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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.


  1. Well done for an absolutely stunning show. David and I were thoroughly entertained and enjoyed our evening immensley. We look forward to next years show.

    Lotwinner Winalot Farodoye

  2. Well done for the showstopping event, let them call u whatever! My point is that ,if you are not tough Sola, these type of people will make you bankrupt and when you make a loss not one of them will come forward to assist you,to me the ticket is very reasonable enough for even middleclass to afford Simple!

    Tiya Magagazine

  3. Sola, it was a pleasure to work with yourself and TMC team! I can't thank you enough for the opportunity you gave me, to host live and direct on stage! The adrenalin was TOP NOTCH! Hope to work with you again in the near future!

    Neecie Gold

  4. Lovely show!! I absolutely love the opening choreography!!

    Joy Adenuga

  5. Had a great time at TMC'10 Finale!! Thanks to Neecie Gold for being a fab hostess and wearing my dresses beautifully. Claudia Ama Asare and Tope Owolabi thanks for being amazing to work with..and of course a big thank you to Sola Oyebade for knowing I was the right designer for the job :-)

    Shi Dolor

  6. hey Sola! last night was GREAT! The production was AMAZING :D
    and it was nice to c u after such a long time! you will be definatly seeing me on next TMC!x

    Rissikat Bade

  7. Top Model of Colour Grand Finale is a first class event.
    Well done Sola Oyebade for demonstrating that not all of us Are guilty
    of African time. You are an inspiration that all event organisers need
    to emulate

    Tiya Magazine

  8. Now that was what I call a Show. The BEST show organised by any NIGERIAN in a very very long time. OMG it started on time, the staff were so professional and polite and the models were fantastic. The cost of the tickets were more than reasonable and I don't regret a penny I spent. Folk need to realize that if they want cheap they will get cheap and on SATURDAY we got much more than we paid for. Please please keep it up

    Susie Retiola

  9. Sola, what can I say, another brilliant show, you are the don when it comes to putting together a show, whether it is TMC or the bridal show , nobody can touch you. Well done once again



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