British TV Screen startlets-Ellen Thomas Eastenders, Anni Domingo The Bill & Doctors, Chizzy Akudolu Holby City
Where have you been you ask, I have been away to visit the queen that is what I would love to say. However the truth is that I am overworked and underpaid, the past year has been hectic for me with nonstop events and shows taking place in the UK and Nigeria. My lovely clients are becoming ever more demanding, so it has left me no time to write. But if I were being truly honest I have been very lazy and have been suffering from writers bloc (AKA I can’t be bothered to write).
This morning though, I woke up feeling inspired and having the urge and the itch to write, so before I lost the urge I quickly opened my laptop and started writing – then it happened. I had to stop because I had no idea of what to write about. I first wanted to write about Obama and then Trump and then Buhari (the president of Nigeria), I have to explain whom he is, as some of you would not know whom the president of Nigeria is, but I am sure you know whom Obama and Donald Trump are. I thought all of that was too political and thought I would be censored by Fashions Finest., So I decided to write about the last 2 days of my life.
This year, Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL as it is fondly called) took a unilateral decision without consultation to pursue world domination, but that was not enough they also issued decrees, edicts and passed laws to extend their domination to also include domination of the universe and its outer dominions and any inhabited or non inhabited planets as Ronke Ademiluyi the founder of AFWL put on her biggest and best event yet with the sole aim of dominating African fashion across the world. It is fair to say that AFWL is without a doubt the biggest African Fashion Week in the world – I know there are some of you that would say that South Africa Fashion Week is bigger. Well I disagree as they are part of the so called official international fashion week schedule, which some of us are not allowed to belong too – I say no more on this subject as I am in a good mood.
That aside AFWL was streamed live across the world by so many media houses including the BBC, Swahili TV, OH TV, the Africa Channel, South African Broadcasting Corporation, Fashion One and hundreds more. I have never seen so many bloggers in my life. Next year I will call it the bloggers convention but they did a great job of updating the world instantaneously as things were happening. I could not believe it, that at the end of the final show I was FORCED to do a catwalk and within seconds it was live and people were commenting on it from different parts of the world. The power of social media, where would we be without you.
I must slightly divert here and talk about people that have nothing to do in their life but complain about the smallest little things they can think of. I recently did an interview for a newspaper in Nigeria about AFWL and I said something to the tune of ‘this will be the best AFWL ever’ and besides everything else written or mentioned in the article the only comment one person could make is that Mr Mahogany (that’s me by the way) you should have said that it would be the best AFWL yet not ever. Even though I went to school and fortunate enough to go to university I am sure my English was correct (but also feel free to correct me) – cos as far as I am concerned if I have done 4 AFWL shows to date and this is the 5th one and I expect it to be the best, am I not allowed to say it will be the best AFWL ever? Seriously!!! I think my main gripe was the fact that this was the only thing they could pick up from the article, no well done, I hope it goes well, more grease to your elbow, don’t overwork, don’t get stressed etc just a correction on my view. hmmmmmm
Anyway correction or no correction this year’s AFWL was the best AFWL EVER, yes I am emphasising the ever as it was a phenomenal show. I know I should not be blowing my own trumpet but if the tune or music is good then you have to blow.
Over the two days of shows over 58 designers showcased including 24 designers that came over from South Africa known as the KZN Fashion Council, SA Collective who truly stole the Friday evening show, recent reports that have come to my attention state that the police are currently planning to charge the South African Collective with theft, they were off the hook. The designs and the designers were colourful, imaginative, innovative and creative. It’s so good to see how far African fashion has come over the past 5 years and I am proud to say that African fashion now owns the world. We had a young 18 year old designer Tuiimila showcase and the entire fashion week was closed by the veteran designer Needle Point and as always she came with her A game. If I were to mention all of the designers I would be here forever, to be honest they all deserve a mention but sadly I can’t but I do take my hat off to each and every one of them.
We had some of the hottest models from around the world featuring in the show, I know it’s not fair to mention some by name but you have to get a feel of how big this show is, you know me even though I should not, I will. Tanya did her 5th straight AFWL show in a row and is the only model to feature in all five seasons, Ruhani came to do the show from Singapore, Victoria from Ghana, Tomi from Nigeria and Aramatou the season 9 winner of Top Model of Colour made her AFWL debut and rocked the catwalk along with the other 40 models that came from all over the UK to participate in the show. However LADIES what is going on, every time Emeka & Hassan two of our male models came onto the catwalk and especially when they were bared chested you all absolutely went wild and literally lost your minds. I would like to say that us men that only have a one pack are just as good as the hunks that had six and eight packs. Seeing how you were responding to them has given me the motivation to go to the gym and do an upgrade from my one pack to a six pack – I can hear you all saying dream on, that is so unfair you should be encouraging me.
Backstage was fun and hectic with Motions as always killing it (do you like my young people slang – ‘killing it’) with the hair and of course Maxine was winding me up over the two days. Abbie May and her makeup team took the makeup to another level and ensured the models looked amazing (sorry I could not avoid using this over used word – too lazy to think of an alternative word, yes I do know I could of used google). Lola, Lola, Lola, yes I said her name three times as she deserves it, she was the head of the AFWL styling team and this was the first time that she did AFWL and despite all of my stress and that of the models and designers she held it together and ensured the models looked absolutely fabulous in the designers clothes. I have no idea of how she did it, because putting the backstage together was like organising a military campaign.
From my limited and extensive knowledge I don’t know of any other Africa Caribbean event that does an event at the Olympia and AFWL should be very proud of their achievements not just about having the courage and the tenacity to take the risk and do it at this very big and VERY EXPENSIVE venue but they have ensured that the event gets bigger and bigger each year. AFWL had over 150 volunteers and interns work on the event, over 80 plus exhibitors, food court that did not stop selling from the moment the doors opened till when they closed (if they gave me a share of their profits I won’t have to work for the next one year).
I must do a big shout out to the AFWL team including Seyi the events manager and her able second in command Joke, Kamari operations, Jo exhibitors, Titi hospitality ( I say no more), CJ entertainment alongside Ike whom put some great acts together, Teju in charge of volunteers, Dami who had boundless energy and just sorted out everything, Anna Maria in charge of press and my fantastic assistant Bili and music produced by the hottest DJ in London Ayo Homdiggy and finally Ricardo whom got stress from EVERYONE and it also seems to be my mission in life to always give him stress as well but by always harassing him that he is taking too long to get the crowd seated, but I will make it up to him by one day giving him the jacket that he wants, he has the unenviable job of having to seat everyone for each show.
The crowd and audience was the best EVER, they dressed to impress, they encouraged the designers and models and they also made sarcastic and horrible comments (I love our people) and dripped saliva all over the floor as their tongues fell out of their mouths whilst drooling over the male models. For nearly all shows it was standing room only and over the two days AFWL had its highest attendance EVER with thousands and thousands attending.
Well this piece is dragging and I think I have to bring it to an end now but I can’t go without firstly saying that we must all take our hats off to Ronke Ademiluyi for putting this event together and taking the risks and having the courage to keep going despite all the hurdles, difficulty in getting sponsorship and covering the costs. Ronke I bow to you.
Lastly I am very happy to announce that during the event I was promoted to Executive Creative Director, I have no idea why I got the promotion but I have been told that it comes with no additional benefits or increase in salary and a lot more work, so life goes on still overworked and underpaid.
I know I keep apologising for not doing a regular blog but believe it or not I am so busy at the moment that even finding time to breathe has been just so difficult, I can only thank God that I am still alive as really I should have ran out of air by now.
Please excuse my manners, I should have started by saying Happy Easter to you and I hope you are having a lovely holiday.
There is soooooo much to talk about but I decided that for this blog I will only mention one topic and I wish to seek your views or comments. I don't care where you leave them, but just leave them on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, graffiti, on a banner etc I think you get the point.
In Lagos Nigeria on the 19th April we had a model casting to select models for two big shows, Africa Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN) and Nigerian Student Fashion & Design Week (NSFDW). For AFWN we needed 12 Female models and 3 Male models and for NSFDW we needed 22 female models and 8 male models.
On the day we had over 500 models show up with about another 300 turned away cos they were late. We had two separate panels, one for AFWN which consisted of the CEO of Shuga Kane Bili and whom was also a former Mahogany Model, the assistant stylist for AFWN - Bimbo and the head stylist for AFWN – Jide. For NSFDW the panel consisted of the co founders of NSFDW Abiola & Marcus and the head stylist for AFWN – Jide. But it must be said that both sets of panels worked together and gave their views for either show. I remained as a neutral arbitrator and ensured that I got the good mix of models that I wanted in the show, which included overruling some of the panel members when I needed to. (but very rarely did).
I wake up early Sunday morning to find a BB message from one of the models that attended the casting and this is what it said (UNEDITED);
Good morning Mr Mahogany, I am so sorry to disturb u on this issue, but because of the previous relationship I have had with u I was compelled to let u know, well yesterday some things were noticed by one of ur judging staff that was placed among three to select models, I won't call his name but I am very sure u know who I am talking about, this guy among two other lady's was were d ones judging and instead of being professional in selecting models, he was ensuring all his friends/boyfriends were chosen at the expense of what the two other female judges wanted. I find this appalling mr sola, I can only tell u dis because ur a professional and I respect you, the sentimental selection that was done by that guy was too much, it was clear and evident from all models dat that's what he was doing and for some strange reason he had a major influence on the other two female judges despite their own desires to select what dey felt was best.
Mr sola I say this with Humility I felt insulted to have been chosen as stanby/maybe in the presence of those 3 that we're chosen as Yes, judging by my walk and appearance to me it was laughable, despite the the fact that the two females were penchant on picking me first as Yes, they were compelled by the other male judge's sentimental plea to pick his friends over me and another who was placed as maybe. Now mr sola why I am sending u dis is not to change ur decision on anything but let u have a knowledge of what I and others saw yesterday, it was so bad dat a few of ur staff noticed it. I say this to u sir, the only free show I have done in my career is the show I did for u last year (NSFDW), a show I was compelled to do because of the professional structure u gave it, I did it for free despite u said a few from der will be chosen paid for dis show. I am not saying I am too big to a show for free for u, but I cant do a show wit those models selected as priority on pay list with me in standby unpaid, to me that is an insult and all who know me will be astonished.
Left to me I can do both shows free for u, but me being put on standby side by side with those 3 selected as Yes out of which 2 were placed der on the sentimental decision of them being boyfriends to a male judge there is a shocker to me. the two female judges overtly said my walk was better that the chosen Yes and I was told not to worry, but I still worry because the truth is if this doesn't stop in Nigeria we won't go anywhere in dis fashion industry, models on the runway are the prime reflection of the quality of any show and if weak models are being chosen on sentimental basis then I feel sad for our industry. I respect you sir and I am ready to for u anytime, anywhere, but I just had to tell u this.
Out of respect for how he wrote the BB I decided that I would omit his name from the blog. I have responded to him privately, but I wanted to put some questions to you my enlightened readers.
1. Based on the facts above does he have a point or is it sour grapes?
2. Based on the BBM should I still let him do the show if he wants to or remove him?
3. Are the accusations easy to verify and prove bearing in mind we only wanted 3 male models, and he was one of 2 additional male models that was put on standby and it must be noted that over 180 other male models were not chosen, so can they make the same accusation against us?
4. As the head stylist (second in command to me) and as the head of the two judging panels, is it wrong (if it is the case) for him to say certain models should be selected?
5. Does it mean that I and the other two panel members were forced into this by the head stylist (please note that Bili is a very very strong woman whom has her strong views on anything and is no pushover)?
6. If I did not manage it well, what should I do next time to ensure that these types of accusations cannot be levelled against a casting that I do again in the future?
7. Any other comments that you may have?
I know you want to know how I responded and what my views are but I want to see what you all feel about it first before responding.
I can't wait for your responses and as always I expect you to be honest in your views, no holding back the punches.
HERE WHAT NAOMI CAMPBELL HAD TO SAY ABOUT IT ON SKY NEWS
The figures above do not surprise me in anyway whatsoever and I could have saved them money by not paying to do the research as you can see that models of colour are not being used anywhere. Similar to when I did the Italia Vogue All Black Issue it was simply about having the necessary facts needed to back up their arguments. I love Iman as she shoots straight from the hip and says it is blatant racism.
The coalition goes on to list the designers and fashion houses they say are "guilty of this racist act" and I can't say you would be surprised at the names listed which include, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Chanel, Armani, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Victoria Beckham ( sorry I have to add an extra comment here but to me from time she allegedly looks like a racist – I apologise to any Victoria Beckham fans that I have offended), Roberto Cavalli and Marc by Marc Jacobs.
The above is a very impressive list, one that I would not want to be a part of. I will come back to all of this later but I want to briefly talk about London Fashion Week. At the moment there are three big main shows, British Fashion Council (on schedule), Fashion Scout (off schedule) and Fashions Finest (off schedule). The first two shows are seen as mainstream and feature mainstream designers and rarely have any black models, Fashion Scout has at least one or two more than British Fashion Council shows, but listen to this our Show Fashions Finest was described as a "black" show (this was said by a white person). Was I surprised by this, yes I was and I was surprised because as far I was concerned I did not see our show in terms of the colour of our designers but simply that we had a good designers. Then again I suppose I am being naïve as the moment you have more than one black designer and two black models at a show then duh it must be a black show. It's irrelevant that we had white designers, Polish and English models at the show and the ratio of black/white models and designers was evenly balanced in the eyes of mainstream our shows are black shows.Mr Mahogany's Commentary:
I applaud the three super divas (said in the nicest of ways) for their initiation of this campaign and I applaud Iman even more for her stance that she would not spend her money with any designer that refuses to use black models. I just wish that more of us would take that stand and stop putting money into the pockets of those that refuse to use us in their shows or campaigns but are very happy to take our money and grow rich.
I do hope that one day especially our women will wake up to this slap in the face and stop spending money with these designers, the only way to teach them a lesson is to hit them where it hurts them the most - in their wallet.
It is absolutely outstanding that Iman and co have the courage to actually name and shame the designers and as far as I am concerned it's about time too. The beauty of it all is they can't be sued because there is documentary evidence to prove their claim.
Fashions Finest has no regrets for being viewed as we are because we have become and I can say it categorically the biggest and only multicultural show during London Fashion Week.
Even though the black community is not vocal about their outrage at the lack of recognition for people of colour on the fashion catwalks of the world, either by the showing of models or designers at the big shows at least black people particularly Africans have started trying to do something about it. This can been seen by the wave of independent fashion weeks that are springing up around the world particularly the Africa Fashion Week's such as Africa Fashion Week London and Africa Fashion Week New York to name just two of the biggest amongst the 10 or more shows there are around the world. The message is we can do bad all by ourselves.
I don't think things will ever change amongst the designers and the owners of the official big four fashion weeks unless there is a massive public outcry or legislation is introduced and that is never going to happen, simply because unlike Jewish and Asian people black people just accept things, we moan quietly in our homes but don't have the guts and the courage to stand up and fight for what we complain about. I say it all the time and people laugh at me but part of the reason why I don't get any recognition within mainstream despite what I have achieved is because I have and I am prepared to rock the establishment boat, but sadly the likes of myself and Angel Sinclair cannot change the world by ourselves.
It reminds me when I hear black people complain that black people don't win such shows as X Factor, Britains Got Talent etc – very simply put it's because you won't vote either cos you are too damn cheap or just can't be bothered, but you can be bothered to complain (the use of YOU is not aimed at you personally that is reading this blog, it's just a general term I use), however if you do feel you fit the mould then I say no more.
If there is anything I can do to support this campaign you can trust me that I will be screaming from the rooftops and if any of you wish to join me, I have an enormously big roof.
I was woken up early this morning by a consistent ringing of my phone, I must explain. I tend to go to bed generally each night between 3 to 5 am and don't start my working day till 11am (I might be up before 11 but no answering of phones until then. I don't care if you are calling me about a national emergency it is just going have to wait till at least 11 before I can help. This 11 am thing is important before you think I am waffling, because my phone kept ringing consistently and it was not 11, so I decided to answer it after about the 50th time of non stop ringing.
Article courtesy of thegrio.com By Kunbi Tinuoye
In 1992, Veronica Webb became the first African-American model to sign a major advertising contract with Revlon. Today, it's not uncommon for black celebs to land lucrative ad campaigns promoting beauty products. So does this trend reflect a genuine commitment from the global cosmetic industry to embrace diverse beauty?
Indeed, twenty-five years ago it would have been near impossible for a black woman to be the face of trusted brands such as L'Oréal, Revlon and Estée Lauder. Today all that's changed with the likes of Beyoncé, Halle Berry and Thandie Newton snagging profitable, six-figure deals, to market beauty products to women of all races across the globe.
This development, though, is not limited to the beauty industry. Singer and actress Jennifer Hudson fronts commercials for Weight Watchers and Janet Jackson is new face for the Nutrisystem diet. Men of color have also been cashing in. Tiger Wood's good looks and "multiracial" appeal was enough for him to earn millions fronting major campaigns; of course, before his popularity plummeted when he was caught cheating on his wife.
Sola Oyebade, the chief executive of Mahogany Models Management, Europe's largest agency for models of color, however, is skeptical about the cosmetic industry's commitment to embrace multicultural beauty.
"The major cosmetic brands tend to use black celebrities to promote products," Oyebade told theGrio.com. There is still the perception that "black doesn't sell" and white consumers will buy into products if the women of color are well-known, he says.
Ethnic models still face discrimination and "it's rare for major advertising campaigns to use black models" whereas they may take the risk with up-and-coming white models, adds Oyebade. This also extends to high-fashion: "If you look at back issues of magazines like Vogue they generally use black celebrities on their covers but very few lesser-known black models."
Admittedly it maybe a coincidence but the black women currently fronting major global beauty campaigns are all light-skinned or of mixed heritage: Beyoncé at L'Oréal, Thandie Newton at Olay and Halle Berry's long-term contract with Revlon.
Even then, L'Oréal faced a huge backlash after it appeared to "whitewash" Beyoncé in its 2008 ad campaign. She appeared to look almost white, with pale skin and strawberry-blonde hair.
Nevertheless, Oyebade concedes there has been change in the industry based on calculated economics. "The global economic downturn has had a huge impact on mature Western markets and the industry is looking to find business in new and emerging markets such as Asia, African and the Caribbean." These cash economics weren't so badly affected by the credit crunch, he says.
"I've started noticing cosmetic brands hosting fashion shows and sponsoring events in Africa and Caribbean, which have now become viable areas to make money," and add new customers until economics in the West improve, says Oyebade, who also works as a creative director for international fashion shows.
Perhaps, this is the motivation behind one of Estée Lauder's latest ad campaigns. This year's product launch is fronted by Chinese supermodel Liu Wen, Puerto Rican-born Joan Smalls and French beauty Constance Jablonski.
However, Aerin Lauder, senior vice president and creative director of Estée Lauder, said earlier this year at press event in New York, the company is committed to diversity. "Estée's choice of models throughout the brand's evolution was always extraordinary," said Lauder. "We continue this legacy with a new group of diverse faces that truly represent a modern vision of beauty."
Whatever the reasons for women of color fronting major ad campaigns, it can only be a good if this fad continues. Trends such as western markets becoming more multiracial and emerging economics, such as Brazil, China and India, carving out dominant positions in the global economy, means the cosmetic industry may have no choice but to change.
Most importantly of all women need to see their skin and shape reflected in the media.
Sitting in my office and the phone rings and it is the BBC asking if I can do a series of radio interviews to discuss, read on...
I know that people sometimes say that I love to deal with controversial issues, now regardless of whether you agree with this or not, I did not make up the story below.
It has been scientifically proven that BLACK WOMEN ARE LESS ATTRACTIVE THAN OTHER RACES.
A psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa (from the London School of Economics, LSE) wrote a blog which was featured on the US based Psychology Today website on May 16. YOU CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK
This is not the first time that this professor has come up with such controversial views as previously he claimed that sub Saharan Africans have poor health simply because they have low IQ’s and not because they are poverty stricken (please before you start attacking me, I did not say this, a professor that has nothing to do with his life, said it).
Now his scientific evidence was deduced by doing a survey of men and women across the races who were asked to rate each other’s attractiveness. Black women scored the least, even though they marked themselves highly. Now if this a scientific research then I can do one and ask anyone I am going out with if they think I am the most handsome man in the world while holding a pair of Jimmy Chow shoes in my hand, saying its there’s if they say yes. In most cases if you ask a Chinese man who he thinks are the most beautiful women in the world, the likelihood is that he would say that Chinese women are and the same for a Swedish man whom would say Swedish women are the most beautiful. Even though I don't have a PhD, even I can figure out that his scientific research is flawed. PS I want to go to the university he went too to apply for a PhD as it seems they were just giving them out without having to do any work.
Now not everyone at the LSE is dumb or possibly bought their PhD, as Professor Paul Gilroy, a sociology lecturer at the LSE and author of seminal text There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack, said: ” Among the criticisms was his motivation for the research, the lack of scientific grounding and a lack of context. He did not explore the idea that women were measured against the dominant European ideals of beauty”.
I thought sometimes that I rocked the boat a little but Kanazawa’s slogan on his website says ‘prepare to be offended’. If you are a professor why did you have to seek cheap fame.
Ladies (white & black) read this. He says:
After musing it had nothing to do with black women’s ‘lower IQs’, or because they were ‘much heavier on average’ than women of other races, he added: ‘The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone. ‘Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races… Women with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive.’
Let me brake the above down for you as to what he is trying to say in plain people language – according to professor Kanazawa the reason why black women are considered ugly is because you have to much testosterone so we black men have been deceived for so long, when we thought we were chatting up a black woman we were in fact chatting up a woman going on a man and those of you that have big butts, big thighs and big arms have higher levels of testosterone – so you are not even woman going on man you are a man. Sorry I forgot to also say that he is saying you are all fat (‘much heavier on average’ than women of other races). The only I am not sure of is he using ‘African’ for just African women or all black women?
Unfortunately FF will not allow me to swear and put cuss words in my blog, but my expletives have been long and extremely colourful. This is such a crock of S*~t that I have ever read. As for me I am very partial to black women and if it means they have too much testosterone and that is why they have big butts and big thighs etc (which I must quickly add not all black women have big butts and big thighs), can someone send me the testosterone gene so that I can pump some more black women with it so that they would look even finer than they already do.
I will leave you with this (and this is nothing against my white sisters),
All of the above are what the worlds least attractive women have naturally – I say no more.
It is also very sad that over 15,000 people on Facebook "like" the article.
Let me get straight to the point here, is the Top Model of Colour competition a racist, outdated competition that is no longer needed as all models of colour now operate on an equal footing with Caucasian models?
I ask this question as I recently received the email below and it alleges to be from an African American, The Email; Written by Camille Schmidt
Ok, My personal Twitter to you, as an African American Woman, I'd like to know who why do you label your Moel Show, '' Top Model of Color?''
I mean who the f(*^(^^$ would say that or label a show that in 2011. The first Top Model of Color was Beverly Johnson (USA), back in the late ''60's early 70's and 40 years later these woman of Color in Britain & Holland are still letting you single them out? So by saying ''Top Model of Color'', you are basically separating the women of color from the European women. You are in effect saying that the women of color have to have their own show, they can't participate in ours, etc. Either you are too dumb to understand the reality of what your show is doing by labeling women of color as different, or just plainly prejudice!
Sadly, you have bamboozled Blacks in Europe who will let you label them, separate them; in this fashion! Wake up it's 2011. I wonder what Tyra would say???
Or please pray tell, is this a network designed to introduce more Women of Color into the modeling world? Please help me understand, because in 2011, any women of color has a shot at a regular modeling career, the same as a White woman.
"Over the past few years we have been trying to diversify the look we have on the catwalk – our creative director has been instrumental in creating a show which demonstrates the breadth of talent that exists at LCF but also the extraordinary diversity within our student body which reflects fashion in its truest and most international state. LCF has worked hard to provoke debate around body image, age, beauty and ethnicity – and we want this to be reflected in our shows. Although there is plenty of evidence that the fashion world is changing we don’t think it is fast enough – and given that our students are the future of the industry we feel that it’s our role to be the ones to push boundaries.
But we feel that diversity especially amongst the models which are put forward for our shows by modelling agencies are not representative – hence the reason we’re looking to the public."
I have my views on both sides of the two emails but as always I look to you to educate me.
The Royal Wedding recently took place and a friend of mine that had nothing to do with his life sent me over a BBM and it did a comparison between a British Royal Wedding and a African Royal Wedding.
Due to the fact that some of it is in pigeon English I have had to do a translation for our non African compatriots.
See people wey get money to do wedding, yet dress simple, the bride's gown is simple and is not exposing any cleavage. The priest preached a meaningful message within 20mins, he no use handkerchief/towel, he no drink water/juice, he no need scream and do show-offz.
He wrote his sermon on a piece of paper not ipad/lapy. He no need to hail iya Charlie or do any form of patronising. No Aso ebi wey cost well, No thanksgiving, offering etc.
No babes with fake eyelashes, holding blackberry and pinging @ reception.
Chei, 9ja hail una.
See Queen of England convoy. Just one car and one SUV. If na Naija u go see cars with siren and Anti riot squad, Anti bomb squad, Bakassi boys, OPC, Boko Haram, Kalakato, NSCDC, FRSC, SSS, Army, NN, NAF, EFCC, Militants and all 4 d convoy....na wa Naija!
Translated English Version with a Mr Mahogany Twist
When rich people do a wedding and despite the fact that they have lots of money they do not over dress and dress simply in coat and tail and elegant dresses with hats, they don't go to a wedding exposing all of their cleavage.
When the priest gets up on the pulpit to preach at the wedding, it is a meaningful message that lasts for 20 minutes not 2 hours, the priest wrote it on a small piece of paper and was not using an Ipad or laptop. Whilst preaching he did not need to sing the praises of her majesty, he was not pouring sweat when he preached, he did not need to drink water or juice, he did not need to scream and shout and roll on the ground to get his message across. There was no thanks giving offering that asked for you to donate every penny you had, plus your car and you
At the wedding there were no women wearing fake eyelashes and whilst the ceremony was going on they were not using their Blackberry’s and pinging during the church service. As you know if this had been a black wedding the BBM’s would have been going off nonstop, with updates, pictures, Facebook status and twitter update by the second, with running commentary of whom was with whom and whom should not have been with whom and how some women forgot to cream their feet and you could see the white crustiness of their feet.
Finally when the various members of the royal family were on their way to the church they arrived with only one range rover following behind, but if it had been a black wedding behind the royal car there would have been cars with sirens blaring, anti riot police, bomb squad, CIA, FBI, Mossad, MI5, MI6, the Army, the Marines, Special Forces, helicopters and unmanned drones.
Black people just need to make sure that when they get married EVERYONE knows about it.
HEY PEOPLE THIS WAS JUST A BIT OF FUN!
It's 6 am in the morning and I have just got back to my hotel after 20 hours of non stop waiting around, fashion shows and parties. I was fortunate enough to be asked by Fashions Finest to travel to Lagos, Nigeria to report on the Arise Magazine Fashion Week.
I arrived bright and early on the Thursday morning, rushed to the hotel dropped my luggage and headed straight for Federal Palace Hotel where the Arise Magazine Fashion Week was taking place and to my great surprise I was informed that all the shows scheduled for the Thursday had been cancelled, was I upset or what, but I quickly put that aside as I decided that I might as well use the time wisely and sort out my press accreditation. After waiting around for a couple of hours waiting for something to happen and nothing did, I decided that it might be best that I do something else with my time. To be fair though whilst hanging around at the Hotel I spent a useful two hours talking to the likes of Tewa (CEO Exquisite Magazine) and her Sister Tayo (CEO World PR), Ola Shobowale (Creative Director), Crystal (stylist), a number of international and Nigerian based designers and models (way to many to mention) and a whole lot of old friends. It was like one big massive reunion, for me that is as I seemed to know a lot of people there.
Back to my story, I decided to leave and I thought I would be smart and told a few people to call me when they started doing the press registration and I would rush back. 6 hours later no call and no registration, I was just so happy that I had decided to leave to go and do other things. I eventually came back to Federal Palace Hotel (FPH for short I can't keep typing out this long name) just in time to go for the after party. As you can see the concept of time means very little in Lagos.Anyways (as we say in Nigeria), I was hanging out with some Sierra Leonean designers and we left for the party, unfortunately way to early as when we got there nobody was there (yes I know you can tell that we are English), fortunately it was not too early that we were helping them set up. About 90 minutes later people started drifting in and we had a great evening with Dr Sid performing and doing a great set.
People I am leaving out a lot here otherwise you will be reading this blog for a week, so this is the extremely short version. The next day I did my English thing and arrived bright and early expecting the first show to start on time or at least only a little bit late. The little bit late happened to be 3 hours late. When the first show eventually kicked off I must say that besides my seating problem (which the Arise team eventually sorted out for me) the shows were very good. Going back to the seating issue, can you imagine there was no dedicated seat reserved for Fashions Finest, so you guys know me I had to make my point about this. After a very nice discussion they decided that it was a good idea to sort out seating for me. I have no idea why I am even telling this story especially when I am not giving the full details. Once again moving on, spent the whole day at FPH watching the different shows and I must be honest besides the enormous gaps between shows and them not sticking to the schedule of which I must say there is nothing wrong with that as even for our show coming up, Africa Fashion Week London it is in the terms and conditions that we can change the schedule without notice.
It really seems as if everyone travelled to Lagos for AMFW, some of the guests included ex models like Nigerian Supermodel Oluchi Onweagba (former Victoria Secrets Angel), Uti Nwachukwu (Big Brother Africa Winner), Genevieve Nnaji (Nollywood Actress), numerous socialites and celebrities and people from all over the world including a strong representation from London including designers such as Nkwo, Samantha Cole & Alexander Amosu. The international model contingent was strong and Aminat Ayinde (yes she is Nigerian) cycle 12 winner of Americas Next Top Model killed the catwalk, alongside Darego Agbani (first Black African to win Miss World) and they were backed up South African and other international models as well as our very own Uju Nwabodo, (runner up at Top Model of Colour UK 2011), she was one only two models chosen to walk at the big shows with the international models & even though Makida Moka (Face of Sleek Nigeria) is one of the shorter models – I apologise to anyone of any note that I have missed out.
I must tell you what happened when I watching my good friend Ituen Basi showing off an original collection and my phone started going non stop, now I am trying to be discreet and not look as if I was not interested in Ituen's show by looking at the phone but in the end I had no choice as it would not stop vibrating and I didn't want people to get the wrong idea about a vibrating phone and a man with a smile on his face (come on people get your mind out of the gutter, if you didn't get it then you need to get your mind in the gutter).
Finally I looked at the phone and I am getting BBM (black berry messenger) and texts from people in the UK saying that they just saw me on London ITV News as Ronke Phillips who is in Nigeria covering AMFW for London Tonight did a quick review of the show and yours truly somehow was shown. I can't believe that people were able to spot in this quick clip.
The final show finished at about 12 midnight, this is not a typo yes it did finish at that time with Tiffany Amber closing the show. It was a crazy first day which ended with me heading off to the after party at JJ Okocha's Club (former premiership footballer).
As usual you can see I did not do a review of the clothes and the designers as you will be seeing pictures of the show on Fashions Finest over the next few days.
Sorry but I have to rub it in, the weather here is fantastic and I off to bed to get ready for another day of great shows and parties – what a hard life I live.
America has always been accused of having its racial problems and that people from the African American community don’t do so well in the states, but I think that even though it may still have issues compared to many other western countries America has come a long way (Obama for instance), but this is not what this piece is about.
Being that I am a night bird, I am at my computer working watching Super Bowl 45 (not sure if I understand it, as I can never understand why when they have not even scored a touchdown, every time they move a few inches they celebrate like they have won the whole Super Bowl), anyway its half time and they bring on the entertainment and for a number of years now it has been top black artiste that have been headlining the half time entertainment.
It is estimated that over 95 million people watch Super Bowl.
This year it was Black Eyed Peas and Usher that took centre stage and this is bearing in mind that more white people watch Super Bowl than any other race, but America seems to be more integrated and accepting of the different cultures and genres of music that it has in its rich country.
Not sure if we would ever see JLS and Leona Lewis as the sole or main headline acts of a similar type of event held in the UK.