the National Theatre in Accra, four amateur musicians would be competing for GH¢100,000 to record and promote a music album courtesy telecommunications company MTN.

The four competitors remain unknown for now because they would be shortlisted from a list of 12 finalists who are still going through the eviction stage. So far, there are six of them still in the game but two would be evicted within the next two weeks.

It is a tough game and survival is based on the number of public votes each contestant gets after their weekly music performances.  NEWS-ONE visited the home of the final six contestants of the MTN Hit-Maker Season 3 but only four of them were available for the interview. One did not turn up while another was cooling off at Oak Plaza Hotel as a reward for winning Best Performer in the last episode.

The available four were simply amazing and told the paper about their passions, dreams, hopes and fears.

‘I Have Slept In Ghetto Studios’- NABA
What does NABA mean?
NABA. It is an acronym for Nana Akwa Bransford Agyeman (NABA) and I would definitely win this competition because I deserve it and I have suffered enough.

Tell us about the suffering.
From ghetto to ghetto, studio to studio, I have slept in studios and everything. I mean the ghetto studios around Ofankor Barrier, Pokuase, Kuntunse. I have hustled a lot. I am exhausted and I have learnt a lot. Every fortnight, on Wednesdays, I sing at +233 with Paulina Oduro and I keep paying my dues in the school of learning music. It is time for me to be rewarded.

You sacrificed schooling for music.
Yeah. I was just not interested in some of the subjects and when such a time came, I spent my time writing lyrics or scripts. They made me happy.

What has kept you in the contest?
God and the judges have kept me in the competition this far. The viewers appreciate my talent and it is a blessing from God.

What has the contest taught you so far?
It has taught me a lot about music and also about life.  I have had to live in one house and mingle with some ‘super crazy’ contestants. I have developed love and a bond with them. I have learnt how to be planned and organised. I have met so many people I never dreamt of meeting. I am happy and I am praying it continues like this. I am doing this for my dad who I believe is watching from heaven now. God bless his soul.

What is the theme of your songs?
Real life and hustle has been the content of my songs—the pain, the shame, the drama and sometimes I talk about love. I love Jesus too and I do talk about Jesus. But mostly I talk about life and living it. It depends on my mood and how I feel when I write.

Some say creative arts is for dropouts.
I disagree. Dull minds cannot do good music. Good music is for people with creative minds and can think and can imagine things and can write a message coded in a song. Realising your talent early and going for it does not mean you are a dull mind. It is good to polish your talent with education but not doing that does not mean you have a dull mind.

    Why should readers vote for you?
I think people should watch the show and judge me they exact way they see me. Think about the things I say and let them appeal to you. I believe I have a dream in music and I pray I am given an opportunity to make this a reality. Voting for me means helping me help thousands of people in future.

‘I Feel It Is My Time And I Wish  This Is True’ – Emperor

Why are you called Emperor?
Emperor is my stage name. It means I can rule the music world and I have the qualities of a leader. I had the name when I was in junior high school.  

Why not focus on your university education rather than be in MTN Hit-Maker?

I want to win the cash amount to record an album. I understand that schooling is good but I am sure I can combine both. School would make me manage my talent better and that is why I have not opted out of the university. I have to learn but this contest would give me exposure and let people know what I can do. I am already getting the exposure but I need the money to produce the album professionally.

What has kept you going?
My fans have sustained me—people who know of my music through social media and the online music sites.  I am heavy on social media and online music sites. Type ‘Emperor GH’. I have a couple of recordings online and I begged publicists and this helped in promoting me a lot.

Meaning you had some fame before entering the contest.

Yes, I had some following but it was not much. I took part in the ‘SHS-!6′  music festival hosted by Jay So and Sarkodie.  I won the 2012 edition even when I was still in school. I won Hi-Skuul Discovery Of The Year 2012 when I was in SHS two and the following year I won Kasahare Artiste of the Year. In 2013 I won Urban Nonsense and in 2014 I would win MTN Hit-Maker Season 3.

Would you win?
This is my time. I feel it is my time and I wish this is true. I am not scared, anxious, worried or disturbed. I am doing my best and leaving the rest to God.

You were Entertainment Prefect for Ofori Payin Senior High.

When I was Entertainment Prefect, I did not let my school down. I organised a lot of freaks with my own money just so people could have fun. I also did well to win entertainment awards when I was in my final year. I remember when DJ Black visited the school for a freak, I approached him and he said I should try my best and that he would be linking me up.

What do you sing about?
I sing about life and the everyday happenings. I hate to see people without a means to survive. I have several songs and this message cuts across. I also have some lines on gospel music and when my church has a programme I do entertain them with my music. I remember someone listened to my music and started crying because the lyrics meant something personal to him.

Anything you want to add?
I thank God for bringing me this far. It is a form of success and I am ready to accept anything that comes my way from this competition because everything that happens has a reason. But I really, really want to win.

‘Help Me Lift God’s Name’- MINA
Is MINA your stage name or real name?
Both. I am Welhemina and the short form is MINA, which is my stage name.

I hear you are a professional nurse.
Yes, I am a nurse by profession but I diverted into teaching. I was teaching at HOTCASS and now I am doing banking.

Nursing, teaching, banking and now music? You confuse me.

God gave me this voice to sing and it is for a purpose. I did not really want to go to school if I was not going to study music. But my mother pushed me and actually bought a nursing school form for me to fill. I obeyed her and the school travelled with me for two years to the Netherlands where I furthered my studies and did Child Care. When I returned, I applied to the University of Education, Winneba, and read Health and Physical Education and when I completed I was posted to First Capital Plus Bank to do my National Service but now I am in the Hit-Maker competition following my inborn passion and talent.

You started making money from music in primary school.

Yes. I could sing to my friends and they started advertising me in the school and people won’t even go for break and they would gather around me to listen to me sing. Then they would contribute a part of their money and give it to me. In junior high school, the story was same. I would lead worship on Wednesdays and after the normal offering, the students would still contribute money for me. I loved Wednesdays when I was in school. That was at New Universal Academy, Mamprobi, then the Nsaniah Senior High, then Ripples Nursing School then University of Education, Winneba.

What has kept you this far?
His Grace.
What is that one?
I mean the grace of God. I am a Christian and I had to leave church and just come to meet you for this interview, then I would go back after you are done with me.

You do gospel music.
Yes. Even in school I was singing with Celestine Donkor. Now I sing alone as a soloist. I also sing in my church choir. But I have sung with a lot of big names. I remember I even backed Castro for two songs on one of his albums. I have backed Abena Amponsah, I have backed Cece Twum, Nicholas Omane Aheampong, Nobel Nketia and several others.

That is an enviable testimonial.  Tell readers why and how to vote for you.

I would plead with the public to vote for me so I can spread the word of God and also entertain through my songs. I have an everlasting message and I want to win this competition so I help lift the name of God above all other names. You can vote for me by texting my name, MINA, and send it to the MTN short code 1327. I plead with all the Christian and Muslim communities to vote for MINA and the Lord would bless you.

Is that a wedding ring on you?
Yes, I am married to a sweet man. My husband, Rev Godsway Agbeko Lape, is the Head Pastor of Overflowing Life Ministries at Korle Gonno. But we are yet to have kids.

I wish you well.
Thank You.
Are you winning this?
Let us hope so.
What has kept you surviving?
I do what the fans love to see.
What will make you win?
My talent; and I’m reaching my target.  I believe the ladies can make me win so I target them in my songs. I normally do love songs or inspirational songs to appeal to the ladies and to thank God.

When did you start all this?
I started in junior high at Takoradi, Bishop Esuah. I then continued at Takoradi Senior High, still singing and even became the Entertainment Prefect.  There was not a single entertainment event in school I did not perform—from the very first day I got to the school to the very last day I left.

I was chosen for Entertainment Prefect; I did not compete for it.

Aside singing what else do you do?
I do anything music. I rap, I raga, I do dancehall, high-life, RnB, I play the guitar, I am versatile. They call me the ‘versatile Kid’.

Convince readers to vote for you.
I really do not talk much. I do much of my talking on stage. I only want them to enjoy me and vote for me. I want to be a hit-maker. I am from a small family and my parents are not here. The road has not been easy. No one knew me from the start. I am now climbing and I have worked with a couple of big artistes like Ruff N’ Smooth, Kofi Kinata, Castro; I have songs with them and I would be releasing one with Ruff N’ Smooth after the competition.


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