John Ngamwahl, the overall winner of Africa Online Voices (AOV) season two took home five awards this month as the season came to a close.
The South Sudanese citizen was in tears upon hearing his name called out as the champion of the season at the award ceremony held at Clarence Hotel, Westlands. “AOV gave me the ability to smile again,” said John.
In 2019, John lost everything as a result of a bad accident that left him in a wheelchair; his business, three cars and even his fiancé. He was left in debt as a result of hefty medical bills, money that was meant to correct damage made to his spinal cord.
“I was in despair, I didn’t know what would become of my life. But here I am today,” added John who got to know about the competition on Facebook.
AOV is an online music training and competition platform developed by the legendary Hellen Mtawali. So far, it has attracted young people beyond the Kenyan border with a number of increasing tokens set for season three – such as juicier contracts with top music producers.
“This started out as Facebook Vocalists where I would conduct trainings online, 150 people showed interest. As soon as I started giving exams some dropped out but those that stayed, joined me in class sessions for further nurturing of their gifts,” says Hellen.
Susan Mwalimu was the winner of The Vocalist category, Ruguru Kinyua won the Social Media award. Other categories included The Leadership Award, International Ambassador for AOV amongst others.
Chief guests for season two’s award ceremony included; June Nyakan the C.E.O of Timeless Woman of Wonder and MCA Mbula Mutula from Makueni Constituency. Judges were; Ian Mbugua of TPF fame, Naema Murundi, Tabitha Ogango of Glory Voices, Linet Nguru from Rwanda, Evelyn Amos Shil amongst others.
The judges of AOV season two included; Brian Nyagah, Scharmien Chebet, Karen Mbugua, Joy Maria, Alicia Wambui, Vivian Wambui.
The show has been gaining traction with each passing season.