By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The annual Made In Benue, MIB, project will this year in Makurdi witness the maiden album launch of Andrew Orduen Ikon also known as OD WOODS, with the title IKONIC.
Addressing the media yesterday on behalf of the management of WoodHouse Entertainment, organizers of the MIB project, to mark the commencement of activities for the event, Mr. Ikon disclosed the annual event has grown in leaps and bounds saying that this year’s event scheduled for December 26 at the New Castle Event Centre in Makurdi would host artists from within and outside the state.
“What we basically do with Made In Benue is that we felt the need to have a youth inclined gathering that entertains and showcases the talents and culture of Benue state.
“We gather the people every end of the year and entertain them, show them the talents that the youths of Benue state have, possibly export what we have from Benue state, in terms of talents and culture to the rest of the world.
“We have also included the Made In Benue Magazine, which is like a yellow page magazine for Benue state that shows you everything that you need to know about the state.
“It basically shows you every important place in Benue and where you can find whatever you need in the state.
“We didn’t just do a hard copy magazine, we also did the soft copy of it which is available on www.madeinbenue.com. We are doing this to make sure that we have the right information about Benue state out there because those of us that are living outside the state pursuing our careers hear a lot about the state and most of what we hear is the wrong information.
“We know that wrong information circulates on its own but nobody wants to spend their time and money to circulate the right information. So we took it upon ourselves to create a brand that beams the light on Benue state in the right manner.
“It shows you the good things about the state and shows you where to find the things that Benue state has to offer. These includes the mineral resources, good food, agricultural endowment and potentials, the talents and the people.
“We also included in the Made In Benue project, the Made In Benue Awards, Excellence In Service Award, which is supposed to encourage and appreciate Benue sons and daughters that are representing the state very well in their individual careers within and outside the country.
“We will select them yearly to say well done, we see what you are doing and Benue state is proud of you. So we give the Excellence in Service Award to a couple of people every year.
“This will encourage and also inspire other people to emulate the awardees to use their offices and talents to impact humanity and the society.
“So we have been doing that for five years and this year is the sixth year and there is an addition to what we are doing this year which is my first official album launch. I will put up my album launch being my first this year and it is titled IKONIC.
“Why the name IKONIC you may ask? It’s because I am dedicating that album to my late father, Mr. Clement Ikon because all my life, everything that I’ve learnt, what built and shaped me into a man is my experience with my late dad which I’ll be sharing a lot on my album launch.
“I went to five Secondly schools and schooled in different Local Government Areas in Benue state. We were seven in my family but everywhere my father went he took me. I didn’t know why but he would always carry me.
“Every other person would go to boarding house but I’d stay by his side; and went on and on like that. And everything he taught me, shaped me and got me ready for what I didn’t know I was going to face in life.
“So when I stepped outside of Benue state and I started living in Jos and then moved to Lagos, every experience that I had, made me determined and strong to follow my dreams even though I had no family, nobody out there. So my first album, I thought it would be right to dedicate it to the man that helped shape who I am today.
“That is why the album is titled IKONIC and there are lots of songs in the album. A lot of people and artists featured in the album and they are all going to be here on December 26, 2021 at the New Castle Event Centre in Makurdi. Artists from within and outside the state will all gather here in Makurdi on that date to launch the album and also celebrate the annual Made In Benue event.
“There is a lot of work involved in putting this together. So I and and the rest of my team will do our best but we are calling on everybody that has investment in Benue state or even outside, people that love to encourage the youths to use their God given talent or craft to be useful to the society, to themselves and their families, to come out and find a way to support the Made In Benue brand.
“They can sponsor or partners with us, so that we can continue to carry on with the great project as an annual event. We are all open to partnerships, sponsorships, support from anybody and everybody.”
Also speaking, The President of Benue Youth Forum, BYF, Comrade Terence Kuanum disclosed that the BYF was partnering the MIB project because they share similar ideals and vision for the state.
According to Comrade Kuanum, “the Benue Youth Forum found it worthy to promote talents that come out of Benue and in doing that project we count it more desiring to partner with the Made In Benue project owing to the fact that the project is a wide brand that is going to grow to promote all the good things that we have in Benue because at the end of the day, and as a generation, it is through Made In Benue that we truly want to showcase what we have as a people in Benue and what we want the world to know about us.
“So this year during the sixth anniversary we shall all come out as youths in Benue to team up with the Made In Benue brand and collaborate with them and expand the scope of the event to bring on board so many other talents that are coming out of Benue.
“If you have been following what is happening, you will realize that we have been celebrating excellence in Benue. Only recently, a student of Benue made a First Class at the University of Calabar and we celebrated him here. We celebrated our son that went to Big Brother house, we also celebrated the first runner-up of Nigerian Idol.
“We have incorporated all that in the Made In Benue project to be able to exhibit exactly, what we have in Benue because that brand is so huge and when we look at it, we found it worthy to associate with.
“So we want to officially make it known to everybody that Benue youths, under the Benue Youths Forum will be partnering with the Made In Benue project. And we are also going to speak with government to be able to assist this project so that we will be able to expand it and involve every Benue youth. It I not going to be selective, it is going to be broad to accommodate everybody.”