The Gambia is known around the world as the smiling coast of Africa due to its lovely coastal, sandy beaches and warm hospitable people who like the weather are a ray of sunshine but on the 22nd December The Gambia was hit by a tidal wave as the Fashion4Africa roadshow hit town with all of the glitz and glamour an international show, organised by Beauty in Business and produced by Mahogany Events brings when they do shows.
The modelling competition aimed to find the Face of Fashion4Africa and was two competitions in one, aiming to find a female winner and for the first time ever in The Gambia a competition was held that also featured men.
History was made on so many fronts as the event started on time by Gambian standards only twenty five minutes late, shows normally start about two hours after the published times and sometimes a lot later, it had one of the best sets ever done in The Gambia with great lighting and a fantastic stage, courtesy of Africell.
Leading up to the event the 13 female models and 10 male models were put through a rigourous training camp which aimed to teach them how to walk, pose, provide them with knowledge about the fashion and modelling industry as well as preparing them for the competition. Mr Mahogany who was the show producer and creative director worked them hard as he always does, but they learnt a lot and it ensured that The Gambia saw the most professionally produced shows ever with the models performing way above the standards The Gambia is use too.
The show opened with a stunning fashion show which was not your ordinary fashion show but was choreographed to the hilt by Mr Mahogany and an unbelievable mix done by one of the worlds hottest DJ's and music show producers, Homdiggy. Entertainment on the night included one of the best cultural groups Mr Mahogany has ever seen known as the Jolla Dance Group, a great comedy duo the Kinkilibar show and one of Gambia's hottest music sensations Slam G. The hosts for the evening like every other part of the show were exceptional as Moudo Musa and Haddy held the whole show together and ensured there was never a dull moment throughout the show.
Competition was fierce as both sets of contestants did a casual and a traditional round and then the women were reduced from 13 to 7 and the men from 10 to 5 and only top 7 & 5 respectively went onto compete in the final round. During the 3rd round which was the evening wear section they were each asked two questions relating to The Gambia and trust me not all of them knew the simple answers but the crowd was more then willing and able to shout out the answers, some of the contestants took advantage of the help they were given but some sadly missed out.
The evening drew closer to an end with the top three male winners being announced and in third place was Roaul Mendy, in second place Ousman Saine and the winner was the hardest working male model in The Gambia, Ibrahim Ceesay. But before we announced the female top three, the CEO of Beauty in Business and Fashion4Africa, Anna Njie came on stage to thank her sponsors and over supportive staff which included Chilen Du Bois who was a pillar of strength and support not only to Anna but also to Mr Mahogany as she knew and was able to fix everything and did an unbleieveable job on yhe PR for the event, but there were others such as brother and sister Harold & Lilian Aziz, William Brown, Menda Mbye, Sally Kah and international photographer Karl Lake.
Then of course it had to be Mr Mahogany that was invited on stage to announce the female winners and trust me did I make them wait, the audience seemed to be more tense and nervous then the contestants as I used every trick in the book to drag it out and make it very tense, however in the end I had to announce the winners and in third place was Sarah Abrahams, second place Ramatoulie Barry and the winner was Nyanya Gaye who comes from a history of winners as her mother was a former Miss Gambia.
Anna Njie must be congratulated in not only be the executive producer of such a great show but for also getting the whose who of The Gambia out for the show from celebrities, to ambassadors, government ministers and fashionistas of The Gambia. She was innovative, creative and bold in bringing international expertise and combining them with the talent of The Gambia to ensure the show was world class.
Already people are asking how they can compete in Fashion4Africa 2013 and it looks like it would be even bigger and better than this years show, I can't wait.