After a grueling three months and two weeks, 23-year-old Ivy Njeri Githaiga can finally smile after she proved she can actually sing.
The young woman, who sacrificed her education to pursue a career in music, wowed thousands of music lovers who appreciated her prowess and voted her the star of KTN I can Sing Season 2 show.
When her name was called out as the show’s winner, the emotional songstress shed tears of joy. She would be driving out of Nairobi Cinema -- now renamed Nairobi Film Centre -- to her home in Laikipia County, in a brand new Hyundai worth Sh3.7 million.
Githaiga could also not believe she would be packing her bags for a fully paid four-day holiday in Dubai.
When she jets back, she hopes to pursue a career in music and inspire upcoming musicians.
But it was not a walk in the park as she had to battle 20 other talented competitors to get the prize.
At times, she lived on the brink, afraid of being kicked out of the competition whenever the judges put her on probation. Three times the judges put her at the mercy of the public, but the audience never let her down. They voted for her until she was declared the winner.
The gala event was held on Friday night and was attended by three other finalists -- Chris Barr and brothers Jose-Jay and Vee -The One.
An elated Ivy described her win as a gift and a favour from God. “This is a dream come true for me. I never expected to win, even though I always knew that someday God would elevate me,” she said.
Her fellow finalists congragulated her, saying she deserved to win. “My strategy and strength to the grand final is as a result of my switch of mind after the probation having realised that it was a tough competition and I needed to up my game,” said Barr, one of the finalists.
“I am humbled and glad to have reached the finals,” said Jose-Jay.
His brother Vee welcomed the outcome, saying any one of them could have won.
Judges Hellen Mtawali, Philip Fela Tuju and Yvone DarQ commended and encouraged the four finalists and wished them success in their musical expeditions.
The event, which was organised by the Standard Group and Kenya Film Classification Board, attracted guests from all walks of life, including KFCB boss Ezekiel Mutua who was the chief guest. It was hosted by KTN’s Chero and Dan Otieno.
To grow talent
Standard Group PLC Chief Executive Officer Orlando Lyomu, who announced the winner, described the event as a platform for celebrating and rewarding local talent besides sustaining the future of the local music industry.
“Not only have we witnessed very powerful performances from the contestants but seen talent at its best,” Lyomu said.
“We have managed to not only polish local talent, but also make it economically viable going by the standards set by us. It is our prayer that the platform will continue with its mission to grow and explore talent in regards to art and culture in Kenya and beyond.”
Joe Munene, the Managing Director Broadcast Division, Standard Group PLC, said: “Unlike the last season which was widely driven by judges, this time, the winner was determined by both the public and the judges who played an equal role in ensuring transparency and fairness.”
Other guests who attended the event were Burundi ambassador to Kenya Remy Barampama, representatives from the Embassy of France, Viva Kenya, Sarova Hotels and CMC.
Other sponsors of the event were CFC Kenya, Ford CMC, Mamu Travels, Sarova Hotels, Mayura Pace and Viva Africa Consulting.