Glo has announced the judges for X Factor, the world’s biggest singing reality TV show, which the company has brought to Africa for the first time.
The judges are veteran singer Onyeka Onwenu and popular rapper Jude Abaga, widely known as M.I., from Nigeria and Reggie Rockstone, hip-life artiste from Ghana. They were unveiled at a ceremony in Lagos on Thursday, April 25. Their first assignment was to audition contestants who scaled the first audition held two weeks ago in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Globacom’s Head of Reality Shows, Sulyman Bello, said the final list of judges was arrived at after thorough screening and assessment of the pedigree of all the artistes earlier shortlisted for consideration for the assignment.
“The X Factor is the number one singing reality TV show in the world and this is the first time it has come to Africa courtesy of Globacom. We therefore had to ensure that we selected judges who match the profile of the show and who will help deliver the objectives of the show” he explained.
Onwenu is a Nigerian stateswoman of music, art and culture. Generally regarded as Queen of Africa pop music, Onwenu is a highly experienced Nigerian singer, actress and politician. She made a mark in the music world with several hit tracks including ‘Tetanu n’Ula”, “One Love”, “Iyogog”, “Peace” and “Wait for me” which she sang with Sunny Ade. In 2006 she won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a supporting role. She is currently the Chairperson of Imo State Council for Arts and Culture.
M.I, meaning Mr. Incredible, is a Nigerian Hip hop artiste. He has won several awards including the MTV Africa Music Awards in 2009 and the City People Artiste of the Year 2012, and was nominated for BET 2010 Awards for the Best International Act Category.
He rose to prominence in 2006, when his song “Crowd Mentality” became popular in his hometown Jos. He released his widely acclaimed debut album, Talk About It in December, 2008. M.I. is UN ambassador on drugs and crime.
Rockstone, whose original name was Reginald Osei, is credited as the pioneer of hip-life or Kasahara music in Ghana. He is internationally acclaimed, with several performances throughout West Africa, the UK, France, USA and Switzerland.
Since his exciting debut album, “Makaa Maka” in the early 1990s, he has shown longevity and maintained his grasp on the genre with successive albums such as “Me Na Me Kae”, “Me Ka” and “Last Show; and has also produced and managed several other young talents.
He has won a Kora Award for his video “Ah” and has performed with international artistes like Shaggy and Beenieman. Reggie recently announced that he was switching from hip life to hip-hop with his hit song, “Peaches” featuring Sway.