On one hand life is good and on another, life can be challenging and very sad.
Starting with the sad news – HAITI, what a sad human catastrophe, I am not trying to be funny or cruel but isn’t life wicked, if it is not bad enough living in one of the poorest countries in the world and then you have this happen – WHY? I ask everyone to put Haiti in their prayers and where possible make a donation whether it be clothes or money, you can make a donation at UNICEFeven if it is just a few pounds as it all helps.
Moving on to things of a lighter mood
Can you believe that Simon Cowell is leaving American Idol and looking to set up American X Factor. Now it would be interesting to see if that would work because for me X Factor is not really a talent competition unlike American Idol which to me is a proper singing competition. So the question is will the American public see X Factor in the same way they see American Idol and would it have the same appeal? But more importantly what would happen to American Idol would it die a slow death with out HRH Mr Cowell and will American X Factor be the new king of the hill? For me the jury is out – any views?
Fashions Finest – “Creativity in Colour”
The long awaited Fashions Finest website is still being long awaited. I hope that after the longest of waits that people would like it. But I do think that when it does eventually go live it would be a great site for all fashion creative’s, models, designers and a great place for fashion news and gossip.
We have some great feature editors and writers lined up including the likes of Samata Angel (top socialite, author & designer), Eryca Freemantle (international celebrity makeup artist), Mary Bello (socialite & journalist) and Tope Owolabi (model & fashionista) and many other surprises.
The site aims to let you know everything you need to know about what is happening within the fashion industry as well as a place to be seen, so you can either ensure you are listed on the site or can catch up on all of the latest fashion news.
Must say a big thank you to Zazel of Kaiz Agency & Danny Barnett for all of their hard work on the website.
Top Model of Colour (TMC)
Even I am finding it hard to keep up with the expansion of TMC. The franchise has expanded and in 2010 finals will be held in the UK, the Netherlands (final in March 2010), Nigeria, the Gambia and also Ghana. In addition we have had enquiries from Kenya, New York, Columbia, Uganda, Bermuda and South Africa. With the additions of all of these franchises there comes with it an air of expectation, so we have to step up our game and I think we have done so by introducing different new elements to the competition to keep it fresh.
For the first time we have given the UK contestants the chance to increase their chances of making the regional heats by being able to get people to vote for them and thus guaranteeing their place in the regional heats and taking away that element from the expert industry judges, however this would only be for the top 30 female and top 10 male models with the highest amount of votes received by 29th April.
We had some great meetings in South Africa and in 2011 we hope to launch the TMC reality TV show. So watch out as a lot is happening. O yea before I get myself into trouble I better update you on the latest appointments for tmc – Francis Litti Mboge is the new CEO for TMC Gambia and we have 5 beautiful TMC elite’s that are running TMC UK, Melanie, Tope, Amina, Pamela &Nenna, who are doing a great job with TMC UK and of course to Yemi Adegite (CEO Mahogany Africa), who is doing a great job expanding the franchise over in Africa.
As for the person saying they are doing TMC Australia, we are coming for you as you are illegally using our brand name, so people do not get involved as it is not a sanctioned TMC franchise. People are brazen or what, she actually took the exact words from our press release and used it on her illegal TMC profile.
TMC Nigeria - +234 807416 3355
TMC Gambia - +2207761911
TMC Holland - + 316 1122 7192
TMC GHANA – Info coming soon
London Fashion Week 19th to 23rd February is around the corner and are you getting ready for it? I am not sure if I am attending as I have so much to do. But then again maybe that is me posing as I suppose I really have to be there and check out what is happening. Yes I work in fashion but the funny thing is that, I am not actually into fashion or clothes. I tend to go because I like to see the production of the shows and how everything works.
How times have changed a few years back I could not get an invite for love nor money, but now I have become a miniature VIP (even if I am not I have to believe I am), now I get the odd occasional invite as I have friends like the BFC & Yolande of La Geneve North who sneeks me into the odd fashion show here and there.
British Fashion Council
We have had a number of meetings with the BFC about the lack of people of colour within the British fashion industry, this includes not just models but also designers and other creative’s.
A working group was setup by the BFC to look into the issues I raised and the current working group includes the likes of Baroness Lola Young (Freelance Arts and Heritage Consultant and Cross-bench Life Peer), Carole White (Founder, Premier Models), Caryn Franklin (Journalist, broadcaster and co-founder of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk), Helen Jennings (Editor, Arise magazine), John Walford (Show Producer and co-Director, Vauxhall Fashion Scout), Maame Baryeh (Director, Untold), Simon Chambers (Director, Storm Model Management), Yolande Letshou (Founder, La Geneve) and of course yours truly.
I think we are making inroads and it is hoped that within the next couple of months a smaller working group would be set up to get down to the specifics on how we tackle the issues head on, find funding and how to change the perceptions of mainstream fashion towards people of colour and I will be actively involved and will keep you updated on progress.
Africa’s biggest modelling competition will be taking place on the 6th February in Lagos Nigeria. This is an invitation only event and I hope to be there. The only problem is I DON’T HAVE AN INVITE, so my intention is that I will dress as a waiter and sneek into the show.
The good thing is that a number of the key movers and shakers within the fashion industry from across the world will be there and I know a few of them, like Yemi Osunkoya of Koshiba Creations and Koketso Chiepe who are each making a dress for a finalist and Helen Jennings the editor of Arise Magazine who is going to be a judge (she was a judge at TMC UK in the Gambia), along with Iman. So you can see I have a few people that I can share a seat with. If I do get in I will let you know how the show was, otherwise it sure is a long way to go for nothing.
Before I go, I have to talk about twitter (twittering) or whatever you want to call it. Can someone please tell me what this is all about and why people are so hooked on it? Ok, yes I have to admit that I have 3 twitter pages but I only tweet (can you see I know the lingo) when I have something worthwhile to say. I occasionally log on to see what is going on in the twittering world and I am amazed at the RUBBISH some people twitter about and the conversations that take place.
Some people seriously need to get a life – go out more, talk to people and stop hiding behind anonymity to talk rubbish. Finally be careful what you tweet about and putting your business out on the streets for everyone to read, especially those of you involved in catfights or are fighting your boyfriends in public.
I am copying some of these tweets and keeping them so that if you become famous or are running for office or something great I am going to sell them to every newspaper or magazine that will buy them – this is my pension plan. Be careful what you put out in the public domain as it may come back to bite you.
It’s a New Year, it’s a new decade and doesn’t time fly. I just want to throw out a series of questions for you to think about or answer.
- · Will 2010 be another Obama type year?
- · Who will win the British general election (yes I know boring)?
- · Will Nigeria be able to do a 50th independence celebration as good as Ghana did?
- · Who will win the world cup?
- · What will be in fashion this year?
- · Which entertainer will mess up – big time?
- · Who do you think will fall from grace?
- · What will you achieve by the end of 2010?
For the next section I need you to write in your own answers and post them on Facebook somewhere.
These questions are based on the past decade (2000 to 2009)
· What is your most memorable event over the past decade?
· Who is the person that has left the most memorable impression on you?
· Who is the best singer?
· Who is the worst singer
· Who is the best actor?
· Who is the worst actor?
· Who is the best realty star?
· Who is the worst realty star?
· Who do you think has made the most amount of money over the past decade?
· Best TV series?
· Worst TV series?
· The most disgraceful politician?
· The best politician?
· Your greatest achievement?
· Your biggest failure?
· The best sex you had and with whom (you can keep that to yourself if you wish)?
· Anything else you can make up?
It’s all about having some fun – may you have a credit crunch free new year and may all your hearts desires come true and may you achieve more than you have ever achieve more than you have ever achieved in your life.
O My, O My, O My what a year it has been and I have no real idea as to where to start, most people will say at the beginning but that is not me – so I will start at wherever I can remember.
Just to remind you the Mr Mahogany blog says it as it is, so I know some people will be upset with me but we all have to step up our game in whatever we are doing within the fashion and entertainment industry.
Obama – enough said.
“Black” Miss England?
Now was I pleased that Rachel Christie won Miss England and I felt proud that the first ever Black woman (I do not want to hear any rubbish about the light skin/black skin debate – she black, she black END OF), won Miss England and then it happened.
Whilst working with Face of Sleek in Nigeria I got a text from my good reporter friend (who remains nameless, cos he does not like publicity) informing me that Ms Christie had been removed as Miss England. Now forget roaming charges and all, I had no choice but to get the low down and was I disappointed when I heard the alleged reasons as to why she was removed.
I found out that she was “stripped of her crown after a blowup in which she was accused of clocking Sara Jones, the reigning Miss Manchester, at a porn-themed party”.
Read more I do not know if it is true or not but I must say that she has made history as having one of the shortest reigns as a Miss England ever (and she is black) – WHAT CAN I SAY?
Power List 2010
For those of you that do not know or are in the know for the past three years a magazine is published which lists Britain’s 100 most influential black people. I am pleased to say (hold on before you start thinking they listed me – read on) yours truly was featured (page 108) in an article entitled “the man who sold-out black vogue”. I am truly blessed to be featured in a magazine that features such prominent black people.
By the way I will be taking it up with the editors of the Power List as to why I did not make the top 100. I am not proud so I have no qualms in asking people to nominate me for the 2011 list.
However my question to you is besides ME, who else that is not featured should have made the list? Information on the Power List
EVENTS IN THE UK - we need to step up our game
Now this is where I start to get the hate mail, but I have to say what everyone (I hope is thinking). Why, O why, O why are there so many crap and badly organised events within the black fashion and entertainment community (I apologise to those of you that do good events).
In my job I am invited and have to attend so many events and on many occasions I do wonder why I bother to leave my house – besides the usual not starting on time and being badly organised, it seems that a lot of people are organising events for all the wrong reasons.
Over the past year I attended some events that I thought were high profile and I was highly disappointed (and I think it is best that I just leave you the public to give your own reviews) but following enormous amount of feedback that I received I have to say that the Zaffa Awards, the Beffta Awards and Miss Black Britain (I really hate the bad reviews I am seeing about this competition as it is a great concept) were among the most disappointing, mainly because they had the finances to ensure that they were of the highest quality.
For all three of these events they had the who’s who attend from the likes of American actress Nia Long to top Nigerian Nollywood actors such as Osita iheme,bobmanuel Udokwu, kenneth Okonkwo,Chinedu Ikedieze, Kanayo O Kanayo, Nkiru Sylivernus, Tony One week, Victoria Nyama, Dolly Unachukwu, Lancelot Imaseun, Andy Amenechi, Emeka Ike, Chinyere Winfred and at the Beffta’s the who’s who (including myself – yes I know I am bragging but nobody else considers me a who’s who so I might as well lobby to get the status - myself) attended.
I am not saying that we at Mahogany are perfect and I am sure there are lots of people that will say I am a fine one to talk and they may be right, but at the same time even at our event there are some basic things that always work, like starting on time and being organised. Mahogany may not have the greatest line ups in the world or attract celebrities etc but we are good at what we do which is producing shows.
The important thing here, is to do what you are good at and I have seen with some of the above shows that they are great at getting stars and celebrities to come and marketing their events but the most important thing they fall down on, which is making sure that people leave their show feeling that they got value for money and watched a good show. If you can’t do it yourself get someone else to do it for you – it’s not rocket science.
MAHOGANY PRODUCTIONS was set up for that primary reason which was to take away the strain of organising a show by leaving it to the experts. I am crap at getting celebrities to our shows or getting cash sponsorship but my track record shows that I can produce shows both for Mahogany and other clients that we have had around the world.
Before I finish on this topic I have one more gripe – WHY ARE THERE SO MANY BEAUTY PAGEANTS – seriously everyone s doing a pageant and like some of them are half empty, badly organised and have people contest in them that should not even be allowed to look in a mirror as it would crack at the lack of beauty they possess. My advice to some of the organisers of these different pageants is that they should come together and unite and pull resources and skills to organise one great pageant. Seriously how are you surviving, as there is no real money in pageants and very little cash sponsorship available.
I will however still judge at them if asked and still have the bored expression I normally have on my face due to the lack of talent. However I must say well done to Miss Uganda and Miss Ghana they both know how to put on a pageant – people look and learn, some of you think you are bigger than you really are.
Yes I am being a coward by not mentioning names of the bad pageants.
So What’s Up with Mahogany?
I won’t go over all what I said in previous newsletters and blogs but I will say that I am pleased to welcome Yemi Adegite on board as the CEO of Mahogany Productions (Africa) and in his short reign to date as CEO, we have already done shows in Nigeria and the Gambia, including the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Nigeria (ICAN) gala evening in Abuja as well as the Face of Sleek Nigeria and Top Model of Colour grand finale in the Gambia.
He is also in the process of setting up Mahogany Models in the Gambia, the Africa Bridal Week in South Africa, Uganda Fashion Week, TMC in Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Nigeria and I am informed that he has many more shows that we will be producing for clients from fashion to TV shows – so he does all the easy bits and then brings me in to do all of the hard work.
WHAT A LIFE!
You can contact yemi on +234 8074163355 or by EMAIL
Now people (besides the fact the Mahogany Productions was involved in producing the show), I must take my hat off to the Sleek Sisters Ebele & Ife Ugochukwu. They know how to put on a show, they were on point all the way and people in the UK trust me you can learn something from how Africans put on shows. They had a great team behind them including MOI such as Ndidi Obioha the events planner of events planners, Ebony, Darlington, Vicky (of Mahogany – a true diva) and my fantastic sleek assistant Mary Jane. Congratulations to the winner Makida Moka. And it was nice being mentioned and featured in City People, on TV and various other places and to the young contestant that did not know who the current president of the United States was – I hope you do know now and have found out that it was not Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Can’t wait till the next Face of Sleek Nigeria show 2010 – (PS it was great working with all of the sleek Contestants).
Top Model of Colour
I must say congratulations to Paula Okunzuwa and Emmanuel Ogunjinmi for winning TMC (UK). We took over 50 people from the UK to compete in the final.
History in the making hit the shores of The Gambia on 5th December 2009 at the Senegambia Beach Resort Hotel for the annual UK modelling competition, Top Model of Colour (TMC). After months of regional heats which saw over 4,500 models apply for the competition, the TMC competition saw over 30 models from around the UK being flown to The Gambia taking the modelling competition into the African continent for the first time ever.
TMC is known as being one of the UK’s leading modelling competitions for models of colour hoping to enter the competitive modelling industry, made even more so by the lack of models of colour on the international runways during fashion week and other big fashion shows that take place around the world.
Models from across the UK including London, Birmingham and Manchester flew into The Gambia for the show. In addition the contestants were honoured with a state house visit and meeting with the President of The Gambia: Yahya AJJ Jammeh and photo shoots in choice locations around The Gambia.
The finale was hosted by award winning UK comedienne Eddie Kadi & top Gambian TV Presenter Fatou Ndure and entertainment was provided by D3, Sing-a-Teh and top Gambian singer Mam Mbala and throughout the night the music was supplied by Homediggy.
The evening culminated with Emmanuel Ogunjinmi and Paula Okunzuwa walk away with the titles of Top Male and Female models of colour (2nd place Evita Dossou-Yovo, 3rd place Charlene Ashong, 4th place Pristyle Loko & 5th place Rachael Naome Nambozo. In second place for the men Emeka Okakpu & 3rd place Timothy Akinyemi). After having been judged on a range of abilities including runway walk, physique and understanding of the modelling industry. Industry experts on the judging panel included Arise editor Helen Jennings, leading British fashion entrepreneur Samata Angel and Yemi Adegite, CEO of Glasgow Fashion Week.
Judges for the different heats of the competition, which ran for months up to the finale in the Gambia had included international makeup artist Eryca Freemantle, Afua Acheampong, the acting editor of Black Hair Magazine, who both joined the troupe travelling to The Gambia and top Nigerian model Ibukun Jegede. The winners secured a contract with Mahogany Models which is sure to provide a launch pad for their respective careers within the modelling world. The competition also saw both commercial models and high fashion models given the opportunity to compete on an equal footing, assessing their potential within respective industries. Sola Oyebade, the founder of Mahogany Models and the Top Model of Colour competition is an influential figure within the British modelling industry and has worked tirelessly to secure a place for models of colour within the modelling industry.
Sponsors of the event included Fabecs Promotions, Africell and Global Properties.
New TMC (UK) Team
Due to the expansion of TMC worldwide TMC UK JOIN TMC UK GROUP has setup a new team to run and manage the franchise and these include
Pamela Masasi, Melanie Masona, Tope Owolabi, Amina Jadama & Azara Emenyeonu. We wish them all the very best of luck with TMC UK and making it an even stronger brand.
Mahogany Models is growing from strength to strength and getting more and more great clients. I will not say anymore as we are always talking about the agency.
I know this blog is dragging on and I have to stop now before you get even more bored, so I better end by wishing you all a very Merry Xmas and a fantastic new year and may all your hearts desires come true in 2010. (PLEASE SAY AMEN)
I would like to thank you all for all of your support and love throughout the year, without you we would not have been able to achieve all that we have.
I have finally decided that it is time to catch up with the rest of the modern world and start blogging, to be honest I have decided to go down this route because it is just easier than designing and writing a newsletter from my desktop - yes i am lazy.
To start with the blog will just update you on what has been happening in the world of Mahogany but as times goes on it will be far more informative providing you with reviews of the numerous shows that I attend around the world as well as giving my views and commentary on fashion and modelling related issues.
It has been a very eventful few months in the world of Mr Mahogany & Mahogany and this is going to be a long blog for sure.
In no particular order:
Two of our male models Olivier & Alemu modelled for the top menswear designer casely Hayford at London Fashion Week on menswear day.
This was great for Mahogany Models as it was the first time that we got male models into LFW.
Fashion Diversity - London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week at Museum of London
Fashion Diversity returned with 6 workshops, 5 catwalk shows over 3 days and all for free!
Back for its second year, Mahogany Model Management and Untold Design CIC presented this seasons Fashion Diversity at the Museum of London. Including an eclectic program of industry-led workshops, fashion shows and a student/ graduate competition brief that saw some of the UK’s most promising young designers stage a catwalk show to present their take on this years brief ‘The Proof of the Fashion is in the Garden’…
Mahogany Models Samira, Tanya B, Rosemary & Mimi featured in Fashion Diversity.
From the streets of Peckham, Spitalfields and Soho this years Fashion Diversity Honorary Awards were presented to Fashion Houses Gisella Boutique, Junky Styling & Nico Didonna. Established in obscure quarters of London, these designers have undoubtedly carved their mark within very different areas of the relentless and fast paced Fashion industry, and showcased a capsule collection as a snapshot in time of their design journey at this event.
It is with great pride that Mahogany won 3 out the 5 awards we were nominted for at the recently concluded Beffta Awards (BEFFTA stands for Black Entertainment, Film, Fashion, Television & Arts).
The awards ceremony took place at the luxurious Hilton Metropole Hotel on Saturday 17th October. Mahogany won awards for Best Modelling Agency (Mahogany Models), Best Events Promoter (Mahogany Productions) & Best Male Model (Ibukun Jegede).
Thank you to everyone for there support and for voting for us.
ICAN Show Nigeria
(Picture Insert MP team Deola, Ebere & Vicky)
I was recently in Nigeria producing a gala evening for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and trust me it was a show and a half with over 2000 people in attendance.
Even if I say so myself the show was hot and I had a great Mahogany Productions team supporting me which included Yemi - CEO Mahogany Productions Africa, Ebere - Events Manager, Vicky - Productions Manager, Linda - Backstage Manager & Deola my worn out hard working Production Assistant.
A big thank you to everyone in Abuja, Nigeria that supported us, we are looking forward to our next show.
Fashion TV Fashion Show
One of the highlights of London Fashion Week was having three of our models feature in the Fashion TV fashion show during London Fashion Week. Not only did our models feature in the show but Mahogany Models will be given credit as providing the models on the TV highlights of the show.
Well done to Vicky, Annaliese & Gervene
I was invited to be the head judge at the Miss Uganda/Miss World competition that took place in Kampala, Uganda.
It was a great show but there was a lot of controversy because we choose London based Maria Namira as the winner. the audience and the public in general felt that we should have chosen a Ugandan resident as the winner and not someone that resides in the UK. But you know me I will only choose whom I think is best and as there was a split decision among the judges I literally did have to cast the deciding vote. PS Uganda is definitely a country to go back too.
The first ever TMC Holland will be taking place in March 2010 in Amsterdam with auditions taking place in November & January. TMC is going places around the world.
The grand finale will be taking place on the 5th December in the Gambia and we will be taking over 40 people from the UK to compete in the finale, courtesy of the President of the Gambia and Fabec's Promotion.
Princess Diana Charity Fashion Show
Four of our top models Nana, Vicky, Evita & Rosemary will be modelling in the Finding Your Feet Fashion Show
Glam Show (31st October & 1st November)
Mahogany Models continues to break into mainstream fashion and we are providing models to this 2 day major lifestyle event, that is taking place at earls court and 3 of our models Jakadi, Crystal & Vanessa will be modelling over the two days for Untold & Environmental Justice Foundation at the show.
Nana one of our rising stars was the only model selected to feature in the Peace Week event that took place at Trafalgar Square and since joining us she has been one of our most popular models.
Nigerian Charity Show
Six of our best models featured in a top Nigerian Charity Show for a charity of Nigerian Doctors - they included Evita, Nana, Tanya B, Danubia, Laurette &Vicky and they wore clothes for 3 top designers which included Roor & Kosibah Creations.
MAHOGANY MODELS NIGERIA
then send an email with your pictures (head shot & full body shot), statistics (height, bust, waist, hips & age) to firstname.lastname@example.org
All model signed to the agency will join our international modelling website
FASHIONS FINEST JOIN US ON FACEBOOK
The Mahogany Models directory will soon be changing its name to Fashions Finest and will be a directory for all people of colour involved in the fashion world - models, creatives, photographers etc
It will have features and articles by top industry professionals, pictures and videos as well as reviews of fashion shows and events by MR MAHOGANY (who will be saying it as it is) it also aims to promote new, aspiring, emerging and established designers, models, MUA's Hair Stylist, Photographers etc
This will be "Creativity in Colour"
JOIN US ON TWITTER Fashions Finest
JOIN US ON TWITTER Mahogany Models
JOIN ME ON FACEBOOK Sola Oyebade
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I am so a man with so many hats and one of them includes doing film reviews for Fashions Finest TV and on Saturday 6th November I was dispatched to Planet Nollywood for the film preview of 'Natasha the prodigal' which is a Nollywood film produced in the UK by M and M Entertainment in conjunction with the Nollywood College of Arts UK and featured the film debut of Vanessa Adekola who is multi talented as she also wrote the script for this film.
The Story Line...
NATASHA de PRODIGAL is a true life story of a suddenly GOOD girl turns BAD, the ever so lovely highly talented and God fearing Natasha starts to do the unspeakable, putting her Dad's reputation into tumult and every youth in the community wants to be just like NATASHA. A good girl next door goes wild into the dark part of the world with the most powerful man in London (THE DON)
The Movie which was shot in Birmingham is full of Jealously, Glamor, Rivalry, Hatred, Suspect, Drugs, Backbiting, Mischievousness, Death, Bulling and many more
The Movie teaches the viewers to SAY NO to the use of DRUGS, GUNS and unpleasant ways to acquire WEALTH and FAME, The Stars of Natasha de Prodigal come from different UK based African countries like, Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Uganda, South Africa, Mali, Gambia and Jamaica.
MR Mahogany's View
It was definitely over acted and the script and the story line seemed disjointed at times and for future productions they need to work on the sound quality and bring in a high quality sound man. I would also say the same about the lighting which at times was poor.
I would recommend that they stick to industry standards and make the films no more than an hour and a half or an hour forty minutes, having parts one and two is never the best thing. The talent scenes were at times very devoid of people and it would be good if they brought in lots of extras and this is easy to do as people will always give their time for free to be in a movie and it would give some substance and reality to the talent scenes.
On the plus side the overall quality of the filming was good and I am confident that with time Vanessa Adekola will become a top Nollywood actress as she was one of the few that did not over act too much and seemed a natural actress. There were funny moments in the film but I am not sure if they were funny because they were meant to be or simply because they were silly funny.
I can't say it is up to the quality of the Figurine or Aje but for a low budget film it should be commended and I look forward to more films from M and M Entertainment and will closely follow the career of Vanessa Adekola.
I will end by saying congratulations as the movie has already been nominated for the Music Movie Screen Award by the Black International Film Awards.