D'banj to host African version of US show

Nigerian artist D'Banj will be hosting the television show Lip Sync Battle Africa. Originally shown in the US and anchored by rap star LL Cool J and model Chrissy Teigen, the show presents celebrity contestants putting on a lip syncing singing performance to popular songs. Already, the show has been adapted in China, the United Kingdom, Indonesia and a few other countries.


Every edition will have the Nigerian star team up with Pearl Thusi, a South African presenter for the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Together they anchor the program, which like its US predecessor, features celebrity, music and some humour. Recording takes place in a Johannesburg, South Africa studio.

"We met...at the Glo-CAF Awards," D'Banj said about his first encounter with his co-host, "where I was scheduled to perform, and I asked her: 'What are you doing here?' and we got talking and we just had great chemistry. So when I got the email telling me that it would be me and her, I said, 'yes.'"

The deal is quite the catch for D'Banj who has just released 'Emergency' perhaps his most well-received single in his home country in recent times. Working with a South African is sure to boost his profile in that country, where he remains immensely popular. And although he has appeared on numerous TV shows and was a guest judge on Dancing With Peter, the dancing show helmed by Peter Okoye of P-Square, this would be his first appearance as TV show host.

Speaking about his relative inexperience, he said, " I am an entertainer, and performer, and I am very excited to be able to do something of this nature, and also with an experienced presenter."

The more experienced Thusi was as complimentary, saying that when she learned "that I was working with him, I got a sense of calm," adding that she "really can handle this. I really think I'm fun, smart, sassy and spicy. And the show needs all those stuff." 

Lip Sync Battle Africa premieres in April. Stations airing the show include MTV Base and MTV.


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