Africell have been running a competition to 'discover the face of Africell', with first prize a new car, and second a trip to Paris. The winner also gets to be the full-time PR person for the company. There were judges who got to select the first round of 30 people, and now the public are allowed to vote using their mobile phones for who they think should win the competition.
More than 250 people turned up for preliminary auditions. The audition videos of the 30 people who got selected have been on GRTS TV the past three days, and they were really fun to watch. One thing I was pleased to discover was that the judges didn't choose based on proficiency at English alone, which too many times gets to be a problem over here, with people snobbing other people based on their (lack of) English-speaking skills, which is just plain silly, given that it's not even our language.
So there was a good mix with the thirty that got in and though I didn't agree with all of the choices, I think the majority were not too bad, and some were even quite impressive. If I were voting right now I'd vote for the first ibadu who competed (for those of you who watched the TV show), this girl who I later learnt was the daughter of Imam Baba Leigh. She was very eloquent, and not at all fake. I didn't see all of the auditions though, so I'll withhold my judgement for now.
I think this is a really good move by Africell. At some level, you keep reminding yourself that it's just another brilliant marketing ploy (they've got the whole country watching this, something that has not happened for any TV program since the days of 'Maria De Los Angeles'), but I think it's awesome that GRTS finally have a watchable program that keeps people up and waiting for it, and that we are all getting a chance to see the quality of young girls we have in the country, something which doesn't happen often enough.
You can read more about the whole thing here. I will post more as the competition advances.