The essence of this initiative is to boost discovery opportunities for less privileged youths gifted in the performing arts. This we achieve by scouting for raw talents in locations where the living conditions of young people are below standards also in places where access to Internet or advanced technology is limited. After this is done, we go through a period of selection, auditioning, training, mentoring and showcase through talent hunt competitions or involvement in a creative project.
In 2010, 2011, this project effectively took forty young people through the rigours and excitement of preparing for a performance and in the process values such as timeliness and confidence have been instilled in the participants.
Six winners who emerged since inception, have begun to use their gifts as a stepping-stone for earning a living. Bidemi Akinade who was our overall winner of the talent hunt in 2010 has graduated from the university and presently works for a radio station. Nikki Laoye, an award-winning singer, mentored Bidemi. Phillipa who was second place, gained admission into university after the competition and after being mentored by Onos Ariyo an award-winning musician.
MC. Jossy who was our first winner in comedy after being mentored by Koffi a popular standup comedian in Nigeria, presently makes a living by using his gift. This has assisted him in funding his university education. Koffi also mentored MC Osuji, who was our winner in comedy in 2011 and he also makes a living through standup comedy. Presently he is an On-air personality on radio and stars in the very popular Standup Naija show. Shola Better is a young dancer who also came out tops in her category in 2011. After being trained by Dayo Liadi has become a fine contemporary African Dancer, who is still pursuing her dreams in this area
In September 2012, Street Project Ambassadors was inaugurated as a hub for the over forty beneficiaries of this initiative. Going forward, Project Raw is evolving to become a more inclusive initiative that allows more youths get involved in the mentoring process to a stage of refinement where they can be involved in film, stage or other big performing arts project. It is expected that the workshop process will transform a raw talent into a refined talent of sort in the performing arts.
The process of discovery has also inspired a new vision, which is to facilitate the creation of the largest online talent community in Africa. A pool from which producers, directors, film makers and even marketing companies can identify, train and engage them in life changing projects that will empower them financially, materially and mentally. This we have begun to achieve in Lagos Nigeria and we plan to spread organically to different parts of the country and Africa.