O My, O My, O My what a year it has been and I have no real idea as to where to start, most people will say at the beginning but that is not me – so I will start at wherever I can remember.
Just to remind you the Mr Mahogany blog says it as it is, so I know some people will be upset with me but we all have to step up our game in whatever we are doing within the fashion and entertainment industry.
Obama – enough said.
“Black” Miss England?
Now was I pleased that Rachel Christie won Miss England and I felt proud that the first ever Black woman (I do not want to hear any rubbish about the light skin/black skin debate – she black, she black END OF), won Miss England and then it happened.
Whilst working with Face of Sleek in Nigeria I got a text from my good reporter friend (who remains nameless, cos he does not like publicity) informing me that Ms Christie had been removed as Miss England. Now forget roaming charges and all, I had no choice but to get the low down and was I disappointed when I heard the alleged reasons as to why she was removed.
I found out that she was “stripped of her crown after a blowup in which she was accused of clocking Sara Jones, the reigning Miss Manchester, at a porn-themed party”.
Read more I do not know if it is true or not but I must say that she has made history as having one of the shortest reigns as a Miss England ever (and she is black) – WHAT CAN I SAY?
Power List 2010
For those of you that do not know or are in the know for the past three years a magazine is published which lists Britain’s 100 most influential black people. I am pleased to say (hold on before you start thinking they listed me – read on) yours truly was featured (page 108) in an article entitled “the man who sold-out black vogue”. I am truly blessed to be featured in a magazine that features such prominent black people.
By the way I will be taking it up with the editors of the Power List as to why I did not make the top 100. I am not proud so I have no qualms in asking people to nominate me for the 2011 list.
However my question to you is besides ME, who else that is not featured should have made the list? Information on the Power List
EVENTS IN THE UK - we need to step up our game
Now this is where I start to get the hate mail, but I have to say what everyone (I hope is thinking). Why, O why, O why are there so many crap and badly organised events within the black fashion and entertainment community (I apologise to those of you that do good events).
In my job I am invited and have to attend so many events and on many occasions I do wonder why I bother to leave my house – besides the usual not starting on time and being badly organised, it seems that a lot of people are organising events for all the wrong reasons.
Over the past year I attended some events that I thought were high profile and I was highly disappointed (and I think it is best that I just leave you the public to give your own reviews) but following enormous amount of feedback that I received I have to say that the Zaffa Awards, the Beffta Awards and Miss Black Britain (I really hate the bad reviews I am seeing about this competition as it is a great concept) were among the most disappointing, mainly because they had the finances to ensure that they were of the highest quality.
For all three of these events they had the who’s who attend from the likes of American actress Nia Long to top Nigerian Nollywood actors such as Osita iheme,bobmanuel Udokwu, kenneth Okonkwo,Chinedu Ikedieze, Kanayo O Kanayo, Nkiru Sylivernus, Tony One week, Victoria Nyama, Dolly Unachukwu, Lancelot Imaseun, Andy Amenechi, Emeka Ike, Chinyere Winfred and at the Beffta’s the who’s who (including myself – yes I know I am bragging but nobody else considers me a who’s who so I might as well lobby to get the status - myself) attended.
I am not saying that we at Mahogany are perfect and I am sure there are lots of people that will say I am a fine one to talk and they may be right, but at the same time even at our event there are some basic things that always work, like starting on time and being organised. Mahogany may not have the greatest line ups in the world or attract celebrities etc but we are good at what we do which is producing shows.
The important thing here, is to do what you are good at and I have seen with some of the above shows that they are great at getting stars and celebrities to come and marketing their events but the most important thing they fall down on, which is making sure that people leave their show feeling that they got value for money and watched a good show. If you can’t do it yourself get someone else to do it for you – it’s not rocket science.
MAHOGANY PRODUCTIONS was set up for that primary reason which was to take away the strain of organising a show by leaving it to the experts. I am crap at getting celebrities to our shows or getting cash sponsorship but my track record shows that I can produce shows both for Mahogany and other clients that we have had around the world.
Before I finish on this topic I have one more gripe – WHY ARE THERE SO MANY BEAUTY PAGEANTS – seriously everyone s doing a pageant and like some of them are half empty, badly organised and have people contest in them that should not even be allowed to look in a mirror as it would crack at the lack of beauty they possess. My advice to some of the organisers of these different pageants is that they should come together and unite and pull resources and skills to organise one great pageant. Seriously how are you surviving, as there is no real money in pageants and very little cash sponsorship available.
I will however still judge at them if asked and still have the bored expression I normally have on my face due to the lack of talent. However I must say well done to Miss Uganda and Miss Ghana they both know how to put on a pageant – people look and learn, some of you think you are bigger than you really are.
Yes I am being a coward by not mentioning names of the bad pageants.
So What’s Up with Mahogany?
I won’t go over all what I said in previous newsletters and blogs but I will say that I am pleased to welcome Yemi Adegite on board as the CEO of Mahogany Productions (Africa) and in his short reign to date as CEO, we have already done shows in Nigeria and the Gambia, including the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Nigeria (ICAN) gala evening in Abuja as well as the Face of Sleek Nigeria and Top Model of Colour grand finale in the Gambia.
He is also in the process of setting up Mahogany Models in the Gambia, the Africa Bridal Week in South Africa, Uganda Fashion Week, TMC in Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Nigeria and I am informed that he has many more shows that we will be producing for clients from fashion to TV shows – so he does all the easy bits and then brings me in to do all of the hard work.
WHAT A LIFE!
You can contact yemi on +234 8074163355 or by EMAIL
Now people (besides the fact the Mahogany Productions was involved in producing the show), I must take my hat off to the Sleek Sisters Ebele & Ife Ugochukwu. They know how to put on a show, they were on point all the way and people in the UK trust me you can learn something from how Africans put on shows. They had a great team behind them including MOI such as Ndidi Obioha the events planner of events planners, Ebony, Darlington, Vicky (of Mahogany – a true diva) and my fantastic sleek assistant Mary Jane. Congratulations to the winner Makida Moka. And it was nice being mentioned and featured in City People, on TV and various other places and to the young contestant that did not know who the current president of the United States was – I hope you do know now and have found out that it was not Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Can’t wait till the next Face of Sleek Nigeria show 2010 – (PS it was great working with all of the sleek Contestants).
Top Model of Colour
I must say congratulations to Paula Okunzuwa and Emmanuel Ogunjinmi for winning TMC (UK). We took over 50 people from the UK to compete in the final.
History in the making hit the shores of The Gambia on 5th December 2009 at the Senegambia Beach Resort Hotel for the annual UK modelling competition, Top Model of Colour (TMC). After months of regional heats which saw over 4,500 models apply for the competition, the TMC competition saw over 30 models from around the UK being flown to The Gambia taking the modelling competition into the African continent for the first time ever.
TMC is known as being one of the UK’s leading modelling competitions for models of colour hoping to enter the competitive modelling industry, made even more so by the lack of models of colour on the international runways during fashion week and other big fashion shows that take place around the world.
Models from across the UK including London, Birmingham and Manchester flew into The Gambia for the show. In addition the contestants were honoured with a state house visit and meeting with the President of The Gambia: Yahya AJJ Jammeh and photo shoots in choice locations around The Gambia.
The finale was hosted by award winning UK comedienne Eddie Kadi & top Gambian TV Presenter Fatou Ndure and entertainment was provided by D3, Sing-a-Teh and top Gambian singer Mam Mbala and throughout the night the music was supplied by Homediggy.
The evening culminated with Emmanuel Ogunjinmi and Paula Okunzuwa walk away with the titles of Top Male and Female models of colour (2nd place Evita Dossou-Yovo, 3rd place Charlene Ashong, 4th place Pristyle Loko & 5th place Rachael Naome Nambozo. In second place for the men Emeka Okakpu & 3rd place Timothy Akinyemi). After having been judged on a range of abilities including runway walk, physique and understanding of the modelling industry. Industry experts on the judging panel included Arise editor Helen Jennings, leading British fashion entrepreneur Samata Angel and Yemi Adegite, CEO of Glasgow Fashion Week.
Judges for the different heats of the competition, which ran for months up to the finale in the Gambia had included international makeup artist Eryca Freemantle, Afua Acheampong, the acting editor of Black Hair Magazine, who both joined the troupe travelling to The Gambia and top Nigerian model Ibukun Jegede. The winners secured a contract with Mahogany Models which is sure to provide a launch pad for their respective careers within the modelling world. The competition also saw both commercial models and high fashion models given the opportunity to compete on an equal footing, assessing their potential within respective industries. Sola Oyebade, the founder of Mahogany Models and the Top Model of Colour competition is an influential figure within the British modelling industry and has worked tirelessly to secure a place for models of colour within the modelling industry.
Sponsors of the event included Fabecs Promotions, Africell and Global Properties.
New TMC (UK) Team
Due to the expansion of TMC worldwide TMC UK JOIN TMC UK GROUP has setup a new team to run and manage the franchise and these include
Pamela Masasi, Melanie Masona, Tope Owolabi, Amina Jadama & Azara Emenyeonu. We wish them all the very best of luck with TMC UK and making it an even stronger brand.
Mahogany Models is growing from strength to strength and getting more and more great clients. I will not say anymore as we are always talking about the agency.
I know this blog is dragging on and I have to stop now before you get even more bored, so I better end by wishing you all a very Merry Xmas and a fantastic new year and may all your hearts desires come true in 2010. (PLEASE SAY AMEN)
I would like to thank you all for all of your support and love throughout the year, without you we would not have been able to achieve all that we have.