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Nigerian engineer who won MTV Lip Sync Battle Africa



In his state of euphoria for a lifetime experience in Bilbao, Spain, winner of the Season 2 of Lip Sync Battle Africa, #LSBChallenge, Seun Adegoke, was full of praises for MTV for keeping their promises.
Seun, a mechanical engineer, had won the coveted N1m prize money in 2017 for his entry; a mime to Pharrell Williams”Happy’, and a V.I.P Experience for two to an MTV Award show was the icing on the cake. This was fulfilled, as he joined many celebrities that attended the just concluded MTV EMA in Bilbao.
Seun, who attended the event with his wife, Izekeo, said he had almost given up on the trip, but was glad it came at last.
“We had earlier planned our vacation around November 5, which happened to be out seventh year wedding anniversary. Our plan was to travel to America. So, Bilbao for us was a wonderful coincidence,” he said.
Having missed the treatment because MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) could not hold last year, Suen said the Bilbao experience was worth the wait.
Arriving Bilbao on Saturday, November 3, 2018, fun entered full gear the next day, ahead of the on Sunday life show which held at the Bilbao Exhibition Center (BEC).
Beaming with smiles across a coffee table in Ibis Airport Hotel, Paris, the morning after the show, Izekeo looked at her husband who quickly approved for her to relate her experience.
She began: “On Sunday morning we were off to view the town’s beautiful heritage in terms of arts. And we didn’t expect anything less especially with an airport that took the shape of a seagull.”
That set the pace for the chat, and a more than eager Seun could not hold back.
“Even from the way their structures were built into the mountains and hills around them, we could see that Bilbao is a city that has a heritage of arts,” he said. “And they have some very famous musicians, poets and artistes one of who is Pablo Picasso; they have so many things of him. There is another artist that had some weird, beautiful sculpting of slender men… it was just amazing.”
The couple was referring to the world famous Guggenheim Museum.
According to Seun, “The auditorium of the museum was huge. They had very beautiful art stuff all over the place, and we saw videos of these artistes. The museum for me was the high point of that morning; even the environment outside the museum had some people playing cool music. There’s a huge sculpture of a puppy facing the city center and we also saw some amazing masquerade-kind of dogs clapping their mouths. It was quite an exciting spectacle.”
There is no talking about Bilbao without mentioning about its people and how they appeal to visitors.
“Bilbao is a beautiful city. It has good weather and you could see there’s a family-oriented culture. We saw a lot of family activities; kids roller-skating with parents riding bicycle behind them,” said Seun. For Izekeo, “They are a very civil and polite people who are always eager to say hello. Once you catch their eyes, they smile and say ‘hello’.”
When the real moment came, the couple was all dressed for the show which began with a red carpet and cocktail.
“We got picked up by a large tour bus, and it took us to the pre-party where there was good music, finger foods, cocktails, it was just well catered and amazing,” Seun said. “After that, we went to the main award ceremony where we were seated close to the award stage, close to the hosts, award recipients, where we had close views of everything that happened at the event,” he added, just as  Izekeo continued: “close to Tiwa Savage, close to Janet Jackson, close to Lindsay Lohan and Terry Crews, an amazing guy who was dancing and giving us the chest movement.”
Every year, the MTV EMA stage is a creative delight, and the couple could not but talk about it at their first experience.
Seun brought some engineering insight into it when he described it as “a well-oiled mechanical machine with every part moved on its own. The stage was captivating. It had a life of its own.”
Relating how that effect synced with a performance, he said: “There was a ramp that had an entrance and exit where they drove a forty foot container truck right through for Rosalia to perform. I didn’t even see when the truck left, and next thing, it was closed and the whole backdrop and screen came alive. Then the lights and LED panels drop right down, almost touching the heads of those performing, and there was roving cameras everywhere.”
“Everything was just moving and dynamic and rain was falling all at the same time,” Izekeo interjected. “And the stage had an ‘X’ shape to it, so no matter where you were sitting, the action came to you. Janet Jackson went down one leg, the other artistes wearing white went to the other end of the stage, and there was one in a glass cage that had optical illusions to make it look like she was in a cage of water. I was just beautiful.”
“That was by far the best live show I have attended,” Seun said, adding that, “I’ve attended quite a few life shows in Nigeria but that was the best, by far, that I have ever attended.”
He noted that the event was well organized, and security was a hundred percent. “Movement was restricted, because when you have very famous people like that, there would be people who would want to get close. Even me, I was one of them; I wanted to go to where I could get more of the action by the security was tight,” he said, laughing.
The couple who was also excited they got some of the dropping balls from Marshmello’s performance recounted some of their best performnces on the night.
“My best performance for the night was; I don’t know the artistes’ name, but it was the one where they were all wearing white. They had black across their face. It was like a mental asylum. I like the fact that there were so many people involved and they were so organized,” Seun said.
For Izekeo, “There were quite a lot of other exciting performances, like Jason Derulo, David Guetta, Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj, and of course, Rosalia’s performance was amazing. She is Spanish and so the audience kept screaming her name.”
Was it an experience for two or what one could describe as an experience for one by two? The couple who have got two lovely girls agreed it was indeed an experience for two, as promised by MTV.
“It was an experience for two. Everything came in pairs. There was provision for both of us. We even had a double bedded room, just in case I came with a friend, and not a spouse. So, we had to push the bed close. She (Izekeo) even ended up sleeping on mine, and one of the beds was left empty. Indeed, it was an experience for two. Just a pity we couldn’t bring our kids.” Seun said, smiling.
For the mechanical engineer who works in an oil and gas company in Lagos, video editing is a passion that has brought him joy, outside his job of nine years. He said he grew up with the knack for perfection in audio visual works.
“I had some experiences with friends, even my dad worked with NTA. I had a lot of love for television. I’ve always had this passion and gift for editing videos and I always used to complain about Nollywood films. I just didn’t like some of the lazy approaches and lack of details. I’d always have a passion for finding how best to do it. I have edited a few clips that I tried to edit to international standard, to ensure that I get something close to what is obtainable outside. So when I saw an opportunity to do a video for the Lip Sync Challenge, I said let me just use this to prove myself. I then used the equipment that I have, which at the time was my phone, coupled with my editing skills and ability to think. I called up my brother and said to him, ‘I have this idea for MTV’. So, my brother helped me out to develop the flow of the video and we tried to edit it to look very close to a music video as much as possible, in a way that it would be fun and personal for a lip sync video. It took me about four hours to edit, and after finishing it, I had it on my phone. For me, it’s a hobby that has brought me joy, and this is one of the little joys.”
“Sometimes, I tried to imagine why the video won,” said Izekeo, who reasoned that “The theme was ‘because I’m happy’. And Most people can relate to that in their trying times, because naturally, we all try to be happy. And like I keep telling him, I think that the closing mark for that video really was the family; the children at the end of it. And of course, there was the simplicity of the children being there and you can actually tell that these are happy people naturally.”
Would he want to retire into some form of digital entertainment in the future? “I would say yes and no,” Seun said.
“For me, the industry in Nigeria is not as mature as what you find in western countries. The essence is that I have a wife and kids. I need to pay the bills, and if I start it up as a career, I might not be able to pay the bills or even give me the kind of lifestyle I want to live. Oil and gas pays pretty well, and it helps us to live the kind of life we want to live while enjoying our passion. But eventually, if the industry builds up to the level that it is ripe to understand and respect intellectual property; producing content, making stuff and being paid for what you make, it’s a possibility it is something I could do full-time.”
Just like many, the couple believes there was a spectacular moment for Africa at this year’s MTV EMA. For them, Tiwa Savage and Janet Jackson made that happen.
According to Seun, that moment was when Tiwa came on stage. “You know there was a part during the award show that they wanted to appreciate international artistes and they brought someone from Africa, South America, Latin America, and Tiwa Savage got to speak on stage, and because I was close to her, I kept on shouting Tiwa! Tiwa!! And people were like who is she, and I said, ‘she’s from my country’. And everybody around started chanting Tiwa! Tiwa!!… that for me was a great moment for Africa because she stood in front of the world and said we are doing our own stuff and we are doing it well.”
Izekeo recalled the moment with Janet Jackson and the drummers, describing the outing as almost African.
“It was unbelievable for a woman of her age making those moves. Her performance was almost African. There was the Wakanda style to it, their outfit, the beauty the fire they kept blazing out, and for their dance steps and all the efforts put into it, and finally her speech about women and the strength she was trying to give the women. That shows that Africa is making a statement and people are coming to see Africa from the perspective of the rich heritage that we have, and not some exploited people that want to run away from their country.

…..Read directly from source

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