Friday, 06 August 2010 08:48

Naomi the Diamond Queen..

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

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Sunday, 01 August 2010 08:44

Iscapade A Chilling Affair...

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.

 

CHECK OUT N4LIFE

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Sola Oyebade – Mahogany International

 

Tell us about your vision for Mahogany International?

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.

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Wednesday, 14 July 2010 08:37

Nothing To Say...

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.

 

DONATIONS...


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.

 

IT MAN...

 

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.

 

GREAT BLOGGERS...

 

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 individuals 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

 

 

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Thursday, 01 July 2010 08:23

Female "Find a Man" Football Fans...

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!

 

Football Corruption...

 

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.

 

Breaking News...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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!

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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 diverse 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.

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Monday, 14 June 2010 08:11

Media Conspiracy Theory...

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 diversify 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...

 

Fashion Diversity 'pops-up' at the Islington Metal Works 16-18 September 2010 and official off schedule show during London Fashion Week! 


• Catwalk Shows

• Boutique

• 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:info@fashiondiversity.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…

PURCHASE TICKETS WIN FRONT ROW TICKETS to Untold's London Fashion Week show WIN A DESIGNER MASTERCLASS with Untold

 

Diaries of a Black Woman... by Benny Bonsu

 

Fashions Finest would like to welcome the renowned Diaries of a Black Woman which is to be a regular feature on Fashions Finest website.

 

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-diving 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 divisions. 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...



VENUES  DATES FOR TMC SIERRA LEONE... First ever of its kind in Sierra Leone, Do you wish to participate in or do you know someone that would like to compete in Top Model of Colour, Sierra Leone?


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: info@topmodelofcoloursl.com


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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Wednesday, 05 May 2010 07:53

Is it FAIR?

When I started writing this blog I did it purely for fun and also cos I had absolutely nothing to do with my time (if you believe that then you are punch drunk), but I never really thought it would take off in the way that it has. On a regular basis I am either asked for my comments or asked to comment on things and people are constantly emailing, texting or calling me to give feedback, have a go or make suggestions on what I should talk or comment about in my next blog.
So not being a selfish, ungrateful human being I would like to thank all of you that have sent me some “sugar” as well as those of you that are hating, I love you all.
Mr Mahogany New Blog Picture:
 
Do you like my new look main blog picture? be honest now, you know that this is the honesty blog, everyone that reads this blog can handle the truth.
Even if you don't like it do I really care, as I like it. However if you don't like it and if you think you are bad do something better and send it to me and I will put it to the people as to whether your design is better (and I am not putting no LOL after my last comment, why do people do that they have just had a go at you and they meant it and then put lol after the underhanded comment or insult and try and soften the blow by putting lol - yeah right, they meant it).
It was designed by Friedrich Riha, Creative Director of Wasanii Design Studio. Thank you so much.
 
BFC/Elle Talent Launch Pad Applications (BFC is British Fashion Council)

This new and innovative scheme will complement the opportunities offered by London Fashion Week by supporting selected young designers to grow their businesses through marketing/PR opportunities and building relationships with British retailers. Find out more...

Criteria & Applications This first level of designer support is suitable for emerging designers at an early stage in their business growth: those eligible to apply must have been in business for no more than two years. Find out more...
 

Are Things Changing:
 
For a while now it is more or less impossible for models of colour, including up coming or even  supermodels to break into mainstream  fashion and be featured in top magazines and advertising campaigns, it is a bit like having £1 in your bank account and walking into a car show room and trying to buy a brand new Rolls Royce.
Mahogany Models via its Black But Invisible campaign has been working hard to change this and we believe that via some successful campaigns such as the Italian Vogue all black issue and our work with the British Fashion Council as well as numerous media attention we have received on this issue it seems that things are starting to change.
Very recently Alex Wek was on the cover of ELLE, Chanel Iman was featured in Allure and LiyaKebede in Vogue and we have the beautiful black model VV Brown  featured in the brand new major advertising campaign for Marks & Spencer, in London Fashion Week this year we had the highest number of models of colour ever, featured on the catwalks at LFW.
Once upon a time this just would never have happened, however we must not get complacent as we still have a very long way to go, so we must continue to push for change and insist that we are used constantly.
Mix race is the most beautiful people in the world – refer to evening standard article where I was quoted (sorry cant locate the exact article)
 
Not sure how many of you saw or read my view words that were featured in the Evening Standard regarding the fact that mix race people are considered the most beautiful people in the world. It started a really good debate and I loved the variety of views and comments that I received. The long and short of it is, regardless of our skin tone we are all beautiful.
There was also another article where I also commented on the issues of models and I do hope that as much as possible I am representing your views and the facts as fairly as possible.
Is it true that black women are just after men for their money or what they have?
 
The above was sent to me as a topic for me to comment on and trust me I was tempted to go all out on this one and say it as it is and then I thought hold on wait a minute, do I really want to get into this. Already I am public enemy number one due to some of my previous blogs and if I make the mistake of giving my views on this I to could end up living in Makoko or Ajegunle (places featured in the Welcome to Lagos documentary), as I know my beautiful black sisters would willingly deport me there as punishment. So unless I am severely harassed into talking about this and promised full immunity (Jack Bauer style) from prosecution, for now I just have to let it go.
News In Brief:
 
Awards & Nominations
 
I don’t know about you but I think it is great when you work hard and your peers or people around you decide to recognise you for what you have done and over the past 2 weeks a number of people I know have been either nominated or received an award. It is important to support one another when we are informed that someone we know receives a nomination for an award (people stop being envious and hating) and lets support and promote each other.

Naomi Divine
(entrepreneur) was recently nominated for the "above and beyond character award" which is part of The Bold and Beautiful Awards. If you would like to vote for her - please click on her name.
Shi Dolor  (fashion designer) was Recognised and awarded by the UK's first purpose built Women's Business Centre as a Creative Entrepreneur and luxury fashion design business 2010






Crystal (model, Singer & entrepreneur) she is also a Mahogany Model, was nominated in the "Most Creative Female" category at the 'London Young Women's awards and I am so pleased to say that she won.
TMC Sierra Leone
 
We are pleased to announce that a Top Model of Colour franchise will be taking place in Sierra Leone later this year, so watch out for TMC Sierra Leone
MOAN OF THE DAY...
 
Is it Fair?
 
If I had a lot of money and could afford to be sued I would put the name of this person and competition all over the airwaves as I am just so pissed that this sort of thing still goes on in this day and age, be patient I will explain to you why I am very disappointed.
Nowadays every woman that has two legs and arms enters one type of beauty pageant or modelling competition, regardless of whether they are pretty or they are someone that should just be arrested for committing crimes against humanity by being so ugly (this relates only to those  that think they are pretty enough to enter competitions). Now don’t get me wrong as anyone and everyone that wants to enter should have the opportunity to enter, but some ladies need to have a look in a reinforced mirror before filling in an application form. As usual I digress because this has nothing to do with this moan and groan.
The real moan and groan is against men that decide to set up competitions just so that they can sleep with the contestants on the promise that if the girls sleep with them then they will win the competition. Now for me this is DISGUSTING as besides you being a low life it is also unfair on the girls that have entered believing that they would have a fair chance of winning the competition. I recently was asked to be involved in a competition taking place in West Africa (yes I know I normally narrow things down better than this, but we are going through an economic downturn and I just cant afford legal fees at present, so sorry but you will have to guess the country in question). I was informed 3 weeks before the competition started that the owner of the show had decided upon whom the winner was and I was also informed by reliable sources that he was having Turkish Delights with not only the girl that he had already decided was going to win the competition but also with a number of the other contestants – WHY?
Now it would be totally unfair for me to just blame the man because, I am sorry ladies but if the girls in their desperation to win a car and a nice cash prize willingly agreed to go to the dentist and “open wide” then they are as much to blame. If they refused to do this then nasty old men like this would not be able to get away with it. When girls do things like this it gives ALL girls a bad reputation and even if you win such a competition fairly some people would believe that you slept your way to the top.
I really believed that all of this kind of crap had stopped yes I know I should wake up and smell the coffee and I guess this is why I am always asked about how many of my models I sleep with or have slept with - for me business and pleasure seriously does not mix well.
PS if you want to rig your event or competition DO NOT invite me to be a judge, cos I will expose you and next time I will name and shame and I will also name the girls that cave in to this type of exploitation.
Hissing at Women:
 
I have a name and if you don’t know it walk up to me and say hi.
How many times ladies does this happen to you that you are walking down the street and you hear a hissing sound, you try to ignore it and it gets louder and you turn around and see one bush man (cos men that do it are always bush and ugly) and he is trying to get your attention by hissing at you like a snake.
Guys stop it, women don’t like it and it makes you look bush. If you need to attract a ladies attention walk up to her and say hi, trust me you will go a long way by doing that and to the ladies if a guy hisses at you and you turn around and pay him attention then it serves you right don’t complain afterwards.
Be good and take care – tomorrows another day
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DOES ANYONE WANT TO DESIGN A NEW MR MAHOGANY PICTURE FOR MY BLOG - YOU CAN BRAND IT & GET FREE ADVERTISING?

 

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 calledWelcome 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.

Purple Ball...

 

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:

 

TMC UK

 

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!

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Thursday, 08 April 2010 07:41

Are There Any Good Black Men Out There?


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.

 

The Facts:

 

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.

 

MY ADVICE...

 

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).

 

 


20 models competed to be TMC Holland and it was won by Adut Mawien, Kimberly (second) and Elise (third).

 

The Judges included renowned top dutch personalities including

HILMAR MULDER - Editor of Grazia Magazine

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):

 

This is a bit of an old story but I guess a lot of you may not know this. (this was copied from the Thaindian News).


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!


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