For Jeffrey Ufedo Akor, winner, MTN Project Fame West Africa Season 8, it was jubilation all the way last Sunday, as he smiled home with the grand prize of N5 million, a brand new SUV and a recording contract worth millions of Naira.
For this feat, the 18-year-old Sound Engineering graduate of SAE Institute, Cape Town, South Africa has now joined the likes of Iyanya, Mike, Ayoola, Chidinma, Monica, Olawale, and Geoffrey as Project Fame superstars.
In this interview with TS WEEKEND, Jeffrey narrated his beneficial and life-altering experiences while the show lasted. Hear him: “It has been a completely exciting season with weeks of hard-work and dedication. It started with the auditions that later translated into eight weeks of fun, tension and scintillating performances for the 16 contestants that made it into the Academy. I have learnt a lot from this experience and I give God the glory.”
Project Fame has produced seven winners, how do you intend to rank first among the rest?
I will remain Jeffrey. The only thing I know I have to do is ensure I do good music. I intend to do music that will last, not for a week, or a year but evergreen. I want to take music to the next level.
What was your most challenging moment during the competition?
It was the day I was on probation and had to perform on stage again. It was the only day I cried. I cried because after I finished performing, Uncle Ben said: ‘West Africa, what is Jeff doing on probation!’ That really touched me, and I am grateful because it was the Faculty that saved me that day. If the Faculty hadn’t saved me that day, that would have probably being the end.
Which female contestant did you have a crush on during the course of the competition?
All the ladies are beautiful but I didn’t have a crush on any of them. We were all focused, and we all had our eyes on the grand prize.
As the winner of the competition, what is your present status on social media?
Wow! I’ve been overwhelmed with congratulatory messages from people, even as I am speaking, they have not stopped coming. I’ve been expressing my appreciation to them all. Winning the grand prize has really jerked up my popularity. I am really grateful to everybody that has helped me achieve success.
Which artiste would you like to work with?
I’d like to work with Yemi Alade again. She is a great artiste who is highly spirited. She has good energy too. I’d also like to work with Praiz, Cobhams, Timi Dakolo, and so many others. We have very amazing artistes in this country. If I could work with all of them, I would.
Why do you think West Africa voted for you?
I think it was just God’s favour upon me. I don’t think it was just because of my singing. God wanted to favour me that was why He allowed the people to vote for me. I thank them for voting for me and making my dream come through.
What’s your educational background?
I had one-year training in Sound Engineering at the SAE Institute, Cape Town, South Africa. But I still intend to further my education by getting a B.SC in Sound Engineering.
Which Football club do you support?
Ha! I’m a big fan of Manchester United FC. Man U no ni!
If you hadn’t won this competition, would it have had any effect on your love for music?
Hmmmm! I would have been very, very disappointed. I participated in a competition with my brother when I was just 13-years-old and everyone thought we were going to win. In the end we didn’t get anything. So, when I registered for MTN Project Fame West Africa, my sister told me to be careful because she was sure if the first thing that happened to me occurred again, then I would just give music a break. If I had not won, I would have given music a break but now I won’t quit music. Music is my life; my everything. I sleep music, think music, eat music, and breath music. I want to use this opportunity to thank the judges, Faculty, Ultima Studios, MTN, viewers, and voters. Without them, Jeffrey would be nothing.