Robotic dancer Tolu wins Hackney youth talent show, Alter Ego

A robotic dancer was the star of the show on Friday night as crowds packed into the Hackney Empire to see the best youth talent Hackney has to offer.

Tolu Okamnlawon, 17, beat 11 other contestants with his incredible dance moves to take away the Alter Ego talent show title.

Jermaine Jackman, a 17-year old singer captivated audiences with his version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow to come a close second, while 16-year old Jess Furneaux came third with a performance showing off deft finger work on her electric guitar.

Funny man Kat B of MTV fame, and more recently for his role as ugly step sister Victiqua in the Empire’s Christmas panto was the host for the evening.

Other finalists included 17-year old Rapper Ritz; solo dancer Jasmyn Fisher- Ryner, 14, singers, Zoe Sadler, 16, Renee Dennie, and Tiana Thomas, 17, 15-year old rapper, and beatboxer, Khallum Caller, 15-year old illusionist Milly Croft and band Allanah Joy and the Scooters and Youngstarz.

The event was part of the Discover Young Hackney Festival which runs until the end of the month.

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council Cabinet member for health, social care and culture said in a statement: “Congratulations to everyone for a fantastic show and especially to this year’s winner Tolu.

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“I’m delighted that here in Hackney we can dedicate a months programme of events and activities for young people through Discover Young Hackney.

“This year it is one of the best yet, so why not try something new and maybe you’ll discover a new talent.”

For the full programme see