Saturday 13 February 2016

My $25,000 prize is for me, my family and boyfriend –#Shapira, Winner Techno Own the stage } Punch

Makepeace Shapira has become a millionaire overnight courtesy of a televised karaoke competition, Techno Own the Stage. She tells Saturday Beats about her experience on the show

Your name Shapira sounds foreign, is it your real name?

Yes, Shapira is my dad’s name. It is actually my surname. I am from Benue State, I call myself a positive Tiv girl.

You won in a karaoke competition but there is a difference being a karaoke singer and an actual singer. Do you think you have the qualities of a star?

Yes I have the makings of a star. Aside from it being a karaoke competition, we were judged based on our vocals and performances, so I believe that besides winning in a karaoke competition, I can stand on my own as I can also sing, perform, and write my own songs.

How did you become a singer?

It actually started in the university with a friend of mine who believed in me. When I was in Benue State University, I went to visit a friend who was into music. He just played some instrumentals to a song on his system and went to take his bath and by the time he came back, he met me rapping to the song. I started out as a rap artiste. He was shocked and insisted that I perform with him in a show he had that night. I went with him to the show, I performed and that was how I started. Before I knew it, I had become a university celebrity overnight.

Are you done with schooling?

Yes I am done with schooling. I am currently working as a teacher. I am a humble teacher.

So, how did a teacher get to know about Techno Own the stage competition?

It was through a friend, Ovie. He kept disturbing me about a show coming up which was sponsored by Techno. He said that he believed in me and encouraged me to go for it. As of then, I had practically given up on any competition because anytime I went for one, I never got far. I thought I didn’t have what it takes to win at competitions but he kept on insisting that I go for the competition.

On the day I was meant to go for the competition, I almost forgot because I was sleeping. He called me and told me he was at the venue and that I should start coming. I had to rush there. I wasn’t even prepared and I didn’t believe that I was going to be picked because I heard that they only needed about five people out of a whole pool of Nigerians that were present there. When I was picked, I felt so privileged.

How many competitions have you tried out before this one?

A lot. I have been to MTN Project Fame at least twice. I was at the Nigerian Idols about twice. I was also in Nokia First Chance but I didn’t go far before I was kicked out.

What are you going to do with the $25,000 prize money?

To be honest, the main reason I participated in this competition was to get the prize money and to sing. Now I get to keep the prize money and also sing because I am going to get a record deal for free. It is a privilege for me. Besides, I am going to work with celebrities and to me, that is a very big deal.

As for the prize money, I am going to invest it because I don’t believe in spending all the money right now on buying a car, land, or house. I would want to invest that money and make it yield returns. When the money yields returns in large sums, then I will be able to do what I need to do like buying a car for my daddy and something special for my mother.

Did it come as a surprise to you that you won the competition?

I am actually surprised I won because I saw Nandy as a serious contender. The girl is good and she has got stage presence. I was scared when my microphone stopped working and I thought that would count against me but alas, I was called upon as the winner and I was very happy.

What would you say worked for you in this competition?

The vocal coaches always told us to have confidence and I believe that was what worked for me. No matter how nervous I was, I had to conceal it and continue with my performance. Even when the microphone stopped working, I kept on singing because I knew that the show must go on.

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