Mr Mahogany
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Monday, 10 August 2015 19:43

Why is AFWL so greedy…

British TV Screen startlets Ellen Thomas Eastenders Anni Domingo The Bill Doctors Chizzy Akudolu Holby City

British TV Screen startlets-Ellen Thomas Eastenders, Anni Domingo The Bill & Doctors, Chizzy Akudolu Holby City

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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.

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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).

2015 08 10 1830


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.

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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.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 02:05

Why won't racism go away?

For me fashion week is over after doing two fantastic days of shows at our brand new venue at the Grand Connaught Rooms in the very heart of the fashion week homeland, but sadly the saga of the failure to use models of colour on the catwalks has not gone away despite the fact that this is 2013 and we live in one of the most multi cultural cities in the world.
racism 1

I happened to be on the tube train, yes I did take public transport – sadly, no car to drive as I am just visiting and I just did not feel like hiring a car and then having to pay congestion charges and have nowhere to park it – what a city. As I was saying before I rudely interrupted myself, I was on the train and someone left behind a copy of the Evening Standard and as I had a long cold ride on the tube I decided to flick through it and have a read and I came across an interesting article on page 20/21 entitled "Where are all the black models on our catwalks?".

racism 2

In brief Iman, Naomi Campbell and Bethann Hardison have teamed up to launch a campaign to combat fashions 'virtual white-out". It is a sad state of affairs when she states there were more models of colour used in the 70's when racism was rift then now in 2013. An in depth research was done across all four of the big fashion weeks (London, Paris, Milan and New York) and only 6% of the total models used were models of colour.


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.

Monday, 16 September 2013 19:28

A day in the life of Mr Mahogany

I get a lot of messages from people asking me what I do, how do I manage what I do and what is it really like to be Mr Mahogany, so me being someone that likes to respond to peoples request I thought I would give you an idea of what my day can be like – however in this case it would be over a couple of days.

Let's start with Africa Fashion Week London, it took place in London between the 1st and 4th August and as soon as it finished the very next day I was on a plane to Nigeria. I guess some of you are thinking why on earth did you not stay and enjoy a few days of the great British summer, I would have loved to but I had two shows I was working on in Nigeria and even whilst I was in London my clients were continuously calling, so I thought that it would be cheaper to go back immediately than to waste money on topping up my Lebara card to keeping calling Nigeria.

I arrived in Nigeria in the evening and the very next day I had 5 meetings set up to see different clients and to put the finishing touches to one of the events which was taking place 10 days later and this was the TWB Souk. The TWB Souk was a lifestyle exhibition – fashion, food and music.

For those of you that know me, you know that I tend to work very late and wake up late, when I was in London I tended to wake up at about 11am, however on getting to Nigeria my whole life has changed – seriously what is wrong with Nigerians, they would be calling me at 5am in the morning to arrange a meeting or in some cases just to say good morning. I don't need anyone to call me at 5am to say good morning. People there start work early, I am still finding it hard to get use to the early morning starts but I am making progress. I have moved from waking up at 11 am to waking up at about 8.30am. I know 8.30 sounds a bit too specific but that just seems to be the time I wake up.

So once I wake up I am straight onto the computer (yes, I do brush my teeth and have a shower first), I tend to spend a couple of hours answering the 100's of emails I get daily, I really do get literally 100's of emails. I really hate early morning or generally morning meetings so I avoid wherever possible having morning meetings.

It's amazing how culturally different the ways of working are, whilst in the UK 95% of my work was done on the computer and the odd meeting here and there but in Nigeria it is completely different, I spend 85% of my time out and about, attending meetings, socialising etc. a lot of business here is done at social events and at bars or restaurants – stop being jealous, it sure beats working in an office 9 to 5.

But there's a lot of hanging around as people can be late, which is ok if they call you and let you know that they would be late but most times they may not show and not even bother to call to let you know, so that can be quite frustrating. In fact it can be very annoying but I know how to handle it now, so I just fix three meetings at the same time and hope that at least one of them would not show up. Before you start bombarding me with questions about what happens if they all show up at the same time, well that's easy – I deal with one and say to the other (said in a Nigerian accent – try it, if you don't know how to do it go and watch a Nollywood movie for inspiration) "wait now, I am coming, I will be with you in a minute" and possibly an hour later you manage to meet with them. I know it is bad but sometimes you have no choice but to be like this, however you must be careful as there are some people that work to time.

Rounding up I may get home late in the evening, make some calls and work late into the night catching up on the emails that have piled up whilst I was out.
So on an event day – case study TWB Souk. The TWB souk was a lifestyle event of fashion, food and music, it had exhibitors, fashion shows and musical performances from Omolara, McFoy, Eben and also one of Nigeria's biggest stars "MI" (Mister Incredible). So as usual it was a full production.

Employing production companies in the UK can be quite expensive and as such for a lot of events setup is done on the day but in Nigeria for most events production companies have the luxury of setting up the day before. That being the case you would believe that my job should be easier, that is far from the case. I have done events where they have 36 hours to setup and they are still struggling to setup on time. How can this be so, simply put people take their time and it makes life so difficult. I have no choice but to stay with them and work through the night to ensure that not only is the work done but done right. I have stories of how things can be messed up and you can see it blatantly won't work but they will say to you "Oga you fit manage am" translated you better live with it cos there is no way I am doing it all again.

So one rarely gets very little sleep as they tend to work right up to just about when the doors will open for the event and of course once the event starts I then have to manage, run and produce the event. The rest I won't bore you as that is history.

This is a brief overview of what my day can be like.
Monday, 12 August 2013 20:52

What is wrong with Black People?...

I know that I just did a blog yesterday about AFWL but as I was going through the AFWL Facebook fan page I came across a comment left by a gentleman and it related to this picture.

The comments he left underneath the picture were as follows (I have left the comments unedited);

"i thought this was african fashion week so where are the africans... take a leaf out of burberry, calvin klein etc So why dont we see more and its only the token one we see yet on ours we give even a bigger proportion. Im well in tuned with the fashion industry and had friends turned down for syupid reasons. Why call it African week then. Hello well if 95% of your models are African then lets see more of them as those u keep on publishing do tally with your response. I am not being misled by the colour of the skin and fully aware there are whites not only in South Africa but also in the eastern part of Africa. I am not alone who noticed this but friends of mine also but have decided to reserve their comments. In future think about what the African event stands for as if it was European or other parts of the globe this would of been considered and equality would not come into play. Its just an advice not a criticism pls note"

I love it when he says its just advice and not criticism - according to the English Oxford Dictionary Criticism is deifned as "the expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes" ok I know I am Nigerian and my English is not very good, but to me it sounds like his comments fall under the definition of criticism but who the hell is he to give us advice; when he is spending the money AFWL spent on the show, or he becomes a sponsor or is one of the 100's of people that worked on the show or better still he actually attended the show, then I would very much welcome his advice but at the moment I take it as criticism.

My View on the above:

Yes I am so going to rant, infact I have already started, as it riles me up big time that after all the effort that was put into AFWL and the money spent, the only thing this man could pick up upon was the fact that in his view we had too many non-African models or AFWL was purposely only putting up pictures of the nonblack models on the website and Facebook page.

Before I go on let me break it down for all of you with some hard core facts about the models used.

We had 38 models in total
  • 3 white models
  • 2 Brazilian (I guest under his definition they are white as well)
  • 1 male Asian model
  • The rest of the models were either black African/Caribbean or models of dual heritage whom under normal standards are considered as black
So out of 38 models we have a total of 6 models that may not be considered black and that means that our show does not represent the name of the show - AFWL?

I am sooooooooooo confused, so he is saying that we must be like the rest of the world and discriminate against a good model because of the colour of her skin. AFWL is about being inclusive and we welcome models, designers and visitors of any colour or nationality and no matter what people say we would continue to promote all types of models and designers. It just amazes me that people can be so short sighted. I believe that if you have nothing good or positive to say then just SHUT YOUR MOUTH, it's not by force that you must say something especially if it is rubbish.

If he thinks that we did not do a good job then he should go spend £100k and do his own show. He stated that his friends felt the same way, well to that one I say birds of a feather flock together. I think his comments are disrespectful to all of the models not just the non-black models and gives the impression that we don't value our black models.

I have been working in this industry for over 35 years and I have fought hard to the detriment of my business and financial benefit (and I also think that is why I have not yet received my MBE), to make sure that black models, designers and black businesses are given a fair chance to succeed and to have someone say that we are favouring white people over our own, seriously pisses me off (I guess you can tell from my blog).

However I may be wrong and maybe when I was selecting the models I did have far more non black models than models of colour and if that is the case I am man enough to take the criticism, so please feel free to leave your comments on the AFWL page with your honest thoughts (this is the link).

I am particularly keen to hear from the models, designers and those that actually attended the show and once I see the feedback – good or bad I will do a part two to this saga.

For now I need to take a cold shower to calm down and for my readers that really let their thoughts go wild please note that is the only reason I am taking a cold shower.
Sunday, 11 August 2013 20:37

African Fashion Takes over the World...

Disclaimer: this is a totally biased review done by me (Mr Mahogany) and I can assure you that it is going to be 100% biased and will be a great review, so if you feel that you cannot read a totally biased review stop reading now.

I know a lot of you don't like to read nowadays, so I will attempt to keep it short and do it in chapters for you, so that you can take your time and read chapter at a time.


I was recently informed by someone that the publicity for Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL) was not very good as lots of people had not heard about it, so just in case you are one of them I thought it best to let you know what AFWL is. However if you are of African descent, love fashion and live in the UK and have not heard of AFWL – you need to get out more and get some friends.

I have no intention of writing something from my head about what AFWL is about, so being honest I just went to the website and copied what AFWL is about – "Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL) is the biggest African event of its kind in Africa. A collaborative fashion exhibition, highlighting the industry's established and emerging African designers, AFWL is at the forefront of capturing the surge of the African inspired trends in the fashion industry. Our annual event aims to celebrate the work of African and African inspired designers in the UK and worldwide". In short, it is a fashion week and exhibition that showcases African or African inspired designers/exhibitors – the last bit was written by me – not a bad summation, even if I say so myself.

Now let's get to the juicy bits.

Chapter One - Fittings

I arrived in the UK about a week before the show, "hold on wait a minute" (not sure if you know that phrase in a famous song – you need to say it like that if you know the song – I am not telling you what it is, go figure it out), I am sure you do not think that I just started work on the show a week before the event, trust me I have been working on the event for the past 9 months.

Normally I would be in town much earlier but there is just so much going on in Nigeria that I could not leave any earlier, so I get straight into town and start the fittings. We had two very intensive days of fittings. Let me break it down for you 40 plus models, 20 plus styling team, and over 65 designers to fit in two days that is a lot of work. Now I am not really talking about the actual fittings I am talking about it is a lot of work to deal with sooooooo many women. Thank you Lord for patience, by his grace I got through it - JUST!

Before I go on, to all the men that are reading this and are envious of me that I am around all these women and you have the wrong kind of thoughts going through your one track mind – behave - but more importantly you need to bear two things in mind –

One, for me it's like being a doctor – no big deal (stop calling me a liar) and two, most of you men as bad as you think you are, you know you can't handle two women at the same time, so imagine me having to deal with over 100 different women and every single one of them thinks she is something special (before I get into any trouble, ladies you were all very special – hopefully by saying this I have escaped with my life).

We had a few drama's but we got it done. Before I go onto chapter two I must talk about my fantastic Nigerian designers, i am referring to those that came from Nigeria not Nigerian designers that live in the UK. We are in season 3 of AFWL, so I now know the score, so when I was scheduling the fittings I moved most of the Nigerian designers that were coming from Nigeria all to the same day and I warned the team of what to expect and they did not disappoint me.

Despite them being sent the model board and them picking their models in advance, they arrived on the day and completely changed all of their models, I should ask for money back for my ink and all the wasted paper from printing off their model lists. it does not stop there, I had some designer that were given a fitting slot for Tuesday afternoon and they arrived on Wednesday evening – I am not joking I had a few like that. I had one designer who called me at 10am and said she would be there in the hour and she arrived at 7.30pm – for those of you that know me well – you already know what happened, before I even say it. I said sorry I can't do your fitting you need to come back the following morning at 8am and if you are late I won't fit you and you won't do the show.

Thats right, yes she was on time the next morning. Some of the designers were extremely rude, but I do understand why they were so and that cos they were trained by Alexander McQueen and are making millions of pounds every month. I say no more. As expected the second day of fittings was extremely more stressful. as i say this i must also be fair and say not all the designers took 2 hours to fit when they were only alloted 30 minutes and a number of them were on time, extremely professional and very well prepared.

It would not be fair to only say the designers were divas, as some of the models were no better and I had to ask a few to leave and the number one reason is this - you are booked to do a job and you take it voluntarily, no one held a gun to your head and then you arrive at the fitting and tell me that you want to leave by 3pm (we were to finish by 6pm), so that you can go to another casting – it's a bit like you being at work and telling your boss that instead of leaving work at 6pm you want to leave at 3pm so that you can start your other job early but you still expect your boss to pay you for the 3 hours that you are working somewhere else – I don't think so. The good thing is after sending a couple of models home we were left with the best and the two days of fittings went smoothly.

Chapter Two – Backstage

On the Thursday the day started very early for everyone as we had to be at the Old Truman Brewery (the venue) by 8.30am. The day started with some fittings for the designers that missed their fitting slot earlier in the week, then onto hair and makeup. As for me I was putting the final touches to the set design, sound and lighting working with the technical team and making sure everything was on point. I also did a walk through with the models and ensured they knew their routines and would walk like top models, we also did some filming for Arise TV which went out live. Hair was done by Mizani (L'Oreal – I know some of you would know that name better) and makeup was by Fashion Fair which was led by my main man Mr Gorgeous. So I had a great team behind me.

Throughout the entire 3 days of shows we had numerous film crews doing interviews and it seemed like 100's of photographers were always backstage taking pictures. Backstage this year was great as we had plenty of space so it was far easier to work and Malaika Mwaniki our head stylist was super well organised and ran it like a military camp.

Chapter Three – The Show

Our first show was at 4pm on the Thursday and the last show was at 8.30pm on the Saturday, throughout the 3 days we had 10 different shows and showcased over 60 plus designers. The range of designers was vast and the catwalk was an array of colours and styles ranged from street, to swimwear, to couture and was a mixture of student, new, aspiring and established designers. the youngest designer being 14 year old Tumisola Ladega, designers came from across the world including Switzerland, Zambia, Ghana, USA, Nigeria, the UK and South Africa. South Africa sent over a fantastic delegation of 9 of their best designers and in addition AFWL was privileged to have the phenomenal Thula Sindi showcase and it was nice working with one of Nigeria's hottest designers Zizi Cardow. I try not to mention designers individually but I loved working with Didi Creations, Moofa and Steve Mandy Designs who actually created a hand painted dress live on the catwalk whilst his collection was being showcased.

However in terms of producing a show, for me the one that I had most fun with and the designer that took it to another level in terms of the production of her designs, the thought behind her original music and me putting the finishing touches to her show was Elegante by tiannahstyling. It was one of the best shows I produced throughout AFWL and based on feedback, those that saw the show were blown away.

AFWL received press from across the world and was featured on the BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Arise TV, the Flyer Newspaper, Naija Swagger and so many more media outlets, way too many to mention.

I must briefly talk about the music which was produced by AFWL music director Dj Homeboy of Homdiggy Muzik one of the top music production companies in the country, he had people on their feet throughout the whole show and people did not want the after party to end.

Chapter Four – What Else?

There was just so much going on, in terms of the exhibition – I managed to go round the exhibition area on the Saturday and I was amazed at the array of clothes, bags, shoes, food and services that were on display. The exhibition area was lively and vibrant, with music being played by DJ Abass. The women (and men) were dressed to kill and made sure that they would be noticed and they were. I saw men suffering from double vision as they did not know where to look when it came to the women that were at AFWL and those attending with their wives were being slapped around the head for comitting lookery.

This was generally a stress free show (not that any show can really be stress free) but I did not shout much and I think we had it locked down in terms of producing the show.

Chapter Five - The Dorchester

I bet some of you thought that it ended at the Old Turman Brewery on the Saturday, it did not as on the Sunday we had the African Arts & Fashion Exhibition which was a prestigious gala event hosted by AFWL life patron Princess Fifi Ejindu. The stars were out in force with the likes of Alexandra Burke, Bianca Jagger, June Sarpong, Nadia Buari, super model Noella Musunka, Singer Shingai Shoniwa, Misha B and was hosted by Sky TV presenter Lukwesa Burak and a great performance by the CEO Dancers, everyone seems to love them.

The event could not be complete without a fashion show which featured 8 of Africa's hottest designers – Zizi Cardow, Thula Sindi, Adebayo Jones, Sally Itiego, Moofa, Ella & Gabby, Gisella Boutique and Kitiko.

It was a very glamorous affair with a sumptuous three course dinner, I can only say that it looked sumptuous as I didn't get to eat any of it, but it looked good and it definitely made me hungry. I cant believe I did an event at the Dorchester and did not get to eat – Ronke I am upset oh.

Overall AFWL was amongst the best events I have produced in recent times and I must commend Ronke Ademiluyi the founder of AFWL and her team for a fantastic job that they did. More importantly she must be given credit for assisting designers that would not normally be given the chance to showcase at an international standard fashion week and she was able to bring the eyes of the world to the event.

Check out the album below as well as the different pictures and comments on my FACEBOOK PAGE – feel free to leave your comments.

Chapter Six

It's enough now, go and do something else I am tired.


It's been a busy couple week with work and attending a variety of events, Lagos is truly a city that never sleeps when it comes to entertainment and in my old age I definitely cannot keep up with all of the events that take place every day.

Moving on and enough about me, lets me get to the crux of the matter, I went to a very nice and intimate fashion presentation by Jide Adedeji formerly a top makeup artist with Sleek Nigeria and now runs his own styling and makeup company and is also making great strides towards becoming a top designer with his label "JReason".

His specialty is menswear but the great thing is that women can also wear his clothes. Besides the fact that it started two hours late (and you know me I am a stickler for time) it was a very nice show, really intimate with people seated around the pool and scattered around the venue sitting on nice comfortable sofa's eating club sandwiches and drinking Fanta (well that was me), other guests were drinking beer, wine and eating proper food.

It was also good to catch up with some great Nigerian supermodels such as Dami Teidi who also runs Styljunki, check it out, well worth the looksee, Uju was also there and she seriously is a mega model and I also chilled out with Alex Nwokedi who is the current Face of Sleek and a seriously good business woman, so overall I had a good time.

The fix of the Century?

I better give you a bit of background before I get into my big issue about this competition. MBNG stands for Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria and is by far the biggest beauty pageant in Nigeria if not Africa with the top three going to Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Tourism respectively and it was from this competition that Agbani Darego came from, who later went on to be the first ever black winner of Miss World, finally it has been in existence for about 26 years so as you can see it has a lot of substance and credibility.

Was it fixed? This year the Silverbird Group who own the pageant were asked by the Bayelsa State Government (a state in Nigeria) to host the competition in their state. Now I love money so for me I have no problem with MBGN being hosted by Bayelsa State, especially when they are footing the entire bill of the competition and not to mention putting some few extra coins into the pockets of Silverbird.

But hello, please don't make it so obvious that you feel you have to give something back to your major sponsor by making the winner of MBGN coming from Bayelsa State. Normally people would come and tell me that they felt a competition was fixed and I would defend all competitions, that people would not do that as it is not in their interests to do so.

Sadly I sat through two hours of the competition, the "sadly" bit was more to do with the fact that I was a bit bored at the speeches made by the numerous Bayelsa State government representatives including the Governor himself (no disrespect to the Governor) and the political speech by Omotola Jalade Ekeinde (top Nollywood actress), poor MBGN they weren't expecting that and that is what comes of giving an award to an actress at a beauty pageant, seriously I could not see the relevance of that despite the fact that I love her loads as an actress, activist (her words not mine) and as a person (I have met her a few times and she is a very nice person).

Anyway where was I, oh yes now I remember – there were 32 girls that competed in the competition one representing every state in Nigeria. I am not saying the Miss Bayelsa was ugly or did not speak well cos that would be a lie, I did expect her to be in the top 5 as that would be expected as Bayelsa sponsored the event but I did not expect her to win as there were better girls and it always worries me that just as they give the result to the presenter the judge states that it is not fixed, you don't need to say that if you don't think people would think it was fixed.

I would love to take a secret straw poll of the other 31 contestants and see what they felt, yes I know that their opinions would not be valid as people would expect them to say it was fixed because they did not win.

I always wonder how they do it as there were about 5 different judges. I am sure they were not worried that they would face an angry crowd if Miss Bayelsa did not win so how did they get to their decision. I sort of feel like a hypocrite writing this piece as I know people have said that Top Model of Colour International is fixed and I have strongly defended the integrity of the competition, so I may be being unfair to MBGN – judge for yourself.

Winner - Miss Bayelsa

1st Runner Up - Miss Imo

2nd Runner Up - Miss Adamawa

In my humble opinion and someone that has been a judge on numerous pageants around the world and who watched the show (I must specify I watched it on TV as no one was prepared to buy me a ticket to fly to Bayelsa and watch the show, I am still not a superstar in Nigeria to warrant such treatment), I think there were a lot of other girls that were taller and prettier that could have won it and would have given Nigeria a much better chance of the person doing relatively well at Miss World.

I must state that I cannot prove or have any evidence that it was fixed and genuinely the judges may have felt she was the best person to win without any influence from anyone (yeah right) but already I have received lots of BB's and calls from people clearly stating their reservations about how they came to deciding on who should win MBGN.

I will leave it to you to decide and give your own opinion of the competition if you watched it and if you did not then you would have to just come to your own conclusion based on my interpretation.

Have a great week ahead.
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 13:51

Is Nollywood Just One Big Joke?

I just had to stop what I was doing to tell you this, it's just killing me. I am at my computer working on Africa Fashion Week London, Fashions Finest London Fashion Week Show and a few other events and I have the TV on as I just love to have some noise around me when I am working. I am deep in concentration and then I hear reggae music coming from the television and I look up and I see that it is the start of a Nollywood Movie. Now I am sure you are saying – so what's the big deal?

Well this is it, reggae music is playing and there is an old man walking down the road in a village type setting and he is wearing native (Nigerian clothes). Then the scene cuts to a person being kidnapped and the music changes to some sort of Nigerian tension music. I AM LOST OH!

Nollywood movies and some of its actors have become international superstars and the movies are watched across the world, so I know that some of you can relate to some of the things I speak about below.

I have learnt how to watch Nigerian movies and what you do for some of the scenes I go and take a power nap for about 20 to 30 minutes wake up and catch the end of the same scene I was watching when I fell asleep. As you know the same Nollywood movie has part one to part one hundred and can last 2 days nonstop. Why are the scenes so long?

My biggest bugbear at the moment is that in every movie they have to cry and wail and it goes on forever. I have not watched a Nollywood movie yet where they don't cry, scream or roll on the floor. Now I understand that script writers are finding it hard to come up with original stories and have to feature the crying game in every movie but at least they should try and get actors that can genuinely cry. Many a times you will see that one drop of tears rolling down their face and you see it has been manufactured and does not last as long as the crying scene – SOMEBODY HELP ME!

The use of music in Nollywood movies is great, I am working not really looking at the TV and then I hear tension music and I look up expecting to see something really exciting about to happen because of the music I am hearing and then the next thing I see the actor walk to the door open it and say "Hi Sola, how are you?" duuhhh do they not know what tension music is meant to be used for?

This movie I watching is killing me, it is so disjointed its unbelievable, but I am loving the reggae music even though it has no relevance to the movie. Can you believe this they just shot a woman and she is lying dead on the floor in a certain position, they cut to a new scene and then cut back to the scene of the woman lying on the floor (about 15 minutes later) and the dead body is in a completely different position – seriously I am not lying, I guess the dead body was tired of lying in the same position waiting for the scene to change and decided to move.

I thought I would leave you with some classic Nollywood Bloopers...


A Chief is inside the car with the window wound up, armed robbers attack and shoots at the chief, the bullet won't break the glass but kills the chief inside the car..: How come ??

A man shoots himself on the head 3 times...Habaaa !!!!!!! How in the world is that possible?

RMD (Richard Mofe Damijo) remembering when he was still 7 years old as far back as 1960 and suddenly a HUMMER passes in front of him....... Chinekeee

Patience Ozokwor poisons Zark Orji's food. She stirs the poison so that it will circulate to all parts of the meal and then she tastes it. Zack Orji dies while she survives. Nawaa oo
Someone flashes back to 1982 and behind him is a sign board "Vote for Goodluck" (president of Nigeria elected president in 2010) Hmmmm

A 7year old character is washing plates and he suddenly becomes an adult in his 20's still washing the same plates and wearing the same trousers...

Omotola is depicted as a poor woman suffering in the village and has to do serious farm work to survive, only for you to see that her fingernails are fixed with long plastic nails and painted crimson red.
Tonto Dike acting a born again village girl, yet has tattoos on her body.

Someone dies with a low cut hairstyle and his spirit comes back wearing afro... Na wetin?

A woman suddenly decides to poison her husband, then she opens her food cabinet and brings out the substance. Is poison part of cooking ingredients?

They shoot you on the leg yet blood start coming out from your nose.

John Okafor (Ibu) is the father of Nkem Owoh.. Biko who is older?

You must cough before you die?

I am a patriotic Nigerian and I love my Nigerian movies but seriously. However the industry is getting better and there have been some great Nollywood blockbusters – Figurine, Last Flight To Abuja, Ije, The Mirror Boy and a few others. Overall the standard is getting much better but at any time you want a good laugh and forget about your troubles you would never go wrong watching a Nollywood movie.

The question at hand is whether you think this is a true story or not - I welcome you leaving comments on the blog.

After having been told my danglies looked like an elderly Rastafarian I decided to take the plunge and buy some Veet as previous shaving attempts had only been mildly successful and I nearly put my back out trying to reach the more difficult bits.

Being a bit of a romantic I thought I would do the deed on the missus's birthday as a bit of a treat. I ordered it well in advance and working in the North Sea I considered myself a bit above some of the characters writing the previous reviews and wrote them off as soft office types...Oh my fellow sufferers how wrong I was. I waited until the other half was tucked up in bed and after giving some vague hints about a special surprise I went down to the bathroom. Initially all went well and I applied the gel and stood waiting for something to happen. I didn't have long to wait.

At first there was a gentle warmth which in a matter of seconds was replaced by an intense burning and a feeling I can only describe as like being given a barbed wire wedgie by two people intent on hitting the ceiling with my head. Religion hadn't featured much in my life until that night but I suddenly became willing to convert to any religion to stop the violent burning around the turd tunnel and what seemed like the the destruction of the meat and two veg.

Struggling not to bite through my bottom lip I tried to wash the gel off in the sink and only succeeded in blocking the plughole with a mat of hair. Through the haze of tears I struggled out of the bathroom across the hall into the kitchen, by this time walking was not really possible and I crawled the final yard to the fridge in the hope of some form of cold relief. I yanked the freezer drawer out and found a tub of ice cream, tore the lid off and positioned it under me. The relief was fantastic but only temporary as it melted fairly quickly and the fiery stabbing returned. Due to the shape of the ice cream tub I hadn't managed to give the starfish any treatment and I groped around in the draw for something else as I was sure my vision was going to fail fairly soon. I grabbed a bag of what I later found out was frozen sprouts and tore it open trying to be quiet as I did so. I took a handful of them and tried in vain to clench some between the cheeks of my arse. This was not doing the trick as some of the gel had found its way up the chutney channel and it felt like the space shuttle was running its engines behind me.

This was probably and hopefully the only time in my life I was going to wish there was a gay snowman in the kitchen which should give you some idea of the depths I was willing to sink to in order to ease the pain. The only solution my pain crazed mind could come up with was to gently ease one of the sprouts where no veg had gone before.

Unfortunately, alerted by the strange grunts coming from the kitchen the other half chose that moment to come and investigate and was greeted by the sight of me, arse in the air, strawberry ice cream dripping from my bell end pushing a sprout up my arse while muttering "ooooohhh that feels good" Understandably this was a shock to her and she let out a scream and as I hadn't heard her come in it caused an involuntary spasm of shock in myself which resulted in the sprout being ejected at quite some speed in her direction.

I can understand that having a sprout fired against your leg at 11 at night in the kitchen probably wasn't the special surprise she was expecting and having to explain to the kids the next day what the strange hollow in the ice cream was didn't improve my to sum it up, VEET removes hair, dignity and self-respect!

Mr Mahogany says the moral of the story is keep the hair on your balls!!!!

It's been a very long day and night, that is Sunday 30th June, for those of you that are reading my blog days or weeks after I wrote it, which by the way is not on as you should be reading it the day I posted it.

I hope you have your cup of tea or coffee besides you or for those of you that drink something stronger a glass of beer or a shot of brandy or I know the women love Baileys as this is going to be a little bit of a long one, don't worry you can read it like a novel by keep coming back to it till you finish it.

After spending the afternoon at the Nigerian Television Fashion Show I drove down to Eko Hotel for the Ebony Life TV launch event, but before I get into that I must tell you that sometimes I feel that I just don't have enough time in the day running from one event to another. Being a forward thinker I took the clothes that I needed for the Ebony Life event with me, so as I was driving from Oregun to the Island I was changing in the car (please do not try this at home, this was done by a qualified, highly trained, seasoned change in my car whilst driving professional).

As I was involved in the initial planning of the event I was eager to see how it turned out, as halfway through I had to go off and do another event. Before I get into the nitty gritty I must tell you what my journey was like trying to get a ticket for the event. I am not yet a mega star in Nigeria so I had to beg for a ticket (me I no get shame, so I will say it as it is), I called all my hot contacts and the movers and shakers of Lagos and not one of them was able to get me a ticket – me I have a long memory oh, I won't forget – just joking. In the end it was actually someone who is not even Nigerian who sorted me out – thank you know whom you are.

My blog style may have a bit of Nigerian English in it, so you better start getting use to pigeon English, where appropriate I will translate. Me I have luck oh – can you see I have started saying "OH" a lot – its pronounced "O" with a lot of emphasis on the "O"and with a Nigerian accent – try it. Back to why I have luck, I had arranged to meet my dear sister Mandi and her husband at the entrance and as we arrived we met Bobby Taylor who did all the PR for the event and Bobby just escorted us to her table and we had one of the best views in the hall. Bobby if you are reading this, you love the good life (by the way Bobby is female), even though I don't drink she made sure the bubbly was constantly flowing, if I did drink they would have had to carry me out as I would have been paralytic. Thank you bobby for taking care of me, another one of my mega stars (however I will forever remember you did not get me a ticket) but you more than made up for that.

I have to set the scene for you of the event, by the way stop being impatient – I can hear you saying that you have not even mentioned what the event is about – CLUE, it's in the title. The reason why I have to set the scene is because unlike some of you I don't have a fantastic camera and can show you the event in picture form, all I have is my crappy BB camera phone and as you can see below the pictures that came out are as crappy as the phone. At some point I will go and steal some pictures from other people's sites and post them here, I am only joking before some of you photographers or website owners try and sue me for copyright infringement or theft. One day I will be able to afford an expensive camera.

I wanted to write the piece like a Jeffery Archer novel but I know you don't have much patience, I can already hear some of you saying get to the point. It was warm rainy night in Lagos and the roads were awash with big jeeps, SUV's, Bentleys (yes I saw a Bentley), lots of armed policemen and men and women dressed to kill, every conceivable foreign and Nigerian designer was well represented and just at that event alone, the women paid for Gucci's new apartment.

I better state what the event was about now before I go on. The Ebony Life TV launch was an event to mark the launch of Nigeria's first ever truly global entertainment TV network founded by the Oprah Winfrey of Africa – Mo Abudu. At this point as I am writing I am standing up typing and clapping for Mo at the same time (I am among the few men in the world that can multi task). Her achievement at launching the channel is no small fete and she should be truly commended for this phenomenal achievement. PS I am not getting paid for this endorsement, just being honest. The channel itself launched on channel 165 on DSTV at midnight on 1st July and looking at some of the clips of some of its programmes it looks like it's going to be a very exciting channel to watch.

The Event

Now you know what it was about, let me tell you some of the people that were there, be prepared it's going to be a long list – of course myself Mr Mahogany, at least 3 full-fledged ministers, Governor of Cross Rivers state Senator Liyel Imoke and the ex-governor of Cross Rivers state Donald Duke, Steve Forbes of Forbes Magazine, my good friend Eryca Freemantle, Mr FAB of FAB Magazine, Face of Sleek & now Actress Makeda, Alexander Amusu, Bukky - OAP (On Air Personality), I like her and am looking forward to working with her, Rita Dominic, Tuface, King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Banky W, Zaina, Mo Easy, Tiwa Savage, Deola Sagoe, Kate Henshaw, Onyeka Onwenu, Ruth Osime, editor of This Style Magazine, MI (Mister Incredible), Omowunmi, Sir Victor Uwaifo and so many more. Sorry I am tired I am stopping here, my brain is not like it used to be and I can't remember everyone. If you are a non Nigerian you may not know most of the people I mentioned, but trust me they are famous.

It started with a jazz cocktail reception, sadly the event itself started very late and slightly went on for too long so a lot of people started leaving before it finished but I am sure everyone enjoyed themselves until they decided to leave. It was hosted by Dolapo Oni formerly of Studio 53 Extra who has recently joined Ebony Life TV as an anchor of the hit show Moments with Mo and her co-host was one of Nigeria's premium stars Darey Art Alade. There were a number of boring speeches that were drier than the Sahara Desert but I guess the bills have to be paid, I did enjoy the speech by Steve Forbes very inspirational and he spoke about the upward trend of the entertainment industry in Africa similar to my talk and topic at Cambridge University a couple of weeks ago. I expect to see Mo Abudu listed in Forbes Africa if not Forbes the world as the most influential African woman in entertainment, sorry Omo Sexy (Omotola Jalade Ekeinde) but their is a contender for your title.

The theme of the evening was old meets new Banky W performed with the legendary Ebenezer Obey and also with Tiwa Savage, Onyeka Onwenu with Omowunmi and Deola Sagoe showed 25 years of fashion from the days of her grandmother Odua Creations to her label, Deola Sagoe and the new generation CLAN, the fashion label run by her daughters. Ebony Life also recognised a number of people that have contributed to the Nigerian entertainment industry including my lifetime friend Deola Sagoe for her contribution to fashion – one day I go receive my own award oh.

I have to stop here as even I am getting bored and it's getting too long. Overall it was a great night out, super networking and truly a momentous occasion with the launch of Nigeria's truly first global entertainment television network.

Mo I expect my cheque in the post for this super-hot review.

Monday, 01 July 2013 15:03

Nigerian Television Fashion Show

The Nigerian Television Fashion Show took place on the 30th June and it was nice to attend as a guest.

It is so hard trying to watch a show and not want to say I would have done this differently or that differently. My inner voice keeps telling me to keep quiet and just watch the show - too hard to do, I am screaming inside.

I guess this is one of the reasons why people like me are needed to continue to push the industry to the next level.

Ps: there are some stupidly hot shows in Nigeria that even I am learning things from, but its only the odd one or two in terms of what I am learning from them and most of the time when that happens the events have brought in a foreign crew to put it together.

I am going off point but my aim with each review is to also let you know what it is like working in as well as what is happening in the Nigerian entertainment industry.

Anyway back to the Nigerian Television Fashion Show which was done by exquisite of Galaxy TV. The most interesting thing about the show is that it was done in Oregun (sorry not in the mood to give you a Lagos geography lesson - but its like instead of doing a show in the West End you do it in
Tottenham) which is outside of the main entertainment area - very brave. But as I say that, it is a full house and I think a lot people in Nigeria need to recognise the fact that the Island is not the only place in Lagos and the masses is where the real money is. I will not charge you for that free piece of business advice.

The show featured a lot of new designers and I think the aim was to give new and aspiring designers a chance to shine and I think on that account it succeeded.

I have been warned not to be too mouthy in Nigeria so I am trying to be more diplomatic in my views and choice of words - yeah right.

The thing that worried me the most about the show is that it has been going for about nine years and it should be a lot further on then it is, I think it's about time Mr Mahogany stepped in.

Check out some of the pictures from the show.
Sunday, 30 June 2013 19:27

Mahogany Arrives Safely In Nigeria...

Yes it me writing a blog after such a long break, it's not my fault as I have been overwhelmed with work in Nigeria.

Yes that is Nigeria in Africa, there is so much going on here so I decided to come out here and see if I can get a slice of the action.

Well I took the short flight from London to Lagos in November of last year and since then I have not looked back.

Before I go on I do need to say that Mahogany is still a thriving business in the UK and the rest of Africa and I am in and out of the UK every month.

I know some of you are jealous of the jet setters life I live - its ok I feel you. Who would not be jealous of me working in constant sunshine, flying around the world and living it up in the best hotels - even I am jealous of me.

Since being here, I have done or been involved in some great events including the Face of Fashion for Africa that took place in the Gambia, the one of a kind Darey Art Alade, Love Like A Movie where I got to meet Kim Khardasian (she is much shorter than I thought).

Mr Mahogany escorting Kim Khardasian

Beyond Music was amongst the biggest music concerts I have done in recent times and it featured top Nigerian gospel artist like Timi Dakolo, Tim Godfrey and the Lagos Community Gospel Choir.

Its nice being able to work with the likes of Whizkid, Tuface, Tiwa Savage, Waje, Mo Easy, Zaina, Basketmouth, Ali Baba, IK, Dr Sid, Naeto. C - I could go on and on, but I have now worked with nearly all of the industry greats in Nigeria including top Nollywood actors.

I know this seems like self praise but I am just updating you as to what I have been up to and not boasting. Well Ok I am boasting a little bit but you can't blame me when I get to work on and go to the Africa Magic Peoples Choice Awards, Ebonylife TV launch event and so much more. I think you have an idea of what my life is like here so I will stop now.

PS don't get it twisted Nigeria is not all fun and glory, its a lot of hard work and a very challenging environment, in later blogs I will let you know what it is really like working in Nigeria, trust me I have stories and Nigeria is not for the faint hearted.

Mr Mahogany with top nigerian movie director Kunle afolayan
Eddie kadi at the africa magic peoples choice awards
Africa magic peoples chouce awards - pictures features femi kuti Mr Mahogany
Mr Mahogany
Mr Mahogany 

Before I go I would like to say a massive thank you to Funmi Victor Okibo of No Surprises Events, Fiona Ramsey the COO of Soul Muzik and my good friend Eryca Freemantle and of course MBD, you all know what you have done - THANK YOU! 
Sola Oyebade aka Mr Mahogany, the CEO of Mahogany International (a leading fashion company) accuses the British Fashion Council of only awarding the mainstream designers. In this controversial statement he made whilst we filmed the red carpet of the Fashion Finest awards, Mr Oyebade said: "when we look at what the British Fashion Council did, which is the major award in the United Kingdom, we found very simply that if you weren't a mainstream name, if you weren't a top player, if you weren't from a background of money, you weren't going to get there."

The Fashions Finest Awards was set up last year to celebrate the unsung talent within the fashion industry. There are plenty of designers and models within the UK indsutry who had produced great work and this show was there to acknowledge their efforts.


Some people will read this and get upset but as much as it may hurt some things she says are true.

However I went to the University of Lagos and I am very upset at the proposed new name, which is Moshood Abiola University (MAU). Seriously now, no disrespect to the late Abiola but this name for one of the best universities in Nigeria is terrible. 



Tuesday, 21 February 2012 15:14

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due...

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.

Of course I put on my I am wide awake voice, to try and sound all business like in case it was a client but to my surprise the first response I got to my "good morning" was "have you seen the article in the ES Magazine" (ES = Evening Standard), it is a gross misrepresentation of the facts about where and how Afrobeats started".

The article seems to imply that DJ Abrantee of Choice FM was the man that made Afro beats popular, and people in the know are very upset by this as historically and factually this is not the case, to me this is a bit like saying that Eminem invented Rap music.
Before I go on I must say that DJ Abrantee is a good friend of mine and this point of correction article is not aimed at him personally but it is only fair to those that came before him that they get the credit they deserve.

I believe that Jimi the Bald Headed Guy summed it up perfectly when he said that "Afrobeat as a music genre, was created and made popular many years ago before Dj Abrantee kicked off his Late Saturday show on Choice FM, by the late Fela Kuti and it bears no relation to the various contemporary African music genre(s) that have emerged on the London club scene". As far as he is concerned "Abrantee is only representing what is already there. Naijapop and Hiplife have been around for over ten years and Abrantee knows that".

The various African genres of music include HIplife from Ghana, Kwaito from South Africa, Ndombolo from Zaire. Zairean Ndombolo, Camerounian Makossa, Cote D'Voire's Mapouka and NAIJAPOP from Nigeria and a lot more.

I was fortunate to grow up during the times of Fela Kuti, frequently visiting his house, partying with his children and was a regular at the world renowned Shrine, so I can and am categorically saying that Afrobeats was made popular by Fela Kuti and many others that followed after him. To put it into perspective for my Caribbean brothers and sisters a good way of explaining this, is to say that people were playing and singing Reggae music long before Bob Marley came along but Bob Marley made Reggae Popular and brought it onto the international scene but let's say that all of a sudden DJ Abrantee or Daddy Ernie from Choice FM started playing Reggae how many years after the death of Bob Marley and all of a sudden people say that they made Reggae popular, I hope this makes sense.

Afrobeats started many years ago and was made internationally popular by the pioneer of Afrobeats Fela Kuti and developed a resurgence internationally in 2006 with the hit African Queen by 2face Idibia. This award winning hit track "African Queen" was used as the sound track of the 2006 comedy film, Phat Girlz.

There are many Dj' and clubs in East and South London that have been playing Afrobeats as it is now being called, to full houses for many years and it must be said as with anything in this country if you have access to mainstream and you do something, you get the credit for it – Choice FM is owned by the owners of Capital Radio and we all know that the Choice FM of today is not the same as of the old days, both in terms of its commercialisation and its play list and anything that it now does would and does get mainstream credit. So bearing that in mind in one way the article is correct in saying that Dj Abrantee has brought it to mainstream in terms of the significant numbers that get to hear Afrobeats, purely and simply because he has Choice FM as the medium to do so and not because he is the pioneer of Afrobeats.

Whitney Elizabeth Houston RIP – August 9 1963 – February 11 2012...

I need not say much about her but just give you some facts below about how phenomenal an artist she was.

In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most-awarded female act of all-time. Houston was also one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide. She released seven studio albums and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification.

Houston is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. She is the second artist behind Elton John and the only female artist to have two number-one Billboard 200 Album awards (formerly "Top Pop Album") on the Billboard magazine year-end charts. Houston's 1985 debut album Whitney Houston became the best-selling debut album by a female act at the time of its release. The album was named Rolling Stone's best album of 1986, and was ranked at number 254 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Her second studio album Whitney (1987) became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Houston's first acting role was as the star of the feature film The Bodyguard (1992). The film's original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Its lead single "I Will Always Love You", became the best-selling single by a female artist in music history. With the album, Houston became the first act (solo or group, male or female) to sell more than a million copies of an album within a single week period under Nielsen Sound Scan system. The album makes her the top female act in the top 10 list of the best-selling albums of all time, at number four. Houston continued to star in movies and contribute to their soundtracks, including the films Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher's Wife (1996). The Preacher's Wife soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album in history.

On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead in her guest room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, California, of causes not immediately known. News of her death, the day before and after the 2012 Grammy Awards, featured prominently in American and international media.

May her soul rest in perfect peace.

I don't Speak Properly...

Over the weekend whilst producing the Fashions Finest London Fashion Week shows I was doing the voice over for the show and afterwards I was told that I don't speak English properly, can you believe that. Seriously it is bad enough that when I am in Nigeria I am called "Oyinbo Boy" (white boy ) cos of my English accent and how I speak and then to be in London and be told I don't speak good English because they say I say FREE instead of THREE, hello don't be slow – do you get it now. Anyway as far as I am concerned I speak the Queens English.

Black People Fashion...

London Fashion Week will be coming to an end tomorrow and I am sure for some of you it has just simply passed you by without too much recognition and I suppose rightly so, as firstly members of the public don't really get in to watch the shows and second black designers generally have to climb Mount Everest first before they would even be recognised just to be told you are not ready for LFW not to talk about actually showing at LFW.

Outside of the official London Fashion Week shows African and Caribbean designers have been getting some fantastic exposure. Le Geneve Events featured the Caribbean Collection which was a two day exhibition of designers from the Caribbean, Vauxhall Fashion Scout had a special show by Ubuntu initially known as the Nigeria collective show and of course Fashions Finest kept up its tradition of supporting and showcasing designers from across the African continent alongside both Caribbean and Asian designers, over two days over 27 designers showcased at Fashions Finest.

The only sad thing is that as mainstream designers start to use African fabrics and styles in their designs they once again steal the limelight and take all the glory for the so called Renaissance of African fashion. I think they need to remember that African fashion never went anywhere, it's always been here.

Check out the pictures from Fashions Finest LFW & the Other Fashions Weeks that have just taken place.

I know it's now the 27th January and I am only now wishing you Happy New Year when we are already nearly in February, but hey it's me and its better late then never. Last year was a tough year for a lot of us and I do hope that this year will be a great year for everyone.

Sadly though in terms of how people perceive black people things do not seem to have changed very much. I am not sure how many of you are aware of the recent storm that has blown up around the French Elle article, which and I am paraphrasing says that black people knew nothing about style until the Obama's got into power.

Nathalie Dolivo a fashion writer for French Elle wrote an article which was published on the Elle magazine website entitled 'Black Fashion Power' and she stated "African-Americans weren't stylish until the Obama family came into office. "For the first time, the chic has become a plausible option for a community so far pegged [only] to its street wear codes. She goes on to to explain why the so-called Obama renaissance of style is so "chic." According to her assessment, it embraces "white codes" while still making what she calls "a bourgeois ethnic reference (a batik-printed turban/robe, a shell necklace, a 'créole de rappeur') reminiscent [of] the roots."

So let me get this right prior to the Obama's getting into the White House African Americans were walking around butt naked looking like people that bought all their clothes from charity shops - yeah right.

Seriously what is wrong with these European journalist and their views on the black race, if we look back over the last year we had the controversy of the Italian Vogue's trend piece on so-called "slavery earrings" and their French edition's fashion spread of a model in blackface and just last month the Dutch magazine Jackie published a racial slur in a profile of Rihanna. It is so hard to believe that in this day and age people still have an issue over colour and race.

I am so tired of all of this crap that to be honest I can't even be bothered to even give my views on it, I just wanted to keep you all informed of what's going on in town and leave it to you to form your own views.
I will end by saying that it is more and more important that people of colour do their own things and stop trying to reach the West's ideals of beauty, fashion and music.

Fashions Finest London Fashion Week...

This is the Olympic year and is important to us in the UK because it is being held in London and of course there are some great things happening this year, of course starting with London Fashion Week Fashions Finest Season three show.

This year FF LFW show is bigger and better with over 25 designers coming from across the world including America, Zimbabwe, South Africa and a number of new and emerging designers from the UK showing. There will also be two solo shows featuring Yes London and John Peter. It's scary but Fashions Finest keeps going from strength to strength, with both days of shows being held at the Westbury Hotel in Mayfair, very exclsive and very classy.

FF LFW is one of the few shows during London Fashion Week that members of the public can come and watch the shows. so if you would like tickets – APPLY HERE – its free.

Mahogany Bridal Fashion Show – 1st April 2012...

Short and sweet – get your TICKETS for the MBFS. Also if you are a designer or exhibitor and want to be a part of MBFS EMAIL US for more information.

Article courtesy of 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 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.

Sunday, 25 December 2011 02:57

The Changing World of Fashion...

There are two guaranteed things that will happen in life, one is sadly we will all die and two is change and I am sure that you would agree with me that the fashion industry is always changing. From the very simple things of new fashion trends coming through each year to new designers, models and creatives joining the fashion industry. When you read the barrage of fashion magazines that come out each week it is so hard to keep up with what they state are the latest trends and new people coming onto the scene. I personally don't follow fashion trends because unless you are extremely rich and can afford to remain fashion savvy it is very easy to try and follow trends and by doing so it is very easy to become very poor.

One of the interesting changes that is taking place within the fashion industry is the rise and rise of African fashion as well as African fashion designers, not just new and established designers that are beginning to make a name for themselves on the international fashion scene but also the fact that mainstream designers and brands have taken an active interest in African fashion. Designers and brands such as Burberry, Gucci, YSL, Aldo, Lamb by Gwen Stephani over the last couple of seasons have been incorporating African materials into their designs. So I guess that it is fair to say that African fashion is back in fashion, how times have changed. It it must be said that this is relevant purely because of the designers that are paving the way for African fashion, the likes of Deola Sagoe, Tiffany Amber, Ituen Bassey, Stone Cherrie have become international designer superstars and I think it is fair to say that they have helped influence the growing trend towards African fashion being so popular.

African fashion has developed leaps and bounds with some great international African shows taking place each year such as Fashions Finest London Fashion Week Shows, Africa Fashion Week (South Africa, New York & London) and Arise Fashion Week that takes place in New York and Lagos each year. It is shows like this that have helped take African designers and fashion to another level and place it before the eyes of the world. It is my prediction that this is just the tip of the iceberg and mark my words "you ain't seen nothing yet"

Size 6 Supermodels - Does African Fashion Need to Mimic the West?

No No No - African women generally have different body shapes, by default Africa women are far more curvy and more fuller figured. Before people start saying that not every African woman is curvy or fuller figured, I am speaking in generic terms. As a man that works within the fashion industry and with all types of women from all types of ethnic backgrounds, I get to see women of all shapes and sizes so I feel I am a bit of an expert on this subject.

For many years the West has not accepted black models onto the catwalks or in magazines in any significant numbers to make us feel that we are an active part of the fashion industry and when they do want to use us, we must conform to the West standards of what they perceive as beauty which currently seems to be stick thin models with bones hanging out that you could hang your coat on. Sorry but this is not for me, give me a curvy black model that has a bit of hips so that when she graces the catwalk the dress flows as she walks but not remain motionless as the model has no body to make it move.

I am continuously told that Western designers don't like to use black models because they are too curvy or there walk is too sexy. I remember speaking to a black model recently who was with a big mainstream agency and she was lamenting over the fact that despite the fact that she met industry standard measurements in terms of her statistics 34 – 24 – 34, she was not getting jobs simply because she had more backside than hips as her 34 inch hips went backwards rather than side wards and for this simple reason designers would not use her for shows.

As a people and I am glad to say it is happening, we must not rely on the West to make our women supermodels but we must do it ourselves. A little fact to note – if you put the populations of the United States and Europe together it comes to a total of about 850 million odd people but the entire population of Africa is about one billion odd people. Doing the maths it is easy to see that African supermodels do not need the West to make them superstars and they can earn as much if not far more money than they would ever earn working in New York or London.

The power within the fashion industry does not lie with black people so we can only do the jobs that we are given and they select the type of models that they wish to use. However the interesting thing is that every day Western women seem to want to develop the black woman type of figure as some women are undergoing operations to have a shapely African looking backside, I even hear that you can buy padded underwear so you can have a fake looking bigger, shapely backside, they are also injecting things into their lips to have bigger and fuller lips, so some women want to look like us but we are not good enough to grace their catwalks and magazines.

It is great to get requests from African designers requesting curvy fuller figure models when I am asked to produce their shows for them, this makes me so happy and it's good to know that they are ignoring the West's ideals of beauty.

My Daughter wants to be a Supermodel? Steps to becoming a healthy minded Model.

Firstly models need to understand that this a very hard industry to succeed in and with the advent of such popular TV programmes as Americas next Top Model it seems that every young girl now wants to be a model but they do not realise how difficult and critical an industry it is. As a model you are a self-employed, independent contractor, you are considered a sole trader in your own small business, you are not an employee of the agency you may be signed to. Whether you are a freelance model or signed to a top modelling agency you will incur basic start-up costs and as such you will be required to cover all of your own promotional expenses such as composite cards (Z Cards), agency books (portfolio), and for some agencies they will charge you to be on their website. I advise all models that I come across that they should not pay an agency to represent them. Agencies earn their money from commissions or royalties directly received from their clients or via the fees from the work that the model does. Top professional agencies do not charge a joining fee and neither do they insist that you use one of their photographers to do your portfolio, however with the top agencies it is advisable to follow their recommendations on which photographers to use to do your portfolio as that way you are more likely to get the right type of pictures that the agency needs to promote you and get you work. We advise all models that if an agency asks you to pay a fee to join them, insists you must do an expensive portfolio before you join or pay an administration fee, then simply say no and walk away.

Models must look after themselves from their skin to their body and ensure at all times they have all that they need to succeed as a top model, they must have a never say die attitude, be confident in their own abilities and understand that they will suffer lots of rejection before they finally make it. They must be professional and be on time for castings or jobs and have a professional attitude at all times.

Finally I would say to models that they must research into how the modelling industry works, what is involved and what it takes to be a top model as well as research into agencies before they apply to them.

Models must be confident and flexible in their approach to modelling and they must find out about the business side of the modelling industry as that is where a lot of models fall foul
Its Sunday night about 3am in the morning and I am absolutely shattered as it has been a very very long weekend. Having been filming more or less nonstop over the weekend for Uber Africa, by the way Africa's Top Designer is going to be a great TV show. Sorry back to the matter at hand, on the Saturday evening after rushing through filming, I and half the cast, desigMr Mahogany - Fashion Icon of the Yearners, models, producers etc rushed off down to South East London for what proved to be a very exciting event with just about everyone who was anyone attending the 3rd Annual Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts Award (BEFTTA).

Just in case you did not get my subtle hint if you were not there, the question must be asked are you somebody, joke - seriously on this one I am just joking.

Over a thousand people showed up for the BEFTTA's on Saturday night, I might be slightly exaggerating but that is only because I don't know the capacity of the Lighthouse where the event was staged but it was a full house.

Everyone was dressed to the hilt, forget recession lots of people raided their piggy banks or recycled old clothes by putting a new twist to them and people made sure that they were dressed to kill. Whilst talking about dressing, I know the invite said black tie and wear a black jacket or suit but hey my excuse on my purple jacket with purple shirt and no tie came about because I am colour blind and my tie got blown away in the recent hurricane that swept the UK.

The venue was great and had all the mod cons and the stars of the entertainment and fashion industry did the event justice. It was a great improvement over the last 2 years (well done Pauline Long – founder & CEO of the BEFTTAs), the event started on time but on that one I must say Thank God for that, with over 150 awards and 500 nominees we would have been there all night. But the BEFTTA team got through them all and numerous people that would not normally ever have been recognised had the opportunity to be recognised which for me is a great thing. So regardless of the fact that we all think there are too many categories and nominees, I appreciate what Pauline and the BEFTTA Academy are trying achieve and they should be applauded not criticised.

I don't want any of you to think that I am giving this glowing review just because I, Mahogany and Fashions Finest between us received 5 awards (Fashions Finest – Best Event Promoter, Mahogany Models – Best Modelling Agency, Nana Afua – Best Female Model, IDeLick Media (Fashions Finest Official Photographer – Photographer of the Year and Mr Mahogany received a special award for Fashion Icon of the Year – receiving this award and peoples comments following this particular award has truly humbled me.

It was also nice to see Mink Cosmetics get an award for Makeup artist of the Year (they have been the official make up sponsors for all of Mahogany's & Fashions Finest events for the past year and to my main man & good friend, who filmed with me during the day and rushed off to collect his lifetime achievement award, Mr Adebayo Jones – well deserved. However if I am ever to get one, can I please get one before I reach pensionable age and I am well on the way there now.

"Michelle Obama" Gets Ghetto at the BEFTTA's...

Ok give me a break I am getting there, I know you were reading the title and thinking what has the above got to do with the title of your blog – well I had to talk about the BEFTTAs first before I talk about what Michelle Obama (actually it's about Dionne Rose who is a Michelle Obama lookalike), did at the BEFFTA's.

Well this is what happened, after the BEFTTA awards a few selected VIP guests and the award winners were invited for a small intimate dinner. It was a nice intimate affair with a performance from a rising super star Angela Ricci (this girl can blow). Anyway there were some small issues over the serving of the food and drinks and there was a group of women on the table next to us and I have no idea who they were, where they were from or what they do but towards the end of the evening a couple of the women on that table decided that they wanted to pick a fight with everyone that looked at them, spoke to them or breathed the same air as them and unfortunately our table was marked as public enemy number one.

I tried to stop my table from responding to the verbal attacks we were receiving for no apparent reason (if we had done something I would be honest, I would tell you), I even used a great saying of mine which is that "it is not every time you have to respond to a mad person, when they talk to you, otherwise you may look like the mad person". This worked for a while but the women on the other table continued their affront and Dionne "Michelle Obama" could not contain herself any longer and went for this woman with a full on verbal attack which included such words as bleep, **@#, bleep, bleeeep, and more bleeps **@#,, followed by bleep, **@#, bleep, bleeeep, and more bleeps **@#, (you may insert profanities of your choice as they most likely would have been used). DIONNE's language was too colourful and she got down and dirty and stooped to the level of these bush women and sadly they were bush and extremely manner less in their behaviour.

It was not a good idea to sink to their level but it was good fun seeing her lose it and we all had a good laugh.

Moan & Groan

This is not Africa feed yourself...

Over the past few months I have attended a number of award ceremonies, some bad and some good, which have included some of the most prestigious awards ceremonies in the UK including Fashions Finest, Screen Nation & the BEFTTA's. Each time I have left one of these awards I have left with the screeching of many people's voices furiously complaining about the lack of food at the awards.

I have to break it down for you and it goes like this, yes it is true that nobody forces the organisers to put on these events and some of you might think that they benefit from it – on this I must correct you as it tends to be the nominees and the winners that primarily benefit as the recognition helps with the progression of their careers and the guest enjoy it because they get a night out and in most cases managed to get in free (not everyone gets in free by the way). The organisers spend thousands putting an event together and then people come to the event 1) expecting to get in free and 2) expecting to be fed and fed very well for free.

Do you know that to feed a person at an award ceremony costs (in london) on average between £35 to £65 depending on the venue. If I charge you an average price of £100 to £120 per ticket would you pay? NO you would not because most people won't even pay £30 for a basic price ticket. Ok let's assume that you are one of those lovely people that do pay and can afford to pay such prices that still does not resolve the problem, as unfortunately all of the nominees expect to attend for free and bring a guest so on average if the organiser has a total of about 40 to 60 nominees, which is about the average amount (sorry BEFTTA's this is excluding you), along with partners, plus judges, presenters and special guests, that means the event organisers must out of their own pockets find approximately an extra £3000 to £5000 (excluding drinks costs), so the final bill could be more in the region of £5 to £10,000. Hello where are they expected to find the money just to feed some hungry and in some cases ungrateful people. As after you feed them they would still complain that the food was not good.

So the moral of the story is before you complain about not being fed or there being no food at an event, if you did not buy a ticket don't complain and think about the poor organiser who is putting on the event and whom 9 times out of 10 makes a very big lost. Eat before you arrive or after you leave and be a bit more understanding. That way with your support we will keep improving, will do better events with your support and one day we will be able to give you a 3 course meal and not charge anyone to attend the awards ceremony. YEAH RIGHT.

I have to end by saying BEFTTA's did a 100% invite only awards ceremony, which was free to attend to everyone that had an invite and I still heard people complain that they had no food – ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!
A few years back I started the Black BUT Invisible campaign which aimed to bring to the forefront the lack of people of colour involved in the fashion industry and via our successful campaing with the Italian Vogue All Black Issue we were able to get world wide press coverage that brought some changes to the industry and for a while at least models of colour were seen on the catwalk.

Sadly that was very short lived and things have gone back to normal and in some cases things are worst than before.

With all the chatter about diversity and inclusion in the UK you would have imagined that during London Fashion Week 2011, possibly one of the largest events of the year you would have seen a good representation of fashion designers and models of colour actively taking part in the main shows, but once again this was not the case and it looks like it would never be the case particularly here in the UK.
Model: Nasai Forna

From time it has been hard if not close to impossible for black press to gain access to the main fashion shows at London Fashion Week, which also includes getting official photography accreditation for LFW.

We are treated like unwanted pest and like second class citizens by the LFW staff. Some of the people I interviewed said they were spoken down to and interrogated by, and even made to point out their work to members of the PR company whom were giving out passes on the day. The impression given was that we were trying to obtain passes by deceit or that their publications and work were not worthy of a pass to access London Fashion Week. We must remember that they had already been given accreditation by email having pre registered and I assume all the checks had been done before the accreditation was issued and that is the reason they were there in the first place. If this were a universal practice being done to everyone it would not have been a problem but once again it seemed that this rule only applied to the black press or people that were black. Dont get me wrong it did not happen to everyone, before people start saying "I attended and that did not happen to me".

Model: Tanya Beresford

Talk can be very cheap if it's not followed up by action and I for one am fed up of being treated like a second class citizen, being made to justify why I am worthy to attend despite the fact that Fashions Finest is currently one of the biggest fashion websites out, i am fed up of not being given invitations to shows or when they are given, they are standing only, but straight after the show the PR companies contact us to publish articles of their designers on Fashions Finest despite the fact that they refused to give us invitations.

The only real things of colour to come out of London Fashion Week 2011 were in the collections, bold mixes of colours with a hint of ethnicity about them brought to us by designers such as Mary Katrantzou SS12, Michael van der Ham SS12, Peter Pilotto SS12 to name a few.
Model: Forough Hosseini Jonghani

Fashion is a universal thing and people of all backgrounds are interested in and want to keep up to date with the latest trends and even buy some of the pieces if they are within their budget. It's money in the designers pocket regardless of the pocket it came from, surely it's time to stop the talk, open closed doors and see some positive changes in the UK, it's LONDON Fashion Week after all - should it not also have a good representation of the diversity within LONDON?

Photo Credits: iDeLick Media
Saturday, 01 October 2011 15:32


I have been getting loads of emails (well one only, from my top stalker fan) asking me why I have not put up anything on my blog for a while and with such unprecedented, overwhelming demand I felt I had no choice but to respond to my loyal fans and put something up.

The biggest problem I am having is I don't really seem to have anything that is worth talking about, this is partly because all the things I really want to talk about would upset some people and bearing in mind nobody wants to invite me anywhere anymore I have to be careful not to alienate people any further so that the one invitation each year I get to an event won't be withdrawn as well.

I think by now you have gathered that I have absolutely nothing to talk about.

You do however deserve something so let's get down to some nitty gritty and back to a former favourite old subject I use to cover called Moan & Groans.

Moan & Groans...

You Have To Work To Be Successful...

Some promoters and organisers of competitions may be able to relate to this one. What is it with competition winners, such as those that compete in beauty pageants, modelling or talent competitions that feel that once they have won a competition that all they have to do is sit at home and watch East Enders and success would just drop on their lap. Wake up, nothing ever comes for free and without hard work, even if you win the lottery you still have to go and buy a ticket at the shop, check the result and if you did win you would have to go and collect your winnings – so you still have to do something.

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaahh, what makes some of them think that once they have won they would become superstars and make loads of money by doing nothing, then to make it worse they get upset and jealous of other contestants that decide they are going to use being in the competition to progress their career.

I have seen this happen so many times and I guess that it would be unfair to name particular competitions but I have seen people that have placed second runner up do 100 times better than the person that won, got immense publicity, mixed with the stars , got numerous jobs and became a household name and I admire this particular young lady for her tenacity, strength and perseverance especially bearing in mind the winner and others tried to shut her out of things.

My advice to the organisers is that if you wish to promote your brand you have to adopt the Simon Cowell / Mr Mahogany attitude which is only work with those that want to go places and DUMP those that don't as it a waste of your time and energy.

On this particular issue I will end by saying that jealousy and envy is not good for the soul, since Nana Afua Antwi won season 6 of Top Model of Colour, alongside her admirers she has had a lot of criticism and nasty comments from wanna be and some established models that are jealous of her success, people like Nana and a model I will name as Sro work very hard for what they have achieved, as much as possible they have nice demeanours, are professional, courteous, ambitious, they make the calls, they attend events when they have no money, they talk to people and sell themselves, they market themselves and try and attract positive publicity – they pay their dues. Models, they have not got their success from just sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring, so look towards people like Nana Antwi, Sro and Rachael Williams as inspirations and stop hating.

I Don't Know You, So Stop Talking About Me...

I think age sometimes has a negative effect on people and in this case I am actually referring to myself as I cannot believe how much I have calmed down and that I have been so nice as not to be naming names in my blog, but it is getting to that stage that is enough is enough and if people want to continue slandering my name all over the place I will have no alternative but to declare war and people I fight dirty.

On one hand I take it as a compliment that people feel I am worthy to be spoken about whether it be good or bad however the problem I have is when people say I said something and I didn't. Some of you know me very well and know that I say it as it is (this may not always be a good thing) but at least I am honest and if I have something to say about you I can and will say it to your face. At that point if you disagree with what I say you have the right to cuss me out, slap me or agree with me, I don't feel that I am horrible for the sake of it and hopefully I just say the truth.

Recently I have had a couple of different people, who will remain nameless talk about me to people I know and have lied blatantly to them, saying I said what I didn't say and there is one woman in particular that has been doing this – now before you start thinking that it is the fury of a woman scorned, I can assure you I have never met this woman in my life, I know of her but if I walked passed her on the street I would not know her. To a variety of different people she has said I have said things about them which has caused problems for me with regards to our relationship (o by the way if someone says I said something about you, pick up the dam phone and ask me if I said it and if I did I would tell you or put it into context and if I say to you I did not say it then trust me I did not). Sorry back to this woman, she also has been running down my business and what I do, which is cool as all businesses get criticism but this is different, this is just nasty comments for the sake of it and trying to take away business from me, my friends, my family, my village and anyone else I have ever bought Macdonalds for.

Enough is enough and if I hear one more thing from this woman I am putting her on notice I am coming for you. For those of you in the fashion industry I will give some clues as to whom I am referring to – she is a designer, a stylist and I think she claims to be a show producer (MEOW) and she sees a lot, the last one is cryptic clue.

Beffta Nominations...

I would like to congratulate the Mahogany and Fashions Finest team on the multiple awards that either our models or our companies have been nominated for and they include

Magazine of the year: Fashions Finest
Best Events Promoter:  Mahogany International and Fashions Finest
Best Photographer:  iDeLick Media (official Fashions Finest Photographer)
Best Female Fashion Designer: Adopted Culture (Design Label of TMC Season 6 Winner & Mahogany Model Nana Antwi)
Best Male Model: Ibukun Jegede (TMC Season 3 Winner) & Jason Daniel Best (TMC Season 5 Winner)
Best Female Model: Nana Afua Antwi, Samantha Watson, Gisela Wanjiru Greiner & Abie Koroma, (All Mahogany Models)
Best Modelling Agency: Mahogany Models
Best Wardrobe Stylist: Samantha Watson (a Mahogany Model)

Across the board including models and TMC winners we have a total of 13 Nominations.

Please VOTE FOR US  

The Beffta's will be taking place on 22nd October (BEFFTA stands for Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television & Arts Awards)

Screen Nation...

Don't forget not to miss out on the biggest event of the year, The Screen Nation Film & TV Awards 2011 annual ceremony aka the 'Black Baftas', celebrating outstanding achievements and diversity on the British screen, will take place on Sunday the 16th October 2011 at the indigO2, hosted by one of TV's favourite couples Angellica Bell and Michael Underwood. PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS HERE

Fashions Finest are pleased to be one of the main media sponsors of this event.

This was meant to be a short blog but I got carried away moaning about people, anyway on a lighter mood watch this video, its a little bit old but it was sent to me by MBD and I thought incase you missed it, its worth the watch.



Thursday, 25 August 2011 04:00

How Can Italian Vogue get it so Wrong...

I am a bit lost as to what to say or how to even start talking about the latest uproar that Italian Vogue has created. A few years back I was instrumental in making the Italian Vogue all black issue the biggest selling vogue ever. At the time I felt it was the right thing to do as they were promoting Black Models in a very positive light.

On the 5th August Italian Vogue published an online trend forecast suggesting that hoop earrings were coming back, calling their post "Slave Earrings" the earrings they were referring to are the trendy big hoop earrings which are commonly worn by black women.

The article stated ''Jewellery has always flirted with circular shapes, especially for use in making earrings," and "the most classic models are the slave and creole styles in gold hoops." "If the name brings to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of colour who were brought to the southern United States during the slave trade, the latest interpretation is pure freedom. Coloured stones, symbolic pendants and multiple spheres."

Lets break this down – Vogue were in their right to talk about upcoming trends but to call them slave earrings especially when it is well known that over recent years they have been commonly worn by black women is – putting it in nice simple English, not very nice. I am doing well nowadays as I have been able to keep my language extremely polite because if it was the old days I would have used far more choice words to say how I feel about their description of earrigs worn predominantly by black women – slave earrings.

The good bit is as soon as the uproar started over the article Italian Vogue tried to talk their way out of it, Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, described the article as a "really bad translation". "The Italian word, which defines those kinds of earrings, should instead be translated into ethnic-style earrings," Sozzani said. Slave or ethnic to me they are just as bad, why are they not just described as earrings.

After doing some research, Schiavo, the word used in the initial story translates directly to "slave", while the Italian word for ''ethnic" is etnico. So once again not only do they feel it is ok to use derogatory terms about us but it is also ok to try and insult us by saying that when it was translated it was translated wrong – yeah right this is a load of crap and bulls*#t, sorry I have slipped back into bad language again. This is what such lame arse excuses do to me.
Please don't insult our intelligence just be upfront and say you messed up, you referred to what our women wear as slave earrings and you are sorry and you have removed the article and we are suppose to be ecstatic that after insulting us you have removed the article so we should just shut up.

The sad thing is that they would never ever write such articles that refer to the Holocaust in such ways but when it comes to people of colour it is always open season – I guess it is because generally we don't complain and we continue to buy such magazines even after they tell about ourselves.

A number of the comments floating around state that it is a racist article, I have kind of given up on racism as being an issue, because as stated above people of the world are allowed to say anything they like about black people and later apologise and everything is ok and in the process they get a lot of interest in their publication due to the controversy and then just say sorry afterwards and it quietly fades away. I say this because these sort of things are happening regularly and with no punishment to those that do it.

Congratulations to Charles Thompson on his MBE...

I must be living in cloud cuckoo land as I only just found out that my good friend Charles Thompson the founder of Screen Nation recently received an MBE for his Services to the Black Film Industry in the Queen's Birthday Honours List last month.

It is such an honour when people you know are recognised and rewarded for many years of hard work, hopefully one day I will get a MBE, yeah right, not likely. If I ever got one it is more likely to stand for Must Break Even.

Well done Charles and we wish you the best of luck at the star studded 7th Annual Screen Nation Film & Television Awards 2011 taking place on the 17th October at the indigO2, London 

The 7th Annual Screen Nation Awards is the UK's only international Film & Television event celebrating the achievements of black talent and is broadcast on OH TV.
I can gladly say that I made it home safely after Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL), I had to call in the Royal Protection Squad to escort me home. As you ask me why, I will explain later...

Mr Mahogany's Review Saying it as it is...

After a year of planning for AFWL, yesterday 6th August saw the culmination of two days of non stop fashion shows featuring the best from designers that felt that Africa was important to them. I say it like this because not all the designers that show cased at AFWL were from Africa or of African heritage. We had designers from Poland, Scotland, India, Dominica as well as designers that flew in from all over Africa. The show was open to any designer that felt that being involved in AFWL was important to them.

AFWL was produced by Mahogany Productions and Events and a lot of people may not realise it but history was made - for the first time ever 50 designers were shown in just two days, over 40 models were used, 2400 people got to watch the 8 shows and unfortunately over 2700 people did not get to see the shows due to each show being full to capacity each time and we had over 8500 people register for tickets for the show.

Photographers and film crews came from countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Holland, France, Germany and other places from around the globe.

The list of A1 press that were in attendance was unbelievable and included the BBC, Reuters, Comic Relief (sent 20 bloggers down), Vogue, Sky, FAB Magazine, Ben TV and the Fashions Finest team was there in full force, way too many press to mention them all.

As I read the Tweets and Facebook messages I am starting to catch up with the celebrities that dropped by which included the CEO of Africa Fashion Week (South Africa), Senator Giwa, Alexander Amusu, Adebayo Jones, representatives from various African and European embassies and so many more. As far as I am concerned everyone that attended was a celebrity.

Now let's get down to the Kitty gritty the show itself. My honest opinion is that for the first show of its kind it was an outstanding and a fantastic success.

Overall all of the shows started dead on time which does not even happen consistently at the top fashion weeks around the world. Out of 8 shows only the finale gala night started half an hour late and this was due to capacity issues and too many people that did not have invitations trying to get in and a problem with AFWL being honest, not managing the press and the VIP invitations as well as they could have and finally with our people being rude to the venue staff who nearly put a stop to the gala because of these people.

When we finally resolved all issues, we informed that no more people couldcome in even though we were not at full capacity. So to a number of my personal friends that got turned away - yes by me, I am sorry but it really was not my fault. Even with all of that we still should only have been 15 minutes late but then the unbelievable happened a senseless lady decided that the best place for her to put her glass of red wine was on the stage which was covered in a pure white carpet - before I say it you already know what I am going to say - yes you are right she spilt it on the stage and turned my lovely white carpet into what looked like the aftermath of a murder scene, you know when a body has been removed but the blood is still there. It was a good thing that my staff refused to point her out to me, as this blog would have been coming to you from Brixton prison.

So the dilemma for me was could I go on with the show with this massive red stain in the middle of the stage, what could I do? I had no option but to call my production guys in and with 250 people in the hall we assessed the situation and made the decision that we would change the carpet and within 15 minutes the great Ricardo, the crew and I got down on our hands and knees and replaced the carpet. The Red Carpet Stain

We eventually started the gala show at 7.30, 30 minutes later than planned. Those of you who know me would know that I would have been very upset at being late but all the guests that were lucky enough to get in were patient and very understanding and throughout I made sure that I kept everyone informed of what was happening, as I dislike it when I attend a show and its running late and I am just sitting there and I have no idea as to why or what is happening.

As far as I am concerned everything about the shows worked, the designers were as a whole were on point, just a few of them need to work on their finishing and quality of the fabric they used but that is the beauty of being part of AFWL, everyone is given a chance and it is primarily aimed at graduate, new and aspiring designers. It is unfair to name any particular designers as standing out but based on some of the independent reviews some of the designers to watch were Sve, Mia by Mia Nisbet, Adookeh, Ozora and menswear was stolen by Zekarayas Solomon, and our very own Top Model of Colour winner featured with her Adopted Culture label, however as far as I am concerned all of the designers that featured at AFWL were outstanding.

Now, there were two distinct areas that I think AFWL fell short on and that was managing the overwhelming amount of press and in particular the issuance of press passes, by this I mean it's ok to invite the press but any particular media house should have been restricted to a specific number of passes (no more than two per media house) but the few times I had to help out at the door I found members of the press were bringing in friends who did not work for that media house. The second issue was that we had way to many people show up then we could get into the venue, I know a lot of people said that we should have restricted the ticket registration system but not sure that would have been fair. For example we had over 8000 people register for tickets but only 3500 came to the venue and based on that if we had restricted it a lot of people that did actually get in to the shows may not have.

So my summation and how I feel about some of the issues raised by a variety of people. This was our first ever fashion week and comparing us to London Fashion Week that has been running for 26 years and has a budget that runs into millions somehow does not make sense. I go to LFW as press every February and September and for some of the shows I queue up forever and don't always get in and sadly that is life and this happens more so when it is free. Why should we at AFWL be held to a higher standard and compared to others that have far better resources than us, I am not saying give me and the AFWL team a knighthood etc but before saying things like because I did not get in I will not do business with African designers that does not make sense - well not to me anyway.

AFWL welcomes all of the comments and feedback that we have received good and bad and we will act upon it and try and improve where we can but if any of you think that at AFWL demand would not exceed supply, then sorry people you are not being realistic, unless of course we charge you £30 to get into each show.

I must say that I had a fantastic team that worked with me on the show and it is a must that I mention and thank them publicly for the fantastic job that they did:

Twisted Fashion - our event managers (superstars beyond superstars)
Sonia - our head of styling team
Mink Cosmetics - make up sponsors
Real Hair by Clara - hair sponsors
Linda Buckingham - who should have been relaxing watching her young daughter model but instead worked tirelessly backstage All of the fantastic models
Krystle - press
Ricardo - man above all men
The great team of volunteers that helped throughout the show

I must commend the founders of AFWL Ronke & Kamari Ademuliyi who had the vision and the courage to do such a big event and bring it to the UK and finally to all of you whether you attended or not for supporting us and recognising that if we are one, we will go places and achieve great things.

I bet you thought I forgot as to why I said I had to get the Royal Protection Squad, you know I would never do that to you. To try and ensure that the gala event went as smoothly as possible I had to take over the supervision of people gaining access to the gala and this was due to the fact that information had come to my attention that lots of people were eager to attend even though they did not have tickets to this invitation only event. In the process of being creative director I also became head of security and head bouncer and I had the unfortunate duty of turning away or refusing to grant entry to NUMEROUS people, which sadly included some friends and business associates that I have known for many, many years. In the process of doing this I was told about myself in no uncertain terms and I saw a few people the following day who said I looked directly at them and refused to let them in. Firstly I did not see them and secondly - I am really sorry but this is business for me and I believe it is important to be as fair as possible. It must be noted that I knew 100's of people that came to AFWL and would have been unfair if I just let in people that I knew or I had worked with.

To my friends, I know a few of you took it personally as I felt the cold shoulder when I spoke to you the following day, well how I feel about that is that you can't really be my friend as you would have understood and not have taken it to heart. As mentioned above there were issues I had to deal with and dealt with everything as fairly as I could. I am not being arrogantor pompous but as the saying goes "frankly my dear I don't give a dam".


Sunday, 24 July 2011 02:34

A Sense of Tragedy...

Hey, yes it's me – I'm backkkkkkk..........

Sometimes when people disappear for a while especially unexpectedly and you don't hear from them it might be because they have been detained at Her Majesty's pleasure (in jail), however in my case fortunately my absence has been solely due to being overwhelmed with work.

Its been a busy couple of months and currently when I look at my schedule it seems like things are not going to get any easier. I was thinking what would I talk about as there has been so much happening and t initially I was going to talk about some issues I had with Fashions Finest Awards and how some people who I thought were friends that disappointed me and let me down, but forget that as there have been so many things going on in the world that are far more important.

The demise of Amy Winehouse as sad as it is that a young woman of 27 years of age dies long before her time, does not really come as a real surprise or shock to anyone. To those that it is a shock seriously guys wake up and smell the coffee. A talented singer that has had a troubled life full of drugs and alcohol for a while now was clearly always on the path to destruction. Despite the help her record label and her family tried to give her nothing seemed to work and we all know the bad effects of drugs. It is easy for people to say that why did she not just stop, seek help or how did she get into them in the first place, but when you get hooked on drugs and alcohol its not easy to come off them – many a famous celebrity over the years have passed on due to the affects of drugs and alcohol, such as John Belushi (actor), Dorothy Daindrige (actress, singer), Phyliss Hyman (singer) and it also has to include Michael Jackson (yes it does, check it out he died of Cardiac arrest from his Personal physician administering a lethal dose of propofol along with lorazepamdiazepam and midazolam.
Drugs can kill regardless of if it is taken for recreational use or just administered wrongly, with do hope that there will not be many more deaths.

The only tiny saving grace in this tragedy is that unlike many others that have passed on due to drugs and alcohol Amy Winehouse has a legacy that will live on in terms of her music. Amy Winehouse RIP

A Norwegian Tragedy

Even though it is likely that Amy Winehouse will steal the headlines due to her being a celebrity and tragically dying even though it was self inflicted), the level of sympathy must be appropriate especially when a few hours before 92 people were murdered by a 32 year old Christian fundamentalist Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik. The first reports stated that suspected Islamic terrorists had committed these atrocities but they so got that wrong.

I am confused, religion whether it is Islam or Christianity is meant to preach and practice peace but some of the greatest atrocities in the world over the centuries have been committed in the name of religion. How someone's views on religion can justify taking the lives of innocent people, I just cannot understand. This was the act of a deprived, sadistic manic who should never see the light of day again.
Our prayers and thoughts must and should go out to the friends and families of those that lost loved ones and to all of those that lost their lives, may they Rest In Peace.

Hacking Gate

If you have not heard about the hacking scandal that has engulfed the UK and has led to the closure of the News of The World newspaper then you have been in hibernation or living under a rock.

Everything was going well for Mr Murdock and co whilst it seemed that they were only hacking the phones of celebrities and politicians but the moment it was discovered that they were hacking the phones of ordinary citizens but more importantly people that had experienced tragedy such as the Molly Dowler family (a young girl that was murdered) or victims of the 7/7 bombings, then everything changed and rightly so.

I do agree that in a lot of cases that journalist must do what they have to do to get the story which they feel is in the public interest. Celebrities and politicians are unfortunately fair game purely on the basis that from time immemorial everyone knows that if you have any of these two careers this comes as part of the package. But what justification do these journalist have to illegally intrude on ordinary peoples lives at the time of deep tragedy. There are laws in this country that even the police have to abide by when it comes to hacking and wire tapping. Watch this space as many more heads are going to roll, similar to the police commissioners that have already gone and some people for sure will be going to jail. It does look like that the prime minister is going to get away with this – only just.

Africa Fashion Week London 

I am the creative director producing this show and have been working with a fantastic team trying to put something memorial together, but even I must admit it is going to be one of the most challenging shows that I have ever done. Over 53 designers from across the world will be showcasing over 2 days, that's right I did say over 53 designers over 2 days.

Besides being challenging it is going to be very exciting as interest from mainstream media such as the BBC, CNN and so many more are geared up and very excited to be involved in the first ever AFWL.

So if you have not got your ticket yet I suggest you REGISTER ONLINE now as it is free to attend the shows, yes once again I repeat and say that it is FREE to attend, as much as possible Mahogany tries to bring events that are open to and for the people and where possible at no costs to you.

The two gala nights are going to be something special featuring the best designers from across the world and at the Saturday gala show Genevieve Nnaji Africa's biggest and most famous actress will be featuring her collection and it is also hoped that she will be in attendance along with the numerous other invitation only guests. For the Friday and Saturday night galas, we have a very limited amount of tickets available that members of the public can purchase – there are very few left so get yours now by clicking on the link above.

Top Model of Colour Regional Heats

With all of the events going on it looks like that Top Model of Colour is not going on but trust me it is and the regional heats will be taking place on the 14th & 21st August (the heat on the 21st August will feature both male & female models) and is taking place at Tiger Tiger London – get your TICKETS now.

Those of you that have been before know how much fun we have at these shows and you have your opportunity to be a part of finding the next super model of colour .
For more information on Top Model of Colour visit the TMC Website

As much as I would love to keep talking to you, I have so much to do, so I have to run. I will try and make sure that I am back more often.
Saturday, 18 June 2011 00:52

Teenager Wins Discrimination Case

An African Caribbean teenager has won a ruling that St Gregory's Catholic Science College was applying a cornrows ban in a way which amounted to "unjustified" indirect racial discrimination.

At first when I heard of this case I thought that why should he wear cornrows to school, then I listened to the reasons and I thought yes it is justified, as Muslims can wear the veil and Sheiks can wear the turban so if this teenager has a religious reason then he also should be permitted to wear his hair the way he wants.

But it better be neat.


This story may have passed some of you by, even though it has received some substantial coverage within the media but as always let me give you the lowdown just in case you missed it. 

A celebrity hairdresser by the name of James Brown (no relation to the Godfather of Soul), called stage school founder Ben Douglas a "n*gger" and his female companion a "n*gger's bitch" before proclaiming that 'a lot of my cousins have been with blacks' at the recently concluded Bafta awards ceremony.

Wait a minute before you get yourself in a frenzy and get all self righteous, as we all have called people names that we should not have either due to anger or as in this case alcohol. Let me touch on the alcohol issue here very quickly. In response to his outburst James Brown said that alcohol was to blame. I am not a drinker and never have been but one of the things that I have seen from people that drink alcohol is that it normally gives people the courage to say what they really think. I will leave you to interpret what I feel what this means.

Anyway back to my issue at hand which are two things in particular. Boots the chemist carry a wide array of his products in their stores and Boots being an upstanding public focused company is considering terminating his contract with them – well done boots for even thinking about doing it even though we know you won't do anything, but the sad thing is that they stated as of yet the company had not received any customer complaints. I know I sound like an old record that is scratched and keeps repeating itself (sorry for the younger generation, this is the equivalent to your MP3 player or Ipod continuously repeating the same words in a song over and over again), but this is an indication that it is acceptable to call us "n*gger" as we never complain about things.

The second issue and for me this is the crux of the matter, the Evening Standard reported that a source close to the hairdresser said "he has apologised and that should be the end of the matter". Come on, are you saying that I can go on the streets of London and proclaim that the Jews deserved what they got during the Holocaust and so long as I apologise afterwards all is forgiven, get real I will never get a knighthood or get a job of any substance not just in the UK but in the world – ok slight exaggeration I would get a job in Nigeria. We all know what happened to John Galliano when he allegedly made comments about Jewish people, not only was he sacked from his own label but he is also facing trial in France for his comments which he made during a drunken state at a restaurant. In England because James Brown has apologised we are told that's that.

No one reading this should get upset about him calling someone a "n*gger" as it is our fault because when things like this happen we never complain.

Hold on, none of you should even think about saying "what about you, what do you do to change things"? I will spell it out for you as to what i do to push for change - I write about it and due to my rantings I put my future MBE, OBE or CBE at risk and I also get on the radio and talk about such issues and put my potential non executive directorships that I am vying for in my dreams with the top fashion houses and other blue chip companies in jeopardy, so Ii am paying the price for being upfront and centre about such issues.

Moving on from me unashamedly begging & seeking recognition from the British establishment I must say to make matters worse James Brown seriously I am finding it hard to call him James Brown but I go on, then dropped the " I have a black friend, so how can I be racist" in his case he states that his nephew is mixed race. Enough already, I am sick and tired of this quote to justify people making comments about black people and then saying they can't be racist cos they have black friends or relatives.

Due to the fact that we are in England and because black people never kick up a stink about such issues Mr James Brown will go on an make money and a number of my black sisters will buy his products and put more money in his pocket and it is he whom will have the last laugh and still call us "n*gger".

Football Scandal...

In an earlier blog I spoke about the English Football Association being sore losers as when they did not win the bid to host the World Cup they kicked up a right royal stink. Have they let it go – NO – they are still kicking up a stink and under parliamentary privilege they made allegations of bribery and corruption against a variety of FIFA members. So the British FA say they were asked for knighthoods and other incentives for people to vote for them and the British FA members being all upstanding and totally honest did not at the time set off the alarm bells and before the vote was casted state that they were asked for bribes but waited for a number of months and under the cowardly protection of parliamentary privilege to make such allegations.

This is the open letter that FIFA wishes they could write to the Football Association...

Dear Cry Baby FA Members

We know that it is very disappointing that you did not win the bid to host the 2018 World Cup in England (even though the rest of the world is celebrating that you only got 2 votes, yes we repeat only two and one of them was yours) and despite the fact that you brought out your three lions (Beckham, Cameron & Duke of Cambridge), which being honest means nothing to the rest of the world. We think it is at this time that we must remind you that you know longer have the British Empire and it is not by right that you must be awarded the World Cup.

Furthermore we are not sure whether the FA is stupid or what (hopefully there are some street boys in FIFA that speak like this) but when the BBC in its Panorama programme two days before the vote releases a TV programme alleging corruption in FIFA, that we would all vote for you then you are living in cloud cuckoo land.

You and the British press can continue with your campaign to have our great honourable leader Sepp Blatter and everyone else you don't like removed, tainted or slandered by unfounded allegations and as you can see you lost the vote by 175 to 17 when you tried to get the elections stopped – HA HA HA

So because you did not get your way you have now started an alleged vendetta against FIFA and all of those that voted against you. The days of Royal Britannia rules the waves are over and if you don't like being part of FIFA then go set up your own independent FIFA, you bunch of cry babies, who always think you are right – GET A LIFE!

I know some of you reading this may think that Mr Mahogany is anti British, far from it but I am against those that are arrogant, self righteous and think that when they do things they are right but if others do the same things and they are in disagreement then they are wrong. Sometimes some aspects of British society have a philosophy of do what I say but not what I do.


Friday, 27 May 2011 01:42

Is It Wrong to be Black & Dark Skin?

I came across this video and i thought that the topic was interesting especially as i thought that we had got pass this. I am wondering if this is an African American thing or it actually is a worldwide phenomenon.

Synopsis of this Documentary Trailer

This documentary is something that we all should watch... It really made me think and try to search inside of myself . I want to be different. I want to make a change even If that change has to happen IN ME FIRST. Even if you don't want to watch this video. Just think... think about how you could make a difference in our community and work as a unit. unite as one people..... IGNORING IT DOESN'T SOLVE IT...!

Film to Premier in October at the International Black Film Festival in of the whole video is not available yet.

The synopsis above was taken from the information on the video, I dont really get what they are trying to say but the trailer itself says a lot. 


I have been told that it is wrong to laugh at the misfortune of others, but I am sorry I am laughing my head off at the fact that the so called darling of England Cheryl Cole was sacked from the American version of X Factor after only one week of pre filming, o my dear what a crying shame. I have no real idea why for whatever reason I can't stand her, it may be because she was once married to Ashley Cole a person that every Arsenal fan despises or is it because she is a over hyped young lady with very little talent or may be its just because I am jealous of her fame and wealth – well the latter one does not count because I am jealous and envious of EVERYONE that is rich and famous.

I should be feeling sorry for her, as in her to do list re her move to America she sacked her long time English manager and took on Will.I.Am as her new manager to help make her hot in the states, (he even through a welcome to America celebrity bash for her), she also took on celebrity trainer to the stars to help her get fit, was planning to buy a new house and bought all of the Digestive biscuits that she could find to buy in Tesco's.For those of you that don't know, she was fired due to her Geordie accent and the fact that the producers (including Simon Cowell) realised after two days of filing that no one would understand her and in addition she allegedly did not get along with Paula Abdul. For me it does not take Einstein to realise that no one in America would understand her as no one in England understands her either.

It Looks like the beautiful Nicole Scherzinger will be taking over from Ms Cole, not a bad promotion for Nicole as she goes from Co Host to Judge. A bit of extra gossip here, she was well upset that she could not sit next to Simon on the judging panel as that right belongs to Paula Abdul, so there would have been no extra camera attention on her likes she gets in the UK by continuously rubbing up with Simon in the hope that as the camera focuses on him she will get that extra attention she was desperate for.

Well Cheryl now that Danny has allegedly resigned or was sacked from the UK X Factor you can beg your mentor, your idol Simon Cowell to give you your job back in the UK. if he decides not to I for one wont be missing you. By the way Cheryl I have booked you a first class return ticket on Virgin Airways back to London for Saturday.

The Church is Getting it Wrong...

As part of my attempts to educate myself and to ensure that I am up to date on current affairs I was scouring through some international websites and came across an article that was talking about wealthy Nigerians that despite the global recession in the last year alone they had spent over $225 million dollars on purchasing private planes.

As I started reading the article I thought what is the big deal as wealthy people around the world regularly purchase private jets and if Nigeria has people that can afford to purchase planes than why not. I read on and became heavily dismayed at the fact that within this group of wealthy Nigerians a number of them were Nigerian clergymen and spiritual leaders that had purchased private jets.

Included within this alleged list were David Oyedepo believed to be Africa's wealthiest gospel preacher, acquired a Gulfstream V jet $30 million. He also owns a private collection of four aircraft. He is also reportedly creating a private hanger to accommodate all of his planes. Pastor Enoch Adeboye of The Redeemed Christian Church of God spent $30 million on a Gulfstream jet and Pastor Sam Adeyemi is also a jet owner.

My issue is this, these pastors were only able to purchase the jets due to their congregation giving gifts, donations and paying tithe, a number of these congregation members struggle each week to survive to pay their bills and to make ends meet and instead of these donations being used for Gods work their money is accumulated and spent on extravagancies such as private jets. I don't know about you but I think that this is disgraceful and a flagrant breech of what the Bible teaches and what the church should be doing with the money they receive. Nigeria is amongst one of the most religious country's within the world and bearing in mind that over 60% of Nigerians live below the poverty line for me it is a great shame that these preachers preach to their congregation that it is a command of God that they tithe and these people give up money that I am sure they don't really have, but do it because the man of God said they should and because they believe that they will get blessings from God in return.

The Bible says that there are many false prophets and as much as I might face ex communication (not sure if that is possible in a Pentecostal church), I am prepared to stand up and state that this is a disgraceful abuse of office and misuse of church funds as I can't see what urgent work that they do that they need to get to places urgently using a private jet or how they are celebrities that they are unable to travel first class on a commercial airline.

I am sure some of my avid readers will correct me and justify why this is a good use of church funds, sorry but no matter what you say I am not buying it. You read things like this and you still ask why less people are going to church and people are becoming disillusioned with the church. I say no more.

Do you know what $30m could do?

• Build Houses
• Feed sooooooooooo many people
• Build schools and bus books
• Pay school fees for possibly the whole of their congregation


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),

  • why do white women spend hours in the sun or use fake sun tan to get brown or darker, like black women 
  • why do white women use Botox to get rid of their wrinkles, cos from what I remember black don't crack
  • why do white women inject their lips and their buttocks with I have no idea what, to make them bigger

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. 

Sunday, 08 May 2011 10:59

Top Model of Colour is Racist?

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?'' 

White Models Painted Black

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.

Another side to the story
- I received an email from the London College of Fashion and it read as follows, the key bit is highlighted in bold below, The Email; Written by London College of Fashion

"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.

African Version

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 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

r house.

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.


Tuesday, 26 April 2011 11:57

Black Girls Do Not Sell...

I was recently interviewed by Sophia Baker for an article she was writing and below is the final article, it is long but I think it is a great read and raises some interesting points, it would be interesting to know whether you agree with the views below or not - feel free to leave your comments.


In this feature we will be addressing the lack of black model in high end fashion magazines and why that is so. When I first began my research into the black models in the UK and the US, I knew I would come across some unpleasant truths but I did not expect to feel totally deflated by when I concluded my research.

Firstly let us look back to a time when black women were dominant in the media. In Paris 1921, Miss Josephine Baker a performer, with an audience of the rich and white set the standard for others to follow and opened the door for other black women. Of course she encountered opposition and prejudice but generally she was adored, praised, envied and lusted after by both men and women. Paris was more open to different races it would seem and there were black models gracing the runways in the 1940s and 1950s. But although all appeared well, Josephine and other young black women were still subjected to racism and seen as freaks or savages. Similar to what Sarah Baartman experienced when she was brought over from her native South Africa in 1810 and paraded as a freak in a circus because of her big bottom. You might ask well how does that relate to black women today, why is it relevant? Well it helps for us to understand what the audience viewed black women as. Why were they subjected to abuse while their white counterparts were not?

It goes back to what beauty meant at the time. Beauty was something that could was understandable, something conventional and unlikely to offend. A black woman could be considered completely beautiful, have flawless skin, great bone structure but if her skin was too dark, well that was unacceptable and incomprehensible for blacks and whites. Afua Adom features editor of Pride magazine and a freelance fashion stylist says, 'I know loads of black models who have experienced racism in the industry. Apparently mainstream won't be able to relate to a black model'. Who on earth could change the perceptions of the white gaze in the 1950s? Maybe Helen William's, the model who had the aquiline nose, big oval eyes, perfect lips – not too big. The girl who was offensively described as a white girl dipped in chocolate (by other black women). Although extremely offensive, that did not stop William's from breaking through to 'white' magazines. There was a place for dark skinned woman after all and Helen opened the door.

Black women were breaking all kinds of barriers down. In the 1960s, British icon Donyale Luna became the first black model to feature on the cover of UK Vogue in 1966. Beverly Johnson became the first black model to feature on the cover of US Vogue in 1974. Tyra Bank's was on the cover of the best selling Sports illustrated in 1997. There were many firsts before and after these models and to date the Black Issue of Italian Vogue is still their highest seller. 'It was intended to be the worse selling issue but my campaign on Facebook helped it to sell out twice! I had a point to make', explains Sola director of Mahogany International Models.

French designers such as Givenchy, Christian Lacrois and Yves Saint Laurent preferred to use black models at one time but when Spaniard Paco Rabanne used Jamaican model Kelly Williams in one of his shows, there was outrage and controversy. The reaction from the audience was shock and disgust claiming that fashion was for whites not blacks. Hiro, a fashion photographer who worked for Harpers Bazaar at the time, was given an assignment in Kenya and requested a black model. It seemed logical that a black model would suit the surroundings more than a white model. His request was refused and so he turned down that job. Nick Knight is another fashion photographer, known for using unconventional models. In his video 'untitled' he expressed, 'I am virtually never allowed to photograph black models and usually no excuse is given'. Vivienne Westwood and Naomi Campbell have also expressed their views on the lack of black models represented in the industry. It would seem that this is not a new subject and yet there is nothing happening about it.

What is the real issue with using black models? Who are these high end magazines marketing to? The answer is the white and the wealthy. Sola says 'It is purely about money and opportunistic. When Italian Vogue made their black issue, it was around the time of Obama being elected as President and tied in nicely with current affairs. It was never about promoting black models'. This brings us back to the issue of black models don't sell. At least not to the intended market; how could a white woman relate to a black woman's shape, hair, and the way the clothes appear on them? So is it only about commerce or does race play a bigger role? In, 1976 when Iman appeared wearing clothes made by prominent designers such as YSL, Issey Miyake, Versace and many others, she appealed to the masses and was very successful for 14 years. But according to editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine from 1965-1997 Helen Gurley Brown, black would offend readers. It seemed like there was one rule for runways and another for magazine covers and editorials. Magazines typically stayed within a standard, and didn't stray too far from it. The publications did not want to alienate its audience. When Harpers Bazaar used Elizabeth Princess of Toro on their cover in 1969, they put a white model alongside her just in case they stood to alienate any of their regular readers. This ultimately diluted the presence of Elizabeth on the cover. There seemed to be a kind of Fascism when it comes to the industry. One has to be of the Aryan race, all blonde with blue eyes to exist. Fashion is all about the unobtainable, they don't want everyone to be able to get the nicer things in life. It is all about commerce and has never been about representing the colours of the world. So why not just accept that? I can't...
The world is so behind. Everyone seems to believe that we have more moved forward in terms of acceptance but in reality, it feels like the button is firmly pressed on pause. Sometimes it plays in slow motion and we get a breakthrough. After all, we have models such as Naomi and Alex Wek who have sustained a long career in this harsh business. Then we have the hopefuls, Jourdan Dun, Ajuma Nasenyana, Chanel Iman, Ajak Deng and Rose Cordero. All of which are stunning us and taking our breath away with their beauty. They reflect a wide range of black women and so therefore do not alienate black woman who do not fit the white girl dipped in chocolate mould. But we need more and soon. Of course there is racism in this business. And maybe there always will be in countries that are predominately white. Although we have had high profile figures in the industry who have spoken about it, no one is speaking now. The media has pacified the black public by making them believe that is has changed. They gave us the Black Issue of Italian Vogue (published only in Italian) in 2008. That was nearly three years ago. Hopefully with the exposure of these new black models they will be used more consistently and it is not just a replay of the 60s.

I think it is important that black models are seen as beautiful models and not beautiful 'black' models. Just why can't the model be beautiful and that is it? As demonstrated on the Channel Four series 'The Model Agency', new face Leomie Anderson was told she was 'one of the top breakthrough black models'. In which she replied 'aww that's nice' and appeared grateful for the title. I could almost hear her thinking why she could not just be breakthrough? Why black?
Fashion photographer Oliviero Toscani, had the right idea for his United Colours of Benetton campaigns. He used all kinds of people. He used people from the streets to reflect everyday life and what Benetton represented, their motto being 'All the colours of the world'. One day I hope to see all these colours because they are beautiful being black is not a trend, we are here to stay!

Monday, 04 April 2011 02:27

Neecie Gold interviews Sola Oyebade

I thought that instead of writing a blog it would be good for you to hear my lovely sexy voice as know of you view me as sexy as i might as well say it myself. Anyway enjoy the interview, comments welcomed as usual.


I am very unwell, for the first 3 weeks it started off with what I thought was flu but 3 weeks down the line I no longer have the cough but I still have serious aches and pains and all of my joints are paining me and I just cants get rid of it. It is that bad, that I had to go and register with a doctor – yes I know how can one not be registered with a doctor, I have not been registered with a doctor for over 6 years and before that I only registered cos I was forced too and even then I never used the doctors so in theory I have not been to a doctor for over 20 years.

I have no idea of why I am talking about my personal issues here, o yes now I remember, I went down to register with the doctor and it took 10 days to complete the registration and then I went back to fix an appointment and it took a further 8 days to give me a date that I could come back to see a doctor – seriously in that space of time I could of cured myself or died. Anyway as I write (I nearly wrote right) I am still in serious pain, but the show must go on.

Enough about me and lets get on to some more interesting things, its spring time and the weather flatters to deceive as the sun is shining and it seems quite warm and with spring time comes the event season in full force.

Mahogany Bridal Fashion Show...

On Sunday 20th March we had our Mahogany Bridal Fashion Show and even if I say so myself and also based on feedback that I have received from exhibitors and visitors alike, it was a fantastic show – CHECK OUT SOME OF THE PICTURES. It also saw the debut collection of Nana Afua the current Top Model of Colour winner showcasing her collection under the design lable Adopted Culture - we wish her all the best as she strives to be a top designer alongside being a top model.

On that note I should also say well done to Iju who was the runner up of Top Model of Colour UK she was one of the few Nigerian models that was chosen to catwalk alongside all of the international models such as Aminata Ayinde (winnner of ANTM) at Arise Magazine Fashion Week that is a fantastic achievement. Makida Moka who also took part in TMC UK also featured as a model at AMFW.

Essex Fashion Week...

I took a trip down to Essex Fashion Week as Sherece Rainford of Sassi Pr invited us down. I really can't keep up with the fact that everyone is doing a fashion week. This is its first year and as such there was not too much to shout about, except when I walked in there I thought that I had entered the Orange mobile tent as it was awash with the glow of orange from the number of girls that had fake sun tans. That aside it would be interesting to see how it develops.

Young Designers Awards...

Saturday is the Young Designers Awards which has been going for a while now and has a way of discovering new talent. So believe it or not this year is going to be the first time that I am attending the event, so I will give feedback in my next blog.

Upcoming Events In Brief...




AFRICA FASHION WEEK LONDON – 5 & 6 AUGUST – places still available to showcase – no fee to pay as places are sponsored for UK based designers – deadline is 31st MARCH. Email for an information and application pack.

American Idol...

Most of you know that I am an American Idol fan and last night it was Motown night on American Idol and my boy Jacob Lusk (see me talking as if I know him or he knows me), sang like a Mother F**k*rrrrrrr. That boy can blow, sorry I don't have the video from yesterday night to show you, but to give you and idea of how great he is I have included below the video from his audition. Tell me he can't sing, I dare you!

NEWSFLASH: AMERICA YOU GOT IT WRONG - its 5.31am in the morning and i have just finished watching American Idol the results show and it was a shocker as one of the best singers Casey Abrams was voted as not only being in the bottom 3 but was also received the lowest votes cast and it seemed that he was on his way home.

He was asked to sing for his life but only seconds into the song he was stopped by the judges who unanimouslyvoted to use their one and only save to keep in the competition. lucky him he will also be going on the tour - well deserved.

Not sure what happened with the voting this time round but America you got it wrong.

News in Brief...


I so want to talk about Libya – but I can't – it pains me that I can't, it so so pains me – can you feel my pain? My views on western hypocrisy may get me sent to Guantanamo Bay.


I am not even going to mention his name as he is not worthy to have his named spoken in public but someone that can rape and assault elderly women needs to rot in jail till he dies, in my opinion that is too nice a sentence.

Elizabeth Taylor...

A fantastic actress was buried today and may she rest in perfect peace.

Moan & Groan...

It's been a while since I did a proper moan and groan but following on from my Arise Magazine Fashion Week blog and my having a go at designers in my last blog. I now feel that I have to do an official moan and groan and unfortunately I have to once again have a go at designers.

I feel that it is only fair that if I have a go at models for being unprofessional, I should also have a go at (some) designers for committing the same sort of unprofessionalism. My point is this, if I offer you a COMPLIMENTARY (you saw that I put it in capitals so that I could emphasise the point that the designer is not paying), place at one of my shows and then you tell me at the last minute that you can't do the show or even worse you do not show up, trust me I am going to black list your A**E (sorry but you have to fill in the blanks) and never again would you ever get a complimentary place in one of my shows, no promotions, no referrals and you would always pay full price if you ever want to be in one of my shows again.

It costs us a lot of money to put on shows but overall as the designer you get the real benefit of doing the show as you get the business, the kudos etc and just cos you got it for free you feel that you can just cancel last minute. You better believe it, that if you do that to me I know where you live and I will come for you.

On a serious note designers, models, creatives if you commit to something you must be professional and deliver and stay committed no matter what crops up, cos I know that if you paid with your hard earned money you would not be cancelling and the truth of the matter is that you are spoiling it for others.


Wednesday, 16 March 2011 22:33

I Am Soooooooooooo Annoyed...

I arrived back from Lagos Nigeria after spending 3 great days attending the Arise Magazine Fashion Week and watching some of the best designers that Africa had to offer from around the world. As you may have seen below I did an initial review on the show and I feel no more on that need be said.

But to my great dismay and annoyance I came back to a number of negative reviews and comments that are floating around the web, Facebook, twitter etc and to put it mildly I am upset. My beef is not with members of the public or industry professionals that attended but by some of the comments of the designers that I feel are extremely ungrateful. Let me explain why;

Arise Magazine invited 50 designers from across the world to participate in AMFW and as part of the invitation they paid for the flights of the desi
gners as well as the flights for 2 friends or business associates to accompany them, they paid for 3 meals a day, they put them up in a 5 star hotel (their own room, no sharing) and furthermore they were not charged a fee to participate. The designers got to show their clothes to the fashion hungry, financially buoyant fashionistahs of Nigeria as well as receiving international exposure, as the AMFW was featured on ITV London Tonight, the Washington Post (who actually did live streaming of the event) Fashions Finest and so many other international media outlets.

Yes that's right all of the above was provided FREE and some designers had the audacity to moan and groan about the AMFW. Now hold on wait a minute, hear me out before you start asking what is my point – from the outset AMFW stated that they would choose 5 designers of their choice that they would fly to New York in September for the Arise New York Fashion Week gala show, which has become one of the hottest fashion shows at NYFW.

Now to the crux of the matter as to why I am upset is, as stated earlier a number of designers have been complaining about how the designers were chosen that would be going for NYFW and that AMFW had pre conceived ideas as to who they wanted to take and it was unfair and some of the designers feel slighted and that AMFW should have been upfront if they knew who they wanted to take to NYFW.

PAUSE – RETURN - Sorry people as I write this I had to go take a break and calm down before I continued as the words I would use to tell these designers about themselves would not be printable.
AMFW has the right to choose whomever they wish to go to NYFW, it is their money that they are spending so they can choose whomever they like and use whatever selection process they want to choose the 5 designers to go to NYFW, as far as I am concerned it does not have to be a fair and open process as the designer is not paying for anything. If the moaning designers don't like it then they can go into their bank account and come up with an average of $5,000 to $10,000 and find their own way to NYFW.

Even if the whole affair at AMFW was a shambles (which is wasn't) they still don't have the right to complain about anything that Arise did. In the rest of the fashion week world, designers have to pay a fee to be a part of the week as well as pay for pr, models and so much more out of their own pockets. Any designer that has participated in a fashion week and paid for it out of their own pocket would know how expensive it is.

I can tell you that AMFW must have spent at least 7 figures putting the fashion week together and designers not only got an all expenses paid trip but they also got to promote their business and talent at an international fashion week and for me that means don't be ungrateful, shut your mouth and use the talent God gave you to build your business and not moan and groan because you were not one of the 5 designers selected to go to new York – not everything in life is free.

Furthermore it is not good business sense to be openly critical as show producers like myself and others in the industry read your comments and will think twice about inviting you to participate in any of our shows and trust me if I were Arise I would never invite you to participate in any future shows.

PS: the five designers selected to represent Africa at the AMFW Gala in New York on September 14th 2011 during New York Fashion Week are Tsemaye Binitie, Jewel by Lisa, Bunmi Koko, Kluk CGTD and Pierre-Antoine Vetterello.

I can clearly remember 3 of the designers at AMFW Lagos and they are all worthy to go to NYFW along with any of the other 45 designers that participated in AMFW.

Hacking of Fashions Finest Website

Generally in my life I am an easy going person but when I get upset I get upset and it is dangerous to be around me. So I will say to the person or persons that hacked the Fashions Finest website and brought it down for two days you are soooo lucky I can't find you otherwise by now I would be on remand in Brixton prison for murder. I can't believe that after 8 months of hard work putting the website together and with many sleepless nights of putting the content on the site, which is ongoing, some lifeless, no good for nothing, I have nothing to do with my life, worthless fool decides it would be good fun to bring down some ones work. Fashions Finest is not the government or a big corporation website, so they picked on an easy target like FF. If you are a true hacker and think you got skills go bring down a fortune 500 company website, then I would have respect for you.

Anyway thanks to Zazel and the team behind Fashions Finest for working non stop for the past 2 days to get the site back up and running, you truly are superstars, also thank you to are avid fans and readers that sent emails and messages of concern that the site was down.

Hopefully my next blog would be more positive, tomorrows another day!


Friday, 11 March 2011 05:52

Arise Magazine Fashion Week

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.

Friday, 04 March 2011 20:51

Be Careful What You Say...

John Galliano's Anti Semitic Rant...

When the story of Galliano's anti Semitic comments became public knowledge I first said it was the foolishness of drink that made him say such things, but when I analysed it further I thought that is a load of rubbish as drink actually gives you the courage to say what is really on your mind. So when he released his torrent of anti Semitic views he was actually saying what he has always been thinking (by the way all of the above is allegedly), at least until they find him guilty, cos he has been charged and sacked by Dior. So for him it has been a very very bad week and by the looks of things it is going to get worst.

By the way my enlightened readers be careful of what you say in private and in public as nowadays there are millions of people around with a phone ready to film or record what you say. The best thing is say nothing and always be politically correct in everything you say.

American Idol...

My top entertainment programme American Idol is back on the screens and after 6 weeks of watching the auditions and boot camp we have finally got down to the top 13 that will vie to be the American Idol.

Last year they got it all wrong with their selection of some of the contestants, but this year all of my favourites made it through, but what was very noticeable was that it took the judges wildcards to balance the mix of ethnicities as besides Jacob Lusk the boy can blow, America voted through an all American top 10, fortunately the judges redressed the imbalance by giving wild card entries to Naima Adedapo, Ashhton Jones and Stefano Langone. My all American look comment aside, I must be honest and say that it was the right Top 10.

Normally you have a few that stand out and you say he or she is going to win, this year it is not that easy to tell who is going to win. My favourites are Casey Abrams, Jacob Lusk, James Durbin and Scotty McCreery. For some reason I want the good old country boy Scotty to win that is if Jacob doesn't.

Scotty Mccreery

The one great thing I love about American Idol compared to X Factor is that this is a proper singing competition and the best singer wins.

I must be honest I have not even noticed that Simon Cowell is not there, that just goes to show how good a show it is, that it can stand alone and does not rely on one personality to make it work.

African Fashion Weeks...    

African Fashion is on a massive revival and some top fashion weeks are taking place around the world including Arise Magazine Fashion Week taking place in Lagos from 10 to 13 March ARISE MAGAZINE FASHION WEEK SCHEDULE. What is with the complaints that it is mainly Nigerians taking part in the fashion week, which is not true by the way – but I do welcome your views.

Africa Fashion Week New York SCHEDULE
taking place July 14 to July 16 and of course the best one of them all Africa Fashion Week London – 5 & 6 August, of course it is the best cause Mr Mahogany himself is producing AFWL. 

By the way if you wish to Exhibit or you are a designer that wishes to showcase then APPLY NOW.

As you can see Mr Mahogany is neutral and promotes all events including the competition - JOKE there is no competition as we are all here to promote fashion and support each other


Friday, 25 February 2011 18:13

Dark Skin Beyonce

Once again my girl Beyonce attracts controversy with her latest photoshoot for the French Magazine L'Officiel to celebrate their 90th anniversary issue.

beyonce black faceI am not sure why it is controversial, as all she has done is gone from a light skin woman to a dark skinned woman wearing African inspired outfits. To me it is only controversial because it is Beyonce and due to the fact that people are concerned that more and more she is trying to come across as a European woman as nowadays she seems to have blonde hair and her skin seems lighter.

For me in this shoot she looks beautiful and portrays black women in a strong positive way and is also promoting Africa, so on this one I am cool with it.

What are your views?


During my life I have been fortunate in that I have seen many firsts, segregation coming to an end in the United States, Nelson Mandela being released from prison in South Africa, the Berlin Wall coming down between West & East Germany, the 
first ever football World Cup being held in Africa, the election of the first ever black man, Barack Obama as the president of the United States and on Thursday 24th February 2010 saw the THE MIRROR BOY, the first ever Nollywood film premiere to be held at a major West End cinema.

@ Mirror Boy Premiere With Fatima Jabbe & Genevieve Nnaji
What a premiere it was, very rarely I am lost for words and if I were not writing now I would be speechless. Everybody who is anybody (I am sure I got this round the wrong way) was at the premiere, (including me), Rachel & Rebecca Williams (We Girls Rock), Eddie Kadi (Comedienne), Arnold Oceng (Adulthood), Adebayo Jones (Designer), Nana Afua (Top Model of Colour), Henry Bonsu (TV Personality), Alexander Amosu, Ellen Thomas (Eastenders), Helen Jennings (Arise Magazine), Yolanda Brown (MOBO award winning saxophonist), anyway sorry I have to stop here otherwise the whole blog would just be a list of who attended.

Let's get down to the nitty gritty cos this is not about who attended but about "the journey" of The Mirror Boy, besides Africa United there has never to my knowledge been an African film premiere in the West End and this one I am sure of, there has never been a Nollywood p
remiere held in the West End before.
Forget Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and Libya there were more people on the streets of the West End then people that have been protesting in all of those countries combined, ok a little bit of exaggeration, well quite a bit of exaggeration but my point is that at the premiere itself there were over 1000 in the cinema and another 500 people stuck outside that could not get in.

Once you managed to get in, you had to fight your way through the media scrum, numerous photographers and film crews from all over interviewing the celebrities and stars in attendance. Beautiful hostesses provided by Mahogany Models who were well managed by Chantelle Hall.

Up until now I thought ok a little bit hectic and then it happened, the room became electric and if were not in London we would have had a power outage due to the surge of energy that entered the room as soon as Genevieve Nnaji, Osita Iheme & Fatima Jabbe arrived, even I was overwhelmed by how manic it became for a minute I thought that Oprah Winfrey, Eddie Murphy and Will Smith had arrived.

Hey if you were at the event and I am telling you what you already know, tough – this is for those that were not there or did not get to see some of the inner workings or what was going on.

The story continues – we got into the hall and I sat with Genevieve, Osita, Fatima and the young child actor Edward Kagutuzi (well he is not that young, about 20 really), right at the front. By the way sitting at the front at a major cinema is not cool, it's like the screen is about to eat you up and everyone in the movie looks like giants. A question and answer session took place and the film started.
The Movie: I have decided not to do a critic of the film as for me The Mirror Boy was about the history it was making more than how good or bad the film was, but in short it is a good movie, great sound 
track, cinematography and well produced and directed. I am aware that some people weren't sure what the message in the film was about and got a bit lost towards the end but to me it was just a movie and watch it for what it is. If you really do need an explanation leave some comments on my blog and I will explain.

The length of the movie was just right and as soon as it finished there was plenty of back slapping and hi fives and lots of quick networking – "call me let's talk" networking and those of us that had some energy left and went off to the after party to shake a leg or two, still aching now I am really too old for this shake a leg thing.

I am proud that I, Mahogany Models and Fashions Finest were actively involved in this historic occasion but the real Kudos must go to Obi Emelonye (Director), Patrick Campbell (Producer), Charles Thompson (Consulting Producer) & DJ Abass who worked their magic to not only make this movie but also to have the foresight, the vision and the balls to do a premiere in the West End and trust me it takes cahooneys to do such a thing.

It feels a bit like the ending of apartheid, the West End is no longer just for mainstream movie premieres.

For those of you that want to read about the more serious stuff of the premiere watch out for the reports on Fashions Finest by our reporter Olakumbi Akiwumi & red carpet pictures by Fashions Finest Photographers Kenneth Asia & Trevor Fogah-Griffiths.


Monday, 07 February 2011 01:17

You Must Give America its Props

America has always been accused of having its racial problems and that people from the African American community don’t do so wellblack_eyed_peas_superbowl 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.

                        WATCH THIS FANTASTIC VIDEO

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.