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...
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 individuals 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.
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).
For just reading my blog you deserve a free pair of tickets, just for the torture I have put you through.
So if you
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.
I will be on Ben TV tomorrow (12 March @ 10 am) on Sky Channel 184, talking to Pam Joseph
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
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.
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
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!
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.
I am not sure if you have been following the escapades of the world’s number one golfer Tiger Woods, who has been a naughty boy (to put it mildly). Yesterday he did a press conference to
apologise for his indiscretions (if you can call it that, I mean the apology not the indiscretions).
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!
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
I know that TV has nothing to do with fashion and Mahogany but I must say I am very happy as 24 and American Idol are back – best programmes in the world.
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.
APPLY FOR A TMC NEAR YOU:
TMC Nigeria - +234 807416 3355
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.
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.