By Tunde Osho
Life Continental Lager Beer, a brand from the stables of Nigerian Breweries Plc, has introduced “Hi-Life Music Fest”, a musical competition aimed at celebrating and promoting highlife music in South East, Nigeria.
The music competition which kicked-off with the first set of auditions in Owerri this month, held its first regional finals at Cubana Lounge. Auditions and regional finals will later hold in Port Harcourt, Enugu and Aba with the grand finale set to hold in Onitsha.
Speaking at the media launch, Mr. Emmanuel Agu, Portfolio Manager, Mainstream and Stout, Nigerian Breweries Plc., described the initiative as one of the various ways the brand seeks to ensure that its consumers live a progressive life filled with opportunities, and are conversant with the iconic sound of their environment.
“Life Continental Beer is all about the progress of the people of the South East. This is evident through our ongoing project – Life Progress Booster Show. Music is important to the Igbo people, especially highlife music, and with highlife legends like Osita Osadebe, Celestine Ukwu, Oliver De Coque and many others, Hi-Life Fest is our way of bringing this rich genre of music back to the mainstream,” Agu said.
Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Kufre Ekanem, said that Hi-Life Fest will further enrich the shared values of progress between Life Lager Beer and the people of South East Nigeria as has been the case with Progress Booster Show and Umu Oganiru Festival, the brand’s existing consumer engagement platforms.
“The unveiling of another consumer engagement platform by Life Lager does not mean the already existing platforms – Life Progress Booster and Umu Oganiru Festival will be discontinued. Rather, this new platform will deepen the values of progress that Life and the people of South East Nigeria share.
Elsewhere in the South East, the brand has given out about N10 million to winners of various dancing and singing competition in the just concluded musical talent hunt organised by the company in Aba, tagged “Life Beer Hi-Life Fest: The Complete Experience.”
The musical competition had four persons for individual competition while four took part in the group competition.
The Senior Brand Manager, Mainstream, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Funso Ayeni, explained that the 1st position in both individual and group competitions will be going home with N2 million each while 1st and 2nd runner-ups in both categories will be going home with N1 million and N750,000 respectively.
Ayeni said that the competition apart from being a platform where upcoming hi-life artists are giving the opportunity to showcase their talents, winners of the competition would get a record deal. He stated that the event was in fulfillment of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
The Senior Brand Manager of NB Plc also used the occasion to disclose that the organisation was in advanced talk with a yet-to-be-named reputable talent management company on how to work with their company in grooming young talents and “give them soft landing as they launch out to own their space in the music industry.”
He pointed out that the company was deeply rooted in Igbo tradition and in championing the progress of the Igbos. Ayeni stressed that this year’s event with the theme “Complete Experience” promises to bring the Igbo traditional music to life as never before.
Legendary Hi-Life crooner, Bright Chimezie lauded the commitment of Nigerian Breweries Plc in promoting the Igbo culture and traditions and also for giving opportunity to young musical artists to showcase their God given talents through music. The Zigima King (Bright Chimezie) promised to join hands with the company in ensuring that Igbo culture and tradition was promoted through music.