By: Olamilekan Oke
Inioluwa Adeyemi was at The Voice Nigeria, and viewers would testify that he was one of the best contestants. Also known as Blessed the Minstrel, Inioluwa Adeyemi is a 300-level student of psychology at the University of Ibadan. He was one of the contestants of the just concluded The Voice Nigeria.
Inioluwa’s passion is music, and I have personally seen him perform on several occasions even before he made it to The Voice Nigeria. He plays the guitar so well, and he sings different genres of songs ranging from Afro-pop to Afro, to RnB. Inioluwa made it through the blind auditions, becoming one of the members of Team Waje.
Blessed scaled through the knockouts, the battles, and the live show. After the live show, he was up for possible eviction. Inioluwa and Nuel Ayo were both up for eviction and viewers were meant to cast their votes to save one of the two. Nuel Ayo had been up for possible eviction previously, but he was saved by viewers and fans. Nuel Ayo was saved again, while Inioluwa got evicted. How is it that Inioluwa could not be saved, even though the University of Ibadan boasts of thousands of students? Let’s bring it home now.
The University of Ibadan has not really produced a “big music star” in recent years, apart from the fading Dr. SID. Inioluwa’s stint at The Voice Nigeria was an opportunity for UItes to support one of our own to win this content. At least, we all would be able to ‘famz’ him as our schoolmate, coursemate, or hallmate. Inioluwa is a Katangite, but the saying, “once a katangite, Always One” did not come true for him at a time when he needed the hall most. There was no adequate support from the hall leadership to push for the salvation of Inioluwa. There are over 15, 000 students at the University of Ibadan, and if half of that number had voted, maybe we would be telling a different story right now. It is quite understandable that we all have our choices to make, but a vote was just for N30 and even Airtel users could vote for free.
The Students’ Union didn’t show support on time also. If they had, it could have caused positive changes in the poll’s results. We all see the way schools like UNILAG, LASU, and OAU wholeheartedly support whoever comes from their school wholeheartedly, but this was a different case in UI. We could have done better in terms of voting for one of our own. Let me ask you reading this, did you vote for Inioluwa? It’s a question you alone know the answer to.
Inioluwa not winning the Voice Nigeria doesn’t make him less of a star, neither does it make him a loser. Inioluwa is a star you all should watch out for. The beauty of talent shows like that is that you do not necessarily have to win; sometimes all you need is to be brought to the limelight by the show and then launch your career from thereon. Let’s hope Blessed the Minstrel will win deals and get signed to a big and promising label.
Finally, UItes need to change the lackadaisical attitude they have towards promoting UI talents. We have amazingly talented entertainers: musicians, comedians, dancers, instrumentalists, among others. We should learn to promote them. Attend their shows, turn up for them when need be, vote for them when it is time to, A win for them is a win for UI, and if you identify yourself with UI, then, it is also a win for you.