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The Family - Is This Is a Fair Depiction...

For a while now I had been hearing about the series on Channel 4 called the family but had never watched it as I thought it would be another one of those programmes that just paints the Nigerian family (or black family generally) in the wrong light.

Last night I so happened to have the TV on Channel 4 and I saw a little bit of The Family, now to my surprise I saw my late mums friend and my aunty Vicky - no blood relation (everyone that is older than you in Nigeria is called either Aunty or Uncle), and was I in a state of shock or what as Aunty Vicky is my favourite aunty (cos of her cooking) as I regularly go to her restaurant Aso Rock to buy my Pounded Yam and Oxtail.

So upon seeing the clips I had know choice but to go to 4OD and watch all the back episodes, yes I have been up all night watching the 6 episodes and I found them quite intriguing, especially seeing a Nigerian family involved in a fly on the wall documentary.

The biggest problem I have with a programme like this is whether Julie (Bayo) is for real, as to be honest I so do not like her. I think she is brash, aggressive, disrespectful and rude. But is it all an act just for TV or is that the real her? For me whichever one it is I still don't like her. However she did add some good flavour to the programme which I suppose without her it may have been a bit boring and it is clear to see that the producers centred the programme around her as she was the spark in the programme.

As an aside those of you that speak Yoruba will love the translation as with any translation it is never really accurate and Aunty Vicky says some great stuff during the series that are not actually translated.

I think we need a few more of these type of programmes and Channel 4 should be commended for being brave enough to do something different and as far as I am concerned different.

Fashions Finest Renaissance 

London Fashions Week Show..

Mahogany Events in conjunction with Fashions Finest Magazine will be holding a series of fashions shows starting on Sunday January 16th and Sunday January 30th 2011.

We will be having a special London Fashion Week Show on Sunday 20th February. We have places for 6 designers only.

The shows are aimed at brand new or emerging designers as well as established designers that want to use these shows to either launch themselves or a brand new collection that they have. The shows will be held at a classy West End Venue. The aim of the shows is to give designers the opportunity to showcase their collections in an affordable and very classy way, in a fantastic venue with professional models.

The fashion evenings are open to all designers of all genres from urban to swimwear, to couture - whatever type of clothes you design you may participate. For further information on how to be involved email us

If you would like  to attend the fashions shows they are free to everyone on the guest list.

Mahogany Bridal Show 2011...

Taking place on 20th March 2011, if you would like to be involved in Europe's Largest African Caribbean Bridal Show then visit MAHOGANY BRIDAL SHOW for more information.

Screen Nation Christmas Party...

The celebrity event of the year took place on Thursday 16th December and a number of celebrities braved the near artic conditions to attend the party.

Josey Darby and Charles Thompson Screen Nation Creator

TMC Winners Jason and Nana

          TMC 2010 Nana and Actor Chucky Venn

Gambian Actress Fatima Jabbe and X Factor Contestant Natasha

News In Brief...

Face of Fashion4Africa...

Congratulations to Samira Hashi on winning Face of Fashion4Africa and to Yvonne Akwetey and being 1st runner up. It was also good to see Matthew Mensah (Catwalk the World) who was the head judge.


Very simple - GO AWAY

Merry Christmas...

Everyone at Mahogany and Fashions Finest would like to thank everyone for all the support and love you have given us throughout the year. 


A Dramatic Few Weeks...

I hope you all have been either reading or listening to the news, it is important that you keep up with what is happening within the world, even if it is only to exercise the muscles in your brain. I do know that some peoples brain muscles have completely wasted away, at least that cannot be said for those of you that are advent readers of my blog.

There has been a lot happening both in the UK and abroad, so let’s do a quick catch up...

The British World Cup 2018 Bid...

I am going to get straight to the point and say that the British can sometimes be the most arrogant people in the world, what gives them the right to say that because they sent their so called 3 lions (David Cameron – British Prime Minister, David Beckham - famous footballer and Prince William – future king of England) to front their bid that the whole world must bow and give them the world cup to host in 2018. Something must have been seriously wrong with how people perceive the English bid as they only got TWO, yes two votes out of 22, of which one of them was by their own British representative. Then as soon as they lost they said, things within FIFA (the world football association) must change as how could Russia get the bid over them.

Sepp Blatter FIFA President
I cannot be sure if the Sunday Times fraud expose and the Panorama programme once again on fraud within FIFA had an effect on their bid, but I definitely don't think it helped being done 2 days before the vote was to take place. Whichever way you want to look at it you can’t bite the hand that feeds you. I don't often agree with Sepp Blatter (president of FIFA) but on this occasion I do, as I feel the British have been very sore losers. Someone please tell me what gives England the right to assume that they must be given the world cup by right and when they have not been given it then they scream foul.

I must be honest as I am not sure why Qatar was awarded the 2022 world cup but FIFA for a while have stated that they wanted the world cup to move around the whole world.

Not sure if any of you can remember but the British conducted a very negative programme against South Africa when they won the bid to host the world cup, saying  that South Africa was crime ridden and every visitor that goes to the South African world cup would be robbed or murdered in their sleep, did that happen?  NO. The English need to wake up and remember that colonialism is over and we no longer have to vote for you. By the way you got the Olympics, the rugby world cup, the cricket world cup etc and the only you did not get was the football world cup – come on now!

Wiki Leaks...

I am all for freedom of speech which is why I can write my blog and say things the way I want to say them and in theory this is what Wiki Leaks is attempting to do. However freedom of speech sometimes must be done with caution as it could put people lives at risk and cause tension between nations which is very dangerous. But on a separate issue Julian Assange the founder of Wiki Leaks is in big trouble, he is currently on remand under a European arrest warrant for allegedly committing sexual assaults against a number of women in Sweden, being the sceptic that I am I believe that the sexual assault charges will be used to shut him down or find a way to have him extradited to the United States. Generally people are not remanded to custody for sexual assault cases particularly when their passport has been seized and the accused is ready to pay a very high bail fee. If he is extradited to Sweden, then I feel sorry for him as I expect the Americans to request his extradition to the states once they can come up with some charges against him – which they will do. I read that one top US politician said he should be executed for what he has been doing with Wiki Leaks – a bit extreme when you consider that he did not steal the documents but they were provided to him by American personnel and all he has done is publish them.

America being the super power that it is has exerted it might on the likes of Visa, Master Card, PayPal and Amazon to stop servicing Wiki Leaks and the world is retaliating in turn by trying to bring down the servers of these companies as we are now enter the age of Cyber Warfare. This one will go on and on.

Top Model of Colour After Party and Mahogany Christmas Party...

Now it is party time and on the 18th December everyone is invited to come and party hard with all of the TMC finalist and 100’s of beautiful models and people from the fashion and entertainment world and of course the press. As with everything Mahogany does we want as many people as possible to come and party free of charge (see below).

This hot party will be held at KC’s Bar – 149 Holloway Road, London N7 8DD on 3 floors, from 10pm to 5am There is a guest list which is free before 12 midnight. If people are not on the guest list or they arrive after 12 the entry fee is £10 per person. You must Submit your own name along with those of your guests to me by email  (preferably) or by text on 07971 388687.


Fashions Finest Renaissance Fashions Shows..

Mahogany Events in conjunction with Fashions Finest Magazine will be holding a series of fashions shows starting on Sunday January 16th & Sunday January 30th 2011. The shows are aimed at brand new or emerging designers as well as established designers that want to use these shows to either launch themselves or a brand new collection that they have. The shows will be held every 2 to 3 weeks at a classy West End Venue. The aim of the shows is to give designers the opportunity to showcase their collections in an affordable and very classy way, in a fantastic venue with professional models.

The fashion evenings are open to all designers of all genres from urban to swimwear, to couture - whatever type of clothes you design you may participate. For further information on how to be involved email us

If you would like  to attend the fashions shows they are free to everyone on the guest list, please email names and the date you would like to attend to 

Naomi Campbell Makes the Right Headlines...

Naomi Campbell attended the 2010 British Fashion Awards where she was honoured for her contribution to fashion and whilst being interviewed she was asked whether she thought there were enough women of colour within mainstream fashion and it was nice to hear her say that she felt that things had gone backwards and that there were in fact fewer models of colour being used within the mainstream fashion industry than ever before. Today I have spent a lot of time speaking to various media outlets about my views on this matter and I for one have been saying this for a while now and you if you go back to my previous blogs, soon after fashion week I stated that there were far fewer models on the catwalks at London Fashion Week so this is nothing new – its a pity I don't have Naomi Campbell’s influence.

Ms Campbell said 

"When I look at the shows this season, there weren't as many as a year-and-a-half ago. We've got to keep speaking out, so as boring as it may be, if you hear me saying it over and over again I have to stand up for my fellow comrades.
"It's not for myself, but the younger girls who come up to me and say, 'We didn't get used this season, we didn't do this, someone used 81 models and didn't use one of us'. In that respect if they come up and talk to me, and I'm able to speak on their behalf, then I will."

It is sad that it is only when we make noise we get a bit of change but as soon as we feel things have changed and we stop complaining things quietly go back to normal. The only way that we will ever have permanent change and for things to improve is by us hurting these companies where it hurts most which is in their pockets and this can only be done by boycotting the companies, including the British Fashion Council, Vauxhall Fashion Scout, London Fashion week and mainstream magazines etc that refuse to promote us and reflect the cultural diversity of the country we live in.

So well done to Naomi Campbell and the Evening Standard for once again putting the issue out there.

New in Brief...

Miss Elegant...

Picture Courtesy Kenneth Asia
I was asked to event manage the Miss Elegant beauty pageant (which even if I say so myself was a great success). However it had one major issue which was that two days before the show it was hit with a potential law suit for trademark infringement  and it managed to stave off legal action from the legal team of the Miss World organisers. I won’t go into the nitty gritty but they were able to resolve the issue and the show went ahead.

Word of warning just because you can register a domain or company name with companies house it does not mean that you have the legal right to use that name and if you get it wrong it could cost you lots of money. So if you want to use a name that sounds similar to something that is already in existence I would suggest that you check out the rights to use the name with the patent office.

By the way asking your friends that know nothing about these type of issues does not help, as they have no idea of the law or what they are talking about when they advise you to go ahead and use a name that is not rightfully yours to use, they won’t help you when you you get sued and have to pay out £1000’s in compensation.

ACM Fashion Show London 2010...

Alongside the likes of Yemi (Kosibah Creations), Ola Shobowale, Shady Blue and Lara from Genevieve Magazine (a top Nigerian magazine) I attended this brand new fashion show. It was a very entertaining evening and was a mixture of fashion and entertainment.  I had a nice evening out.

Face4 Africa...

Mr Mahogany will be co hosting with award winning Sporah of the Sporah Show the Face4Africa competition. The battle is on for the new Face For Fashion4Africa model contest taking place on Saturday, 11th December 7pm till late at Covent Garden’s legendary Africa Centre. Fifteen models from the African continent take to the runway to battle for the title as the Face of Fashion4Africa. So if you will feel like a fun night out come down and join me and the beautiful models competing to be the face for Face4Africa.

Mahogany Bridal Show...

Taking place on 20th March 2011, if you would like to be involved in Europe's Largest African Caribbean Bridal Show then visit MAHOGANY BRIDAL SHOW for more information.

Miss Nigeria UK...

Taking place on the 11th December at the Porchester Hall, I have no idea why I am promoting this as they never invite me or respond to any press information so we can assist them in promoting the event on Fashions Finest – please how do they promote this event – I am lost, anyway enough said.

Screen Nation Christmas Party...

The celebrity event of the year is taking place on Thursday 16th December (at a mystery venue). As a sophisticated networker and supporter of fashion, arts & cinema you are cordially invited to attend the Screen Nation Christmas Soiree at a luxury NW London venue. Music headlined by the award winning DJ Abrantee of Choice FM plus DJ Nevada. Imagine bumping into Colin Salmon or Angelica Bell or watching Solaman Kalaou & Nathalie Emmanuel strut the latest moves or just networking with other inspirational people. This will be a truly memorable night allowing you to mingle freely with countless familiar faces from the worlds of TV, Film, Theatre Music & Sports include former nominees, winners and guest presenters. You know how they do. Confirmed and invited guests include stars of Eastenders, X Factor, Big Brother, Hollyoaks, The Apprentice, top Comedians, Premiership footballers, Olympic champions PLUS a sprinkling of your favourite Film, TV, Sports & Music stars, top Promoters, Agents, Managers and PR Executives. Stars of Fela, exclusive new British movie trailers, top BBC comedians and artists confirming.

Select Guest list VIP ACCESS with complimentary Cocktail, Canapés & Gift bags (very early birds only) Pre-pay £25 to guarantee entry 

Mr Mahogany will be there along with the winners of TMC 2010, Nana Afua & Jason Best.

Moan and Groan...

You have to admire the students for mobilising and protesting against the rise in student fees and it does remind me of my old school days when we protested and I must admit do our own little rioting back in Lagos (of course I never rioted), our catch phrase at the time was “Ali must go”. In this sad country where we agree to anything that throw at us, it is refreshing to see people fight for something they believe in (by the way I am not in any way condoning the violence that has taken place).

Let me ask you a few questions how many of you have complained at the rising council tax bills, the slow but steady increase in petrol prices and the general increase in the cost of living? Yes, most of you have but have you done anything about it? NO. Why not? Because we live in Englannnnnnnd and in England when someone slaps you, you turn the other cheek and say please, please, please slap me again. It’s a bit like the story above about the lack of black models within mainstream fashion industry. There is power in solidarity and in protesting and protesting does not necessarily mean you must go on marches or violently protest, it can be done by simply writing letters of complaint to your local MP or organisations that are treating you bad or boycotting people that refuse to use us in their advertising campaigns.

Since the issue with Tommy Hilfiger I made a stance to never ever buy his goods again, but not everyone is prepared to make such stands. My view on this is if someone is treating you bad and you can’t be bother to write a letter, send an email or officially complain then stop moaning and groaning and complaining because by your silence you deserve to be treated the way you are treated. Sorry people I know this may hurt but its the truth and when I go to the airport and as a Nigerian you try and treat me differently from other airline passengers, I pick up my pen and write a strong letter of complaint and in return I get a letter of apology and a promise for change and if that does not happen I take my hard earned money elsewhere.

If you hit people where it hurts in their pocket they will change.

Well done to the students, as even though they did not get the student fees overturned they at least had concessions made to them to try and appease them, that is what happens when you complain and the Americans have learnt that which is why you don't mess with them.

Top Model of Colour Review – Is it True or Not?

It is so hard doing a review of your own show and I am sure some of you are thinking that’s ok, let’s see what he has to say and whether he will say it as it is or not especially after he has sometimes come down hard on other peoples shows.  This may be a bit long but I want to ensure that I cover everything so you don't come back and say that I was hiding things.

I will start by congratulating Nana Afua (female winner)  & Jason Best (male winner) the winners of TMC UK 2010.

When I get things wrong and things don't go according to plan it is only right for me to say it and I must start by apologising at the fact that we started 6 minutes late (I thought it was 4 minutes but I was informed that it was 6 minutes), and even within that time I heard that some people were already questioning that when were we going to start, I do accept the criticism and fully understand that even though 98% of these type of shows that I go to and I am sure that some of you attend notice that they tend to start an or more late. This however does not mean that I should be bigging up Mahogany or feel that we are good when we only started 6 minutes late, late is late (I do have a good excuse though but it might look that I am being defensive – well done to Homdiggy for starting our intro music exactly on time at 8pm).
L to R  Ibukun (TMC 2008), Vicky (TMC 2008), Paula TMC 2009 & Emmanuel (TMC 2009)

I am trying to deal with the things that did not work first and get them out of the way and later on hopefully I can say what did work – I don't want any of you to think that I am dealing with the good things first and then will sneak in the bad things at the end.

We had a MAJOR  problem with the food for the VIPs, a lot of people were either not served on time or at all and for those that did get food in some cases it was cold and there were also some issue with people getting there drinks on time – (I heard there were no problems at all with people that purchased food). Unfortunately as much as I see myself as a fixer as this was not in my direct control there was absolutely nothing that could be done to resolve this but I would like to thank my staff that did their utmost to resolve things especially Redz & Claudia and sincerely apologise to EVERYONE that was affected.

The final thing which I felt was an issue and this is from me wanting to be a perfectionist, is that for the film crew and the photographers we got the lighting wrong and this does upset me as we spent an enormous amount of money on this aspect of the show. The great thing about this is that the audience all felt it looked great and were extremely expressed, so this was more of an issue for the film crew and the photographers – sorry guys.

Nathifa Douet designed the set and created the ambiance of the venue and I think she did a great job and she was fully supported by Tama Ra Event Designers who has worked with us on ALL of our shows for over 10 years, did all the table settings and chair covers – just making the whole effect beautiful. I personally think Nathifa and Tama Ra worked well together as a team and this was proven by what they produced.

When it comes to artist I don't normally like to criticise them but after giving a specific brief to the person that booked one of the comediennes for us, I must say he was a disaster and a number of the audience were highly offended by his jokes so at some point I had no choice but to end it by playing music. A valuable lesson I learnt here was I must do much more research on the acts I book. However the comedienne Glenda Jaxson was hot but I had to cut her time as we were slightly over schedule and I wanted to finish on time – these are the hard decisions I have to make when I am event managing a show. K’son the singer wowed the models during the swimwear with his sultry voice and I am reliably informed that the women loved him

Neecie our female host was amazing and pulled the whole show together, she looked fantastic in the 2 dresses designed specifically for her by one of the UK’s hottest up and coming designers – Shi Dolor. Seriously people if you need a hot outfit for that great event you need to talk to her to do one for you. David our male host was good and he did look good. I am aware that some of these fashion designer names were hard to pronounce but my advice to all presenters is you must learn how to pronounce any given name at a show. But between them they kept the show going and they worked extremely hard and had to put up with me talking in there ear throughout the show whilst they were presenting and I think that bearing that for most shows, they do not wear ear pieces whilst working and have directors continuously giving them instructions they did a remarkable job.

We had judges come from a wide array of the fashion industry and from as far away as the Netherlands. Normally I am able to look at the finalist and say I expect this person to win and these ones to make it through the top 11 etc. But this year I and my team had no idea as to whom would win and we thought that for both the male and female models it was one of the most open competitions ever. Mary Bello (was the head judge for the men) and along with Joseph Sinclair and last minute stand in judge Jade Fletcher (model agent and events organiser), by the way thank you for stepping at such short notice, they had the hard decision of naming Ashton Leon as second runner up, Jerone Goode as 1st runner up and the eventual winner Jason Best. It must have been extremely difficult for them as any one of the 7 male contestants could potentially have been in the top 3.

Leading the female judges was Afua Adom, with able assistance from Monica Van Halder (CEO of TMC Holland) and whom came over specifically to judge TMC UK from the Netherlands and of course Mr Gorgeous whom on the night was known as MR Nasty for giving the models good honest, constructive feedback (and even though some of you may not agree with his comments 95% of what he said to the models were the things that I and my team had been saying to the finalist during rehearsals. I do believe that they had a very very hard job and they were able (I don't know how) come up with a fantastic top 5, which included Cherry Gallow (5th), Siobhan Lewis (4th), Maggie Umo (3rd), Ujunwa Nwobodoh (2nd) and the winner Nana Afua.

TOP 5 - Siobhan, Uju, Nana, Maggie, Cherry

Top 3 - Jerone, Jason, Ashton

I have do a few shout outs to the makeup team Spikes makeup, hair was done superbly by Adeline Adebayo (sorry that you were outside in the cold for so long), Dorothy Tenkorang as head stylist did a great job pulling it all together and along with her fashion label - House of Abeytu did a great job dressing the models.

Every contestant put their heart and soul into the competition and I hope and pray that they will go on and do some fantastic things in their modelling careers, they had to put up with me for long periods and that in itself deserves an award and I do hope that after the majority get over the disappoint of not winning that they will realise that EVERYTHING we did was with an honest and open heart and was aimed at ensuring that after TMC they will leave will the knowledge and full understanding of the modelling industry and will be great ambassadors for all models of colour.


There is a saying that No Man is an Island and that is so true, as TMC would have been impossible without all of our sponsors (way too many to mention), all of the volunteers, including the entire back and front of house teams that made sure that the show ran as smoothly as possible as without them we would have had no show. But I must give special mention to a team of ladies (and and one guy) that have been with me and have worked on TMC for a number of years such as Redz who was our artist manager, Eva (who also was very bold as she agreed to be body painted and worked the red carpet like a superstar) and Gregory that our hospitality manager, Claudia who was our overall events manager and kept and eye on ensuring everything came together, Homdiggy international DJ and music producer who produced the opening fashion show music and as always did a great job with the music throughout the night.

For the first year ever TMC worked with a PR company, Sassi PR who did a tremendous job handling the 100’s of press enquiries we had from across the world, putting together the press evening and so much more.  We had press who specifically came over from as far afield as Nigeria and the Netherlands,

I kept to the end the last two, Tope (backstage Manager) and Amina (floor manager & judges liaison), yes I do have a lot of managers but that is what makes a show work. Anyway back to saying a special thank you to Tope and Amina who were both former contestants of TMC (so was Redz & Dorothy) and now for the past 3 years have worked not only within different aspects of the show but each year they have worked with me on producing the choreography  for the opening fashions shows and I am proud to say that each year we have always been able to produce something completely different and people can’t say that you know our style of you have seen that before. They both work tirelessly behind the scenes throughout the year pulling the whole show together, I love them dearly.

I have a couple of people that I know love to remain anonymous so I am not going to embarrass them by naming them but they know who they are and without their unwavering support TMC may not have gone ahead, true and good and special people are hard to find. My heart is touched.

Normally when I give a review I always end it by giving my thoughts on the show but as it is my show I am unable to do so and ask that you give your own reviews GOOD OR BAD, trust me I am man enough to take the bad along with the good.

Thank you to everyone that attended, my friends who supported me, my loves ones for being there for me and my sponsors for believing in us and of course to the MAIN MAN himself the Lord almighty – THANK YOU (sorry if this sounds like an OSCARS acceptance speech).

Moan and Groan

I have so been wanting to do this moan and groan for a while but as TMC had not yet happened I was FORCED to hold my tongue but now that it is over, some people better put on their bullet proof vests, riot police helmets and if you have the ability you better become immortal because I am about to fire some scud missiles.

As I was planning my show and as it drew closer I was inundated with 100’s of calls and emails and I am not exaggerating. from people that were asking for free tickets to the show. I do believe in the philosophy that if you don't ask you don't get BUT  when I try to explain to people that due to the enormous amount of people that I know that it is impossible to accommodate everyone, they then give me attitude about it and say such things “I am an events organisers and should be invited” or “I attend all events and am always invited for free” AND SO XXXXX WHAT.

This is not about being stingy or being hard but for me this is my business, my livelihood, I do this full time and I easily could have filled up the entire venue with freebies but how would I have paid for everything. I am in entertainment and get a lot people say when are you going to invite me to your event, you are so hard, you are so stingy – if that is how you feel fine but I can’t remember the last time those same people invited me to their staff meeting at work. I have no problem inviting people to my event if 1) they have assisted, supported or contributed to  Mahogany or 2) they give me work or 3) I want to potentially get work from them so I invite them to my shows so they can see what I do. But if you are just a person that does not contribute to me or Mahogany in anyway don't be calling me up to ask for a free ticket.

I am on a roll now, now the cheek of some people – they call me up to ask for a free ticket and they have not yet secured a comp ticket and they have the audacity to say I don't do standard it has to be a VIP ticket – see your mouth and VIP...

I have friends that I grew up with and have known for over 30 years and people that have worked with me on shows and when they called they did not ask for free tickets, they said I want to buy tickets and booked tables etc and booked at the level they felt they could afford and these are people that if they asked me for tickets I would find it hard to say no cos I know what they have done for me in my life but they recognise that this is my living.

Now I am sure some you event organisers can relate to the above and know where I am coming from and if you are thinking of doing your own events in the future please bear this in mind, if you are not tough, these type of people will make you bankrupt and when you make a loss not one of them will come forward to assist you and to make matters worse it is these same people that come their for free whom will be the ones to criticise you the most.

I get invited to many events but I never call people and say can I get a free invite as I know what it is like. So if you ain’t doing anything for me or with me in the future, don't be calling me for a free ticket and before some of you get on my case about being this way, people can tell you that for most of our shows we give out 100’s of comp tickets from the bridal show to the TMC regional heats, but I like you have a mortgage to pay.

Finally to my esteem members of the press unfortunately we are not one of those companies that you can just show up and get into our event just cos you are press or carrying a camera, as always we asked all press to apply for press accreditation and with receiving 100’s of request we could not accommodate you all. I am sure that people that attended the show can attest to the amount of film crews and photographers that were at the show and this is aside from the editors from top magazines and newspapers that were at the show. So in future when you get an email from us to apply for press accreditation reply and reply on time and if you didn’t, don't just show up and hope to get in or that because you know me you will get it, it won’t happen.

We have to change how we work and always be professional in everything that we do.

Nigeria is Building a New Positive Image...

Sorry before I get into my blog, you really do not want to be told that you missed a great show, so get your tickets now for Top Model of Colour taking place on the 27th November at Porchester Hall, not that many tickets left - either buy online or call 07971 388687, 

Fela Lives Again...

Don't panic Fela Anikulapo-Kuti Nigeria's legendary musician has not risen from the dead, but via a fantastic play he has been brought back to life. After 4 successful years on Broadway Fela the play has found its way to the National Theatre in London.

It is a great achievement for ANY play to make it to the National Theatre and an even bigger achievement for a Black African play to feature and credit must be given to Bill T Jones and co- producers Jay Z (and I hear Will Smith) for having the courage and tenacity to push for it to come to the UK, in fact to even do the play at all.

After we all got to watch this great play on press night, there 
was a great celebration and after event and it was good to 
catch up with the cast including Sahr Ngaujah, who has played Fela for the past 4 years, Paulette Ivory & Melanie Marshall.

The highlight of the evening besides the play was catching up with old friends that I had not seen for many years like Atiti & Dele Sosimi of Afrobeat (he use to play for Fela as a youngster), Yeni & Seun Kuti as well as Femi Kuti who has taken over his fathers mantle and will soon start his UK tour for his new album Africa For Africa from the 27th November.

I was fortunate that as a youngster I was able to go to Shrine (this is the legendary place where Fela use to play in Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria) and as I was good friends with his late youngest daughter Sola (pronounced as written not like my name which is pronounced Sholla) I got to spend a lot of time both at Shrine and at his house and it was an experience I would never forget.

I do hope that the legal battle will be resolved sooner rather than later as the producers of Fela the musical are being sued by Carlos Moore an author who claims that they used his biogapghy Fela Fela, Cette Putain de Vie as the concept for the musical and not paying him the appropiate royalties. He is suing for £5m. That aside I am hoping that it will find its way to Nigeria and it is rumoured that discussions are taking place with the Nigerian singer D'banz to play the role of Fela should it come to Nigeria.

This is a play that I very highly recommend that you go and see, I am aware that everyone is saying times are hard but it is worth the expenditure, so call the National Theatre and tell them that you wish to buy a ticket on Layaway!

An Audience with Nollywood Stars...

In my bid not to live in my house ever again I was once again out on the streets of London attending an audience with some of Nigeria's Nollywood stars. As usual I prepared myself to be bored out of my mind listening to celebrities that believed they were demi Gods but to my pleasant surprise they were definitely not arrogant, pompous superstars, in fact the two actors that were in attendance were very down to earth and I and others that were in attendance had a very enjoyable evening (would not say the same about the food though).

Ariyo Expo organised a two day Culture and Tourism EXPO at the Hilton Olympia in London on 5th & 6th November and it culminated with an interview with some of Nollywood's top stars including Ejike Asiegbu actor and former president of Actors Guild of Nigeria and the first Lady of Nollywood "Omo Sexy" Omotola Jolade Ekeinde

Some of the audience included the likes of Charles Thompson CEO Screen Nation, Brenda Emmanus BBC presenter and Fatima Jabbe, producer and actress, Nigeria's Ambassor to the Court of St James and of course myself amongst many others and it was beautifully hosted by Henry Bonsu, presenter and journalist.

I was fortunate enough to be able to ask Omotola a question as to whether she would still do low budget films and she gave an eloquent answer that many Hollywood actors do small budget films and if the film script is right and she felt it was right for her she would do it.

She was also asked about her relationship with Genevieve Nnaji and she politely moved on to the next question without answering, but did give a plausible answer as to why she would not answer and this is because she has asked and answered this question too many times and she is TIRED ALREADY.

It was a great evening and a lot of credit must be given to the organiser Ola Wright on a job well done.

I do hope that Ola would be able to work with me and produce a real audience with some of Nigeria's Nollywood superstars here in the UK with the UK celebrities. 

An Evening Out...

Miss Flavour 2010

My beautiful cousin Mary Bello who is a writer with Flavour Magazine invited me down to come and watch Miss Flavour at the Cafe De Paris that took place on the 3rd November. I can’t believe that it has been going for 4 years and this is the first time I have ever attended Miss Flavour.

It was a full house packed with a lot of young, hip and trendy fashionistas, family and friends who came out to support the 14 beautiful girls that were competing to become Miss Flavour 2010 and take the crown from last year’s winner Melissa Lewars.

The evening was hosted by 1xtra's Ace & Vis who did a great job with the young , what I call Hip Hop crowd and there were 10 celebrity judges including Jasmia Robinson (Britain's Next Top Model), who had a hard time picking out the eventual winner and celebrities like the comedienne Slim and Yolande of La Geneve North were in the house.

The only traumatic thing that took place was when Ace & Vis had an Australia's Next Top Model moment and announced the wrong winner. These things happen but it was a bit sad as one raises the expectations of the person that thought they had won and the next minute they are shot down.

Eventually they got it right and I must say congratulations to Neetu Sahota for winning Miss Flavour 2010 and Léa Gladys Poupelin being the first runner up & Siobhan Copland coming 3rd.

If I am invited again I would look forward to attending again and if you want an informal night out it is definitely worth attending.

Sacred Childhoods Foundation Ethical Fashion Show

What I a week I have been having literally running from one event to another and today was no different as I attended the Sacred Childhoods Foundation Ethical Fashion Show at the exclusive Vanilla Club in the West End on 3rd November 2010. Sacred Childhoods is working to safeguard vulnerable and underprivileged children in Indonesia, South East Asia.

For me this was a show with a difference as its principle aims were to raise funds for the foundation but at the same time promoting sustainable, fairly traded fashion using beautiful models, who often face discrimination by the mainstream fashion industry. So this definitely was an event that pulled on my heart strings.

A number of designers donated pieces for the event and on this occasion I deem it only fair that I name all of them - here goes.

Amethyst Accessories
Beulah London
Charlie Chambers
DIY Couture
Emesha LTD
Eternal Creation
Fee Uhssi Design
Hope Sew
Ivana Basilotta
Lilia Yip
Lily Kamper
Little Grass Clementine
Piece of Mind
Monkee Genes
Natural Cotton Color
OU Pambu
Pants to Poverty
Paper Vine
Peter Spilsbury
People Tree
Pure Design Company
Sampi Couture
Tina Lobondi
Toto Knits
Trashy Bags
From Somewhere
Lost Property of London

I know that it is a long list but it is well worth listing and if you are ever looking for ethical designers this is a great place to start from.

It was surely a show with a difference as the models walked around the room wearing the pieces with the designers on hand to talk through what inspired them and I am amazed at the designs the designers have created out of recycled items.

This was truly a worthwhile and inspirational evening, very enjoyable.  

TMC Grand Finale 27th November 2010...

To get tickets please buy online  or 
0845 388 7249 / 07971 388687

Standard tickets are £30 in advance (or £45 at the door) - Table of 10 £300

VIP tickets are £50 in advance (or £75 on the door) - Table of 10 £500

Please note that all vip guests will be served a 2 course meal and some drinks on their table.                  
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