It would be very bad manners of me if I did not start by saying Happy New Year to you and I pray that it is an Austerity Free year for you and all of your hearts desires may be fulfilled, whether it be seeking financial reward, love or marriage, a new job or the success of your business or career, you will achieve them – that is my prayer for you.
It is amazing that the besides people going to church for christenings, weddings and funerals the one other time that most people seem to attend church is on New Year's Eve, it is as if people feel that if they go to church on New Year's Eve good luck will follow them for the whole year (before you asked I was one of them that made it to church last night) and I must be honest that I have not attended church as much as I should have, so I may just be in the group of people I talk about above. I do however pray daily but as I have been told I should go to church more regularly.
At this time of the year I like to do a quick review of what has happened throughout the year and also briefly talk about what Mr Mahogany has been up to.
We still have the most powerful man in the world being a black man, but 2011 will be a tough year for him as he prepares to bid for a second term. Mr President we got your back because the world would be in serious trouble if Sarah Palin gets elected as president.
The war still goes on, enough already.
This website has changed the way spies work and how governments will communicate with each other. It would be interesting to see what the long term effects will be on freedom of information, but more importantly will the Americans get their man the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange. You know they will not rest until they get their man dead or alive – I wonder!
Is the World Coming to an end?
Haiti - One of the poorest countries in the world faced further devastation with an earthquake that killed at least 150,000 people. Sadly the international response was very slowly and may have been the cause for many people dying.
Pakistan – record flooding in northwest Pakistan led to tens of millions of people being made homeless or having to leave their homes.
Iceland – the volcano eruptions in Iceland led to worldwide disruption of air travel for many across the world.
UK and USA – unusual heavy snowfall led to the closure of two of the world's largest airports, JFK and Heathrow and a lot of angry people.
One of the happiest stories of the year was the rescue of 33 Chilean miners that were trapped underground for over two months. Well done to the Chileans that were able to complete a fete that many western countries would struggle to do. Can't wait for the film.
Africa is the New Fashion and Entertainment Capital of the World
If you have not been to Africa then you better get on the band wagon as Africa is the new fashion and entertainment capital of the world. Nollywood is officially rated as the second largest film industry in the world and with films like, Aje, The Figurine and Mirror Boy getting rave reviews across the world. The quality of films produced by Nollywood has improved and some of them are on par with Hollywood films. An aside, watch out as I am expecting the Ghanaian movie industry to do some great things having already produced great films like Sinking Sands featuring Ama K and the likes of Rachael Williams (Miss Black Britain) hoping to make her mark within the Ghanaian film industry, things are looking good.
Nigeria – this has been a good year for Nigeria, in February they hosted the Face of Africa Finale and in December they hosted the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA's) which was hosted by Eve.
South Africa – hosted the first ever World Cup in Africa which in my view was an outstanding success and Ghana was the only African team that did us proud, I am still an adopted Ghanaian. Well done to Spain for winning the World Cup for the first time in their history and shame on Holland for trying to kick their way to winning the World Cup.
Shows that got it Wrong:
Africa Music Awards – it has all been said in a previous blog but we look forward to them getting it right in 2011 and if they don't invite me cos they have black listed me I will still sneak my way in cos I have to support our own.
Beffta's – as above.
Australia's Next Top Model – get the result right in 2011.
X Factor – Gamu, Wagner, Cheryl Cole – enough said. However I am looking forward to X Factor America and wondering if I would like American Idol now that Simon Cowell has left.
Mr EnglandMr England – congratulations to Vaughan Bailey for being the first black man to win the coveted MR England pageant lets hope he will not go down the line of Ms Rachael Christie the first ever black winer of Miss England.
Sour Grapes – one of the most disappointing events of 2010 was the attitude of the English football establishment at not being awarded the 2018 World Cup finals. Guys you lost, live with it and get on with life, you have no God given right to host it and like how you put South Africa down when they won, you did the same with Russia. Russia will host a good World Cup, not sure I want to go there though as it is far.
It has been a good year for Mahogany with our events growing from strength to strength and Mr Mahogany himself (by the way that is me) producing and event managing more shows abroad and in the UK, doing more presenting and judging work. I am eagerly looking forward to 2011 as I seek to become an actor (excuse me stop laughing, I am sure I could be a good actor) and we will be doing a lot more shows that aim to assist people get started or promote themselves within the fashion and entertainment industry. I have included some brief details below.
TMC Holland – the first ever winner of TMC Holland Adut Mawien was crowned in March 2010 and TMC Holland 2011 is expected to be even bigger.
TMC UK – celebrated its fifth year and Nana Afua Antwi and Jason Daniel Best won and to commemorate our 5th year all of our previous winners were presented with a special award.
Fashions Finest Magazine – is one of our biggest projects to date. We have been working on it for the past 6 months and it will go live in the middle of January 2011 and is an online fashion magazine that aims to promote people that either mainstream or the big players in the fashion and entertainment are not eager to promote or anyone locally or international that has something interesting to say or promote. The magazine is for EVERYONE of all nationalities, fashion and entertainment genres.
Fashions Finest Renaissance – fashions shows will be taking place every month throughout the year with the primary aim to promote new, aspiring and established designers, creatives, photographers etc to achieve maximum exposure within their communities as well as within mainstream fashion. The shows confirmed so far are on the 16th and 30th January and the 19th and 20th February (taking place during London Fashion Week).
Fashions Finest Awards – this is the event that everyone has been asking for and looking forward too. Fashions Finest Awards aims to redress the imbalance of small or medium size inspaniduals or companies not being recognised by mainstream fashion either because they are different or not considered big enough or prestigious enough to be considered for a British Fashion Award. Through Fashions Finest Awards, designers, creatives and models that work within the culturally spanerse fashion industry will be acknowledged and recognised for their talent. These awards are open to EVERYONE, of all nationalities, ethnic backgrounds, all genres of fashion, small and large. July 2011 will host the first ever annual Fashions Finest Awards, which will be a prestigious awards ceremony that would be truly appreciated by its invited guests, nominees, recipients and would be recognised generally within the British fashion industry and internationally as a sign of true talent and professionalism.
People I feel should be recognised (I am not giving a reason as if you know them I think what they do or have done speaks for themselves – if you don't then go and find out about them)...
Charles Thompson, Sherry Dixon, Alexander Amosu, JLS, Rachael Williams, Yemi Oshunkoya, Eryca Freemantle, Deborah St Louis, Natalie Barrett, Naomi Campbell and the Sleek Sisters (based in Nigeria – ok on this one I will explain – they run the biggest Sleek franchise in the world and are such nice as people), My TMC Team (Tope, Amina, Claudia, Redz, Eva and Gregory).
Finally I must end by paying tribute to all of those that have left us in 2010 including family and friends of people I know, but whom as much as I would want to mention them by name I am unable to, but our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has lost someone dear to them. Here are a few of the celebrities that left us in 2010.
Alexander McQueen – British Fashion Designer
Dennis Hooper – Actor
Gary Coleman - Actor
James MacArthur – Actor (Dan O in Hawaii five O)
Lena Horne – Legendary Singer
Teddy Pendergrass – Singer
Tony Curtis - Actor
Teena Marie - Singer
It's now time that I stopped as I know some of you are recovering from a hangover, lack of sleep from hard core partying or just want to spend some time with the family, so reading a long blog is far from being on your mind.
MAY 2011 BE YOUR BEST YEAR EVER!
I am so a man with so many hats and one of them includes doing film reviews for Fashions Finest TV and on Saturday 6th November I was dispatched to Planet Nollywood for the film preview of 'Natasha the prodigal' which is a Nollywood film produced in the UK by M and M Entertainment in conjunction with the Nollywood College of Arts UK and featured the film debut of Vanessa Adekola who is multi talented as she also wrote the script for this film.
The Story Line...
NATASHA de PRODIGAL is a true life story of a suddenly GOOD girl turns BAD, the ever so lovely highly talented and God fearing Natasha starts to do the unspeakable, putting her Dad's reputation into tumult and every youth in the community wants to be just like NATASHA. A good girl next door goes wild into the dark part of the world with the most powerful man in London (THE DON)
The Movie which was shot in Birmingham is full of Jealously, Glamor, Rivalry, Hatred, Suspect, Drugs, Backbiting, Mischievousness, Death, Bulling and many more
The Movie teaches the viewers to SAY NO to the use of DRUGS, GUNS and unpleasant ways to acquire WEALTH and FAME, The Stars of Natasha de Prodigal come from different UK based African countries like, Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Uganda, South Africa, Mali, Gambia and Jamaica.
MR Mahogany's View
It was definitely over acted and the script and the story line seemed disjointed at times and for future productions they need to work on the sound quality and bring in a high quality sound man. I would also say the same about the lighting which at times was poor.
I would recommend that they stick to industry standards and make the films no more than an hour and a half or an hour forty minutes, having parts one and two is never the best thing. The talent scenes were at times very devoid of people and it would be good if they brought in lots of extras and this is easy to do as people will always give their time for free to be in a movie and it would give some substance and reality to the talent scenes.
On the plus side the overall quality of the filming was good and I am confident that with time Vanessa Adekola will become a top Nollywood actress as she was one of the few that did not over act too much and seemed a natural actress. There were funny moments in the film but I am not sure if they were funny because they were meant to be or simply because they were silly funny.
I can't say it is up to the quality of the Figurine or Aje but for a low budget film it should be commended and I look forward to more films from M and M Entertainment and will closely follow the career of Vanessa Adekola.
I will end by saying congratulations as the movie has already been nominated for the Music Movie Screen Award by the Black International Film Awards.
Miss Flavour 2010
My beautiful cousin Mary Bello who is a writer with Flavour Magazine invited me down to come and watch Miss Flavour at the Cafe De Paris that took place on the 3rd November. I can’t believe that it has been going for 4 years and this is the first time I have ever attended Miss Flavour.
It was a full house packed with a lot of young, hip and trendy fashionistas, family and friends who cam
e out to support the 14 beautiful girls that were competing to become Miss Flavour 2010 and take the crown from last year’s winner Melissa Lewars.
The evening was hosted by 1xtra's Ace Vis who did a great job with the young , what I call Hip Hop crowd and there were 10 celebrity judges including Jasmia Robinson (Britain's Next Top Model), who had a hard time picking out the eventual winner and celebrities like the comedienne Slim and Yolande of La Geneve North were in the house.
The only traumatic thing that took place was when Ace Vis had an Australia's Next Top Model moment and announced the wrong winner. These things happen but it was a bit sad as one raises the expectations of the person that thought they had won and the next minute they are shot down.
Eventually they got it right and I must say congratulations to Neetu Sahota for winning Miss Flavour 2010 and Léa Gladys Poupelin being the first runner up Siobhan Copland coming 3rd.
If I am invited again I would look forward to attending again and if you want an informal night out it is definitely worth attending.
Sacred Childhoods Foundation Ethical Fashion Show
What I a week I have been having literally running from one event to another and today was no different as I attended the Sacred Childhoods Foundation Ethical Fashion Show at the exclusive Vanilla Club in the West End on 3rd November 2010. Sacred Childhoods is working to safeguard vulnerable and underprivileged children in Indonesia, South East Asia.
For me this was a show with a difference as its principle aims were to raise funds for the foundation but at the same time promoting sustainable, fairly traded fashion using beautiful models, who often face discrimination by the mainstream fashion industry. So this definitely was an event that pulled on my heart strings.
A number of designers donated pieces for the event and on this occasion I deem it only fair that I name all of them - here goes.
Fee Uhssi Design
Little Grass Clementine
Piece of Mind
Natural Cotton Color
Pants to Poverty
Pure Design Company
Lost Property of London
I know that it is a long list but it is well worth listing and if you are ever looking for ethical designers this is a great place to start from.
It was surely a show with a difference as the models walked around the room wearing the pieces with the designers on hand to talk through what inspired them and I am amazed at the designs the designers have created out of recycled items.
This was truly a worthwhile and inspirational evening, very enjoyable.
TMC Grand Finale 27th November 2010...
To get tickets please buy online http://www.mahoganymodels.co.uk/list-services.php or
0845 388 7249 / 07971 388687
Standard tickets are £30 in advance (or £45 at the door) - Table of 10 £300
VIP tickets are £50 in advance (or £75 on the door) - Table of 10 £500
Please note that all vip guests will be served a 2 course meal and some drinks on their table.
I am now starting to feel that every time I write a blog I only seem to have negative things to say and that is definitely starting to worry me. But people it is not my fault, honestly. I actually said that regardless of how I felt that I was not going to blog about the BEFFTA's but following NUMEROUS requests to say it as it was I have had no choice but to respond to your requests.
The BEFFTA's which stands for Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts Awards, that is the original version of what BEFFTA's means but the new version is unprintable and involves a lot of cussing and I have some people that are under 16 that read my blog.
Anyway I have washed my mouth with soap and I can continue, the BEFFTA's took place on Saturday the 30th September at a lovely venue called Westminster Central Hall. Following on from last year I came with an open mind thinking to myself that it could not be any worst than last year - boy was I wrong.
In a chronological order let me give you an insight into the event.
I arrived at about 7pm (as the show was due to start at 7.30pm) and I queued up with the other guests to give my name and collect my tickets to gain entry. When I got to the young lady that was doing the tickets I was very impressed as they had a laptop and I assumed they would do a quick search on the laptop and I would be given a ticket within seconds, yes you are right they could not find my name, anyway she asked me if I was a nominee? wrong question to ask a black person when we sense weakness we go in for the kill, in this case I was a nominee, so I answered yes and she then asked me if I had any guest with me and I said yes that there were 4 of us in total and without any checks she gave us 4 VIP passes (this also happened to others as well), so as per what I said above if people were intending to pay when they saw the shambles that was going on they quickly would have changed their mind as they would have realised that it was free to get in.
Anyway we then proceeded upstairs and based on lasts years experience I told my guests to go and secure us seats before they all go as I had a feeling that there might be problems and there was. I would will leave this bit with a quote from a highly respected person within the black
entertainment industry in the UK “I did not even have a table in my name and had to sit in a corner with my guests which was embarrassing as they were very influential people.”
So my guests had secured a table for us to sit after many problems, I must add whilst I was downstairs doing some press interviews and assisting Fashions Finest TV.
The press section was badly organised and only got better when Remel London took it upon herself to help out and organise things. Eventually I went upstairs at about 9pm and they were only just about to start (yes over an hour and a half late).
Westminster Central Hall has a reputation for finishing on time and bearing in mind the organisers have used the venue before they knew exactly what would happen at 11 pm. However in their wisdom a decision was made to entertain us for the next one hour with act after act and we had the unfortunate pleasure of having one of the most boring presenters ever (they said she was meant to be a comedienne, now if she was a comedienne then I am the one that taught Eddie Murphy everything he knows about comedy), to be fair to her they only gave her an hour’s notice that she was going to present but if she is meant to be a professional that is no excuse.
So at about 10.10pm they now decided to start announcing the award winners, you must bear in mind that they had about 500 awards and 1500 nominees , ok I am exaggerating but it is to emphasis the point that there were too many awards and some crazy categories. At 11 pm as expected the venue switched on the house lights and turned off the sound by this time they had not even announced half of the awards which includes one of my categories best modelling agency, up to now I have no idea who won that award.
But it was nice to hear that on the Sunday some people were being phoned to say that they had won awards in categories they did not know had even existed, I guess they felt they needed to get rid of the excess awards that they had.
So we left the awards very dejected but decided let’s make the best of a bad situation and go for the after party which was meant to be taking place at a lovely venue. About 50 of us found our way to the venue to find out there was no such after party and none of the organisers were there or had any intention of showing up. I say no more!
Normally I end my piece by giving my views, however this time round I will end it with quotes from a variety of people that emailed or text me about the show.
“I myself actually checked her facebook page yesterday to see if she had offered an apology on her status...more fool me lmao”
“I have no idea whether she agrees it was a shambles (I doubt it)”
“she seems to be in denial...we were clearly at a different award show to her!”
I know others offered their services and was shoved aside.
“xxx cannot use people who have worked hard to establish their brand and then disrespect their name like this. I am done”.
“she used many of us to bring attention to this shambles”
“She has made the award vulgar. I felt as if I was attending an event in a third world country!!! With all the expertise we have in the UK this is unacceptable”
This is not sour grapes it’s about people stepping up and doing the right thing and using the right people, Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles could have done a better job running the show and without any assistance.
If it goes ahead again I will still support it as I believe we must work with each other for change and potentially this can become a fantastic event within our community, but I would say to anyone doing a show, know what you are good at and then bring in people like me to do the things we are good at which is making your event great!
TMC Grand Finale 27th November 2010...
To get tickets please buy online http://www.mahoganymodels.co.uk/list-services.php or
0845 388 7249 / 07971 388687
Standard tickets are £30 in advance (or £45 at the door) - Table of 10 £300
VIP tickets are £50 in advance (or £75 on the door) - Table of 10 £500
Please note that all vip guests will be served a 2 course meal and some drinks on their table.
People read my blog and expect Mr Mahogany to be truthful and to the point. So this is one story that has really made me struggle as to whether I should do a review on the AMA’s or not. I know you are thinking “that what is the big deal, just say it as it is” and in a way you are right but before I do I feel it is only fair that I explain why I am feeling this way.
The organiser of Ama is a young man that has put a lot of effort into trying to make the AMA’s a top international awards show and he is someone that I know and it hurts me to have to do this review, but I think it is only fair to him and also a way of ensuring that people hear what is fact from fiction.
So here goes (it’s a long one)... The African Music Awards was due to take place at Wembley Arena on the 15th October and trust me when I heard it was being done at Wembley Arena and was being sponsored by O2, I was thinking my boy has made it and I was very proud of him. Then on the Thursday the day before the show was meant to take place rumours started circulating that the event had been cancelled and I checked the Ticket Master website and yes it was confirmed as being cancelled. So being the person I am I felt that I had to find out what was going on and if I could help out or confirm that it was truly not going to take place. I made some phone calls to the powers to be who were in the know and I was told that a new venue was been sourced and a new venue hopefully would be found by late that evening. Anyway later that evening I got a phone call to say that a new venue had been found and that the event was still going ahead.
I have been doing events for many years and I knew that this would be a major problem as to try and inform everyone that the event was still going ahead would be hard especially at such short notice, also people would not really want to buy another ticket when they had already purchased one and of course most people would be very sceptical and possibly not take it seriously. So the organisers were in a catch 22 situation, should they cancel it and lose an even bigger fortune or try and do it at another venue in an attempt to try and keep the AMA’s keep some credibility.
So moving swiftly on... I won’t bore you with all the bits in between as I know you must be asking why did it not take place at the Arena? I have my ideas and thoughts as to why but truth is, it is only speculation and as such I can’t give my views as I would be adding to the speculation (but trust me I know the truth). So what happened to the sponsorship money and how much did they get? once gain I can’t give specifics but I am sure if the organisers could do it again they would do it all differently including using Max Clifford as the PR company for the event.
The event itself... now this one I can comment on as I was there and am not relying on hearsay or rumours. As much as I would love to gloss it up I can’t. As much as some key figures within the black entertainment industry did their best to try and make it work and attended to give their full support it just did not work. It was poorly organised from front of house to backstage. They had some great presenters lined up including myself, Kanya King (CEO MOBO’s who unfortunately had gone to Wembley Arena as no one had told her it was no longer taking place there), Alexander Amosu, Fatima Jabbe and Jermaine Jackson to name but a few. But can you believe it after spending about 2 hours at the venue we were eventually told that we were not needed as they would not be presenting the winners with any awards. In fact they just read out all of the winners names in one go from a piece of paper.
When we were eventually shown to some seats in the hall, can you believe it some of the hostesses came and asked us to move to some rows behind because they wanted some beauty queens to sit where we were sitting. Trust me in no uncertain terms I politely said I am not moving.
Organisers that is so not cool when we give up our time, not being paid, no food or drink and no VIP seating to then be told to move for some beauty queens , you definitely got that one wrong. (PS before I am bombarded with emails from present and former beauty queens I have nothing against beauty queens but a number of us at this event actually put the events together to make you the queens that you were/are so in terms of the pecking order we sort of should be a bit more important than you).
The show ended very suddenly with no warning after about an hour and a half and a some people even started shouting that they wanted their money back especially as some of them had paid for VIP seating and were not provided with appropriate seating.
Most of the advertised acts such as D’Banj did not show up and same with the hosts Simon Webb and Genevieve Nnaji who gives her reasons as to why on her tweet page “I agreed to host the show, signed a contract and even publicly announced my participation on a tv program in the uk last time I was thr.. mostly because I wanted an opportunity to meet some of u 1on1 at the show. Unfortunately the organizers wr unable to fulfill any of. ..their obligations even to the last minute which is this morning. (Eg; no ticket arrangements). At this point I feel partially used.. ..to publicize the show and I owe it to u guys to explain my absence”.
Even though the venue had a capacity of 2000 people it had just over 700 people if that in attendance.
To be fair though the acts that were there were really good such as JJC, Big Brothaz with ‘We Are Africans, and a Fela Anikulapo Kuti tribute band.
In Conclusion... this is a great event that must continue and despite all of the mishaps and problems it is an event that we must continue to support and now I am being unashamedly tartest here and would say to the AMA’s if you need an event run and managed properly you need to hire me to produce it for you or act as your consultant and I can assure you this would never happen again and you would have a great event.
To all of you that have been kicking a man whilst he is down, shame on you. This could happen to anyone and I can assure you that the AMA’s will be back bigger, stronger and better next year.
TMC Press Launch...
TMC Finalist Press Launch took place on Sunday 17th October at the Jewel in Covent Garden. The finalist were dressed to kill in a variety of purple outfits and entertained the audience by doing a variety of poses on the podium. Press and celebrities attended and everyone had a great time.
The evening was hosted by Jordine Bartlett and was beautifully organised by Sassi PR. If you would like to do a review of the event or require pictures and further information please EMAIL
Limited tickets are still available for the TMC finale taking place on the 27th November at the Porchester Hall. Tickets can be purchased ONLINE or by calling 0845 388 7249.
Uti Wins Big Brother All Stars (African Version)
Uti Nwachukwu out fought all of the other Big Brother contestants to win Big Brother All Stars and pick up a lovely sum of $200,000 (I wish I was his best friend).
The final two left in the house were Uti and Zimbabwe's Munya Chidzonga. Uti being a proud Nigerian did the most patriotic thing when he won and that was to sing the Nigerian national anthem.
Yes I know it is only Big Brother but he is still a Nigerian and we are proud of him.
Moan and Groan
As a true green blooded Nigerian it hurts me to have to once again say that we have made the news for the wrong reasons. I have no problems with such programs as Louis Theroux documentary entitled “law and Disorder in Lagos” as it is well known that western reporters tend to only show Africa in a negative light, so I can live with that
BUT it pees me off no end when we put ourselves into a position that we confirm that we are nothing but a corrupt nation. Why is it that once we get into a position of authority we will use and abuse that position to try and make as much money as possible.
A number of countries are currently bidding to host the 2018 World Cup including the England and representatives from the FIFA committee will be voting on the 2nd December as to which country would host the 2018 World Cup. The Sunday Times did an undercover sting and allegedly exposed corruption in the voting process. When I first heard this I immediately prayed to God and said please let their not be a Nigerian involved and low and behold a Mr Amos Adamu who is a Nigerian and the West African executive committee member on the FIFA bid panel and he was allegedly willing to sell his support for £500,000. To make it worst he was caught on video doing this.
In Nigeria we understand that to get things done you grease peoples palms and as far as I am concerned that is the way things are done and that is cool, it is done in the west but it is called corporate hospitality in the UK or contributing to an election fund in the USA and appropriately entitled lobbying.
However if you are a Nigerian sitting on a foreign committee of any kind you are prime material for a sting operation and you are the most stupid human being in the world to think that you can allegedly ask for a bribe and not get caught. This once again has just shown that Nigerians are allegedly corrupt or open to corruption and you just make it harder for the rest of us to be viewed as being honest in anyway shape or form.
Nigerians enough is enough, if you really need to make money and cannot resist temptations and feel you will be open to bribery and corruption then do not take a job abroad, just stay in Nigeria and that way we won’t have a bad reputation abroad.
I am so peeved off by this aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!
Reality TV is back in full force from The Apprentice to X Factor and of course they have all come with the drama that is needed to get them plenty of press attention.
This is by far the UK's biggest reality TV show especially with the demise of Big Brother and one must give enormous credit to the guru himself Simon Cowell for being able to keep X Factor fresh and making front page headlines.
I am sure that you are aware of Gamu Nhengu who was the unfortunate X Factor contestant that seemed to out sing the other contestants at Cheryl Coles X Factor rented mansion in Berkshire of all places (maybe it was good that it was in Berkshire otherwise Gamu would not have been able to travel to one of the foreign destinations). Unfortunately Gamu was not chosen to go onto the live shows. It is very possible that you signed the petition to get her back on the show and had a lot of sumpathy with her and felt she was unfairly treated.
This is a wake up call, reality TV shows are fake and are manipulated to sucker in you the audience, get maximum ratings and ultimately make the producers a barrel full of money (being someone that produces and consults on such shows, trust me I should know as I have done it many times myself). The golden rule of X Factor is to make Simon Cowell and ITV tons of money and that ultimately means choosing people that the public would vote for and/or if they did win that they had the right look and personality to make a lot of money (once again for Simon Cowell as they are signed to his record label).
My take on it: firstly you only see an edited version of what really takes place at the judges houses as each contestant sings more than one song and for viewing purposes and suspense what they showed of Katie Waissel and Cher Lloyd made far better television than them singing their song well. Secondly I definitely feel Cher Lloyd deserved to go through as she is quirky and original, not so sure about Katie Waissel though, but what I can say is from a financial perspective she is a better bet than Gamu. So for me I can live with the decision not to put her through.
I am not being heartless (but besides Gamu's immigartion problems) it is a win win situation for everyone, Gamu got more headlines then she would ever have got if she made it through to the live shows and will be famous regardless and X Factor got loads of free publicity and over 14 million people tuned in.
Roll on Money Man Cowell.
I absolutely love the Apprentice but for the first 2 episodes our sister Joanna Riley, is she aggressive or what? In the second episode or i should say
how they portrayed her on TV she came across unnecessarily loud, rude and aggressive. I think she is smart as she was brave enough to lead the first task and made it through by the skin of her teeth and then she came up with the idea for the second task which they could have won if the team leader had been a bit braver and sharper, she has made her bones so now she can afford to take a bit of a back seat. I do hope that she takes Lord Sugar's advice and calms down otherwise she is out for sure.
I don't know why but my money is on Melissa Cohen to win.
TMC Grand Finale 27th November 2010...
News In Brief...
Africa Music Awards Change of Venue..
Africa Music Awards is no longer taking place at Wembley Arena on the 15th October 2010, at the time of going to print the new venue (which maybe at Westminster Central Hall) has not yet been confirmed.
I really do hope that it takes place but it is going to be a close call.
Merit of Excellence Award...
I am truly humbled and proud to say that on Saturday 9 October I won the award for most outstanding achievement. Other nominees in my category included Sade Adu, Patti Boulaye and Adebayo Jones very esteemed company as you can see.
Well done to Yomi Oyekanmi & Chermiah Hart for putting on a fantastic show and we were well entertained by presenters Kayode Akintemi and the beautiful long time friend of mine Samyra Gellatly-De La Torrezz (yes i know it is a mouthful).
This award is dedicated to all of you that have supported me throughout my career and my two beautiful children.
Black 100+ Exhibition of Black Achievers in Modern Britain ...
I was fortunate enough to be included in the Black 100+ exhibition. The Black 100+ Exhibition & Legacy consists of photographic images of modern day achievers within the black community. It includes VIPs, celebrities, professionals, community leaders and members of the general public. These inspirational inspaniduals are from the world of politics, sport, business, religion, media, entertainment, music, the arts, education and community support.
Their photographs, complimented by a brief biography about their personal achievements, form part of this inspirational exhibition, which creates a record of achievement that will influence the aspirations of generations of people.
Moan & Groan...
This is a bit of a funny moan and groan and it is a quick one and goes as follows. You live in a house where you are fortunate that all your bills are paid for or inclusive of the rent, however you in your big self see a phone socket in your room (with no phone) and decide to go out and buy a phone and plug it in and start using it and when confronted about how come you are using the phone which you are not suppose to, your response is I thought using the phone was inclusive of bills.
I can hear some of you laughing your heads off as you think yeah right phone is inclusive of bills, can you imagine what the bill would have been like if it had been an African, Caribbean or Asian person living in the house and they took that attitude, the landlord would have been bankrupt.
On this one i am so lost for words.
It would be very wrong of me not to congratulate Nigeria on its Golden Jubilee, which I whole heartedly do but at the same time I think that it is a good time to reflect on our beautiful country Nigeria.
Nigeria is the biggest and richest black nation in the world with over 150m people scattered around the world and we are extremely rich in natural minerals such as oil, sadly though Nigeria is still wrecked with numerous problems from the inability in this modern age to provide 24 hour electricity and non stop flowing water, to a worldwide reputation of corruption and unfortunately the last one which I can and would never be able to explain we are on the USA terrorist watch list (now this one has nothing to do with us for sure and is an unjustified tag).
Leaving the above aside, Nigerians are fun loving, peaceful people who are resilient, intelligent, ambitious and in our own way extremely patriotic. Around the world, Nigerians that need the smallest excuse to party and make some money are currently celebrating our independence and I for one will be doing the same.
Even though I was born in the UK (no fault of my own), I am a green blooded Nigerian, I am green, white and green proud and I and like minded people like me will do everything we can to make Nigeria one of the greatest countries in the world.
NIGERIA WE LOVE YOU - HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!
How Could They Get It So Wrong...
I woke up early on Tuesday morning, I have to emphasise the early because i normally do not wake up before 10.30am but for some strange reason I woke up switched on the TV to BBC News (BBC by the way I expect my cheque in the post for the free advertising, I also accept credit cards), anyway they cut to showing the announcing the results of the winner of Australia's Next Top Model and then I can’t believe my eyes and ears as they announce the winner Kelsey Martinovich and 2 minutes later they announce that they got it wrong and had announced the wrong name and the correct winner was Amanda Ware. Watching it I felt so sorry for both contestants, as for one minute you feel on top of the world having just won ANTM and the next minute you are brought back down to earth with a massive bump after finding out they had made a mistake.
As a true sceptic I wonder if this was possibly done on purpose and was an attempt to get them worldwide publicity which it did, if not then the producer and everyone that works on that programme should be fired.
Regardless though behind every cloud there is a silver lining and Kelsey has got worldwide fame, a cash prize she would not normally have got and a trip to New York - so Miss Kelsey take it from me this massive mistake has turned you into a superstar and you will be far more popular than Amanda who actually won it - LIFE IS A BITCH!
News In Brief...
Live TV Broadcast to 30 Million People ...
As part of d Nigeria is 50 celebrations I will be a part of a live studio television broadcast that will interact with Nigerians all over the world switching between our Lagos and London Studios. It will broadcast to over 30 million homes worldwide. It will be live on sky 199 OHTV &HiTV from 8.30pm
Moan & Groan...
I know I have not done a moan and groan for while and I have been getting emails etc asking when it is coming back, but I can only do one if I have something genuine to talk about and today I do.
I get invited to lots of events and ten times out of ten they are complimentary and VIP tickets but sometimes on those rare occasions like Australia’s Next Top Model something goes wrong. I was recently invited to a gala dinner (not saying anymore as on this occasion I decided not to name the event, luckily for them it is our day of independence and I am in a good mood) and I arrive there with the ticket they sent me and I am told that they have over booked and they don’t have a seat for me but they would do their best to find somewhere for me to sit.
Being the nice mellow person that I am I say no problem, as at some events there are problems around organising. So I go into the main hall and chill out by the bar (not drinking as I don’t drink) and fortunately there are a few people I know and we talk so I am kept busy. As the evening is progressing they are all running around like blue arse flies trying to sort out the mess and seat people, and I am still standing by the bar and an hour later still standing by the bar they have not found a seat for me - so my nice mellowness is starting to slowly disappear as I am thinking why am I here.
So I am now at that stage where I feel I have to say something and ask whether they had forgotten that I still exist and whether they had found a seat for me or not and they nicely say we are still trying to sort things out. So I go back to standing by the bar, slowly boiling (I will explain why at the end of the piece). 30 more minutes have passed (hey people be patient I am getting to the crux of the matter in a minute) and now it is time to get ghetto cos they are now taking the piss - sorry I don’t normally get ghetto but when people are taking advantage of you - you have to get gentleman ghetto on them, so i spoke to the organiser and in a firm voice with a twang of ghetto I said are you getting me a seat or its time for me to leave this place - of course they found me a seat on a table right at the front next to the stage.
The moral to the story is this DO NOT invite people to your event if you cannot give them the respect they deserve, in my mind as far as I am concerned (and you should be as well) I am a VIP and that means that if I spend money putting petrol in my car, leaving my nice warm house and make my way to your event you better make sure you know where I am sitting especially as I did not ask to be invited or beg for an invitation etc and to make this worst they wanted me to do a feature for them on Fashions Finest - I really don't think I can cos the review would not be cool.
PS Don't mess with the press, cos they can mess you up big time - a word to the wise!
Be good and take care – tomorrows another day
After an absence of nearly 6 years Miss Nigeria is finally back. On the 25th September
Damilola Agbajor Miss Nigeria
2010 the final was held in Abuja with over 20 girls competing for the coveted title of Miss Nigeria.
19 year old Damilola Agbajor from Delta State was crowned Miss Nigeria, 24 year old Erica Okuneye from Lagos State was 1st runner up and 25 year old Obori Edenkwo from Cross Rivers was the 2nd runner up.
Korean Fashion Student Shows at London Fashion Week..
Fashion Student Eunjin from Korea is just about to complete her MA in Fashion at Kingston University. The title of her collection is ‘A woman confined’ and was it inspired by a photograph she found in a book documenting the work of Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat. Through her range of over-sized jackets in neutral tones of grey and black 25-year-old Eunjin explores visual representations of what it means to be emotionally or physically restricted.
Last night I finally went to bed at a sensible hour after many days of only a couple of hours sleep, London Fashion Week had finally ended. I know some of you are expecting a blow by blow description of what’s in and what’s out in terms of fashion trends but if you were really thinking that, you are having a laugh. By now you should know me, that is never going to happen.
It you want updated news and reviews of the shows and fashions trends then check out Fashion World on Fashions Finest.
My London Fashion Week Diary...
I can’t believe that I used the word diary considering that I didn’t actually keep one and I am trying to remember things as I write, one day I will become organised and maybe keep one.
So what did I do – o yes now I remember.
FASHION DIVERITY - The night before fashion week opened we had our own show, Fashion Diversity and it was our VIP Gala & Press Launch which took place at a lovely quirky venue called the Islington Metal Works. For me the highlight of the evening was the honorary awards and it was great to be able to honour 3 outstanding designers, Jolaby, Patrick Kevin and Adebayo Jones for their contribution to fashion.
Fashion Diversity continued for two further days and featured an array of emerging designers which included Mong Hsuan Jiang, Nia’s World, Arif Khan, AAMAA Couture, Blaq by Sacha James, Chichi London and Bebe Grafiti.
On the Friday alongside the emerging designers we had the student/graduate competition which featured Beth Spurr, Farah Deeba Ismail, Georgina Kitchen, Iga Wlodarczyk, Hermes, Jade Hope, Katrina Ferrari, Linda Ntumy, Stency Kidega, Stephanie Zeinati and was won by Stency Kidega.
Winner of Student/Graduate competition
The student show ended with a collection by Little Hands who are young designers ranging in age from age 5 to 14.
It would have been great if every evening after a long days work I could have gone home ate some pounded yam and oxtail and gone to bed, but that was never going to happen in a million years as after each show I had to head down to the West End to attend a number of LFW shows including Masha Ma, Fashion Mode, J Maskrey, Paul Costello, Fashion Shenzhen, Orschel-Read, Krystof Strozyna, Kingston University, Romina Karamanea, La Geneve North and KTZ and these are the only ones that I can remember (I think all the others are on Fashions Finest).
Now for news on what will be in next year – the answer is I have no idea, as I have
said many a times previously I am so not into fashion but I love attending the shows and seeing the production and checking out the latest models and how the shows are produced.
I can say for sure that white was back in, I am referring to all white models at the shows, it is sad that most of the designers hardly used any models of colour. I really had thought that we had made progress on this front but it seems that it only lasts as long as there is bad publicity
Pictures from Masha Ma Show...
Pictures from Osman Show...
To celebrate 25th years in menswear the iconic Savile Row tailor Ozwald Boateng closed London Fashion Week with a spectacular show held in the Odeon Leicester Square on Wednesday 22nd September 2010 and it featured over 100 male models - what a show.
News In Brief:
Beffta Nominations (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts)...
It is with great humility and pride that we are pleased to announce that we received 4 nominations for the upcoming BEFFTA Awards which was decided by a panel of BEFFTA members.The awards are taking place on the 30th October at Westminster Central Hall.
We are nominated in the categories of
• Best Event Promoter
• Best Modelling Agency
• Best Male Model – Ibukun Jegede
• Best Female Model – Kadiatu Kamara
To vote for Mahogany Productions ‘VOTE‘ followed by 157 to the code 80010.
To vote for Mahogany Models ‘VOTE‘ followed by 261 to the code 80010.
Entry by text costs £1.00 plus your standard network rate.
Top Model of Colour Grand Finale Date Announced...
Get your tickets now as this is going to be the event of the year and not to be missed!!!
Face Of Sleek Nigeria & Nigerian Supermodel do LFW...
Makida Moka & Uju Nwobodoh were lucky enough to be sent over to UK from Nigeria by Sleek Nigeria in collaboration with Mahogany Models to participate in shows at LFW. They had a great time appearing in various LFW shows, attending fashion shows, events and parties and meeting a variety of celebrities. We believe that this is just the beginning of many collaborations that Mahogany Models will do to promote models of colour within mainstream fashion.
Be good and take care – tomorrows another day
It was nice to receive an invite from Black Entertainment Television International (BET), to attend an exclusive invitation-only event entitled Getting to Know Wendy Williams.
Wendy Williams is the hottest American talk show host who is bringing her unique brand of entertainment to the UK. I felt privileged to be invited as you know me I don’t consider myself a star (even though others say the opposite) and I was amazed to see that it was a who’s who of the British entertainment industry that was in attendance.
It was hosted by the beautiful Jackie Joseph, a great comedy Sketch by the first lady of comedy Angie Le Mar and other guests included Kanya King (MOBO’s), Henry Bonsu (Broadcaster), Sherry Dixon (Broadcaster), Yana Johnson MBE (Yana Cosmetics), Annaliese Dayes (Mahogany Model & BNTM), Dorothy Tenkorang (Mahogany Model & Stylist), Ellen Thomas (Eastenders), Alexander Amoso (Entrepreneur), Angelica Bell (TV Presenter), Michael Underwood (TV Presenter), Valley Fontaine (BBC Radio Producer), Rudolph Walker (Actor), Angela Wynter (Eastenders), Patrick Williams (Chef), Gillian Joseph (Sky News), Mary Bello (My Beautiful Cousin & Journalist) and of course myself Sola Oyebade (Mr Mahogany)
Wendy Williams is known for her celebrated opening line “How you doin’?” and it was definitely an evening where Williams interacted with the audience and engaged in conversation about her broadcasting and writing career, as well as memorable celebrity interviews, whetting the appetite for this exciting addition to BET International’s programming. The Wendy Williams Show combines celebrity gossip, news events, relationship advice, as well as spanerse mix of celebrity interviews from film, music, fashion, sports and television. Williams has taken the world of talk by storm with her irreverent and witty commentary on life and continues to make the headlines, with the New York Times calling her show a “breakthrough in daytime”.
Williams, who has made an effortless transition from hosting a top rated national radio show, said: “I am really excited and honoured at this opportunity to take The Wendy Williams Show outside the US and connect with a whole new International audience. Ava Hall, Vice President for Production and Content for BET International said: “These are exciting times for BET internationally and the addition of Wendy Williams Show offers UK viewers the opportunity to see why Wendy is such a valuable asset to the channels weekday line-up. Wendy has a great ability to connect with viewers and guests and we’re confident BET’s UK viewers will warm to her unique brand of entertainment.”
Rob Dauber, the show's Emmy Award-winning executive producer, who has worked with Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O'Donnell, said: "Someone like Wendy Williams doesn't come along every day. I am sure that UK audiences will really connect with her, not only as a talk show host but as a person.”
The daily one-hour entertainment show has been a huge success since the show was syndicated nationally in July 2009 and will premier on July 14th 2010 at 9pm on Sky Channel 191 and Freesat 140.
If the evening was anything to go by the Wendy Williams show is sure to be a great hit in the UK and I for one am looking forward to it and will be telling the world to watch it.
Sorry for the lack of blogs but things are crazy at the moment with London Fashion Week around the corner and so many events taking place everywhere, so I beg your indulgence.
On Wednesday 8th September I headed down to the Charlotte Sreet Hotel in Soho for the screening of a number of short films by up and coming film directors and one of the film directors showing was a young Nigerian by the name of Keni Ogunlola whom I first met as a contestant in a reality TV show i was producing as he vied to be the next big African presenter.
He has now decided to move from being in front of the camera to taking up what he feels is his rightful position of being behind the camera and if this short film is anything to go by he made the right decision.
THE LIFE AFTER: (A brief synopsis)
Lonely Adam Borgetti is out jogging on a bright, summer morning. He sights something very unusual. An Enraged middle-aged African man is engaged in a very fierce scuffle with this gorgeous, innocent looking, 'white' lady.
Adam decides to intervene...But should he have?
THE LIFE AFTER is the heart rendering short story of a couple's incredible resolve to cope with a most shocking discovery about themselves.
RUNNING TIME: 15MINS
WRITER/DIRECTOR: KENI OGUNLOLA
With THE LIFE AFTER, Keni Ogunlola takes on his second short film but his first time Directing after recently concluding a directing course at the MET Film School, EALING Studios, London. His first short film, JOSIAH MY LOVE!- which he wrote and produced- can be seen for free on www.ecinemalive.com.
OFFICIAL SCREENING for THE LIFE AFTER was held in SOHO at the screening room of CHARLOTTE STREET HOTEL on the 8th of September 2010 @ 7pm
Although Admission was STRICTLY BY INVITATION, the event was well attended as guests were treated to a series of exciting shorts from young Film makers Tricia Dipre, Claire Wells, Omar Gordon, Garry Simpson and Keni Ogunlola.
THE LIFE AFTER along with the other shorts are been scheduled to screen again later this month at Ealing Studios, London, before screening in Film Festivals across the globe including the Africa International Film Festival 2010.
A good friend of mine was kind enough to send me an article that appeared in the London Evening Standard Newspaper recently and it reported that officially Nollywood (the Nigerian film industry) is considered to be the second largest movie industry in the world.
Nollywood films are popular around the world, some for the right reasons but many times for the wrong reasons. They have been renowned for poor acting, badly written scripts, very long never ending scenes and more movie bloopers than has ever been seen in the history of film making (ok a slight exaggeration on my part) but I think for those of you that have watched Nigerian movies, you know what I am talking about.
However just as we have done with the music industry and are starting to do with the fashion industry (and as a fashion show producer I believe I am also contributing to the improvement of standards in the fashion industry), the movie industry has and is making some fantastic strides in producing better quality movies and the stereotypes of Nollywood movies being bad is well on its way to disappearing forever.
I attended the screening of the latest movie The Figurine – Araromire, produced and directed by Kunle Afolayan, a person who I was fortunate enough to meet when I spoke at the Flair Talent Seminar, in Lagos Nigeria. He is a very unassuming and down to earth actor/director and it is hard to believe that he is such a superstar.
Normally I would talk about all of the London celebrities that graced the red carpet but not today as the attention this time must not be taken away from the fantastic movie I watched.
As part of the Nigeria 50th Anniversary celebrations Lagos State Government and First Bank Nigeria sponsored the premiere movie screening of The Figurine – Araromire at the Greenwich Odeon cinema in London.
This is a movie that has a fantastic well written script and screenplay, the cinematography was like I have never seen before for a Nigerian movie and the acting by its four principles actors Kunle Afolayan, Ramsey Nouah, Funlola Awofiyebi-Raimi, Omoni Oboli was worthy of Golden Globe or OSCAR nominations.
I have no intention of giving you the synopsis of the film as I know if I do I won’t stop and would end up giving the whole story line away. But I would say this it was imaginative, creative and well acted. For the first time ever I am so proud to say that this is not about watching a Nollywood movie but about watching a great movie.
PS: There is also another great Nollywood movie that I highly recommend that you watch. It is called “IJE” that stars Nollywood heavyweights Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Genevieve Nnaji as well as Nollywood star Clem Ohameze alongside international actors such as Odalys Garcia, Jeff Swarthout and Ulrich Que, this movie was Produced and directed by Nigerian international filmmaker, Chineze Anyaene.
Trust me people alongside The Figurine - Araromire, this is another great Nollywood movie.
All I can say is watch out Hollywood as Nollywood is about to take over!
News In Brief:
Merit Award for Excellence...
I am pleased to say for the second year running I have been nominated for a merit Award for Excellence in the category of Most Outstanding Film/TV Director/producer. The awards ceremony takes places on Saturday 9th October at HMS president www.ogeyinka.com
Male TMC UK Finalist
The heats are over and all of the finalist have been chosen and their will be 30 female and 9 male models competing to be come the Top Model of Colour UK for 2010.
Adut Mawien TMC Holland 2010 (her own bag)
Adut Mawien Top Model of Colour Holland 2010 is well on her way to becoming a supermodel since winning TMC Holland - she now has her own bag with her picture on it - CHECK HER OUT
Naomi the Diamond Queen...
The former president of Liberia Charles Taylor has been on trial at the Hague since 2007 and I bet most of you didn’t even know that or you had thought it was all over years ago and he was currently rotting in jail, but I guess after being inundated today with news of the appearance of the glamorous Naomi Campbell at the Hague to give evidence for the prosecution, you suddenly realise the case is not over.
A few points to note here, firstly she was not a willing witness as she was ordered to give evidence after Mia Farrow alleged that representatives of Taylor gave the supermodel a diamond in the dead of night in 1997, after they'd all been guests of Nelson Mandela at a charity dinner in South Africa. Secondly there is her appearance as a hostile witness and the testimony she gave if you can call it that. Just in case you have no idea about what she said I will paraphrase, she alleges that she had a knock on her door late at night and two men whom she did not know just gave her some "dirty looking pebbles", which were allegedly diamonds but Ms Campbell was not aware of their value or what they were.
Now I am not that bothered that a trial that has been going on for 3 years received hardly any media attention until Ms Campbell showed up, cos that is the media for you and lets be fair she is a celebrity in her own right so she will attract a lot of media attention. But please are we really to believe that when she was given the diamonds she had no idea of what they were, if that was the case why did she not just throw the pebbles away. What I want to know is what happened to them and if it was all just as innocent as she has made the world to believe why was she so reluctant to give evidence. These for me are questions that need to be answered as no matter what you may believe Naomi Campbell does not fall into the “dumb blonde” category of a model. I guess we will never know the truth and I assume only Mr Taylor & Ms Campbell know what really happened.
It’s a Secret...
I am sitting at home doing some work on the computer and I have the TV on at no particular channel but I do think it was “E” (the old entertainment tonight channel) and they are showing one of the reality TV programmes that they regularly show, it’s not that I watch them but being in the fashion and entertainment business I have to know what is going on so that in case I am asked something about them I can comment – that’s my version any way. Back to the issue at hand, so I am watching the programme and then I hear a woman say I need to tell you something but you must not let anyway know as it is a secret and nobody must know about it. She then proceeds to say that she may have a problem of a sexual nature, which is top secret.
I know that I am not the brightest spark in the universe, but hello are there not millions of people watching the programme, so how the hell is it a secret that she wants no one to know about, I know and now all of you know as well.
Facebook Advertising Skin lightening...
I have always thought that I am quite innovative and creative when it comes to trying to market my events and things that I am involved in, but recently I was contacted by a reporter from the Eastern Eye Newspaper and she was doing a story looking into whether there is a lack of dark-skinned models from ethnic minority groups in the fashion industry, but with particular reference to the recent Vaseline campaign for skin lightening creams fronted by Shahid Kapoor.
In brief Shahid Kapoor is a celebrity Bollywood actor.
Now what made this story interesting was not the lack of dark skinned models but the fact that they were using Facebook to actively advertise the product and secondly it was primarily aimed at men.
It is a pity that we still feel we have to be light skinned to make it in the world, but I do think doing an advertising campaign for this type of product on Facebook was ingenious and following on from some more research that I have done it has been a very successful campaign.
HEALTH WARNING: Skin lightening creams can serious damage your health.
News In Brief:
Abuja Fashion Week 30 September to 2 October email for more information on how exhibit, sponsor, show your designs of generally just get involved.
Mahogany Bridal Show Nigeria 19 to 20 February 2011 email for more information on how exhibit, sponsor, show your designs of generally just get involved.
Top Model of Colour final 2 heats are on the 7 & 21 August (which includes the male heat) - Purchase Tickets or call 07971 388687 tickets can be purchased on the door.
MOAN OF THE DAY..
To Bra or Not To Bra...
When out and about I see young men walking down the street and their trousers are around their ankles and I see the disdainful look given to them by some women and some men and I am never sure if it is because they don’t like the style or it is because the underwear or boxer shorts the men are wearing are not fashionable or because there are skid marks showing. But whatever it is, it is about fashion. I guess fashion is a bit like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder. The trousers around the ankles is not personally my style, as I think it is hard to walk with your trousers around your ankles and not fall down and also it sometimes attracts the wrong type of attention, including attention from some men but everyman to his own.
For a while I thought that it was just men that were developing this very bad fashion sense, but recently more and more I have noticed that women have developed their own fashion disaster. A while back it was the thong showing over the jeans or trousers but now it is the bra showing. I accept that you may consider me old fashion but my point is this, in the good old days bras were hidden underneath clothing and occasionally we got the brief flash of the front part of a woman bra but now women show off their bra all the time regardless of what they are wearing. Besides it not looking that great as a fashion statement, the worst things is that some of the bras being worn are extremely ugly, some are well worn (out) and in some cases you can see that they have not been washed in a while.
So ladies just like the men if you are going to go down the line of showing your bra, please make sure it is fashionable and clean and guys make sure your skid marks are not showing and your boxers are on point.
DONT’ BE A FASHION DISASTER!!!!!
Be good and take care – tomorrows another day
I am not someone that is easily impressed especially bearing in mind the high number of events that I attend and the high number of events that are absolutely rubbish but Iscapade was an event with a difference and one that was definitely worthy of a lot of praise.
It is was an all white affair, which being honest did cause me a lot of problems as it has been many years since I owned or even wore a white pair of trousers but after visiting many shops (and I hate shopping), I finally found a pair of white trousers, the worst thing ever is to show up being the odd one out.
It was held at the opulent Bloomsbury Rooms, London and the N4Life (Naija4Life) team really outdid themselves. On arrival everyone received a complimentary glass of champagne and it was not the cheap stuff it was Moet (I know, I don’t drink but I can recognise the brand names), there were live statuettes, well dressed hostesses, the venue was decorated to a “T” (and I will be speaking to Ace about why he stole all of my ideas) and the best DJ’s London has to offer including of course celebrity DJ Abass.
It was nice of N4Life to recognise one of the UK’s and Nigeria’s foremost female presenters, Princess Deun Adedoyin-Solarin who has presented on the likes of NTA News and Ben TV to name a limited few. She was recognised and presented with an award for her contribution to the UK and Nigerian entertainment industry. It was of course presented to her by no other than Adebayo Jones one of Nigeria’s foremost designers, who himself was a recipient last year.
The who’s who of the UK fashion and entertainment scene were there including Kunniks, Ellen Thomas from Eastenders, Biodun from Radiant Glow, filming was done by Laja Than Life and hosted by the beautiful actress Yetunde Oduwole. I could go on and on but just take it from me it seemed like everyone was there.
This is one of those rare times when I can say that if you were not there YOU MISSED.
Since inception, the vision of Mahogany has always been to promote everything for people of colour and attempting to fill the gaps within our community or to enable us to compete with or be on par with mainstream fashion. For example, we have been doing the Mahogany Bridal Show for over 14 years which has been the only African Caribbean bridal show for most of that time, it was set up because there was no bridal show that specifically catered to the African Caribbean bride and groom. The same also applied to our Top Model of Colour competition which we set up because models of colour were being marginalised by mainstream fashion and not only was it hard to get models of colour into mainstream fashions shows and adverts, it was also impossible for them to win any mainstream competitions. Our vision is to put black models and creative people on par with mainstream, to increase their representation and begin to create our own supermodels within Africa.
What are your views on the emerging African fashion industry?
I am extremely excited about what is going on within the African fashion industry and by African fashion industry I mean both within Africa and also Africans in the Diaspora. The industry is actively expressing itself and showing and being very proud of our strong heritage. Africans are no longer being afraid to be Africans and have very much gone back to their roots, using African fabrics and designs that show off the curves of the African woman. Our shows are more ethnic orientated and are expressive of whom we are. I have worked in the UK and around the world for many years, most of my shows have been Eurocentric but with the emergence of a move to everything African, we have started producing more shows in Africa and moving the majority of our business there.
What contributions does Mahogany hope to make to its progress?
Mahogany is not only about producing shows and events but also about trying to induce change within the fashion industry and we have been trying to do this via our Black BUT Invisible campaign. Within the campaign we have had two major successes, one of which was making the all black Italian Vogue issue the most successful selling vogue ever and via this achievement, it brought the issues of black models to the worlds attention. Following on from this, we then took on the British Fashion Council and their failure to use enough black models on the runway at London Fashion week and since including them in our campaign, significant changes have been made.
We will work anywhere in the world but we currently give priority to shows and events within Africa. We are also about educating and we have been giving and doing workshops and seminars around Africa to educate models about what they must do to improves themselves, produce better shows, be able to tap into mainstream and increase their commercial viability across the world.
How can fashion inclined people get involved in Mahogany International?
In the first instance, they can contact us letting us know that they would like to work with us, seek our advice or for us to act as consultants for them. We also take on volunteers that want to get hands on experience of working within the fashion industry.
What will you consider as your greatest achievement till date?
The greatest achievement to date is making the Italian Vogue all black issue the biggest selling vogue ever.It was reprinted twice and both times sold out across the world. Following the press contacting me to find out my opinions on what they expected to be the worst selling Vogue issue ever because it featured all black models, I felt I had no choice but to do something about this because if it had indeed become the worst selling Vogue ever, people would now have statistics to prove that black does not sell and we could not afford to let this happen. We initiated a campaign via our Black BUT Invisible campaign and got the entire world involved and made history. At the same time, it brought about change and the question and issue of the lack of black models within the fashion industry – this is an achievement that would be remembered forever and has been talked about across the world on the likes of Sky News, BBC, ITV, The Guardian, Evening standard and 100’s of other newspapers, magazines, blogs etc
Share with us some challenges you have had to overcome on the way.
When I started within the industry there were not many black people involved and everyone believed that western culture was the best. There were limited people that one could turn to for support or to collaborate with. It was initially a uphill struggle getting started and having the conviction to continue through adversity, this was made worse by the fact that was and there is a company that is open about supporting black and pushing and fighting for black issues. This has meant that we have been branded as being racist and sometimes have struggled for mainstream to accept us and work with us. We believe that in the end it has all been worth it because we feel we have led the way and cleared the path for others to more easily succeed.
On the business side of things, what words of wisdom do you live by?
Be professional, treat everyone with respect and get your costings right. Do not let adversity, hurdles or difficulty stop you from achieving what you wish to achieve. If something knocks you down get back up brush yourself down and start over. If the mind can perceive it you can achieve it.
How do you balance a fully packed schedule with your personal commitments?
When people ask me this I normally say, “I sleep when I die.” I work extremely hard on a multiple of projects at the same time across the world and it seems like I never have time to rest but I do and my primary form of release is going to watch my beloved Arsenal play at the Emirates as a season ticket holder, I am there as often as I can. It is important to get the work play balance right and I strive to do this as often as I can.
If you weren’t doing fashion and beauty, what would you be doing?
I was and would have been a Chief Executive of a big charity or government organisation as I love giving something back.
What should we expect from Mahogany in the near future?
We feel that our journey as only just started and there is a lot more to come and to achieve. Our Top Model of Colour franchise is now in 6 countries (Holland, UK, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana and the Gambia) and a number of additional companies will be coming online next year. Mahogany will continue to expand across Africa producing more fashion and reality TV shows as well as spending a good part of our time educating creatives within the fashion industry. We will continue with our aim to work and put the fashion industry in Africa on the world map.
Its been a while since I last wrote to you, well at least in my mind it has been a while and I thought before I lose all of my hard earned friends I had better put a few lines together. But the hardest part is I do not have the foggiest idea of what to talk about, I know some of you think that is strange but the world is relatively quiet at the moment.
So I guess this will be a blog with a small difference as I am just going to ramble for a bit, if you get bored feel free to switch off and come back when you can’t sleep and you need something to help bore you to death and put you to sleep. This is serious rambling.
When you have nothing to say the best thing is to talk about oneself and hope people won’t desert me forever.
I have added a donation button to my blog as we need your assistance in assisting and developing young talent who want to achieve things within the fashion and entertainment industry.
At Mahogany we are all about change and trying to influence change as well as help people to achieve their dreams and in order to do this we do need assistance both in kind and in monetary terms. So please feel free to donate to a very worthy cause, no matter how little it all helps.
As I progress through the world of fashion I have been given a new name which I am not sure I deserve or that it even fits me. You may have seen it on my Fashions Finest articles, I am now referred to as “Mr Mahogany – Celebrity IT Man”. By the way what is a “IT Man”, it sounds like just a silly term and bearing in mind that I am far from being a celebrity I am not sure the name suits me. I think I am also being a bit of a hypocrite here as I always call a good friend of mine, Ola Shobowale an IT Man and I can now see why he was not that keen me calling him this. If anyone can let me know exactly what an “It Man” is I would appreciate it.
Going against the rules of self preservation I am about to commit Hari Kari by talking about some of the great bloggers that are out there, this could seriously impact on my follower ship as after reading some of these great bloggers you may stop following me. When I first started my blog I thought that all I would do is talk about fashion related issues but it somehow has not panned out that it has become more of a social commentary blog with the occasional fashion items thrown it.
So for you fashionistas out there I thought I would refer you to some of the great bloggers that are out there and are also contributing to Fashion World on Fashions Finest.
The FBC Blog: written by my beautiful cousin Mary Bello and she is an IT Girl, as she is at evey celebrity or VIP event in town. The FBC is a fashion, beauty and celebrity blogspot that focuses on whats hot in the UK and worldwide right now.
Bedroom Diaries of a Black Woman: written by Benny Bonsu who is a woman doing great things as writer but also within the Olympic 2012 organisation and within sports PR. This blog focuses on sex and relationship topics and they are dealt with in a very frank and open style, some of the articles and videos are not for the faint hearted
The Musing of Ondo Lady: written by Ronke Adeyemi, her blog is a slice of pop culture in the form of films, magazines, books, TV, fashion and music. She has a passion for fashion, travel, magazines, books and property. What's the deal with Ondo Lady? Well Ondo is a town in Nigeria where her parents are from. It is located in the south west of Nigeria and holds just over 4 million people and is nicknamed the Sunshine State.
TIME IS SHORT...
Tickets can be purchased online @
Then I am off to Nigeria for a few days to speak at the biggest talent seminar ever held in Africa and will feature the likes of supermodel Oluchi and Kelechi Amadi of CNN and so many others.
After that the real works begin as we have more TMC regional heats on the 7 & 21 August, Fashion Diversity 16 to 18 September, Nigeria’s 50th Celebrations 1 October and shows in the Gambia, Sierra Leone and South Africa as well as the grand finale of TMC UK. So I am not sure if I will get any sleep between now and December.
MOAN OF THE DAY...
I am fed up, yes fed up with people that expect something for nothing and on top of it when you are trying to do something for them they abuse you. I thought that it was a one off when I received an email from a model having a go at me for trying to do things to change the modelling industry and give models the chance to excel or gain great exposure within the industry, but I have had a few such emails and texts and upon speaking to other businesses and inspaniduals I have found that others get similar sorts of comments made to them.
Recently I put the below email out on Facebook for people’s comments and I was encouraged by the replies that I received. This is an email a model sent to me about TMC: - "Please note that i am no longer interested in taking part in this competition. it is a scam and i am not a fool. You do not need to pay to be in a competition, then you have pay to do catwalk training? you have to do your own hair & make up?"
So the crux of the matter is that I and other business people are suppose to invest our time and money in running competitions, provide training etc for free just because you are who, you are not my mother, sister, aunty or girlfriend or wife, so I should give you all of my experience, pay for venues and other expenses and allow you to turn up for free and so much more because of what. (all the time i was saying that my head was moving side to side American style and my hand was all up in your face - Shaniquwa style).
Another model wrote to me saying TMC is “just a money making scheme”, and in a fit of madness I wrote her the following reply (would love your views):
... in every business that is done a business must find some way to cover the cost. For instance if you go to a concert you buy tickets – that is a money making scheme, if you go into a shop and buy a dress that is a money making scheme.
However in this case the situation is far different in that you are asked to pay £100 sponsorship which does not even cover 10% of the overall costs to put the entire show together, but it is our way of working with models that are committed as in the past when a model makes no investment last minute she may drop out and yes it is us carrying the can.
Last year we took 50 contestants and staff to the Gambia for 10 days, if every model paid £100 that is only £5000, we still had regional heats in the uk where we had to hire halls, feed models, pay dj and staff and then fly 50 people to the Gambia put them up in a 5 star hotel and feed and provide them with refreshments 3 times a day for 10 days – bearing all of the above in mind I would be grateful if you could tell me how we make money from the models.
This year we are looking to do the finals in somewhere like the emirates or Chelsea football club and the hire fees alone are £10,000 without lighting, staff, rehearsal hire etc.
If you feel the competition is not for you and you cannot afford it that is fine as at no time have we tried to force you to enter, but I do feel it is wrong to accuse us falsely of trying to make money from you. This is part of the reason why mainstream has stated over and over again they do not wish to work with black models.
I hope this has put a bit of light on the show and what it is really about and that the money we get from the models could never even start to cover our cost and further more we encourage models to get it from companies who see the benefits of advertising or through ticket sells which if you are going to watch a movie or anything you would have to pay an entry fee anyway. So if like a number of models have done, you followed this route it would actually have cost you nothing to participate.
I LEAVE IT TO YOU TO DECIDE!
Be good and take care – tomorrows another day
Every four years around the 11th June to 11th July the world goes football crazy and more or less comes to a standstill as those of us lucky enough to have our country qualify for the World Cup goes crazy supporting them and in 2010 it has been no different. I am hoping that the women that read my blog are not going to immediately stop reading because this is a World Cup special blog, as besides talking football there is something in here for you trust me.
The Once in a 4 Year Female Football Fan (find me a man)...
What I really love about the World Cup is that once every four years women across the world go crazy about football, they actually go watch games and dress up in patriotic regalia to show their support for their country of choice. Now I am not being cynical or accusing every woman of doing this but I feel in most cases there is an ulterior motive behind this and yes I am prepared for the barrage of texts and emails from women telling me about myself and that this is not true. But when I go to matches in public places like at the big screening centres that have been setup and at various bars and clubs showing the matches, I walk in and in some cases there are more women there than men YES IT IS TRUE, the women are DRESSED TO KILL, all sorts of fashion comes out. It is so bad that I have seen harden male football fans find it hard to concentrate on the game and spend half their time pushing their eyeballs back into their sockets. I love women as they are so smart, they choose where they are going to watch the games very carefully as they have to feel the footfall of men is of a significant number to increase their chances of success.
You might feel I am being critical of the women of all ages that come out to these football events, which is not the case as I think they are very smart women especially those that are looking for a man as look at this way, in one place there are a lot of men congregating, under the excuse of football you can talk to the man you like and hopefully he will ask for your number and you end up getting a man – is that not smart.
Some of you would say that you go there to just watch a game and support your country and that may be true BUT some women walk into places half naked both bottom wise and top wise I only noticed as I was doing research for my blog, then these half dressed women do not even watch the game as throughout they have their back to the TV or are on their mobile – however when their team scores which of course they did not see they start jumping up and down, going crazy and of course showing off even more than they are already showing and in the delight of their team scoring they are of course hugging people around them (and it is not always their friends or fellow women) - I say no more and leave it for you to come to your own conclusion of whether they are true football fans or just smart women taking advantage of the situation to find a man.
Ghana the Hope of Africa...
On one hand I stand up and clap for Ghana’s achievement in the World Cup being one of only 3 African teams that have ever made it to the quarter finals of the World Cup (the other 2 being Cameroon Senegal), but on the other hand I sort of do not envy them as now the whole of the weight of Africa is on their shoulders. Due to the poor showing of the other 5 African nations that qualified the rest of Africa must and is supporting Ghana and praying that they will go as far as possible – but OMG what pressure this must be. In my humble opinion the little advice I can give is just forget the pressure, play your best and beat the rest.
I AM AN ADOPTED BY GHANAIAN BY FOOTBALL!
I am just so fed up and disgusted by the antics of the greedy people that run football in Africa (for the sake of not being sued everything within this article is allegedly). There I am eating my Jollof rice with Oxtail and stew with some lovely Plantain and watching the BBC (their coverage of the World Cup is better than ITV) and I see my not too favoured ex arsenal player Emmanuel Adebayor being interviewed and he is talking about corruption in African football, I stop eating with the fork full of food half way towards my mouth as I listening in disbelief to what he is saying. He states that African countries do not want to take on local African team managers because local managers would not agree to the practise of inflating the actual salary that is paid to them. Glenn Hoddle said he'd rejected the post (Nigeria football coach) after being told his short-term deal worth US$1m would be announced as US$1.5m by the NFF. Adebayor also stated that they ended up taking a bus to the African Cup of Nations and nearly being killed because the officials that were sent the money for air tickets kept the money for themselves. Marcel Desailly backed this up stating that it was a major problem within African football (excluding North Africa).
Greed will always be a perpetual problem within Africa and is the one thing that is stopping us progressing as a continent and gives the western media the opportunity to rubbish us, as much as I feel I want to be witty about the subject I just can’t as without corruption we would be a powerhouse continent.
News In Brief:
A World Cup of Surprises...
It has not been a great World Cup for many of the so called big teams – in brief
· France went home not winning a game and finishing bottom of the group
· Nigeria not worth a comment
· England drew with the USA Algeria and were mercilessly beaten by Germany
· Cameroon did not get a get single point and of course finished bottom of their group
· Italy the 2006 world champions went home in disgrace finishing bottom of their group
Where Are All the African Teams...
We all know that the World Cup is being held in South Africa and for those who are not sure where that is it is in the continent of Africa, sorry but I had to say that as some fools have been asking me where South Africa is – do people not go to school anymore? At this World Cup the African continent had 6 representatives (Ghana, Nigeria, Algeria, South Africa, Cameroon Ivory Coast) Ghana being the exception, all of the other African countries including the host nation were knocked out at the group stages. It was a very poor showing by the African nations and it seemed that they ate too much Fufu and Pounded Yam. The teams were far from being up to par and when it came to delivering they woefully failed.
As a diehard football fan I was very saddened at the poor showing of African teams, but maybe we are also being unfair to them as a number of the governments of these teams did not inform them in advance that if they win they would be given houses, cars and money so there was no incentive for them to play well.
If anybody has any answers as to why the African teams did so bad please tell me.
Nigeria – Fake Giants of Africa...
When people talk about Nigeria they refer to it as the giant of Africa – BULLSHIT, excuse my Nigerian English, Nigeria is only giant by the fact that we are the largest black nation in the world - 150 million plus people and the richest black nation however even though this may seem like a contradiction we are in fact one of the poorest nations, but that is for another day. The Green Eagles as they are called, as you may have realised by now every African nation has a nickname for their team, showing at the World Cup was woeful, they were beaten by Argentina 1 nil which to me is ok as Argentina are on fire but Greece who had never EVER won a game at the World Cup beat us 2 1, but God was still smiling on us and said I will give you one more chance, so all you have to do is beat South Korea and you will go through and what did we do – we drew and thus were knocked out.
Nigeria when it comes to football you should not talk, in fact you should not only not talk but you should be completely silent as you have given up your right to say you are a football nation that one day aims to be a football power house and in addition with immediate effect we have removed the title giant of Africa and have changed it to fake giant of Africa.
Can it get any worst, Nigeria's president Jonathan Goodluck has suspended the nation's football team from international competition for two years after a poor showing at the World Cup. It is possible that they along with France may face sanctions from FIFA as they do not allow government interference into football federations.
TMC Gambia TMC UK Heat Dates Announced...
24th July @ Bush Hall, London
7th August @ Bush Hall, London
21st August @ Bush Hall, London (this will also feature the mens heat)
@ Fashions Finest or by calling 07971 388697 for further information on the heats
MOAN OF THE DAY...
Football Prima Donnas
This piece is not written because I am envious of the ridiculously high salaries that footballers are paid for kicking a ball around, even though if any of them feel like making a donation to the charity of Mr Mahogany all donations would be willingly received. It is written due to the behaviour of a number of the footballers at the World Cup which was utterly disgraceful. I am sure you read or heard about the carrying ons of the French team who were not only fighting amongst themselves but were fighting the management and the French football federation, they indirectly went on strike by refusing to train because Anelka the biggest spoilt brat of them all was sent home for insubordination – are these players for real.
Then you have David James live on TV trying to undermine the England team manager who was duly followed by the disgraced former England captain John Terry who at a press conference tried to start a rebellion, which was duly thwarted by Fabio Capello.
I have no idea about where you work but when I use to work for people and I had a manager, when my manager told me to do something I did it otherwise my arse would be fired and I definitely did not try to undermine my manager or lead a rebellion. My understanding is that these fools were brought to the World Cup to do their best and ultimately try and win the World Cup.
Most of these footballers are treated like Demi Gods and everything is at their beck and call, so why have they grown bigger than their boots (excuse the pun) and now feel that they want to run the team their way as well as play and still lose. Managers need to step up and sort things out and I applaud the French federation for sending Anelka home and Fabio Capello for publicly saying that John Terry made a big mistake (which he seems to do regularly).
It’s only a Game...
In the 1998 World Cup David Beckham was sent off for a rush of blood to the head during the game against their arch rivals Argentina, a game which England went on to lose but following that game, on Beckham’s return to the UK he and his family who by the way did not play in the game, received death threats, nasty songs were made up and sang about him and his wife. His life was made an absolute misery for many many months, at the time I thought it was crazy and over the top and 12 years on one would have thought that things would have changed, but no they have not.
Sani Kaita a Nigerian footballer was sent off during the game against Greece for the most inexplicable behaviour ever and subsequently he has received death threats and the Nigerian football federation had to ask FIFA for protection for him.
People as much as I am football crazy, it is only a game and people will make mistakes and our favoured team will lose and be eliminated from the competition but that does not mean that people should totally lose their senses and become sub human and threaten to kill someone over a game of football. Some of you and you know whom you are were sending out or forwarding nasty emails and jokes thinking it was funny, even though you may feel you did not make the threat yourself you are no better than those that actually make the threats. Imagine if every time you made a mistake at work everyone in the office threatened you with psychical violence, sent you death threats or used the internet to send out nasty emails about you how would you feel – EXACTLY I SAY NO MORE!
Every four years the whole world goes football crazy and more or less comes to a standstill, especially within the countries where they were fortunate enough to qualify for the World Cup and in countries like England that is very multi cultural the World Cup fever pitch is even more with various areas like Peckham Camberwell (supporting Nigeria) Brixton (Ghana) and of course the whole of the UK Supporting England. Hey yes I do know that people that live outside of these areas support Nigeria, Ghana and other African countries so don’t email or text me to tell me that.
One of the great things I love about the World Cup is that it is about the only time when tons of women love football and come out to support their country of choice. As a diehard football fan (supporting Nigeria first, then every other African country second, then brazil, than Holland finally Spain), I will be visiting various bars and hang outs of football supporters from different countries and taking and keeping a picture diary of the World Cup.
So if you have any great pictures of your World Cup experience please email them to me or tag me on Facebook, I would love to have some pictures from across the world.
Did You Know A Nigerian Purchased Gatwick Airport?
I don’t know about you but I am someone that watches the news on a regular basis, one to know what is going on in the world and secondly to ensure that I am knowledgeable when having conversations with people that their sole aim in life is to make you elook stupid and dumb, you all know someone like that. So it was a great surprise to find out through the back door that a Nigerian by the name of Adebayo Ogunlesi is to be the new owner of Gatwick Airport. Now some of you would say what is the big deal that Gatwick Airport has been sold and I guess in a way I can agree with you, what is the big deal and who cares. Well I care and you should care at the fact that the mainstream media kept this under wraps (eventually Sky News did a mini commentary about it).
I know that there were some major news events that were taking place across the world at the time (I think not), which is why no prominence could be given to this story. Now you know me I love my conspiracy theories and could it be that it was kept quiet because it was a Nigerian buying it and this would not be good for PR as that would go against the grain that Nigerians only do fraud (419), or could it be that the British media did not want people to know that one of their biggest institutions was now owned by a black man (a Nigerian, sorry I just have to keep repeating the fact that he is a Nigerian). When Harrods was sold (for less money than Gatwick Airport) it received coverage from across the whole media spectrum, however the BBC, ITV etc all failed to cover this story and even Sky News did not put it as one of their main news stories but within one of their specialist programs.
Look at the Sky headline which says “Gatwick buyer promises first class service”, if we had done something bad it would have said “Nigerian man steals Gatwick Airport”.
There is a saying that goes “you can’t keep a good man down” so it would be much appreciated if you can copy the above link and paste it on your Twitter or Facebook pages so that we can spread the word and let everyone know that when black people do good deeds we will not allow it to remain hidden.
Easy Jet the New Shopping Channel...
I am quiet fortunate that I travel often and am fortunate to travel well (thank you to all the girls in red and one special person that takes care of me), which means that I am not use to travelling on one of the low budget airlines (if you think I am a snob that is your problem, remember life is not a dress rehearsal you only live once so enjoy it). Well just the other day I had to travel to Scotland and the only flight of any economic sense was Easy Jet, I am not sure if any of you have travelled on any of these budget airlines before but the truth is, you do get what you pay for which is a seat and transportation that would get you from one place to another and that is it. You must be wondering what is the big deal in that, I will explain.
When I travel on an airplane I expect to travel in as comfortably as possible with minimal disturbance from people with body odours, crying children and people that just can’t keep still, you expect that when you travel so you live with it BUT I don’t expect that whilst I am on the plane I have to be subjected to the shopping channel. Seriously the plane takes off and once they have finished doing all the safety announcements (ok being fair they did the safety announcements before the plane took off), the senior steward gets on the microphone and starts her sells pitch and throughout the flight they offer to sell us a newspaper for 50p, food, drinks, refreshments, car hire, travel tickets to London by land, air and sea, oyster cards, insurance etc, I bet if it was not because it was a budget airline they would have tried to sell us cars and Gucci handbags.
I know that we are going through an economic downturn so businesses have to spanersify but I don’t think Easy Jet have got it, we travel with you because we are cheap and so what makes you think that we would start spending extra money with you on the plane - daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
News In Brief:
A Fruity Success...
We all know that we are going through hard financial times currently and looking at what our dear prime minister is saying things are only set to get worst, so it is great when I can relay a good news success story. My good friend Lotwina Farodoye appeared on the BBC 2 Working Lunch programme talking about her fruity bars.
Lotwina started a new business 'Be fruity' fruit bars after being made redundant. "Redundancy can be fruitful and may be just the impetus you need to turn your life around" and she hopes to inspire others being made redundant to reach for the stars and live their dreams turning what may be a bleak outlook into a major opportunity.
'Be fruity' fruit bars are now stocked in Waitrose, Holland and Barrett and all good retailers. The fruit bars can be found on www.befruity.com
Well done Lotwina and to other entrepreneurs that are attempting to live their dreams.
Designers Needed for London Fashion Week...
• Catwalk Shows
• Frock Exchange
• Honorary Awards
• Student Graduate Competition Final
• Cafe Information Exchange And more...
Now in its Third year Fashion Diversity returns with a new edge, new partner and a new and exciting venue! Applications open for designers wishing to showcase and/ or sell their collections at this three day event where London Fashion Week meets the London Design Festival. "Angel will be transformed into an eclectic hotbed of creativity for three days as Fashion Diversity pops-up"
Application forms can be obtained from:email@example.com
London Fashion Week 2010
London Design Festival Partner
Clothes Show Live...
The Untold London Boutique returns, a collaborative launch of a selection of the UK’s Untold design talent.
Untold supports emerging designers and enables them to showcase their work at London Fashion Week and other events in the course of the year. Untold ensures that designers are seen, heard and understood to make their vision a reality.
This is your chance to discover some real must-haves and one off garments and accessories. A treasure trove of originality, you will be sure to come away with some inspiration injected into your own fabulous personal style.
Don't miss the opportunity to meet the designer makers behind these new and emerging creative brands!
Designers include: Anya Wilkinson, Phoenix Boulevard, Afro-Chique, Alexander Longe, Maame Baryeh London and more…
Diaries of a Black Woman... by Benny Bonsu
If you are in the fashion or entertainment business and would like to be featured Email Deborah Fashions Finest Editor.
An African journey Jonathan Dimbleby...
It was very nice to see a positive spin on Africa and I think Jonathan Dimbleby should be commended on the 3 series programmes which sees him visiting various countries within Africa and talking about the industrious African people that he meets.
(courtesy of the BBC) “After four decades of reporting from the continent, Jonathan Dimbleby returns to Africa on a 7,000-mile journey to discover how it is changing. He starts his African journey in the capital of Mali, Bamako, the fastest-growing African city. Following the course of the Niger river, Dimbleby finds not a continent of beggars but of industrious people, some of whom go to extraordinary lengths to make a living, free-spaning 20 feet to excavate building sand. Travelling north-east, he sees how tradition is preserved in an area where a sophisticated urban society has thrived for 1,600 years. Jonathan gets his hands dirty as the apprentice of a 74-year-old mud mason in Djenne, a town built entirely of mud.
In Ghana, one of Africa's freest and most stable countries, Jonathan sees a spectacular festival before playing a game of golf with the King of the Ashanti, who recalls his time working for Brent council. Dimbleby attends the King's court to see what lessons the UK can draw from traditional African structures that promote harmony and reconciliation. Jonathan discovers that the African brain drain is turning into a brain gain as economic opportunity and patriotism draw people home. Football unites Ghana like nothing else, superseding political and tribal spanisions. There is a rich seam of young football talent on the continent in the year that the World Cup is hosted by an African nation for the first time.
In Lagos, Nigeria's business capital, Jonathan Dimbleby sees a different take on a city that is often depicted as a hotbed of violence, crime and corruption. He is taken on a private jet by Africa's richest man, then savours the creative talents of two of African music's rising stars who are helping to cement Lagos's place as the continent's cultural hub.”
Wedding of Afua (Acting Editor of Black Hair Magazine)...
On the 11th June 2010 at 1pm Afua Boamah Acheampong married Patrick Savi Adom and henceforth will be known as Mrs Afua Adom. The wedding took place in Glasgow, Scotland with a beautiful reception held in East Kilbride. It was a lovely wedding with Scottish bagpipes and visitors attending from across the world and the United Kingdom (including little old me).
Congratulations Afua Patrick we all wish you a very happy married life.
TMC Sierra Leone TMC UK Heat Dates Announced...
WATCH TOP MODEL OF COLOUR UK
Then tell them to attend one of the auditions taking place in Sierra Leone, auditions are as follows:
19th June BO auditions @ Country Guest House
20th June KONO auditions @ Kono Hotel
21st June Makeni auditions @ Wusum Hotel at Apex
25th June Freetown auditions @ Old Skool Complex
So all those around those regions should turn up for the chance to grab this great opportunity and be the first ever Top model of Colour Sierra Leone. For further information and for detailed information on venues for the auditions: Contact Kadiatu Kamara : +232 (33) 10 84 30, +232 (77) 555550 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
REGIONAL HEATS FOR TMC UK... Now in its 5th year and this will be a year to remember. The TMC UK regional heats will be taking place on the
24th July @ Bush Hall, London
7th August @ Bush Hall, London
21st August @ Bush Hall, London (this will also feature the mens heat)
@ Fashions Finest or by calling 07971 388697 for further information on the heats
MOAN OF THE DAY...
I have a couple of quick moans
Girls at parties on mobiles throughout the night...
We all know that mobile phones are a must have necessity, but to some people it has become life or death and I personally have experienced some unsavoury incidences regarding people and their mobile phones but we won’t go into that one today as my moan today is on how silly people look when they are at a night club and on the mobile phone. Even in my old age I still go to nightclubs (purely related to work, for research purposes – hey stay on track I did not say for search purposes), but it amazes me that you can walk into a club and you will see groups of girls all B Bing away on their Black Berrys at 2/3 am in the morning.
I have heard women say that men that come to clubs wearing dark glasses look really silly and should take them off, well ladies I am sorry to say this but you all look really silly texting or B Bing away at a night club. Why not just stay at home, become a recluse and spend all your time doing this. Maybe I am getting old but I thought that people went to clubs to listen to music that is too loud, get chatted up by people that they can’t stand, have a whine and a grind having dry sex and end up drunk having made a fool of themselves or wake up in the arms of someone they had just met for the first time at the night club. I hear more and more women complain that they are single – can you really not see why – if you spend all your time on a mobile phone at a club or at a social function, no one is going to come and talk to you and then you hate the girl getting all of the attention, that’s cos she is smart and put her phone away.
Get The Accent Right...
I am not an Eastenders fan and before you start to think that I am a closet fan no I am not, but you know how it goes you are flicking through the channels trying to find something to watch and the remote control just happens to stall on Eastenders and no matter how much you press it to move to another channel nothing happens. Well this happened to me the other day and I saw a woman dressed in African attire attempting to speak with a Nigerian accent. (I think she is some ones grandmother), her character is called Grace Olubunmi.
The whole idea about acting is that it must seem or come across as being believable and I can tell you that nearly everyone in the world knows what a Nigerian accent is like and can do far better interpretations of one compared to Ellen Thomas who plays the role of Grace Olubunmi. Her accent was a cross between an English and Caribbean accent. If Eastenders were able to cast a Nigerian for the role of Mercy Olubunmi (Bunmi Mojekwu), I see no reason why they could not have casted a Nigerian to play the role of the grandmother or better still Ellen Thomas (whom I have met and is a lovely woman) should have gone and just learnt the accent properly.
Unfortunately Eastenders has a reputation for getting actors to do dodgy accents, remember the actor who played Michelle Fowlers daughter, she was meant to be American, I think after 4 episodes she gave up with trying to do an American accent and stuck to a British one.
Come Eastenders get it right!
Be good and take care – tomorrows another day
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Review of Mahogany Bridal Fashion Show
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS the bridal show is finally over.
I must be honest even though I have been doing this for 13 years, unfortunately it is the one show that we do that I really do not like doing. Yes I did say that and I will explain unlike TMC, Fashion Diversity or other shows that we do, the bridal show is the one show that no matter what you do or how hard you try people will criticise you and do everything they can to tear the show down – now hold on don’t get me wrong you know I have a big mouth and say it as it is, so at the same time I should be man enough and take as good as I give BUT the bridal show is only being done each year because there is no other African Caribbean specific bridal show in the UK and I feel that it would be sad to lose the only one we have, in addition it is not financially beneficial to Mahogany in anyway shape or form so just from a business perspective alone I should not be doing it and as I said above it is the one show that no matter what we do we are just bombarded with a variety of negative feedback. Yeah I know I am feeling sorry for myself and possibly it’s that time of month for me.
So I have to review my show and this is of course very hard to do as I must be objective and give both sides of the story. The review is based on feedback and emails and texts that I have received – as I have not obtained permission from some of the people to give there feedback publicly I will not include their names plus one or two were anonymous anyway (why do people do that, no one is going to kill you if you give your name and it proves your motive for the feedback was fair and true and there was no agenda behind it). I have inserted feedback below and at the end I have given my personal review.
Matthew from FLYER said: “The range of designs showcased today was spot-on. There was a touching moment when Tarell McIntosh, 15, student winner of Fashion Diversity received a standing ovation for his unique and personal collection introduced as ‘A Dress for the Cultural Bride’.
Tarell said; “Today was about the Mahogany Bride, I’m not here to showcase western-fashion, the whole point is to accentuate the Mahogany Bride in its full entirety. It’s also my intention to bring African design and ideology to the forefront of my collection.
“It was a good nice for us, in that we loved where we were positioned and it was a good experience.”
“I was happy with the show it was fantastic”
“The feedback about the fashion show from the members of the public that visited our stand was very very very poor, l almost wished l could have attended for myself, in terms of constructive criticism for this area l cannot say as it was negative hear say”
“Well, you said that i would have a good reaction...You weren't wrong!! I had more than a few screams and loads of; "is it real?" "is it mechanical?" "that's incredible!" Infact i had a lot of great comments and gave out over 150 cards.”
“Thanks for having me working on your show today, I really enjoyed it and your team was very good and friendly to work with also. I saw bits of the show and it was a really good turned out, wow! so many people. It was a really good showcase though. I loved it!”
“Thanks for the invite yesterday, I thought the show was excellent.”
“Overall as I said things went better than expected, usually there is an association with black run organisations and events to be very late and very unorganised and unprofessional but I felt your work at Mahogany proved this perception wrong and I would be happy to recommend it to other designers and exhibitors i know.”
In terms of the fashion show for me was one of the best for the variety of the clothing that was on display which was excellent, nice to also see some new style men's suits which I felt has been lacking in the last few shows.
This was better than the last year, not sure that venue is the right for vendors as it not big enough and we all know customer like to see variety. I am also aware its a cost factor, but maybe a bigger venue with more vendors at a price that will pull in more vendors will work, maybe a big sponsor will also could help with this, it's really a number game at the end of it, but I am sure you have already thought about this already and the current financial climate is not helping matters.
This is the anonymous email we received and I think as a review it is important that you read it in its entirety.
“I attended the 2010 Wedding show, and this e-mail is to voice my disappointment in both the lack of exhibitors and the actual bridal show.
I came to this event with high expectations, only to be disappointed. You billed this as 'the largest African Caribbean bridal fashion show in Europe' and that you primarily focuses on the fashion element of getting married from wedding dresses to accessories and includes a small number of exhibitors that cover the other areas of getting married such as photographers, wedding planners, cake makers, makeup artists etc.
The bridal show seem to be targeted at ensuring that your sponsors were looked after rather than your paying public. To be told that the 'Wedding Show' would be starting at 1.00pm for it to start at 1.45pm was totally unacceptable and showed a lack of respect for your paying guests.
I understand things running late, but to be 45 minutes late by any stretch of the imagination is just amateur and does not reflect well on your organisations skills.
In addition, no one made any effort to find extra seating for the people that ending up standing, after having to stand up outside waiting to get in. I heard lots of other guests comment and complaint about the lack of 'bridal' wear shown, and if wasn't for the entertainment of Justin playing, your show would have been a complete flop. The audience around me were actually laughing about the dresses falling off the models, and the lack of bridal shoes being worn by the models. I felt embarrassed and found it hard to watch the show.
We attended this show last year, and expected this years to show an improvement or at least to be to the same standard. Little did we know that this year would be a shadow on last years event. I've attended other events at the Holiday Inn, Coram Street, but don't think that this venue was really appropriate. Be rest assured, we will not be attending another of your shows, and will let other people know of our disappointment in what is suppose to be the 'largest African Caribbean' bridal show. The exhibitors themselves tried hard, but I suspect they themselves were disappointed and if they actually got many referrals out of the day would be a surprise.
I suspect that probably you might not receive many e-mails like this one, as most people probably will not take the time to bother to let you know, but if everyone I spoke too and everyone I heard comment on what a total waste of time this was took the time to tell you so, you would probably realise that you really need to ensure you pay more attention to the details when putting together an event that you are asking people to pay for. I can attend Wedding Fayre's any weekend all across England for which I do not have to pay and I will see better performance on stage and a more varied and inspiring range of bridal wear, as we were attending a 'Bridal Show'
If its just your aim to produce a film that can be shown on Wedding TV and to promote your models say so, so that people attending know exactly what it they are coming for.
Disappointed from Berkshire.”
My Review: Mahogany is not perfect and the same way I may have a go about other shows I will do the same about Mahogany shows.
Besides the fact that I have no idea why I do a show I do not really enjoy, I must be honest and say that we had some Whitney Houston X Factor issues during our first fashion show but these were ALL resolved for the second show which I think ran perfectly. For those of you that know Mahogany we do not do late, for the bridal show we never ever give a time when the shows will start cos you know if I did they would start on time – the approximate time for them to start is 1.30 and 4.30 – never ever at 1pm. The 1.30 show did start a bit late due to a health and safety issue that had to be resolved, but bearing in mind we never said when our fashion shows would start by my definition we were not late. A lot of you reading my blog may not know Mahogany very well and as such even though you read the next bit it may not seem relevant but Mahogany is all about promoting goods and services for people of colour and we know that brides go to many bridal fashion shows and see nothing but white wedding dresses day in and day out and we want to give brides that attend our show something different so we actively sort out alternative wedding dresses and designers that were bold and brave enough to present an alternative. I guess you can see for some people, that did not go down too well.
People don’t get me wrong I love feedback good or bad but I do get pissed when African Caribbean shows are held to a higher standard than other shows and as soon as we allegedly mess up people purposely go out and speak bad about you or want to run you down “Be rest assured, we will not be attending another of your shows, and will let other people know of our disappointment” when we should be supporting each other, by giving feedback and with your support we can work on improving things.
Well just like I have been doing for the past 7 years next year I will once again be saying to myself I am not looking forward to doing the show and may make the decision not to – we will see. I would like to thank all the exhibitors, designers, models, volunteers, Mahogany staff and everyone that attended or sent us good luck messages as well as everyone and there were a lot of you that took time out to talk to me and say great show etc and also to everyone that gave feedback good or bad.
Why is it so hard for a Black Woman to find a Good Black Man?
I was going to talk about this but the blog is getting to long – so I will talk about this in my next blog.
News In Brief:
Top Model UK
The Top Model UK competition, which is the equivalent version of Top Model of Colour took place on the 13th 14th March at the Hilton Metropole London and our current Top Model of Colour Paula (TMC 09) and our previous winner Vicky (TMC 08) were invited to attend both events as VIP guests and also to open the show with a small presentation on the first day of the competition. Even if I say so myself the models looked stunning in outfits provided to them by Veronique B Couture. They really had fun and were definitely the centre of attention of all of the film crews, press and guests.
Bold Beautiful Seminar Workshops (Nigeria)
LtoR Mary Jane (Top Sleek makeup artist) Makida (Face of Sleek Nigeria) Paula (TMC)
Paula (TMC) was invited to Nigeria to attend and participate in a workshop, seminar and fashion show aimed at young people wishing to get involved in the fashion industry. Whilst in Nigeria she met up with top designers and makeup artists as well as meeting Makida Moka the current Face of Sleek Nigeria. Paula is having a lot of fun as the current Top Model of Colour.
MOAN OF THE DAY...
Normally I have just one moan of the day but I am sorry I have to extend it today as there are just some things going on that WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT IT.
Can You Sing?
Singing is becoming like modelling, everyone no matter how bad their voice is believes they can sing. X Factor and American Idol aside, which we all love to watch the fools trying to sing to get their 5 minutes of fame, I can understand. BUT BUT BUT there are toooooooooo many people out there that are soloist or have formed groups appearing on stages and at shows attempting to sing and I use the word attempting very loosely. Now you ALL know someone that you have heard sing that you have been unable to be honest with and tell them that they cannot sing to save their life, if they were told that if they sang well they would win a million pounds, there would be very few millionaires.
I have decided that I will be lobbying my MP to bring in new legislation that will enable us to sue or have people arrested that sing in public when they cannot sing, it must become a criminal offence so that we do not have to sit through 3 to 6 minutes of torture and why is it that those that cannot sing always do 3 to 4 songs and the ones that can sing only sing twice. Maybe I am just bitter and twisted cos I have no talent at all and wished I could sing – but if I am saying something that makes some sense wherever you are just say YEAH YEAH.
Stop Crying on TV
I don’t know about you but this crying on TV stuff is now starting to get on my nerves. Every time I watch a reality TV show I see people crying from the mum, dad, sister, uncle, shopkeeper, cat, dog – EVERYONE for no apparent reason. Now explain this to me your son or daughter is on one of these reality TV programs and you are doing your interview that will be shown during the program and you are talking about how proud you are of your child (no problem with that) and then you talk about the day you were pushing them on the swing when they were 3 years old and you start crying (grown arse men – excuse my language just trying to emphasise a point) WHY, how is that something to make you cry about? Hey, by you crying it is not going to make me vote for your child, I will vote for them because they have talent not because I hear a soppy story. Men are crying more than the women nowadays, is this all about finding their feminine side, if that is the case some of them have moved 100% over to their feminine side – MAN UP.
If you want to score some points – when you are with your girlfriend or wife look her in the eyes and start crying and say to her that “just looking at you and being in love with you brings me to tears” – trust me you will score lots of points and may get some as well.
Simon Cowell - Wanna Be Girls
I am a big American Idol fan but not so big an X Factor fan (only because I believe that X Factor is more of a popularity contest than a singing competition - Leona Lewis and Alexander Burke aside), but have you noticed that on X Factor Cheryl Cole is always rubbing up to Simon Cowell and every time the camera’s are on her she is found whispering in his ea or rubbing up to him. Now when I saw that for a couple of seasons back, I thought it was just one of those things and it was Cheryl being Cheryl but to my dismay Kara DioGuardi (I just had to go on Google and check out her name for some reason I can’t get my head round her name), is doing exactly the same thing as Cheryl Cole.
Do they feel that by doing this they will get more media attention or that he will give them more work as it sure won’t be anything else as it seems the man is about to get married, rumour has it that it will be the weekend of September 11th.
Hey ladies go make your own fame, be a judge in your own rights and leave Simon alone
O well at least he has nothing to worry about from Ellen DeGeneres.
Men and Facebook
Now I am not a woman as you all know, but ladies I have full and total sympathy for what you go through on Facebook and can understand why some of you lie about your relationship status. Now as some of you may know if you visit my Facebook page you will see that I have profile pictures sometimes of woman on it. Now for those of you that are educated or take the time to read it, you will know that they are primarily adverts about shows that we are involved in and most times will contain a picture of a beautiful model within the advert. However I am inundated with emails and chat conversations from men wanting to chat me up.
HELLO firstly, you do not know me so why are you emailing me saying “hi beauty”, hi sexy I want to get to know you”, “I am the man of your dreams”, “lets get to know each other better”, “you look so beautiful in your profile picture and I am looking for a wife” – I could go on and on. Now I have no problem with men trying to chat up someone they do not know on Facebook as that is there choice but at least do some research first be sure that you are talking to a woman and why not start slowly as opposed to jumping in the deep end and drowning.
I love it when I chat back or email them and say “I am a man” – utter silence follows, only one fool ever came back with a retort saying “than why do you have a woman on your profile picture” but as I said above uneducated and did not read the advert but maybe to be fair to him the writng was in Dutch.
Guys that are doing this seriously GET A LIFE OR DO IT WITH STYLE!
Be good and take care – tomorrows another day!
WATCH TOP MODEL OF COLOUR UK
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Your excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, all protocols observed...
I just love that, in Africa when you are giving a speech or addressing an audience you always start off the salutation like that, this just kills me. So I thought that I would start by greeting you all this way. Well my people, yes to your shock and some of you, your dismay I am alive I did survive my close brush with death and managed to come out of the “black women’s singles seminar” alive and with all of my body parts intact, I will fill you in on my narrow escape later in my blog.
But before we get into that we are about to debate a very serious issue and you are entitled to take whichever side of the debate you please, but please do debate this with your family, friends, colleagues (white/black, young/old, male/female).
Is being Black only about being Poor, Bad & Dirty?
Lets paint the scenario, you are part of a group of people of all colours, nationalities, ages and sexes, sitting in the living room of your house/flat/room share etc (I trust you have a place to live) and there are drinks a plenty and our South London sisters/brothers have ordered in Nandoes, North London crowd Kebabs/Pizza, West London Chinese, East London Jerk Chicken/Rice and Peas or Jollof Rice and everyone else that is not from London or the UK are eating whatever they like.
You have all just finished watching the first part of a three part series called “Welcome to Lagos” which was shown on BBC 2 (if you missed it CLICK HERE to watch it on BBC iplayer).
The programme is described as “This extraordinary three-part observational series explores life at the sharp end of one of the most extreme urban environments in the world: Lagos, Nigeria. Today, more than half the world's population live in cities, and this eye-opening series shows what life is really like in the toughest parts of the world's fastest-growing megacity. With extraordinary access to some of the poorest parts of town, the series celebrates the resilience, resourcefulness and energy of Lagos's 16 million or so inhabitants, and shows how successfully many of its slum-dwellers are adapting to the extreme urban future.”
The debate is as follows – Is it that everything black is only about being poor, crooked or dirty?
This programme is about Lagos, Nigeria in Africa but there have been similar programmes on Jamaica, Ethiopia, African Americans and Black British people and unless I have not been to spec savers recently it just seems to be that anything black never seems to be shown in a positive light. There have been similar programmes done by the likes of Ross Kemp’s filming on gangs and he also did a programme on Nigeria and other squalid black areas around the world and they all had they same theme, everything Black is about being poor, bad or dirty.
I am not saying that Nigeria does not have slums or poverty and the same applies to Kingston (Jamaica), Rio de Janerio (Brazil), South Central, LA or Harlem (USA) but at the same time the question must be asked that how come they never do documentaries on the good parts of these places, how come they never show the beautiful houses that have been built or the great cars that are driven or the beautiful opulent weddings and shows that are produced or the educated people that are contributing to the development of their respective countries and when I say we, I refer to all black countries.
It frustrates me that when black people are portrayed, their countries are always shown in a very negative light or they are shown as fraudsters, drug dealers, muggers, hoes, living in abject poverty and begging for hand outs and require the western world to come in and save us, I could go on and on – I know they say the colour black represents evil and bad things but they do not need to take it literally and always show us in a bad light.
I think the BBC would have done the programme more justice and it would have been more balanced if out of the 3 programmes they at least did one that showed how the other half of Lagos lived and showed the gap between rich and poor. All I can say is thank God for Nollywood movies because at least in some of them you get to see that Nigeria is not just about abject poverty.
It would be interesting to know your views on this, whether you be white, black, oriental or whatever, do you see things the same way as the BBC and agree that the best way to initiate change is to show the negative sides of black countries or is this just a true reflection of the black society across the world. On the other hand is it that the BBC and other programme makers are just playing to the colonial mentality that if we wish to keep the black man down we must give the world the impression that black people are living in the 18th century and are in desperate need of the modern western world to come in and save us and this can only be done by showing half truths?
I am sure you can all remember the Nigerian “pants bomber”, we produced one stupid pants bomber and we as a nation get put on the terrorist watch list, the UK allegedly produced the shoe bomber and a number of other alleged terrorist and they are seen as partners in the fight against terrorism. So even though it is unfair to Nigerians as a nation, power within the media is not in our control and as such we will always be faced with these negative stereotypes.
It is a worthy debate but I also believe that there is now the opportunity to produce our own versions of such programmes that show us in a different light (and I think that Ghana has gone a long way in doing this), it is important for the likes of HiTV, AIT, Ben TV and other independent black owned TV & film producers to lead the way.
I will stop here as I am dragging on and its getting boring but don’t just ignore it, talk about it, comment on It, start debates on Facebook etc and lets push for a more fairer representation on BLACK – not everything black is poor, bad and dirty.
As you can see from above I am in a bit of a sour puss mood and I am just about to get into an even worst mood when I think about the purple ball.
Now you all know that I review shows that I am invited too and that I attend, but this is a show with a difference as I am about to do a review on a show that did not even take place. This is not a typing error I am reviewing a show that DID NOT TAKE PLACE...
About 2 years ago I was a producer on a show called “the Big Search” and this was aired (if you can call it that) on one of the sky channels and put very mildly even though we had some great content and footage, the final production was not very good and had to be taken off the air (THANK GOD). Anyway I digress but as part of the show the executive producer was meant to do an after event for all of the crew, contestants, judges and anyone else that wished to attend, but just like the show it did not take place that year but was scheduled to take place on Friday 9th April 2010.
Yes you guessed it, after lots of publicity and a lot of hype and people running around London looking for purple outfits to wear, it did not take place. Now as a show producer I understand that shows for a variety of reasons get cancelled but listen to this, the organiser knew that it was not going to take place nearly 3 days before the scheduled event and she did not tell anybody. It just so happens that at 5pm (show meant to start at 6pm), on the day of the event I get a text not from the organiser but from a friend who had found out by accident that the show had been cancelled. No text or email or message from the organiser and to make matters worse she allegedly failed to inform the caterers that the event had been cancelled and they showed up at the venue with over £2000 worth of food for non existence guest and no event.
Now tell me is that not wickedness, if you have known for a while that you could not afford to pay for the venue and that you would have to cancel, would you not have the common decent courtesy to text and phone around and let people know it is cancelled and by putting up a message on Facebook an hour before the event does not cut it, how many people read Facebook when getting dressed or on their way to an event.
I guess you have realised that I was pissssssssssssssssssssssssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeed & so was everyone else that I had to inform to turn back and go home as the event was cancelled. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER & do not take peoples niceness or silence to think that we are fools to be treated with disrespect.
News In Brief:
There are only 14 days to enter Top Model of Colour and I believe that if you don’t buy a lottery ticket you can’t win the lottery, so you have to be in it to win it. CLICK HERE TO ENTER
Police brutality (Allegedly)
Watch the video and decide for yourself are they stupid or what...
When will the police ever learn, it just seems that the police want to play into the public’s perception of them, that they are ALL STUPID. You know and I know and everyone else knows that nowadays there are CCTV cameras everywhere and people have tiny little camera phones and video recorders that can film things and they can post them on the internet within seconds and ensure that it is featured around the world. Did they honestly believe that they could beat a person in the open in front of 100’s of people and think that no one would film it daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh – remember Rodney King.
So how did these Maryland cops believe that they could beat a poor innocent student and think it would not be filmed and they even had the audacity to lie in their official police report and say that the student attacked them first.
Somebody is about to lose their job and the city is about to make this young student extremely rich.
Black women’s single seminar
I entered the lion’s den and I survived. I believe that I should be awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry while under intense enemy fire. For those of you saying what is the big deal, you try and go to a seminar filled with 100 SINGLE BLACK WOMEN, trust me one black woman is hard enough to handle, but 100 that is intense enemy fire.
It was a very interesting afternoon with the women asking the panel of men (about 14 of us including my good friend photographer extraordinaire Jason Grant) and they asked us a variety of questions ranging from why are more and more black men going out with white women, do black men think black women are hard work and they also wanted a definition of what black men mean when they say they are “single” compared to a woman’s definition of being single.
I know that you want me to give an insight as to my responses to the above (which were funny, but factual and well received) but you should have been there.
But trust me a woman’s definition and a man’s definition of being single vary tremendously. Excuse me, why are you going on, I said I am not giving the definition - ok ok I might in a later blog and let you into the big secret.
MOAN OF THE DAY...
To be fake or not to be fake
How many times have you seen a friend carry a Gucci or Fendi bag or a dude wearing a pair of Versace glasses and you say to them are they the real McKoy and they slightly hesitate (the sure giveaway that they are fake), they quickly recover and say of course they are real forgetting that they bought them the other day from the pound shop or for those slightly more upmarket from East Street or Dalston Market.
I am not into designer stuff (when people say that it is either cos they are too bush and could not tell DESIGNER from DESINER or simply like me cos i am too cheap, can’t afford it or sometimes it just seems silly paying enormous amounts of money for a designer shirt or suit). To make matters worse besides the Gucci’s and Versace’s of this world that think people would only buy their expensive stuff if they put their name everywhere repeatedly, like putting it once is not enough as we all can’t read, the only way that you can know that it is designer is by reading the label that you can’t even see. It kills me when I see guys wearing a designer suit and they refuse to cut off the label that is on the sleeve of the suit, just so that they can let people know they are wearing a designer suit or you have a lady that has a designer bag and every minute she is going into the bag to find something that does not exist in the hope that someone will notice and say “is that a Gucci bag, how much did you buy it” etc etc
I don’t understand that when you can hardly afford to put petrol in your car of buy credit on your phone you are prepared to go and spend a whole month’s salary to buy that designer outfit or fake real hair (something just does not ring right with that, you are buying real hair but it’s not yours so it is really fake hair but you call it real hair), this is a subject for another day, as ladies we must get into this.
People with real class don’t need to advertise they are wearing designer outfits, class will always show through.
Do I want to talk to you?
Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh today is a day of frustration. You are at home just finished cooking and about to sit down and watch Eastenders, Coronation Street, Holyoaks, American Idol, the Simpsons or Magic Roundabout (that was for the ladies) or for the guys you have driven many miles using your last spare cash to buy petrol to go and see your babe in the hope that you may get some and then the phone rings and you look at the caller ID and it is a good friend or family member but no one important so you decide to ignore it as you really want to just chill and watch TV or start the mating process with your babe. But what happens it rings again, now for the woman, life is not to bad (just irritating) as you put it on silent and hope that the person will send you a text or leave a voice mail and you will come back to them later but for the man he is beginning to sweat, cos guys you know how it is, your babe is asking you “ why are you not answering the phone or who is it that keeps calling you” – but you know that you dare not answer the phone and you start to pray silently – please Lord let this girl not call again – but what happens she does – every two minutes and you know that you can kiss getting some goodbye.
My point is this – if you call someone once, twice or thrice and they do not pick up the phone it means that they are either busy, on the phone, getting their groove on or very simply THEY DO NOT WANT TO SPEAK TO YOU – get the message and send a text, leave a voicemail of just go away. You calling a 100 times is not going to make them answer the phone – o yeah by the way don’t then get smart and call them back withholding your number or using someone else’s phone.
If they don’t pick up the phone there is a reason why they are not answering - so stop calling!!!!!
Be good and take care – tomorrows another day!
WATCH TOP MODEL OF COLOUR UK
Ladies, Ladies. Ladies, I know I said I would talk about why it is hard for a black woman to find a good black man, but please I was not expecting to be inundated with emails and text messages that I must hurry up and send out the blog.
I was intending to send out my blog next week after I had sat on the panel entitled “single black female? How to find the right black man for you” being held by Des O'Connor on Saturday 10th April, but due to unprecedented demand I am having to send out my blog early. Now having seen the response to my earlier blogs I am seriously worried that I am setting myself up to be crucified. So here goes....
Why is it so hard for a Black Woman to find a Good Black Man?
I have a LOT of female friends and in my day to day life I work with a lot of women and as a young black man (yes I do consider myself young, so no funny comments please), I am continuously asked by woman of all ages that where are all the good black men and why can’t “I” find one? Well you know me I am going to say it as it is and some of you will agree with me and some of you will send me an email or text telling me about myself, as Simon Cowell would say it’s only an opinion.
It would take me forever for me to explain everything in a long essay style blog and I do not have the time to write a thesis on this subject so I will put it down in bullet point form.
According to Oprah Winfrey 70% of African American women are single and it is believed that the percentage of black women in the UK that are single is of a similar percentage.
WHY? Could it be because...
· Their are more black women than black men?
· Their are a high percentage of black men in jail?
· Their is a high incidence of mental health problems among black men?
· The pool of available black men is further reduced by the number of black gay men their are?
· They say all the good men are married?
A large percentage of black men are now dating Caucasian women, further reducing the pool of black men available to black women?
Black women are considered too aggressive, have attitudes and no longer ready to be the woman in a relationship?
Black women do not in significant numbers date outside of their race?
A good percentage of black men don't have a job and as such are not considered as good catches for the well to do black woman? Not to mention Black women generally do not marry beneath their social status unlike men. Let me explain – nowadays as a whole black women are doing better socially and economically than black men. A black man that is a chief executive of a multinational could walk into Tesco’s and see a woman that he likes, woo her and marry her. However the chances of black woman that is a chief executive of multinational or any type of company marrying a dustbin man is significantly reduced.
BUT WAIT - it is further compounded by the fact that the well to do black woman is further competing with the black woman that she feels is not well to do like her, as when it comes to men all women are equal chief executive, student or check out girl, who really cares. so the well to black woman is competing on all of the above as well as with all black women of all social classes ( races)
Ok looking at the above there is not really anything controversial in the points raised as they are just the facts as to why it is hard to find a good black man. Simply put, because the numbers do not add up, more woman than men equals a shortage of black men. But where it does get a bit controversial is the issue that raises its ugly head over and over again as to why are black men dating white women and further decreasing the number of available good black men.
How many times as a woman do you watch TV or look in a magazine and say to yourself that successful black man, I bet he is going out with a white woman? Now don’t even think about denying it as I know that even if you have not done it yourself you have friends that have. Trust me I have heard it many a times and have myself been accused of dating or even it was expected that I was married to a white woman. For the record I have never dated or been out with a white woman in my life, they are lovely women but I just believe in “the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice” and I have to say my own AMEN to that.
Anyway back to the subject at hand, I know that it riles black women up the wrong way when they see famous sports stars, politicians and movies stars dating or marrying white women. Now it would be unfair for me to single out anyone in particular but I would leave that for you to come up with your own examples.
BUT why do black men both of status and the ordinary man now seem to prefer to date white women, is it because they will progress further in their careers with a white woman on their arm, it is alleged that this was the reason for Tiger Woods marrying his wife or is it because black women are WAY TOO stressful and black men can’t deal with the stress a black woman or could it be because the black women has become to independent and claims “I don’t need no man” and black men are now saying if thats how you feel than you can be bad all by yourself. (I blame Beyonce for this "Independent Women, Single Ladies (put a ring on it), Say My Name (now that is a good one to throw in there - I wonder what your response is to that one is), she has stirred up a revolution, but all you single ladies while you are singing the words to some of these tracks she is married and you are not, so be careful about how you throw these words in mens faces (just a friendly piece of advice).
I was actually thinking that I would comment on all of the above but I love my life and I already get accosted about different aspects of my blog and I am not in a position to afford 24 hour round the clock protection, so I will leave you to debate it.
I am not offering a solution/s but the one thing I would say is that if you find a good black man, do not automatically tar us all with the same brush, that we are all worthless, two timing no good players, no job black men, that have 50 babies from 70 different women (yes I did say 50 70) just trying to over emphasise how black men are perceived.
The other thing ladies is LET IT GO, yes in your past some men will mess you about and mess you up emotionally, may even rip you off and leave you deserted at the alter but that does not mean that the new man in your life must pay for the sins of the man before the man, before the man. Every man is different, LOVE IS A GAMBLE, some you win and some you lose. Also sometimes it worth remembering that when you point a finger at a man three fingers are pointing back at you as not all black women are perfect.
On that note I am swiftly moving on, hopefully with my life still intact.
News In Brief:
Top Model of Colour Holland
Top Model of Colour Holland took place on 27th March 2010 at the World Fashion Centre and it was a fantastic show, I was extremely impressed by what I saw and I must say well done to Monica Van Halder (TMC Holland Franchisee owner) and her brilliant team on the great show they people together (nearly said amazing, a word I hate as it is over used).
MARIANA VERKERK - Catwalk Coach van of Benelux Next Top Model
RON STAM - Fashion Photographer
DIONNE POOL - Model
TESSY VAN EERDEWIJK - L'Oreal, AMANDA RIJFF - Make-up artist, SOLA OYEBADE - CEO TMC International CEO Mahogany Models
Black Does Not Sell
Everywhere I go I am told over and over again whether it be within the modelling and fashion industry or within TV and film, that Black does not sell and I have always thought that it was just a UK thing. I just happend to be watching the OSCAR award winning actress Monique, on her chat show and she was doing a Soul Food reunion and she spoke about the fact that within the American film industry, producers do not like to make black films as black does not sell and she was saying that was a load of rubbish and I totally agree with her and I think tyler Perry is testimony to the fact that black does sell as via his “black films” he has become one of the richest men in the American film industry, the same goes for the owner of BET, Oprah Winfrey, Denzil Washington, Will Smith etc, these are all black actors that have made their Hollywood producers 100’s of millions of dollars.
So people stop using that weak arse excuse to stop giving us work etc as for the companies that do make the move to add a bit of colour to their adverts it seems to be working for them for example look at the new Marks and Spencers campaign, Matalan, Halifax, Sandanter and the likes of GMTV that have been using black models during their fashion segments, they have not lost business because they use black models.
A Black Woman Wrote the Matrix (Read Believe):
New York, Nov 11 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Sophia Stewart an African American who claimed to be the author of The Matrix will finally receive her just due from the copyright infringement of her original work, as the copyright case is finally settled in court.
A six-year dispute has ended which involved Sophia Stewart, the Wachowski Brothers, Joel Silver and Warner Brothers. Sophia Stewart’s allegations, involving copyright infringement and racketeering, were well received and completely acknowledged by the Central District of California, where the Judge Margaret Morrow was presiding.
Sophie Stewart had filed her copyright infringement case 10 years ago, in 1999, after viewing the acclaimed movie Matrix, which she felt had been based on her manuscript, ‘The Third Eye,’ copyrighted in 1981. In the mid-eighties Stewart had submitted her manuscript to an advertisement placed by the Wachowski Brothers, requesting new sci-fi works, which could be later made into a movie.
According to court documentation, “an FBI investigation discovered that more than thirty minutes had been edited from the original film, in an attempt to avoid penalties for copyright infringement. The investigation also stated that ‘credible witnesses employed at Warner Brothers came forward, claiming that the executives and lawyers had full knowledge that the work in question did not belong to the Wachowski Brothers.’ These witnesses claimed to have seen Stewart’s original work and that it had been ‘often used during preparation of the motion pictures.’ The defendants tried, on several occasions, to have Stewart’s case dismissed, without success”.
Sophia Stewart’s released a press statement which said: ‘The Matrix Terminator movie franchises have made world history and have ultimately changed the way people view movies and how Hollywood does business, yet the real truth about the creator and creation of these films continue to elude the masses because the hidden secret of the matter is that these films were created and written by a Black woman…a Black woman named Sophia Stewart. But Hollywood does not want you to know this fact simply because it would change history. Also it would encourage our Black children to realize a dream and that is…nothing is impossible for them to achieve!’
Manchester United Fans - you laughed to soon:
Sorry I know a lot of you do not like me talking about football but I have just have too (also you will be amazed at how many woman are seriously into football).
It has been a tough long day with me being bombarded by Man U fans sending out jokes across the internet about the defeat that arsenal suffered at the hands of Barcelona. Yes to be honest we were well and truly beaten and our inexperienced, injury ravaged team was annihilated. I said it, so there is nothing else that need be said on that.
BUT to all the Man U fans you should have at least controlled your teasing and jokes till you were certain that you had qualified, but you did not and the law of karma came into play and what happened you got knocked out by a German team even though you were winning 3 NIL, I repeat 3 NIL and you still got knocked out.
Remember he who laughs lasts, laughs best - I say no more....
MOAN OF THE DAY...
We Pay Too Much Tax:
I believe that in a well managed modern day society it is important that we pay tax to contribute to the maintenance of our society, so that roads can be repaired, our rubbish collected and hospitals and schools built etc but hello if I work a whole month, am I not entitled to have some money left over the day after pay day.
I have to preach here (now imagine that I am on the pulpit of an African American Baptist church) and as I say each sentence I am dragging my words, emphasising them, with highs and lows, with a little bit of harmony, and a strong southern drawl American accent and you can be the congregation and throw in the occasional “amen”, “I hear you”, “preach pastor Sola” etc (no disrespect meant to real pastors), say whatever comes to mind. (ps I don’t know how to write it in words but the noise they make at the end of each sentence, I will be doing that) so if you know it say it – I will put thee dots at the end of the sentence so that you know where it comes in.
Everyday I gooooooooooooo to work and I work hard... toillllllllllllll to earn a living and take care of my famillllly and at the end of the day all I ask is to be paid... so I can payyyyy my bills and have me some fun...
But listen to me now... when I get paid... the government comes a knocking..., kicking down the door and demanding their dues... people are you hearing me... (somebody say amen), first its the tax man wanting his 25 to 50% income tax..., than its the council tax man wanting another percentage which comes to about another 10%... and everrrrrytime I go to the shops the bogey tax man takes another 17.5% in VAT... now I assssssssssssssssssk you, what am I left with, but hold on, I saiiiiiiiiiiidd hold on, as it does not stop there because my people, I said because my people, if you have a car you got to pay road tax..., you got pay tax everrrrrytime you put petrol in your car... now hear me now, i saiiid hear me now, on every litre of petrol that you buy, 80% of that has to go to the tax man... but hold on, wait a minute.... it does not stop there, as I have to pay to watch TV, yes I have to pay by force to watch TV as I have to get a TV license (and I no everyone has one – yeah right – my bad switched back into an English accent there). Does it stop there, no it does notttttttttttttttt... as you have to pay for all kinds of other things. is somebody hearing me? (come on now, say it loud and be proud and say i hear you Sola), you know what I am talking about, the dreaded words standing orders/ direct debits – o how I fear and hate the dreaded direct debits... direct debits for insurance this and insurance that, house insurance, car insurance, medical insurance, wife insurance, life insurance, contents insurance, dog insurance, school fees, sky, mobile phones... O how i could go and on but we don't have enough time otherwise I will be preaching forever...
O my lord I nearly forgot the most important payment after the tax man – your rent or mortgage payment, you sure don’t have any money left now!!!!!!!!!!!
Now after you have paid all of these – how much do you have left on the second day after pay day – NOTHING – that is why we all live on credit cards and loans and have no savings.
My suggestion on how to resolve this is move to another country, sad but true.
I HATE TAX BILLS - SOMEBODY SAY AMENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!
Be good and take care – tomorrows another day!
THIS IS A SPECIAL ONE OFF BLOG ONE THAT I WOULD LOVE YOUR COMMENTS AND VIEWS ON...
MODELS ESPECIALLY PLEASE DO COMMENT BUT WE WANT THE VIEWS OF DESIGNERS, BOOKERS, CASTERS ETC
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS HAS BEEN EXTRACTED AND COPIED IN FULL COURTESY OF CARMEN STUNNA JONES FROM HER FACEBOOK PAGE
I just woke up this morning and thought that I would air my views on the whole TF* thing. Personally I think it's unfair on the models that everyone (or at least most people) involved in a project get paid but the model doesn't?
It's not to say that you can't work for free EVER but if you know your skilled at your craft and the designer/photographer or whoever must think so too, to cast you in the project then why can't they compensate you for your time and efforts.
People complain that models are unreliable because they don't turn up on time...sometimes not at all but understand that the whole "Exposure" thing doesn't pay bills. Many talented and under appreciated models have other responsibilities that they need to take care of. How unprofessional is it to hire someone to work for you and not pay them.
When you're new to modelling it's Ok, even beneficial to work with people for free.Sites like Model Mayhem and Star Now are great places to get started. It helps build confidence and also gives you the chance to learn more about what really goes into making a great Editorial or a Catwalk model. You get to meet talented inspaniduals who you can build lasting working relationships with and will definitely help you in the long run. Working for friends is good too. If everyone's free and want to go crazy on a Test shoot then fine...Get Creative! Those are the shoots that really make your Portfolio pop! Charity shows are fantastic too. A great way to do what you love and do it for a good cause!
For designers I think that when you don't pay your models, you tend to only find new models trying to gain experience sometimes diamonds in the rough, sometimes just rough and it isn't good for your business either. If your garments retail for over £200 you should have a model or models representing you that truly reflect that. I understand that if you're not an established designer/ photographer/ Make up Artist it may be difficult for you to find the resources to compensate your models and that's fair enough but if you have to cover travel expenses/food for a model who will take your brand to another level then DO IT! You'll appreciate it in the long run...
And to the models, we must take our share of blame in this, You've been working within the industry for a long time, perfecting your walks, your poses and excelling then after a year or so someone emails you out of the blue for a TFP shoot or show and you take it, in full knowledge that it won't benefit you then that's your problem, Can't moan about that...Oh apart from "Exposure" or "Networking opportunities", which in itself is a bit hit and miss because at a show the models arrive hours before everyone else, spending hours before the show rehearsing and prep'ing until the actual show after which you are often too tired to go and "schmooze"...You just wanna rest..because tomorrow you're gonna do it all over again!
You get what you put into anything... Hard work pays off in the long run. For freelance models, You gotta work twice as hard to get half the recognition so it doesn't help when you can't do what you love because you've gotta work part time at Topshop to get enough money to travel to get to castings/shoots or shows. That in itself is a vicous cycle. You can't model full time so you have to work part time, there's no such thing as a part time Supermodel! you miss castings and opportunities to move ahead in your career and you never really realise your full potential, Just becoming another pretty face who "Could have been"...
I love what I do but honestly I feel almost exploited at times because I put in all this hard work at shoots and shows often without even getting pictures or maybe finding a few on Facebook somewhere. Models can get a raw deal sometimes you know.
Models Stand up and be counted let people budget for you too! =) You can never really call yourself a model until it pays the bills so for many modelling is just a hobby. But for the few who actually want a career and not just Facebook fame get serious. I'm not saying anyone should run around like a Diva demanding your daily rate for a 1 hour shoot, but just ask for what you deserve.
I'd like to get views from other people from within the industry on what they think so please feel free to add your comments!
OTHER COMMENTS RECEIVED IN RELATION TO THIS TOPIC...
Comment by me sola
carmen as someone who runs a modelling agency and who has been fighting for change for many years now, i agree with your note 100%. The sad thing is that the models do actually have the power to make change.
If you all decided to no longer work for free - what do you think would happen? I totally disagree with the principle that if you are new to modelling one should model for free to gain experience - are we saying that when you get your first ever job, lets say in a supermarket or in an accountants office, they say well as it is your first job we will not pay you so you can gain experience - NO. So why should it b like this in the modelling world. We tell all of our models that once they have gained some experience, to stop doing unpaid work but most don't listen.
To be fair though on the other hand like with our bridal show we do not pay models to do the show but we only tend to use new models and we do lots of rehearsals and training with them and it should be noted that a number of models out there got there first start after doing our bridal show - which is big show and has been going for over13 years.
so Carmen i am with you on this and i say to ALL models out there YOU HAVE THE POWER to initiate change.
My view is this.... Designers 9/10 don't get paid to showcase at shows...so we can't pay for the models...or the models that do request payment, their prices start at £100, now if my collection consists of 7 outfits, that £700, then I have to pay for a make-up artist, that is around £40-60...so we are on around £760..then if I have to source shoes, that's another cost, and accessories is another cost. The concept of a fashion show is showcase your work to buyers or people who are interested in purchasing your work. Not just pure entertainment value, and if you have spent nearly £700 for one show, you can't afford to showcase at more than one show. That is if you have been asked to provide your own models. If the event organiser has provided models, then it is up to them. In the case of photoshoots,if I can get a model for free I will, because I have to pay the cost of the hire of the studio, which is around £150 for the day, then the photographer who could be around £100 for the day, then a make-up artist, a hair stylist, a wardrobe stylist, an assistant..it amounts up to a lot of money. Yes it should be about self-investment...but at the same time I work part time on the weekend to cover my bills, because it isn't that easy for me as a new designer to be selling out clothing...it truly doesn't work like that. Plus the fashion industry is a networking industry, you have to know someone to get somewhere, so it is a good chance to meet people if you work for free, its like work experience. And a lot of models in the UK think they are top/supermodel standard when they truly aren't!! A lot of models need to work for free to practise and find out what modelling actually consists of, the international models are killing the UK models right now, and its time UK models start to study intertional magazines and look at what is selling...that's my 2cents worth..
I think that models should initiate the change! I think that often people take models for granted because nowadays everyone thinks they are a model.
But I also think that if a designer can budget for everything else you should budget for your models as well because if they don't show up for your show/ shoot you'll lose more money in the long run having to re arrange things with other model/photographers etc..
I think that in the beginning, Yes it is a bit like work experience. You learn about the industry and find your niche or what works well for you. But there is a time when that period ends and if you are serious about your career you need to take the steps to make sure that you're not going to have to hold back because every opportunity you get you have to be "flexible" and forgo your compensation.
What I don't feel is fair is that a model will walk in a show be there morning till night learning the choreography, fitting, hair make up, waiting around, all those things, do the show and then you say Networking Time?!...As dedicated as I am I can only count a handful of times I've been able to come from backstage to talk to people in the audience since all I'm thinking about is how I'm gonna get home...I haven't been paid so I better catch that last train home!
I also agree that British models need to get up to par...A lot of models are claiming to be the best when their books don't really say much. I don't believe in al that Diva hype if you're great you're great, you don't have to tell anyone...They'll know it. But I still think the UK is bringing out some great girls.
I do work but I find that I miss out on a lot of opportunities because I can give my modelling career my full efforts. Unlike other professions, Modelling has an expiry date. younger models enter the industry and you get moved on without ever having the chance to really become one of the greats. Not everyone can be an Iman or Naomi Campbell but there are plenty of opportunities for black models to become successful.
I think we should all start to appreciate each others efforts and support new talent in anyway we can. it's hard enough being a model but to be a black model is even harder. Being paid isn't just about the money in your pocket, it means you can keep on doing what you love an reaching higher heights without having to worry about what you are going to do financially. You can fully focus on achieving your goals and actually achieve them..That just me...
I have alot of models say to me, "can you pay for my travel home"..and to be real I say "No"...if you are serious about modeling, you should be able to conpensate your own travel, sounds harsh, but its reality...I don't mind paying for somebodies travel if I'm doing a show that is hard to get to...but being real..I have to pay for my travel as a designer, and the event orgainser, doesn't pay for my travel..
Everyone in the fashion industry is trying to get somewhere..and relistically, models that are worthy of payment, should be signed to an agency, because the payment is worked out with them,but if you are freelance, you have to invest more in yourself, the same as a freelance designer. I have had sooooo many models not turn up to events and photoshoots, who have requested payment and it has left a bad taste in my mouth, which shouldn't be my way of thinking about models, but if it keeps happening, then it is more likely to be so..
There is sooooo much that a designer has to do to prepare for shows and events, and the last thing you want is a stroppy or rude model...alot of models act like getting their make-up done, doing fittings, going to castings, rehearsing is a chore...well if you don't enjoy it, why are you doing it??
I have worked with other designers and shared similar views. If models decide to work for free, then thats their option, but unless the designer gets paid to do the show, I don't know where the finance comes from to pay the models, esp at the beginning of showcasing a new collection...
With the use of facebook, model mayhem and such, it is really easy these days to advertise for models and such, and there is the chance of getting models to work for free..which is a bonus, but for me personally, if I can have a model work for free, why pay for one?? and I don't mean that to sound rude and harsh, and all that, but it all comes down to cost!! If you can get a pair of louboutins for 50% off, would you turn it down??
Do you have a fashion page or are a business involved in the fashion industry please send me a link and I will add it to my blog...
WATCH THE MAHOGANY PROMOTIONAL VIDEO
I am not sure how many of you bothered to watch the OSCARS and being honest I was not one of them, gone are the days for me when it use to be the event that you just had to watch. But there are still some people that take it very seriously, as someone I know had an OSCARS party and they invited friends to get all dressed up and then come over to their house where they were going to drink champagne, eat pop corn and watch the OSCARS – I don’t think so, to me that sounds so sad. I was too embarrassed to ask her how many people actually got dressed and showed up (by the way the dressed up was that you had to wear your OSCAR type outfit, so the full McCoy).
Anyway it was a pleasant surprise to wake up in the morning and find out that Monique (a former stand up comedienne, talk show host and now acclaimed actress), won an OSCAR for her portrayal of Mary in the film PRECIOUS.
I have watched (half of the film - yes I did say half), for some reason I just cannot get my head round it even though everyone says it is a good film, seriously abusive though. But from the half i did watch it seemed to be a very intense film and Monique really pushed the boundaries in her role as Mary. So I believe she deserved the OSAR and it sure is going to look good alongside her Golden Globe award she received earlier also for best supporting actress for the same film.
So we are not doing too badly as this is another OSCAR for a black actor. We are starting to go places – but being honest we were always there but people just refused to give us our props.
It would disgraceful if I did not say congratulations to Kathryn Bigelow for being the first woman to ever win an OSCAR for Best Director, for the film THE HURT LOCKER - Girl Power all the way.. just in case you have not watched it, it is a very good film and by the way I did watch it all the way to the end.
Nigeria’s 50th Anniversary????????????
I know you are wondering why I put the question marks after the heading – well how many of you know that the SLEEPING Giant of Africa - (Nigeria is so asleep that we are actually in a permanent state of comatose) , Nigeria is celebrating its 50th year of independence (this year 2010 on October 1st) – EXACTLY, not that many of you knew, even a number of Nigerians are not really that aware of the fact.
I have to give credit to my Ghanaian brothers and sisters as they were on point when it was there 50th anniversary 3 years ago. A whole year in advance they were publicising it, partying and doing events – the whole world knew about it.
Nigeria and Nigerians wake up and start to let the world know that it is our 50th, if nothing else it is could be a great PR exercise and we sure do need it. This last minute dot com thing really is not cool!
And before any of my lovely critics start emailing me to say what are you doing (as in I sola or Mahogany), I can say that Mahogany Productions has been working with the government of Nigeria and with other leading inspaniduals and companies (around the world) to put on some spectacular events throughout the year, but due to confidentiality clauses I cannot discuss them openly - YET.
News in Brief:
I have been told that my blogs are too long so this is a short one – so there is no news in brief – that will teach you. I am joking...
This is a public apology for messing up, I am sorry it was a genuine error. Stop being nosey, Afua knows what I am talking about – I AM SORRY!!!
Apology aside, go and buy your copy of the magazine, there is a great feature by Afua on TMC , the designers that provided us clothes and the winners – you did us proud gal (i am referring to Afua).
Bridal Show Tickets
So if you EMAIL me your name and address (please put MBFS blog tickets in the subject header), I will put a pair of complimentary tickets in the post to you. If you feel you would like to support a struggling company and contribute to my next council tax bill, please feel free to buy a ticket. We are so nice that if you buy them in advance you can get two for the price of one if bought (we know how you love freeness) or £10 per person on the door.
TICKETS CAN BE OBTAINED HERE or by calling 0845 388 7249 - 07971 388687
Lifestyles on Ben TV
I will be on Ben TV tomorrow (12 March @ 10 am) on Sky Channel 184, talking to Pam Joseph
Rhoda Wilson TV Show
I was privileged to be invited to appear on the award winning Rhoda Wilson Show, this will be shown later in the year.
The TV presenter Crystal Rose will be holding a competition FOR MEN, to find the next diamond in the ruff and I will be a judge at the heat on Saturday 13th March. Hey guys there is a cash prize of £1000 so it is worth thinking about entering
Top Model UK (nothing to do with Top Model of Colour)
This will be taking place on the 13 & 14 March @ the Hilton Hotel, Edgware road and Vicky (TMC 08) & Paula (TMC 09), have been invited to be special guests at the event and will also be appearing on stage to do some presenting. TMC will continue to push the boundaries and get more and more models of colour into mainstream modelling and fashion related work. If I get any pictures I will post them on Facebook and a few in my next blog.
Are you brave enough to invite me to your event so that I can review it? If yes, drop me an invite and if I am free I will attend. Than in my next blog I will do an honest review of the event and may even feature you on our Fashions Finest site. I will say it as it is, so if things go bad be prepared to get a bad review but if it goes well than I will sing your praises.
PS: cheap people do not invite me as I only do VIP and must be able to bring a guest (even though most times I go solo).
Ghanaian 53rd Independence Anniversary
I attended a good event at the Troxy on Saturday 6 March and once again Ghanaians have been one of the few groups that were and are able to fill the Troxy – Well Done. They had a great line up including the likes of some of the UK’s top comediennes, KOJO, RICHARD BLACKWOOD & Eddie KADI, they also had top Ghanaian artists come over from Ghana (I apologise that I cannot name them), but they were good.
I must be honest the event was very good and the support was fantastic and it was just not Ghanaians there.
We have changed our company name from Mahogany Group to Mahogany International with immediate effect.
MOAN OF THE DAY...
It has taken me a while to come up with this life changing tag line, many sleepless nights have been had trying to think of this. having finally come up and this is all I could do I really should have slept instead.
MY total readership of 5 (it use to be 2 so I am growing at a rapid rate), will know I always finish my blog with a change the world type article, to try and give valuable life lessons – I know it is not working but I can only try. So I have decided to call it “Moan of the day” and at the end of each blog I I will pick up on a topic and give my views.
So today’s one is about holding black people and businesses to an unfair higher standard than everyone else.
How many times have you heard someone you know or you yourself say, “typical it had to be a black person, I don’t do things with black people, cos you know how they are” and I could go on and on with examples but I think you get my drift.
Now my point is this - be proud of whom you are and support one another. Why hold us to a higher standard than others, for example and I won’t be horrible and name any other shows, but use Mahogany as an example - imagine you come to a Mahogany show and for whatever reason right or wrong (on our part or yours), something goes wrong – instead of speaking to me or someone about it, instead you decide to go round and tell everyone that you had a bad experience at Mahogany and you would never recommend us to anyone again, you bad mouth us everywhere and try and dissuade people from working with us or attending our events – WHY? No one is perfect and as such because you had one bad experience don't be spiteful or is it just envy or jealousy? just asking the question, please don't shoot the messenger.
However when we go to a mainstream shop or event and get treated like S**t , we still go back there the very next day and definitely don’t start a boycotting campaign against that company. To make matters even worst that company or person that is being critical may be even worst than the company they are criticising especially when it comes to their own customer service or event that they do.
Be careful of the pot calling the kettle black.
We can only get better if we support each other, give constructive criticism and stop slagging everything black. Recently I heard someone say that they would never use Nigerian suppliers for their wedding (but they are Nigerian), now Caucasians, Asians and Jewish people know matter how they feel about each other, ALWAYS support their own first. So before you throw stones at each other make sure you don’t live in a glass house.
Together we can climb mountains.
Be good and take care – tomorrows another day!
London Fashion Week (LFW) is upon us again and it started yesterday (Friday 19 February), but I will come back to LFW later.
WATCH THE MAHOGANY PROMOTIONAL VIDEO
Face of Africa (FOA)
Some of you that read my last blog may remember that I said I was off to Nigeria to see if I could sneak my way into the Face of Africa show, which was held on 6th February in Lagos Nigeria, well I managed it. I and Yemi Adegite (CEO Mahogany Africa) were lucky enough to receive VIP invitations to the event (thank you Colette) and I was able to invite a beautiful young lady (my namesake) to attend with me. She was definitely the envy of everyone else that had been harassing me to take them with to FOA. I forgive all of you for the abusive emails and texts I got for not inviting or taking you (green eyed monster that’s all I am going to say).
Got some news hot off the press that Yemi and my namesake have had their pictures featured in a number of magazines including City People, Next Magazine and I can’t remember the 3rd magazine and did they feature me – NO NO NO, now is that wrong or what – you better be saying it is wrong.
FOA is Africa's biggest modelling competition and was an invitation only event that attracted the who’s who of Lagos and South Africa, all of the top Nollywood actors & musicians were in attendance including top celebrities, designers, politicians and fashionista's and me.
The Event itself was fantastic and was filmed for live TV and shown on M Net across Africa and included performances by Naija's D'Banj and SA's Lira.
A number of Nigerian designers were invited to do a one off dress for a particular contestant and these included 3 of my long time friends, Iteun Bassey, Adebayo Jones & Yemi Osunkoya whose dress was worn by the winner Lukando Nalungwe of Zambia.
I must end with a little gripe and that being, on the Friday before the show Lagos state held a Governors ball and all of the FOA representatives and South African designers were invited but for some mysterious reason only known to the organisers or Lagos state all of the Nigerian designers that were being featured at FOA were not invited, to me that is disgraceful especially as it was being held in Nigeria. Don’t let it happen again!
London Fashion Week (LFW)
Ok back to what I started with, LFW started on Friday and goes on to Wednesday, I have been invited to attend a number of on and off schedule events. Once again I was invited to be a guest of the British Fashion Council (organisers of LFW), trust me it sounds important but it doesn’t mean anything, as being a guest of the BFC does not get you into any of the fashion shows, to get into those you must be invited by the designers. I am still not at that VIP level yet where I get invited to the main events and I still have to BEG my good friend Yolande to blag me extra invites when she gets invited to the main events. I am still trying to work my way forward from having to sit on the back row to trying to get close to the front row seats. I am hoping that I will make it before I have to start collecting my pension.
Yolande if you are reading this, by next year I am working on being able to get my own tickets to LFW so you won’t have to beg to get me in anymore. Trying to become a celebrity is such hard work and can you believe that some people aspire this as their lives (lives doesn’t sound right, is it life’s instead?) ambition.
I started the day by being invited to the ESTETHICA LAUNCH which I attended with Maame from Untold. I will say no more on this (the launch not Maame). Later in the evening I attended A La Mode International LFW Catwalk Show which featured outstanding international independent designers looking to make their mark during LFW.
It featured designers such as Mila Miyahara (Germany), Hanako Narahira (London), Dilly Daisy (Canada), Estelle Annabel (Australia), niOka (Slovenia), Chrystal Sloane (New Zealand) & Borris Powell (Chicago).
The “it” crowd were in attendance, including top designer Nkwo, rising superstar designer Lanyero (who is also a Mahogany Model and she has another title which under the pain of death I have been warned not to make public), Eric Manu (Fashion Fusion) and the “it man” himself Ola were all in attendance. Hey by the way I sat in the front row, sorry but these things do not happen often so I have to make it public when it does.
Review: lovely venue, good host, well organised however some of the models did not cut it and in my humble opinion I felt it had an overall impact on the overall feel of the catwalk. By the way this was also commented upon by others around me. So only on this issue they need to look for a better range of models, but I must be fair and say there were about 3 really great models in the show.
Untold Season VI is back at the Battersea arts centre on Monday 22nd February and as always I am expecting good things from Maame and her team – will let you know how it went later.
Nico Didonna will be unveiling their Autumn/Winter collection on Monday evening.
HELP: I have a dilemma (well sort of because it’s a no brainer really when you think about it). On Wednesday 24th February, I have been invited to two shows that are taking place at exactly the same time. Now under normal circumstances that should not really be a problem but my beautiful cousin (Ms Divalicious) Mary Bello, is hosting one of the shows but I am hearing the other one I am invited to is a higher profile show. So which one should I go to? Yeah right as if I really need to ask, I have to go to where my cousin is hosting the LFW event as if I don’t support her she will kill me and more importantly I really do not want my aunty calling me – now those of you that are of African heritage (in particular Nigerian heritage) you know how that conversation will go “sola how could you not go and support your little cousin, I expected better from you and you should always put family first” and that can go on and on for a while. So I will be at Jalouse International LFW Closing Catwalk Show supporting my cousin.
I will let you know how she did, if she does not do well I will fire her as the host of the Mahogany Bridal Fashion Show, which she is doing on the 21st March. Sorry to everyone else that asked to host the bridal show, but I had to put family first – my life depended on it and I like my life.
NEWS IN BRIEF:
My point is this, I think people that live in the west are very hypocritical (don’t get me wrong I am not saying that it is right that he was “doing” every blue eyed, blonde woman he met), but why and how does what he does in his private life become the business of the entire world and what’s it got to do with his profession? He is a man and as much as I hate to say this men generally are “dogs” (and I say this in the nicest of ways). If he had been an African and what he did became public, he would have been given a medal of honour.
He is not the first man to do this and will not be the last, I am sure we all remember President Bill Clinton, the only difference with my boy Tiger is that he admitted to having “sexual relations”. People get a life and move on what he does privately should not have to be for public consumption just because he is a golfer, the way the press is carry on you would think he killed somebody.
PS: Tiger, if you allegedly married your wife as a business decision that is not good, but I understand as you can get better endorsements and sponsorship as a “brother” if you have the right type of hand luggage – so sad if true.
The way things are looking it looks like Paula (the current TMC) is looking to become our most successful TMC ever. She recently had a great feature in O Yes Magazine and she has also been heavily featured in the current issue of Black Hair Magazine and did a photo shoot for Arise Magazine and it does not stop there as there are a number of other magazine spreads she has coming up. She has also been invited to Nigeria to talk on what it is like being a top model and she will be doing some promotional work for TMC whilst in Nigeria – so it’s good times ahead for her.
The date has been set for TMC Holland grand finale, which will be taking place on Saturday 27thMarch in Amsterdam. It feels so strange as I am not involved in producing the show and will only be attending as a judge alongside the likes of Hilmar Mulder (Grazia Magazine), Mariane Verkerk (Catwalk Coach BNTM), Tessy Van Eerdewijk (L’oreal). I feel like I have a daughter that is about to get married, seeing someone else do TMC without me is going to be hard but at the same time I am going to be so proud (a small teardrop runs down my cheek).
The Future Nigeria Awards
Ibikun (Male TMC 08) was nominated for an award, for Nigerian supermodels in the world and he made the top 3 and I thought that it would be good to attend the awards as I would be in Nigeria for FOA and the awards was the following night. So I emailed them to ask if I could be sent two VIP tickets and I get an email back saying they could give me one vip and one standard ticket. I am sure you can see where I am going with this one. Now how can you invite me to an event and say I can bring a guest and then put me in one area and my guest in another area. Let me break it down further – imagine if I was going to take a fine babe to the event with me and I get there and tell the babe, sorry “hun” but you have to sit at the back and I am at the front and I will come and get you at the end of the show. Does anyone really think that will go down well with the babe? So do one or the other, invite me and give me two proper vip tickets where 2 people can sit together or its not by force, just say you have no tickets. It can’t be that hard!
We All Make Mistakes
To those of you who have nothing to do but go through my blog line by line looking for spelling and grammatical errors, have fun. Please feel free to email and let me know how many errors you found – now that was a joke – GET A LIFE!
I will end with this – blackberry users you are all killing off the art of conversation and becoming the most unsociable human beings on earth, as all you ever do wherever you are, is use blackberry instant messenger. How can you go to the movies watch a 2 hour movie but spend 1hour 45 minutes on your BB instant messenger. When you are not a doctor or a solicitor on call or doing anything of importance, is there nothing that cannot wait until after the movie. Trust me that is just one example, I could go on and on. People stop being cheap and pick up the phone and talk to each other and know when not to use it.
Be good, have fun and have a great fashion week.
On one hand life is good and on another, life can be challenging and very sad.
Starting with the sad news – HAITI, what a sad human catastrophe, I am not trying to be funny or cruel but isn’t life wicked, if it is not bad enough living in one of the poorest countries in the world and then you have this happen – WHY? I ask everyone to put Haiti in their prayers and where possible make a donation whether it be clothes or money, you can make a donation at UNICEFeven if it is just a few pounds as it all helps.
Moving on to things of a lighter mood
Can you believe that Simon Cowell is leaving American Idol and looking to set up American X Factor. Now it would be interesting to see if that would work because for me X Factor is not really a talent competition unlike American Idol which to me is a proper singing competition. So the question is will the American public see X Factor in the same way they see American Idol and would it have the same appeal? But more importantly what would happen to American Idol would it die a slow death with out HRH Mr Cowell and will American X Factor be the new king of the hill? For me the jury is out – any views?
Fashions Finest – “Creativity in Colour”
The long awaited Fashions Finest website is still being long awaited. I hope that after the longest of waits that people would like it. But I do think that when it does eventually go live it would be a great site for all fashion creative’s, models, designers and a great place for fashion news and gossip.
We have some great feature editors and writers lined up including the likes of Samata Angel (top socialite, author & designer), Eryca Freemantle (international celebrity makeup artist), Mary Bello (socialite & journalist) and Tope Owolabi (model & fashionista) and many other surprises.
The site aims to let you know everything you need to know about what is happening within the fashion industry as well as a place to be seen, so you can either ensure you are listed on the site or can catch up on all of the latest fashion news.
Must say a big thank you to Zazel of Kaiz Agency & Danny Barnett for all of their hard work on the website.
Top Model of Colour (TMC)
Even I am finding it hard to keep up with the expansion of TMC. The franchise has expanded and in 2010 finals will be held in the UK, the Netherlands (final in March 2010), Nigeria, the Gambia and also Ghana. In addition we have had enquiries from Kenya, New York, Columbia, Uganda, Bermuda and South Africa. With the additions of all of these franchises there comes with it an air of expectation, so we have to step up our game and I think we have done so by introducing different new elements to the competition to keep it fresh.
For the first time we have given the UK contestants the chance to increase their chances of making the regional heats by being able to get people to vote for them and thus guaranteeing their place in the regional heats and taking away that element from the expert industry judges, however this would only be for the top 30 female and top 10 male models with the highest amount of votes received by 29th April.
We had some great meetings in South Africa and in 2011 we hope to launch the TMC reality TV show. So watch out as a lot is happening. O yea before I get myself into trouble I better update you on the latest appointments for tmc – Francis Litti Mboge is the new CEO for TMC Gambia and we have 5 beautiful TMC elite’s that are running TMC UK, Melanie, Tope, Amina, Pamela &Nenna, who are doing a great job with TMC UK and of course to Yemi Adegite (CEO Mahogany Africa), who is doing a great job expanding the franchise over in Africa.
As for the person saying they are doing TMC Australia, we are coming for you as you are illegally using our brand name, so people do not get involved as it is not a sanctioned TMC franchise. People are brazen or what, she actually took the exact words from our press release and used it on her illegal TMC profile.
TMC Nigeria - +234 807416 3355
TMC Gambia - +2207761911
TMC Holland - + 316 1122 7192
TMC GHANA – Info coming soon
London Fashion Week 19th to 23rd February is around the corner and are you getting ready for it? I am not sure if I am attending as I have so much to do. But then again maybe that is me posing as I suppose I really have to be there and check out what is happening. Yes I work in fashion but the funny thing is that, I am not actually into fashion or clothes. I tend to go because I like to see the production of the shows and how everything works.
How times have changed a few years back I could not get an invite for love nor money, but now I have become a miniature VIP (even if I am not I have to believe I am), now I get the odd occasional invite as I have friends like the BFC & Yolande of La Geneve North who sneeks me into the odd fashion show here and there.
British Fashion Council
We have had a number of meetings with the BFC about the lack of people of colour within the British fashion industry, this includes not just models but also designers and other creative’s.
A working group was setup by the BFC to look into the issues I raised and the current working group includes the likes of Baroness Lola Young (Freelance Arts and Heritage Consultant and Cross-bench Life Peer), Carole White (Founder, Premier Models), Caryn Franklin (Journalist, broadcaster and co-founder of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk), Helen Jennings (Editor, Arise magazine), John Walford (Show Producer and co-Director, Vauxhall Fashion Scout), Maame Baryeh (Director, Untold), Simon Chambers (Director, Storm Model Management), Yolande Letshou (Founder, La Geneve) and of course yours truly.
I think we are making inroads and it is hoped that within the next couple of months a smaller working group would be set up to get down to the specifics on how we tackle the issues head on, find funding and how to change the perceptions of mainstream fashion towards people of colour and I will be actively involved and will keep you updated on progress.
Africa’s biggest modelling competition will be taking place on the 6th February in Lagos Nigeria. This is an invitation only event and I hope to be there. The only problem is I DON’T HAVE AN INVITE, so my intention is that I will dress as a waiter and sneek into the show.
The good thing is that a number of the key movers and shakers within the fashion industry from across the world will be there and I know a few of them, like Yemi Osunkoya of Koshiba Creations and Koketso Chiepe who are each making a dress for a finalist and Helen Jennings the editor of Arise Magazine who is going to be a judge (she was a judge at TMC UK in the Gambia), along with Iman. So you can see I have a few people that I can share a seat with. If I do get in I will let you know how the show was, otherwise it sure is a long way to go for nothing.
Before I go, I have to talk about twitter (twittering) or whatever you want to call it. Can someone please tell me what this is all about and why people are so hooked on it? Ok, yes I have to admit that I have 3 twitter pages but I only tweet (can you see I know the lingo) when I have something worthwhile to say. I occasionally log on to see what is going on in the twittering world and I am amazed at the RUBBISH some people twitter about and the conversations that take place.
Some people seriously need to get a life – go out more, talk to people and stop hiding behind anonymity to talk rubbish. Finally be careful what you tweet about and putting your business out on the streets for everyone to read, especially those of you involved in catfights or are fighting your boyfriends in public.
I am copying some of these tweets and keeping them so that if you become famous or are running for office or something great I am going to sell them to every newspaper or magazine that will buy them – this is my pension plan. Be careful what you put out in the public domain as it may come back to bite you.
It’s a New Year, it’s a new decade and doesn’t time fly. I just want to throw out a series of questions for you to think about or answer.
For the next section I need you to write in your own answers and post them on Facebook somewhere.
These questions are based on the past decade (2000 to 2009)
· What is your most memorable event over the past decade?
· Who is the person that has left the most memorable impression on you?
· Who is the best singer?
· Who is the worst singer
· Who is the best actor?
· Who is the worst actor?
· Who is the best realty star?
· Who is the worst realty star?
· Who do you think has made the most amount of money over the past decade?
· Best TV series?
· Worst TV series?
· The most disgraceful politician?
· The best politician?
· Your greatest achievement?
· Your biggest failure?
· The best sex you had and with whom (you can keep that to yourself if you wish)?
· Anything else you can make up?
It’s all about having some fun – may you have a credit crunch free new year and may all your hearts desires come true and may you achieve more than you have ever achieve more than you have ever achieved in your life.
O My, O My, O My what a year it has been and I have no real idea as to where to start, most people will say at the beginning but that is not me – so I will start at wherever I can remember.
Just to remind you the Mr Mahogany blog says it as it is, so I know some people will be upset with me but we all have to step up our game in whatever we are doing within the fashion and entertainment industry.
Obama – enough said.
“Black” Miss England?
Now was I pleased that Rachel Christie won Miss England and I felt proud that the first ever Black woman (I do not want to hear any rubbish about the light skin/black skin debate – she black, she black END OF), won Miss England and then it happened.
Whilst working with Face of Sleek in Nigeria I got a text from my good reporter friend (who remains nameless, cos he does not like publicity) informing me that Ms Christie had been removed as Miss England. Now forget roaming charges and all, I had no choice but to get the low down and was I disappointed when I heard the alleged reasons as to why she was removed.
I found out that she was “stripped of her crown after a blowup in which she was accused of clocking Sara Jones, the reigning Miss Manchester, at a porn-themed party”.
Read more I do not know if it is true or not but I must say that she has made history as having one of the shortest reigns as a Miss England ever (and she is black) – WHAT CAN I SAY?
Power List 2010
For those of you that do not know or are in the know for the past three years a magazine is published which lists Britain’s 100 most influential black people. I am pleased to say (hold on before you start thinking they listed me – read on) yours truly was featured (page 108) in an article entitled “the man who sold-out black vogue”. I am truly blessed to be featured in a magazine that features such prominent black people.
By the way I will be taking it up with the editors of the Power List as to why I did not make the top 100. I am not proud so I have no qualms in asking people to nominate me for the 2011 list.
However my question to you is besides ME, who else that is not featured should have made the list? Information on the Power List
EVENTS IN THE UK - we need to step up our game
Now this is where I start to get the hate mail, but I have to say what everyone (I hope is thinking). Why, O why, O why are there so many crap and badly organised events within the black fashion and entertainment community (I apologise to those of you that do good events).
In my job I am invited and have to attend so many events and on many occasions I do wonder why I bother to leave my house – besides the usual not starting on time and being badly organised, it seems that a lot of people are organising events for all the wrong reasons.
Over the past year I attended some events that I thought were high profile and I was highly disappointed (and I think it is best that I just leave you the public to give your own reviews) but following enormous amount of feedback that I received I have to say that the Zaffa Awards, the Beffta Awards and Miss Black Britain (I really hate the bad reviews I am seeing about this competition as it is a great concept) were among the most disappointing, mainly because they had the finances to ensure that they were of the highest quality.
For all three of these events they had the who’s who attend from the likes of American actress Nia Long to top Nigerian Nollywood actors such as Osita iheme,bobmanuel Udokwu, kenneth Okonkwo,Chinedu Ikedieze, Kanayo O Kanayo, Nkiru Sylivernus, Tony One week, Victoria Nyama, Dolly Unachukwu, Lancelot Imaseun, Andy Amenechi, Emeka Ike, Chinyere Winfred and at the Beffta’s the who’s who (including myself – yes I know I am bragging but nobody else considers me a who’s who so I might as well lobby to get the status - myself) attended.
I am not saying that we at Mahogany are perfect and I am sure there are lots of people that will say I am a fine one to talk and they may be right, but at the same time even at our event there are some basic things that always work, like starting on time and being organised. Mahogany may not have the greatest line ups in the world or attract celebrities etc but we are good at what we do which is producing shows.
The important thing here, is to do what you are good at and I have seen with some of the above shows that they are great at getting stars and celebrities to come and marketing their events but the most important thing they fall down on, which is making sure that people leave their show feeling that they got value for money and watched a good show. If you can’t do it yourself get someone else to do it for you – it’s not rocket science.
MAHOGANY PRODUCTIONS was set up for that primary reason which was to take away the strain of organising a show by leaving it to the experts. I am crap at getting celebrities to our shows or getting cash sponsorship but my track record shows that I can produce shows both for Mahogany and other clients that we have had around the world.
Before I finish on this topic I have one more gripe – WHY ARE THERE SO MANY BEAUTY PAGEANTS – seriously everyone s doing a pageant and like some of them are half empty, badly organised and have people contest in them that should not even be allowed to look in a mirror as it would crack at the lack of beauty they possess. My advice to some of the organisers of these different pageants is that they should come together and unite and pull resources and skills to organise one great pageant. Seriously how are you surviving, as there is no real money in pageants and very little cash sponsorship available.
I will however still judge at them if asked and still have the bored expression I normally have on my face due to the lack of talent. However I must say well done to Miss Uganda and Miss Ghana they both know how to put on a pageant – people look and learn, some of you think you are bigger than you really are.
Yes I am being a coward by not mentioning names of the bad pageants.
So What’s Up with Mahogany?
I won’t go over all what I said in previous newsletters and blogs but I will say that I am pleased to welcome Yemi Adegite on board as the CEO of Mahogany Productions (Africa) and in his short reign to date as CEO, we have already done shows in Nigeria and the Gambia, including the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Nigeria (ICAN) gala evening in Abuja as well as the Face of Sleek Nigeria and Top Model of Colour grand finale in the Gambia.
He is also in the process of setting up Mahogany Models in the Gambia, the Africa Bridal Week in South Africa, Uganda Fashion Week, TMC in Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Nigeria and I am informed that he has many more shows that we will be producing for clients from fashion to TV shows – so he does all the easy bits and then brings me in to do all of the hard work.
WHAT A LIFE!
You can contact yemi on +234 8074163355 or by EMAIL
Face of Sleek Nigeria (FOSN)
Now people (besides the fact the Mahogany Productions was involved in producing the show), I must take my hat off to the Sleek Sisters Ebele & Ife Ugochukwu. They know how to put on a show, they were on point all the way and people in the UK trust me you can learn something from how Africans put on shows. They had a great team behind them including MOI such as Ndidi Obioha the events planner of events planners, Ebony, Darlington, Vicky (of Mahogany – a true spana) and my fantastic sleek assistant Mary Jane. Congratulations to the winner Makida Moka. And it was nice being mentioned and featured in City People, on TV and various other places and to the young contestant that did not know who the current president of the United States was – I hope you do know now and have found out that it was not Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Can’t wait till the next Face of Sleek Nigeria show 2010 – (PS it was great working with all of the sleek Contestants).
Top Model of Colour
I must say congratulations to Paula Okunzuwa and Emmanuel Ogunjinmi for winning TMC (UK). We took over 50 people from the UK to compete in the final.
History in the making hit the shores of The Gambia on 5th December 2009 at the Senegambia Beach Resort Hotel for the annual UK modelling competition, Top Model of Colour (TMC). After months of regional heats which saw over 4,500 models apply for the competition, the TMC competition saw over 30 models from around the UK being flown to The Gambia taking the modelling competition into the African continent for the first time ever.
TMC is known as being one of the UK’s leading modelling competitions for models of colour hoping to enter the competitive modelling industry, made even more so by the lack of models of colour on the international runways during fashion week and other big fashion shows that take place around the world.
Models from across the UK including London, Birmingham and Manchester flew into The Gambia for the show. In addition the contestants were honoured with a state house visit and meeting with the President of The Gambia: Yahya AJJ Jammeh and photo shoots in choice locations around The Gambia.
The finale was hosted by award winning UK comedienne Eddie Kadi & top Gambian TV Presenter Fatou Ndure and entertainment was provided by D3, Sing-a-Teh and top Gambian singer Mam Mbala and throughout the night the music was supplied by Homediggy.
The evening culminated with Emmanuel Ogunjinmi and Paula Okunzuwa walk away with the titles of Top Male and Female models of colour (2nd place Evita Dossou-Yovo, 3rd place Charlene Ashong, 4th place Pristyle Loko & 5th place Rachael Naome Nambozo. In second place for the men Emeka Okakpu & 3rd place Timothy Akinyemi). After having been judged on a range of abilities including runway walk, physique and understanding of the modelling industry. Industry experts on the judging panel included Arise editor Helen Jennings, leading British fashion entrepreneur Samata Angel and Yemi Adegite, CEO of Glasgow Fashion Week.
Judges for the different heats of the competition, which ran for months up to the finale in the Gambia had included international makeup artist Eryca Freemantle, Afua Acheampong, the acting editor of Black Hair Magazine, who both joined the troupe travelling to The Gambia and top Nigerian model Ibukun Jegede. The winners secured a contract with Mahogany Models which is sure to provide a launch pad for their respective careers within the modelling world. The competition also saw both commercial models and high fashion models given the opportunity to compete on an equal footing, assessing their potential within respective industries. Sola Oyebade, the founder of Mahogany Models and the Top Model of Colour competition is an influential figure within the British modelling industry and has worked tirelessly to secure a place for models of colour within the modelling industry.
Sponsors of the event included Fabecs Promotions, Africell and Global Properties.
New TMC (UK) Team
Due to the expansion of TMC worldwide TMC UK JOIN TMC UK GROUP has setup a new team to run and manage the franchise and these include
Pamela Masasi, Melanie Masona, Tope Owolabi, Amina Jadama & Azara Emenyeonu. We wish them all the very best of luck with TMC UK and making it an even stronger brand.
Mahogany Models is growing from strength to strength and getting more and more great clients. I will not say anymore as we are always talking about the agency.
I know this blog is dragging on and I have to stop now before you get even more bored, so I better end by wishing you all a very Merry Xmas and a fantastic new year and may all your hearts desires come true in 2010. (PLEASE SAY AMEN)
I would like to thank you all for all of your support and love throughout the year, without you we would not have been able to achieve all that we have.
I have finally decided that it is time to catch up with the rest of the modern world and start blogging, to be honest I have decided to go down this route because it is just easier than designing and writing a newsletter from my desktop - yes i am lazy.
To start with the blog will just update you on what has been happening in the world of Mahogany but as times goes on it will be far more informative providing you with reviews of the numerous shows that I attend around the world as well as giving my views and commentary on fashion and modelling related issues.
It has been a very eventful few months in the world of Mr Mahogany & Mahogany and this is going to be a long blog for sure.
In no particular order:
Two of our male models Olivier & Alemu modelled for the top menswear designer casely Hayford at London Fashion Week on menswear day.
This was great for Mahogany Models as it was the first time that we got male models into LFW.
Fashion Diversity - London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week at Museum of London
Fashion Diversity returned with 6 workshops, 5 catwalk shows over 3 days and all for free!
Back for its second year, Mahogany Model Management and Untold Design CIC presented this seasons Fashion Diversity at the Museum of London. Including an eclectic program of industry-led workshops, fashion shows and a student/ graduate competition brief that saw some of the UK’s most promising young designers stage a catwalk show to present their take on this years brief ‘The Proof of the Fashion is in the Garden’…
Mahogany Models Samira, Tanya B, Rosemary & Mimi featured in Fashion Diversity.
From the streets of Peckham, Spitalfields and Soho this years Fashion Diversity Honorary Awards were presented to Fashion Houses Gisella Boutique, Junky Styling & Nico Didonna. Established in obscure quarters of London, these designers have undoubtedly carved their mark within very different areas of the relentless and fast paced Fashion industry, and showcased a capsule collection as a snapshot in time of their design journey at this event.
It is with great pride that Mahogany won 3 out the 5 awards we were nominted for at the recently concluded Beffta Awards (BEFFTA stands for Black Entertainment, Film, Fashion, Television & Arts).
The awards ceremony took place at the luxurious Hilton Metropole Hotel on Saturday 17th October. Mahogany won awards for Best Modelling Agency (Mahogany Models), Best Events Promoter (Mahogany Productions) & Best Male Model (Ibukun Jegede).
Thank you to everyone for there support and for voting for us.
ICAN Show Nigeria
(Picture Insert MP team Deola, Ebere & Vicky)
I was recently in Nigeria producing a gala evening for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and trust me it was a show and a half with over 2000 people in attendance.
Even if I say so myself the show was hot and I had a great Mahogany Productions team supporting me which included Yemi - CEO Mahogany Productions Africa, Ebere - Events Manager, Vicky - Productions Manager, Linda - Backstage Manager & Deola my worn out hard working Production Assistant.
A big thank you to everyone in Abuja, Nigeria that supported us, we are looking forward to our next show.
Fashion TV Fashion Show
One of the highlights of London Fashion Week was having three of our models feature in the Fashion TV fashion show during London Fashion Week. Not only did our models feature in the show but Mahogany Models will be given credit as providing the models on the TV highlights of the show.
Well done to Vicky, Annaliese & Gervene
I was invited to be the head judge at the Miss Uganda/Miss World competition that took place in Kampala, Uganda.
It was a great show but there was a lot of controversy because we choose London based Maria Namira as the winner. the audience and the public in general felt that we should have chosen a Ugandan resident as the winner and not someone that resides in the UK. But you know me I will only choose whom I think is best and as there was a split decision among the judges I literally did have to cast the deciding vote. PS Uganda is definitely a country to go back too.
The first ever TMC Holland will be taking place in March 2010 in Amsterdam with auditions taking place in November & January. TMC is going places around the world.
The grand finale will be taking place on the 5th December in the Gambia and we will be taking over 40 people from the UK to compete in the finale, courtesy of the President of the Gambia and Fabec's Promotion.
Princess Diana Charity Fashion Show
Four of our top models Nana, Vicky, Evita & Rosemary will be modelling in the Finding Your Feet Fashion Show
Glam Show (31st October & 1st November)
Mahogany Models continues to break into mainstream fashion and we are providing models to this 2 day major lifestyle event, that is taking place at earls court and 3 of our models Jakadi, Crystal & Vanessa will be modelling over the two days for Untold & Environmental Justice Foundation at the show.
Nana one of our rising stars was the only model selected to feature in the Peace Week event that took place at Trafalgar Square and since joining us she has been one of our most popular models.
Nigerian Charity Show
Six of our best models featured in a top Nigerian Charity Show for a charity of Nigerian Doctors - they included Evita, Nana, Tanya B, Danubia, Laurette &Vicky and they wore clothes for 3 top designers which included Roor & Kosibah Creations.
MAHOGANY MODELS NIGERIA
then send an email with your pictures (head shot & full body shot), statistics (height, bust, waist, hips & age) to email@example.com
All model signed to the agency will join our international modelling website
FASHIONS FINEST JOIN US ON FACEBOOK
The Mahogany Models directory will soon be changing its name to Fashions Finest and will be a directory for all people of colour involved in the fashion world - models, creatives, photographers etc
It will have features and articles by top industry professionals, pictures and videos as well as reviews of fashion shows and events by MR MAHOGANY (who will be saying it as it is) it also aims to promote new, aspiring, emerging and established designers, models, MUA's Hair Stylist, Photographers etc
This will be "Creativity in Colour"
JOIN US ON TWITTER Fashions Finest
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JOIN ME ON FACEBOOK Sola Oyebade
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