Oct 30, 2011

Zuchobeni takes home Kids for Fame-3

by Al Ngullie

Easily the most pitch-perfect of the lot, preteen Zuchobeni Tungoe of Dimapur crooned her way to the winner’s podium to demolish the singing contest for “kids,” the Kids for Fame Season-3, during the event’s finals October 30, at Dimapur Club tonight. 

For someone her age, a surprisingly polished Tungoe out-sang close finalists Meyinaro Changkija and Gifty Shitiri to win the third edition of the singing competition, which now doles a cash prize of Rs.2 Lakh and an “educational scholarship” to boot aside from other gifts. 

 Yet again, the lovelier ones had completely demolished the boys – all the three survivors were girls. Save for a number toward the end of the competition, the youthful but strongly professional and confident talents performed on soundtracks. Still very young, pretty as daisies, hugely-talented, nervous and silently dying in their high heels, the three contestants led the music enthusiasts to a treat. 

Dressed in a white frock, a shy Shitiri opened a pleasant Dimapur evening with American band Six Pence None The Richer’s 1997 hit “Kiss Me.” While not much of a stage performer and primarily clueless during interludes in the backing, Shitiri implored for a pucker or two from an encouraging audience – comprising parents, friends and of course insatiable Dimapur music fans. She won the kisses, cheer-wise of course.

The second finalist to perform was a charming Meyinaro Changkija. Dressed beautifully in black and wings yet looking as vulnerable as a lily, young Changkija proved to be an exceptionally brave fighter. She battled bad pitches and a stumble in the chorus to hold up Miley Cyrus’ ‘The Climb’ as any true professional would. “Ain’t what’s waiting on the other side… It’s gonna be another battle,” she sang as the audience encouraged her to the hilt.

Following Changkija for the countdown, the third finalist in-performance, a quietly confident Zuchobeni Tungoe sang Sherrie Austin’s ‘Streets of Heaven.” Easily the most poised and controlled of the singers, Tungoe flawlessly delivered – notwithstanding CD skips in the soundtrack – the Australian singer’s Billboard #18 2003 hit. With the natural, yet, polished timbre that she has, Tungoe set the standard for the evening’s second and final round. 

Prior to the final round, the Pheto Music Association event also saw performances from former Kids for Fame winners and finalists, including season two’s winner Asheni. Chairman of Khadi & Village Industry and Advisor to the Music Task Force Dr. Nicky Kire addressed the audience during the intermission to the performance. 

Not wanting to prevent the audience from enjoying the music, chief guest Dr. Kire explained that he would speak “only one word.” A music enthusiast and a devotee of the microphone himself, the legislator spoke a 5-minute long one word. Concluding his speech, the MLA encouraged Naga talents that only those who are serious about music, there is a living to be made out of it. 

Also in attendance, Deputy Commissioner of Dimapur Mrs. Husheli was honored with flowers “as she is the only woman among the guys.” The Dimapur administrator was the only woman among the slew of “male” dignitaries, the audience realized later.  

In the second round, besides individual performances, the three finalists performed a trio before it turned into a quartet – upcoming Naga musician Alobo Naga joined the stage to sing “What are words,” by former American Idol contestant Chris Medina, with Zuchobeni, Meyinaro and Gifty. 

(From Top: Zuchobeni Tungoe, Meyinaro Changkija and Gifty Shitiri during the final event of Kids for Fame season 3, DImapur) 

All photographs by Sorei Mahong

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