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...
• Catwalk Shows
• Frock Exchange
• Honorary Awards
• Student Graduate Competition Final
• Cafe Information Exchange And more...
Now in its Third year Fashion Diversity returns with a new edge, new partner and a new and exciting venue! Applications open for designers wishing to showcase and/ or sell their collections at this three day event where London Fashion Week meets the London Design Festival. "Angel will be transformed into an eclectic hotbed of creativity for three days as Fashion Diversity pops-up"
Application forms can be obtained from:firstname.lastname@example.org
London Fashion Week 2010
London Design Festival Partner
Clothes Show Live...
The Untold London Boutique returns, a collaborative launch of a selection of the UK’s Untold design talent.
Untold supports emerging designers and enables them to showcase their work at London Fashion Week and other events in the course of the year. Untold ensures that designers are seen, heard and understood to make their vision a reality.
This is your chance to discover some real must-haves and one off garments and accessories. A treasure trove of originality, you will be sure to come away with some inspiration injected into your own fabulous personal style.
Don't miss the opportunity to meet the designer makers behind these new and emerging creative brands!
Designers include: Anya Wilkinson, Phoenix Boulevard, Afro-Chique, Alexander Longe, Maame Baryeh London and more…
Diaries of a Black Woman... by Benny Bonsu
If you are in the fashion or entertainment business and would like to be featured Email Deborah Fashions Finest Editor.
An African journey Jonathan Dimbleby...
It was very nice to see a positive spin on Africa and I think Jonathan Dimbleby should be commended on the 3 series programmes which sees him visiting various countries within Africa and talking about the industrious African people that he meets.
(courtesy of the BBC) “After four decades of reporting from the continent, Jonathan Dimbleby returns to Africa on a 7,000-mile journey to discover how it is changing. He starts his African journey in the capital of Mali, Bamako, the fastest-growing African city. Following the course of the Niger river, Dimbleby finds not a continent of beggars but of industrious people, some of whom go to extraordinary lengths to make a living, free-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...
WATCH TOP MODEL OF COLOUR UK
Then tell them to attend one of the auditions taking place in Sierra Leone, auditions are as follows:
19th June BO auditions @ Country Guest House
20th June KONO auditions @ Kono Hotel
21st June Makeni auditions @ Wusum Hotel at Apex
25th June Freetown auditions @ Old Skool Complex
So all those around those regions should turn up for the chance to grab this great opportunity and be the first ever Top model of Colour Sierra Leone. For further information and for detailed information on venues for the auditions: Contact Kadiatu Kamara : +232 (33) 10 84 30, +232 (77) 555550 Email: email@example.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
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...
Review of Mahogany Bridal Fashion Show
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS the bridal show is finally over.
I must be honest even though I have been doing this for 13 years, unfortunately it is the one show that we do that I really do not like doing. Yes I did say that and I will explain unlike TMC, Fashion Diversity or other shows that we do, the bridal show is the one show that no matter what you do or how hard you try people will criticise you and do everything they can to tear the show down – now hold on don’t get me wrong you know I have a big mouth and say it as it is, so at the same time I should be man enough and take as good as I give BUT the bridal show is only being done each year because there is no other African Caribbean specific bridal show in the UK and I feel that it would be sad to lose the only one we have, in addition it is not financially beneficial to Mahogany in anyway shape or form so just from a business perspective alone I should not be doing it and as I said above it is the one show that no matter what we do we are just bombarded with a variety of negative feedback. Yeah I know I am feeling sorry for myself and possibly it’s that time of month for me.
So I have to review my show and this is of course very hard to do as I must be objective and give both sides of the story. The review is based on feedback and emails and texts that I have received – as I have not obtained permission from some of the people to give there feedback publicly I will not include their names plus one or two were anonymous anyway (why do people do that, no one is going to kill you if you give your name and it proves your motive for the feedback was fair and true and there was no agenda behind it). I have inserted feedback below and at the end I have given my personal review.
Matthew from FLYER said: “The range of designs showcased today was spot-on. There was a touching moment when Tarell McIntosh, 15, student winner of Fashion Diversity received a standing ovation for his unique and personal collection introduced as ‘A Dress for the Cultural Bride’.
Tarell said; “Today was about the Mahogany Bride, I’m not here to showcase western-fashion, the whole point is to accentuate the Mahogany Bride in its full entirety. It’s also my intention to bring African design and ideology to the forefront of my collection.
“It was a good nice for us, in that we loved where we were positioned and it was a good experience.”
“I was happy with the show it was fantastic”
“The feedback about the fashion show from the members of the public that visited our stand was very very very poor, l almost wished l could have attended for myself, in terms of constructive criticism for this area l cannot say as it was negative hear say”
“Well, you said that i would have a good reaction...You weren't wrong!! I had more than a few screams and loads of; "is it real?" "is it mechanical?" "that's incredible!" Infact i had a lot of great comments and gave out over 150 cards.”
“Thanks for having me working on your show today, I really enjoyed it and your team was very good and friendly to work with also. I saw bits of the show and it was a really good turned out, wow! so many people. It was a really good showcase though. I loved it!”
“Thanks for the invite yesterday, I thought the show was excellent.”
“Overall as I said things went better than expected, usually there is an association with black run organisations and events to be very late and very unorganised and unprofessional but I felt your work at Mahogany proved this perception wrong and I would be happy to recommend it to other designers and exhibitors i know.”
In terms of the fashion show for me was one of the best for the variety of the clothing that was on display which was excellent, nice to also see some new style men's suits which I felt has been lacking in the last few shows.
This was better than the last year, not sure that venue is the right for vendors as it not big enough and we all know customer like to see variety. I am also aware its a cost factor, but maybe a bigger venue with more vendors at a price that will pull in more vendors will work, maybe a big sponsor will also could help with this, it's really a number game at the end of it, but I am sure you have already thought about this already and the current financial climate is not helping matters.
This is the anonymous email we received and I think as a review it is important that you read it in its entirety.
“I attended the 2010 Wedding show, and this e-mail is to voice my disappointment in both the lack of exhibitors and the actual bridal show.
I came to this event with high expectations, only to be disappointed. You billed this as 'the largest African Caribbean bridal fashion show in Europe' and that you primarily focuses on the fashion element of getting married from wedding dresses to accessories and includes a small number of exhibitors that cover the other areas of getting married such as photographers, wedding planners, cake makers, makeup artists etc.
The bridal show seem to be targeted at ensuring that your sponsors were looked after rather than your paying public. To be told that the 'Wedding Show' would be starting at 1.00pm for it to start at 1.45pm was totally unacceptable and showed a lack of respect for your paying guests.
I understand things running late, but to be 45 minutes late by any stretch of the imagination is just amateur and does not reflect well on your organisations skills.
In addition, no one made any effort to find extra seating for the people that ending up standing, after having to stand up outside waiting to get in. I heard lots of other guests comment and complaint about the lack of 'bridal' wear shown, and if wasn't for the entertainment of Justin playing, your show would have been a complete flop. The audience around me were actually laughing about the dresses falling off the models, and the lack of bridal shoes being worn by the models. I felt embarrassed and found it hard to watch the show.
We attended this show last year, and expected this years to show an improvement or at least to be to the same standard. Little did we know that this year would be a shadow on last years event. I've attended other events at the Holiday Inn, Coram Street, but don't think that this venue was really appropriate. Be rest assured, we will not be attending another of your shows, and will let other people know of our disappointment in what is suppose to be the 'largest African Caribbean' bridal show. The exhibitors themselves tried hard, but I suspect they themselves were disappointed and if they actually got many referrals out of the day would be a surprise.
I suspect that probably you might not receive many e-mails like this one, as most people probably will not take the time to bother to let you know, but if everyone I spoke too and everyone I heard comment on what a total waste of time this was took the time to tell you so, you would probably realise that you really need to ensure you pay more attention to the details when putting together an event that you are asking people to pay for. I can attend Wedding Fayre's any weekend all across England for which I do not have to pay and I will see better performance on stage and a more varied and inspiring range of bridal wear, as we were attending a 'Bridal Show'
If its just your aim to produce a film that can be shown on Wedding TV and to promote your models say so, so that people attending know exactly what it they are coming for.
Disappointed from Berkshire.”
My Review: Mahogany is not perfect and the same way I may have a go about other shows I will do the same about Mahogany shows.
Besides the fact that I have no idea why I do a show I do not really enjoy, I must be honest and say that we had some Whitney Houston X Factor issues during our first fashion show but these were ALL resolved for the second show which I think ran perfectly. For those of you that know Mahogany we do not do late, for the bridal show we never ever give a time when the shows will start cos you know if I did they would start on time – the approximate time for them to start is 1.30 and 4.30 – never ever at 1pm. The 1.30 show did start a bit late due to a health and safety issue that had to be resolved, but bearing in mind we never said when our fashion shows would start by my definition we were not late. A lot of you reading my blog may not know Mahogany very well and as such even though you read the next bit it may not seem relevant but Mahogany is all about promoting goods and services for people of colour and we know that brides go to many bridal fashion shows and see nothing but white wedding dresses day in and day out and we want to give brides that attend our show something different so we actively sort out alternative wedding dresses and designers that were bold and brave enough to present an alternative. I guess you can see for some people, that did not go down too well.
People don’t get me wrong I love feedback good or bad but I do get pissed when African Caribbean shows are held to a higher standard than other shows and as soon as we allegedly mess up people purposely go out and speak bad about you or want to run you down “Be rest assured, we will not be attending another of your shows, and will let other people know of our disappointment” when we should be supporting each other, by giving feedback and with your support we can work on improving things.
Well just like I have been doing for the past 7 years next year I will once again be saying to myself I am not looking forward to doing the show and may make the decision not to – we will see. I would like to thank all the exhibitors, designers, models, volunteers, Mahogany staff and everyone that attended or sent us good luck messages as well as everyone and there were a lot of you that took time out to talk to me and say great show etc and also to everyone that gave feedback good or bad.
Why is it so hard for a Black Woman to find a Good Black Man?
I was going to talk about this but the blog is getting to long – so I will talk about this in my next blog.
News In Brief:
Top Model UK
The Top Model UK competition, which is the equivalent version of Top Model of Colour took place on the 13th 14th March at the Hilton Metropole London and our current Top Model of Colour Paula (TMC 09) and our previous winner Vicky (TMC 08) were invited to attend both events as VIP guests and also to open the show with a small presentation on the first day of the competition. Even if I say so myself the models looked stunning in outfits provided to them by Veronique B Couture. They really had fun and were definitely the centre of attention of all of the film crews, press and guests.
Bold Beautiful Seminar Workshops (Nigeria)
LtoR Mary Jane (Top Sleek makeup artist) Makida (Face of Sleek Nigeria) Paula (TMC)
Paula (TMC) was invited to Nigeria to attend and participate in a workshop, seminar and fashion show aimed at young people wishing to get involved in the fashion industry. Whilst in Nigeria she met up with top designers and makeup artists as well as meeting Makida Moka the current Face of Sleek Nigeria. Paula is having a lot of fun as the current Top Model of Colour.
MOAN OF THE DAY...
Normally I have just one moan of the day but I am sorry I have to extend it today as there are just some things going on that WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT IT.
Can You Sing?
Singing is becoming like modelling, everyone no matter how bad their voice is believes they can sing. X Factor and American Idol aside, which we all love to watch the fools trying to sing to get their 5 minutes of fame, I can understand. BUT BUT BUT there are toooooooooo many people out there that are soloist or have formed groups appearing on stages and at shows attempting to sing and I use the word attempting very loosely. Now you ALL know someone that you have heard sing that you have been unable to be honest with and tell them that they cannot sing to save their life, if they were told that if they sang well they would win a million pounds, there would be very few millionaires.
I have decided that I will be lobbying my MP to bring in new legislation that will enable us to sue or have people arrested that sing in public when they cannot sing, it must become a criminal offence so that we do not have to sit through 3 to 6 minutes of torture and why is it that those that cannot sing always do 3 to 4 songs and the ones that can sing only sing twice. Maybe I am just bitter and twisted cos I have no talent at all and wished I could sing – but if I am saying something that makes some sense wherever you are just say YEAH YEAH.
Stop Crying on TV
I don’t know about you but this crying on TV stuff is now starting to get on my nerves. Every time I watch a reality TV show I see people crying from the mum, dad, sister, uncle, shopkeeper, cat, dog – EVERYONE for no apparent reason. Now explain this to me your son or daughter is on one of these reality TV programs and you are doing your interview that will be shown during the program and you are talking about how proud you are of your child (no problem with that) and then you talk about the day you were pushing them on the swing when they were 3 years old and you start crying (grown arse men – excuse my language just trying to emphasise a point) WHY, how is that something to make you cry about? Hey, by you crying it is not going to make me vote for your child, I will vote for them because they have talent not because I hear a soppy story. Men are crying more than the women nowadays, is this all about finding their feminine side, if that is the case some of them have moved 100% over to their feminine side – MAN UP.
If you want to score some points – when you are with your girlfriend or wife look her in the eyes and start crying and say to her that “just looking at you and being in love with you brings me to tears” – trust me you will score lots of points and may get some as well.
Simon Cowell - Wanna Be Girls
I am a big American Idol fan but not so big an X Factor fan (only because I believe that X Factor is more of a popularity contest than a singing competition - Leona Lewis and Alexander Burke aside), but have you noticed that on X Factor Cheryl Cole is always rubbing up to Simon Cowell and every time the camera’s are on her she is found whispering in his ea or rubbing up to him. Now when I saw that for a couple of seasons back, I thought it was just one of those things and it was Cheryl being Cheryl but to my dismay Kara DioGuardi (I just had to go on Google and check out her name for some reason I can’t get my head round her name), is doing exactly the same thing as Cheryl Cole.
Do they feel that by doing this they will get more media attention or that he will give them more work as it sure won’t be anything else as it seems the man is about to get married, rumour has it that it will be the weekend of September 11th.
Hey ladies go make your own fame, be a judge in your own rights and leave Simon alone
O well at least he has nothing to worry about from Ellen DeGeneres.
Men and Facebook
Now I am not a woman as you all know, but ladies I have full and total sympathy for what you go through on Facebook and can understand why some of you lie about your relationship status. Now as some of you may know if you visit my Facebook page you will see that I have profile pictures sometimes of woman on it. Now for those of you that are educated or take the time to read it, you will know that they are primarily adverts about shows that we are involved in and most times will contain a picture of a beautiful model within the advert. However I am inundated with emails and chat conversations from men wanting to chat me up.
HELLO firstly, you do not know me so why are you emailing me saying “hi beauty”, hi sexy I want to get to know you”, “I am the man of your dreams”, “lets get to know each other better”, “you look so beautiful in your profile picture and I am looking for a wife” – I could go on and on. Now I have no problem with men trying to chat up someone they do not know on Facebook as that is there choice but at least do some research first be sure that you are talking to a woman and why not start slowly as opposed to jumping in the deep end and drowning.
I love it when I chat back or email them and say “I am a man” – utter silence follows, only one fool ever came back with a retort saying “than why do you have a woman on your profile picture” but as I said above uneducated and did not read the advert but maybe to be fair to him the writng was in Dutch.
Guys that are doing this seriously GET A LIFE OR DO IT WITH STYLE!
Be good and take care – tomorrows another day!
WATCH TOP MODEL OF COLOUR UK
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 called “Welcome to Lagos” which was shown on BBC 2 (if you missed it CLICK HERE to watch it on BBC iplayer).
The programme is described as “This extraordinary three-part observational series explores life at the sharp end of one of the most extreme urban environments in the world: Lagos, Nigeria. Today, more than half the world's population live in cities, and this eye-opening series shows what life is really like in the toughest parts of the world's fastest-growing megacity. With extraordinary access to some of the poorest parts of town, the series celebrates the resilience, resourcefulness and energy of Lagos's 16 million or so inhabitants, and shows how successfully many of its slum-dwellers are adapting to the extreme urban future.”
The debate is as follows – Is it that everything black is only about being poor, crooked or dirty?
This programme is about Lagos, Nigeria in Africa but there have been similar programmes on Jamaica, Ethiopia, African Americans and Black British people and unless I have not been to spec savers recently it just seems to be that anything black never seems to be shown in a positive light. There have been similar programmes done by the likes of Ross Kemp’s filming on gangs and he also did a programme on Nigeria and other squalid black areas around the world and they all had they same theme, everything Black is about being poor, bad or dirty.
I am not saying that Nigeria does not have slums or poverty and the same applies to Kingston (Jamaica), Rio de Janerio (Brazil), South Central, LA or Harlem (USA) but at the same time the question must be asked that how come they never do documentaries on the good parts of these places, how come they never show the beautiful houses that have been built or the great cars that are driven or the beautiful opulent weddings and shows that are produced or the educated people that are contributing to the development of their respective countries and when I say we, I refer to all black countries.
It frustrates me that when black people are portrayed, their countries are always shown in a very negative light or they are shown as fraudsters, drug dealers, muggers, hoes, living in abject poverty and begging for hand outs and require the western world to come in and save us, I could go on and on – I know they say the colour black represents evil and bad things but they do not need to take it literally and always show us in a bad light.
I think the BBC would have done the programme more justice and it would have been more balanced if out of the 3 programmes they at least did one that showed how the other half of Lagos lived and showed the gap between rich and poor. All I can say is thank God for Nollywood movies because at least in some of them you get to see that Nigeria is not just about abject poverty.
It would be interesting to know your views on this, whether you be white, black, oriental or whatever, do you see things the same way as the BBC and agree that the best way to initiate change is to show the negative sides of black countries or is this just a true reflection of the black society across the world. On the other hand is it that the BBC and other programme makers are just playing to the colonial mentality that if we wish to keep the black man down we must give the world the impression that black people are living in the 18th century and are in desperate need of the modern western world to come in and save us and this can only be done by showing half truths?
I am sure you can all remember the Nigerian “pants bomber”, we produced one stupid pants bomber and we as a nation get put on the terrorist watch list, the UK allegedly produced the shoe bomber and a number of other alleged terrorist and they are seen as partners in the fight against terrorism. So even though it is unfair to Nigerians as a nation, power within the media is not in our control and as such we will always be faced with these negative stereotypes.
It is a worthy debate but I also believe that there is now the opportunity to produce our own versions of such programmes that show us in a different light (and I think that Ghana has gone a long way in doing this), it is important for the likes of HiTV, AIT, Ben TV and other independent black owned TV & film producers to lead the way.
I will stop here as I am dragging on and its getting boring but don’t just ignore it, talk about it, comment on It, start debates on Facebook etc and lets push for a more fairer representation on BLACK – not everything black is poor, bad and dirty.
As you can see from above I am in a bit of a sour puss mood and I am just about to get into an even worst mood when I think about the purple ball.
Now you all know that I review shows that I am invited too and that I attend, but this is a show with a difference as I am about to do a review on a show that did not even take place. This is not a typing error I am reviewing a show that DID NOT TAKE PLACE...
About 2 years ago I was a producer on a show called “the Big Search” and this was aired (if you can call it that) on one of the sky channels and put very mildly even though we had some great content and footage, the final production was not very good and had to be taken off the air (THANK GOD). Anyway I digress but as part of the show the executive producer was meant to do an after event for all of the crew, contestants, judges and anyone else that wished to attend, but just like the show it did not take place that year but was scheduled to take place on Friday 9th April 2010.
Yes you guessed it, after lots of publicity and a lot of hype and people running around London looking for purple outfits to wear, it did not take place. Now as a show producer I understand that shows for a variety of reasons get cancelled but listen to this, the organiser knew that it was not going to take place nearly 3 days before the scheduled event and she did not tell anybody. It just so happens that at 5pm (show meant to start at 6pm), on the day of the event I get a text not from the organiser but from a friend who had found out by accident that the show had been cancelled. No text or email or message from the organiser and to make matters worse she allegedly failed to inform the caterers that the event had been cancelled and they showed up at the venue with over £2000 worth of food for non existence guest and no event.
Now tell me is that not wickedness, if you have known for a while that you could not afford to pay for the venue and that you would have to cancel, would you not have the common decent courtesy to text and phone around and let people know it is cancelled and by putting up a message on Facebook an hour before the event does not cut it, how many people read Facebook when getting dressed or on their way to an event.
I guess you have realised that I was pissssssssssssssssssssssssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeed & so was everyone else that I had to inform to turn back and go home as the event was cancelled. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER & do not take peoples niceness or silence to think that we are fools to be treated with disrespect.
News In Brief:
There are only 14 days to enter Top Model of Colour and I believe that if you don’t buy a lottery ticket you can’t win the lottery, so you have to be in it to win it. CLICK HERE TO ENTER
Police brutality (Allegedly)
Watch the video and decide for yourself are they stupid or what...
When will the police ever learn, it just seems that the police want to play into the public’s perception of them, that they are ALL STUPID. You know and I know and everyone else knows that nowadays there are CCTV cameras everywhere and people have tiny little camera phones and video recorders that can film things and they can post them on the internet within seconds and ensure that it is featured around the world. Did they honestly believe that they could beat a person in the open in front of 100’s of people and think that no one would film it daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh – remember Rodney King.
So how did these Maryland cops believe that they could beat a poor innocent student and think it would not be filmed and they even had the audacity to lie in their official police report and say that the student attacked them first.
Somebody is about to lose their job and the city is about to make this young student extremely rich.
Black women’s single seminar
I entered the lion’s den and I survived. I believe that I should be awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry while under intense enemy fire. For those of you saying what is the big deal, you try and go to a seminar filled with 100 SINGLE BLACK WOMEN, trust me one black woman is hard enough to handle, but 100 that is intense enemy fire.
It was a very interesting afternoon with the women asking the panel of men (about 14 of us including my good friend photographer extraordinaire Jason Grant) and they asked us a variety of questions ranging from why are more and more black men going out with white women, do black men think black women are hard work and they also wanted a definition of what black men mean when they say they are “single” compared to a woman’s definition of being single.
I know that you want me to give an insight as to my responses to the above (which were funny, but factual and well received) but you should have been there.
But trust me a woman’s definition and a man’s definition of being single vary tremendously. Excuse me, why are you going on, I said I am not giving the definition - ok ok I might in a later blog and let you into the big secret.
MOAN OF THE DAY...
To be fake or not to be fake
How many times have you seen a friend carry a Gucci or Fendi bag or a dude wearing a pair of Versace glasses and you say to them are they the real McKoy and they slightly hesitate (the sure giveaway that they are fake), they quickly recover and say of course they are real forgetting that they bought them the other day from the pound shop or for those slightly more upmarket from East Street or Dalston Market.
I am not into designer stuff (when people say that it is either cos they are too bush and could not tell DESIGNER from DESINER or simply like me cos i am too cheap, can’t afford it or sometimes it just seems silly paying enormous amounts of money for a designer shirt or suit). To make matters worse besides the Gucci’s and Versace’s of this world that think people would only buy their expensive stuff if they put their name everywhere repeatedly, like putting it once is not enough as we all can’t read, the only way that you can know that it is designer is by reading the label that you can’t even see. It kills me when I see guys wearing a designer suit and they refuse to cut off the label that is on the sleeve of the suit, just so that they can let people know they are wearing a designer suit or you have a lady that has a designer bag and every minute she is going into the bag to find something that does not exist in the hope that someone will notice and say “is that a Gucci bag, how much did you buy it” etc etc
I don’t understand that when you can hardly afford to put petrol in your car of buy credit on your phone you are prepared to go and spend a whole month’s salary to buy that designer outfit or fake real hair (something just does not ring right with that, you are buying real hair but it’s not yours so it is really fake hair but you call it real hair), this is a subject for another day, as ladies we must get into this.
People with real class don’t need to advertise they are wearing designer outfits, class will always show through.
Do I want to talk to you?
Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh today is a day of frustration. You are at home just finished cooking and about to sit down and watch Eastenders, Coronation Street, Holyoaks, American Idol, the Simpsons or Magic Roundabout (that was for the ladies) or for the guys you have driven many miles using your last spare cash to buy petrol to go and see your babe in the hope that you may get some and then the phone rings and you look at the caller ID and it is a good friend or family member but no one important so you decide to ignore it as you really want to just chill and watch TV or start the mating process with your babe. But what happens it rings again, now for the woman, life is not to bad (just irritating) as you put it on silent and hope that the person will send you a text or leave a voice mail and you will come back to them later but for the man he is beginning to sweat, cos guys you know how it is, your babe is asking you “ why are you not answering the phone or who is it that keeps calling you” – but you know that you dare not answer the phone and you start to pray silently – please Lord let this girl not call again – but what happens she does – every two minutes and you know that you can kiss getting some goodbye.
My point is this – if you call someone once, twice or thrice and they do not pick up the phone it means that they are either busy, on the phone, getting their groove on or very simply THEY DO NOT WANT TO SPEAK TO YOU – get the message and send a text, leave a voicemail of just go away. You calling a 100 times is not going to make them answer the phone – o yeah by the way don’t then get smart and call them back withholding your number or using someone else’s phone.
If they don’t pick up the phone there is a reason why they are not answering - so stop calling!!!!!
Be good and take care – tomorrows another day!
Ladies, Ladies. Ladies, I know I said I would talk about why it is hard for a black woman to find a good black man, but please I was not expecting to be inundated with emails and text messages that I must hurry up and send out the blog.
I was intending to send out my blog next week after I had sat on the panel entitled “single black female? How to find the right black man for you” being held by Des O'Connor on Saturday 10th April, but due to unprecedented demand I am having to send out my blog early. Now having seen the response to my earlier blogs I am seriously worried that I am setting myself up to be crucified. So here goes....
Why is it so hard for a Black Woman to find a Good Black Man?
I have a LOT of female friends and in my day to day life I work with a lot of women and as a young black man (yes I do consider myself young, so no funny comments please), I am continuously asked by woman of all ages that where are all the good black men and why can’t “I” find one? Well you know me I am going to say it as it is and some of you will agree with me and some of you will send me an email or text telling me about myself, as Simon Cowell would say it’s only an opinion.
It would take me forever for me to explain everything in a long essay style blog and I do not have the time to write a thesis on this subject so I will put it down in bullet point form.
According to Oprah Winfrey 70% of African American women are single and it is believed that the percentage of black women in the UK that are single is of a similar percentage.
WHY? Could it be because...
· Their are more black women than black men?
· Their are a high percentage of black men in jail?
· Their is a high incidence of mental health problems among black men?
· The pool of available black men is further reduced by the number of black gay men their are?
· They say all the good men are married?
A large percentage of black men are now dating Caucasian women, further reducing the pool of black men available to black women?
Black women are considered too aggressive, have attitudes and no longer ready to be the woman in a relationship?
Black women do not in significant numbers date outside of their race?
A good percentage of black men don't have a job and as such are not considered as good catches for the well to do black woman? Not to mention Black women generally do not marry beneath their social status unlike men. Let me explain – nowadays as a whole black women are doing better socially and economically than black men. A black man that is a chief executive of a multinational could walk into Tesco’s and see a woman that he likes, woo her and marry her. However the chances of black woman that is a chief executive of multinational or any type of company marrying a dustbin man is significantly reduced.
BUT WAIT - it is further compounded by the fact that the well to do black woman is further competing with the black woman that she feels is not well to do like her, as when it comes to men all women are equal chief executive, student or check out girl, who really cares. so the well to black woman is competing on all of the above as well as with all black women of all social classes ( races)
Ok looking at the above there is not really anything controversial in the points raised as they are just the facts as to why it is hard to find a good black man. Simply put, because the numbers do not add up, more woman than men equals a shortage of black men. But where it does get a bit controversial is the issue that raises its ugly head over and over again as to why are black men dating white women and further decreasing the number of available good black men.
How many times as a woman do you watch TV or look in a magazine and say to yourself that successful black man, I bet he is going out with a white woman? Now don’t even think about denying it as I know that even if you have not done it yourself you have friends that have. Trust me I have heard it many a times and have myself been accused of dating or even it was expected that I was married to a white woman. For the record I have never dated or been out with a white woman in my life, they are lovely women but I just believe in “the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice” and I have to say my own AMEN to that.
Anyway back to the subject at hand, I know that it riles black women up the wrong way when they see famous sports stars, politicians and movies stars dating or marrying white women. Now it would be unfair for me to single out anyone in particular but I would leave that for you to come up with your own examples.
BUT why do black men both of status and the ordinary man now seem to prefer to date white women, is it because they will progress further in their careers with a white woman on their arm, it is alleged that this was the reason for Tiger Woods marrying his wife or is it because black women are WAY TOO stressful and black men can’t deal with the stress a black woman or could it be because the black women has become to independent and claims “I don’t need no man” and black men are now saying if thats how you feel than you can be bad all by yourself. (I blame Beyonce for this "Independent Women, Single Ladies (put a ring on it), Say My Name (now that is a good one to throw in there - I wonder what your response is to that one is), she has stirred up a revolution, but all you single ladies while you are singing the words to some of these tracks she is married and you are not, so be careful about how you throw these words in mens faces (just a friendly piece of advice).
I was actually thinking that I would comment on all of the above but I love my life and I already get accosted about different aspects of my blog and I am not in a position to afford 24 hour round the clock protection, so I will leave you to debate it.
I am not offering a solution/s but the one thing I would say is that if you find a good black man, do not automatically tar us all with the same brush, that we are all worthless, two timing no good players, no job black men, that have 50 babies from 70 different women (yes I did say 50 70) just trying to over emphasise how black men are perceived.
The other thing ladies is LET IT GO, yes in your past some men will mess you about and mess you up emotionally, may even rip you off and leave you deserted at the alter but that does not mean that the new man in your life must pay for the sins of the man before the man, before the man. Every man is different, LOVE IS A GAMBLE, some you win and some you lose. Also sometimes it worth remembering that when you point a finger at a man three fingers are pointing back at you as not all black women are perfect.
On that note I am swiftly moving on, hopefully with my life still intact.
News In Brief:
Top Model of Colour Holland
Top Model of Colour Holland took place on 27th March 2010 at the World Fashion Centre and it was a fantastic show, I was extremely impressed by what I saw and I must say well done to Monica Van Halder (TMC Holland Franchisee owner) and her brilliant team on the great show they people together (nearly said amazing, a word I hate as it is over used).
MARIANA VERKERK - Catwalk Coach van of Benelux Next Top Model
RON STAM - Fashion Photographer
DIONNE POOL - Model
TESSY VAN EERDEWIJK - L'Oreal, AMANDA RIJFF - Make-up artist, SOLA OYEBADE - CEO TMC International CEO Mahogany Models
Black Does Not Sell
Everywhere I go I am told over and over again whether it be within the modelling and fashion industry or within TV and film, that Black does not sell and I have always thought that it was just a UK thing. I just happend to be watching the OSCAR award winning actress Monique, on her chat show and she was doing a Soul Food reunion and she spoke about the fact that within the American film industry, producers do not like to make black films as black does not sell and she was saying that was a load of rubbish and I totally agree with her and I think tyler Perry is testimony to the fact that black does sell as via his “black films” he has become one of the richest men in the American film industry, the same goes for the owner of BET, Oprah Winfrey, Denzil Washington, Will Smith etc, these are all black actors that have made their Hollywood producers 100’s of millions of dollars.
So people stop using that weak arse excuse to stop giving us work etc as for the companies that do make the move to add a bit of colour to their adverts it seems to be working for them for example look at the new Marks and Spencers campaign, Matalan, Halifax, Sandanter and the likes of GMTV that have been using black models during their fashion segments, they have not lost business because they use black models.
A Black Woman Wrote the Matrix (Read Believe):
New York, Nov 11 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Sophia Stewart an African American who claimed to be the author of The Matrix will finally receive her just due from the copyright infringement of her original work, as the copyright case is finally settled in court.
A six-year dispute has ended which involved Sophia Stewart, the Wachowski Brothers, Joel Silver and Warner Brothers. Sophia Stewart’s allegations, involving copyright infringement and racketeering, were well received and completely acknowledged by the Central District of California, where the Judge Margaret Morrow was presiding.
Sophie Stewart had filed her copyright infringement case 10 years ago, in 1999, after viewing the acclaimed movie Matrix, which she felt had been based on her manuscript, ‘The Third Eye,’ copyrighted in 1981. In the mid-eighties Stewart had submitted her manuscript to an advertisement placed by the Wachowski Brothers, requesting new sci-fi works, which could be later made into a movie.
According to court documentation, “an FBI investigation discovered that more than thirty minutes had been edited from the original film, in an attempt to avoid penalties for copyright infringement. The investigation also stated that ‘credible witnesses employed at Warner Brothers came forward, claiming that the executives and lawyers had full knowledge that the work in question did not belong to the Wachowski Brothers.’ These witnesses claimed to have seen Stewart’s original work and that it had been ‘often used during preparation of the motion pictures.’ The defendants tried, on several occasions, to have Stewart’s case dismissed, without success”.
Sophia Stewart’s released a press statement which said: ‘The Matrix Terminator movie franchises have made world history and have ultimately changed the way people view movies and how Hollywood does business, yet the real truth about the creator and creation of these films continue to elude the masses because the hidden secret of the matter is that these films were created and written by a Black woman…a Black woman named Sophia Stewart. But Hollywood does not want you to know this fact simply because it would change history. Also it would encourage our Black children to realize a dream and that is…nothing is impossible for them to achieve!’
Manchester United Fans - you laughed to soon:
Sorry I know a lot of you do not like me talking about football but I have just have too (also you will be amazed at how many woman are seriously into football).
It has been a tough long day with me being bombarded by Man U fans sending out jokes across the internet about the defeat that arsenal suffered at the hands of Barcelona. Yes to be honest we were well and truly beaten and our inexperienced, injury ravaged team was annihilated. I said it, so there is nothing else that need be said on that.
BUT to all the Man U fans you should have at least controlled your teasing and jokes till you were certain that you had qualified, but you did not and the law of karma came into play and what happened you got knocked out by a German team even though you were winning 3 NIL, I repeat 3 NIL and you still got knocked out.
Remember he who laughs lasts, laughs best - I say no more....
MOAN OF THE DAY...
We Pay Too Much Tax:
I believe that in a well managed modern day society it is important that we pay tax to contribute to the maintenance of our society, so that roads can be repaired, our rubbish collected and hospitals and schools built etc but hello if I work a whole month, am I not entitled to have some money left over the day after pay day.
I have to preach here (now imagine that I am on the pulpit of an African American Baptist church) and as I say each sentence I am dragging my words, emphasising them, with highs and lows, with a little bit of harmony, and a strong southern drawl American accent and you can be the congregation and throw in the occasional “amen”, “I hear you”, “preach pastor Sola” etc (no disrespect meant to real pastors), say whatever comes to mind. (ps I don’t know how to write it in words but the noise they make at the end of each sentence, I will be doing that) so if you know it say it – I will put thee dots at the end of the sentence so that you know where it comes in.
Everyday I gooooooooooooo to work and I work hard... toillllllllllllll to earn a living and take care of my famillllly and at the end of the day all I ask is to be paid... so I can payyyyy my bills and have me some fun...
But listen to me now... when I get paid... the government comes a knocking..., kicking down the door and demanding their dues... people are you hearing me... (somebody say amen), first its the tax man wanting his 25 to 50% income tax..., than its the council tax man wanting another percentage which comes to about another 10%... and everrrrrytime I go to the shops the bogey tax man takes another 17.5% in VAT... now I assssssssssssssssssk you, what am I left with, but hold on, I saiiiiiiiiiiidd hold on, as it does not stop there because my people, I said because my people, if you have a car you got to pay road tax..., you got pay tax everrrrrytime you put petrol in your car... now hear me now, i saiiid hear me now, on every litre of petrol that you buy, 80% of that has to go to the tax man... but hold on, wait a minute.... it does not stop there, as I have to pay to watch TV, yes I have to pay by force to watch TV as I have to get a TV license (and I no everyone has one – yeah right – my bad switched back into an English accent there). Does it stop there, no it does notttttttttttttttt... as you have to pay for all kinds of other things. is somebody hearing me? (come on now, say it loud and be proud and say i hear you Sola), you know what I am talking about, the dreaded words standing orders/ direct debits – o how I fear and hate the dreaded direct debits... direct debits for insurance this and insurance that, house insurance, car insurance, medical insurance, wife insurance, life insurance, contents insurance, dog insurance, school fees, sky, mobile phones... O how i could go and on but we don't have enough time otherwise I will be preaching forever...
O my lord I nearly forgot the most important payment after the tax man – your rent or mortgage payment, you sure don’t have any money left now!!!!!!!!!!!
Now after you have paid all of these – how much do you have left on the second day after pay day – NOTHING – that is why we all live on credit cards and loans and have no savings.
My suggestion on how to resolve this is move to another country, sad but true.
I HATE TAX BILLS - SOMEBODY SAY AMENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!
Be good and take care – tomorrows another day!
THIS IS A SPECIAL ONE OFF BLOG ONE THAT I WOULD LOVE YOUR COMMENTS AND VIEWS ON...
MODELS ESPECIALLY PLEASE DO COMMENT BUT WE WANT THE VIEWS OF DESIGNERS, BOOKERS, CASTERS ETC
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS HAS BEEN EXTRACTED AND COPIED IN FULL COURTESY OF CARMEN STUNNA JONES FROM HER FACEBOOK PAGE
I just woke up this morning and thought that I would air my views on the whole TF* thing. Personally I think it's unfair on the models that everyone (or at least most people) involved in a project get paid but the model doesn't?
It's not to say that you can't work for free EVER but if you know your skilled at your craft and the designer/photographer or whoever must think so too, to cast you in the project then why can't they compensate you for your time and efforts.
People complain that models are unreliable because they don't turn up on time...sometimes not at all but understand that the whole "Exposure" thing doesn't pay bills. Many talented and under appreciated models have other responsibilities that they need to take care of. How unprofessional is it to hire someone to work for you and not pay them.
When you're new to modelling it's Ok, even beneficial to work with people for free.Sites like Model Mayhem and Star Now are great places to get started. It helps build confidence and also gives you the chance to learn more about what really goes into making a great Editorial or a Catwalk model. You get to meet talented individuals who you can build lasting working relationships with and will definitely help you in the long run. Working for friends is good too. If everyone's free and want to go crazy on a Test shoot then fine...Get Creative! Those are the shoots that really make your Portfolio pop! Charity shows are fantastic too. A great way to do what you love and do it for a good cause!
For designers I think that when you don't pay your models, you tend to only find new models trying to gain experience sometimes diamonds in the rough, sometimes just rough and it isn't good for your business either. If your garments retail for over £200 you should have a model or models representing you that truly reflect that. I understand that if you're not an established designer/ photographer/ Make up Artist it may be difficult for you to find the resources to compensate your models and that's fair enough but if you have to cover travel expenses/food for a model who will take your brand to another level then DO IT! You'll appreciate it in the long run...
And to the models, we must take our share of blame in this, You've been working within the industry for a long time, perfecting your walks, your poses and excelling then after a year or so someone emails you out of the blue for a TFP shoot or show and you take it, in full knowledge that it won't benefit you then that's your problem, Can't moan about that...Oh apart from "Exposure" or "Networking opportunities", which in itself is a bit hit and miss because at a show the models arrive hours before everyone else, spending hours before the show rehearsing and prep'ing until the actual show after which you are often too tired to go and "schmooze"...You just wanna rest..because tomorrow you're gonna do it all over again!
You get what you put into anything... Hard work pays off in the long run. For freelance models, You gotta work twice as hard to get half the recognition so it doesn't help when you can't do what you love because you've gotta work part time at Topshop to get enough money to travel to get to castings/shoots or shows. That in itself is a vicous cycle. You can't model full time so you have to work part time, there's no such thing as a part time Supermodel! you miss castings and opportunities to move ahead in your career and you never really realise your full potential, Just becoming another pretty face who "Could have been"...
I love what I do but honestly I feel almost exploited at times because I put in all this hard work at shoots and shows often without even getting pictures or maybe finding a few on Facebook somewhere. Models can get a raw deal sometimes you know.
Models Stand up and be counted let people budget for you too! =) You can never really call yourself a model until it pays the bills so for many modelling is just a hobby. But for the few who actually want a career and not just Facebook fame get serious. I'm not saying anyone should run around like a Diva demanding your daily rate for a 1 hour shoot, but just ask for what you deserve.
I'd like to get views from other people from within the industry on what they think so please feel free to add your comments!
OTHER COMMENTS RECEIVED IN RELATION TO THIS TOPIC...
Comment by me sola
carmen as someone who runs a modelling agency and who has been fighting for change for many years now, i agree with your note 100%. The sad thing is that the models do actually have the power to make change.
If you all decided to no longer work for free - what do you think would happen? I totally disagree with the principle that if you are new to modelling one should model for free to gain experience - are we saying that when you get your first ever job, lets say in a supermarket or in an accountants office, they say well as it is your first job we will not pay you so you can gain experience - NO. So why should it b like this in the modelling world. We tell all of our models that once they have gained some experience, to stop doing unpaid work but most don't listen.
To be fair though on the other hand like with our bridal show we do not pay models to do the show but we only tend to use new models and we do lots of rehearsals and training with them and it should be noted that a number of models out there got there first start after doing our bridal show - which is big show and has been going for over13 years.
so Carmen i am with you on this and i say to ALL models out there YOU HAVE THE POWER to initiate change.
My view is this.... Designers 9/10 don't get paid to showcase at shows...so we can't pay for the models...or the models that do request payment, their prices start at £100, now if my collection consists of 7 outfits, that £700, then I have to pay for a make-up artist, that is around £40-60...so we are on around £760..then if I have to source shoes, that's another cost, and accessories is another cost. The concept of a fashion show is showcase your work to buyers or people who are interested in purchasing your work. Not just pure entertainment value, and if you have spent nearly £700 for one show, you can't afford to showcase at more than one show. That is if you have been asked to provide your own models. If the event organiser has provided models, then it is up to them. In the case of photoshoots,if I can get a model for free I will, because I have to pay the cost of the hire of the studio, which is around £150 for the day, then the photographer who could be around £100 for the day, then a make-up artist, a hair stylist, a wardrobe stylist, an assistant..it amounts up to a lot of money. Yes it should be about self-investment...but at the same time I work part time on the weekend to cover my bills, because it isn't that easy for me as a new designer to be selling out clothing...it truly doesn't work like that. Plus the fashion industry is a networking industry, you have to know someone to get somewhere, so it is a good chance to meet people if you work for free, its like work experience. And a lot of models in the UK think they are top/supermodel standard when they truly aren't!! A lot of models need to work for free to practise and find out what modelling actually consists of, the international models are killing the UK models right now, and its time UK models start to study intertional magazines and look at what is selling...that's my 2cents worth..
I think that models should initiate the change! I think that often people take models for granted because nowadays everyone thinks they are a model.
But I also think that if a designer can budget for everything else you should budget for your models as well because if they don't show up for your show/ shoot you'll lose more money in the long run having to re arrange things with other model/photographers etc..
I think that in the beginning, Yes it is a bit like work experience. You learn about the industry and find your niche or what works well for you. But there is a time when that period ends and if you are serious about your career you need to take the steps to make sure that you're not going to have to hold back because every opportunity you get you have to be "flexible" and forgo your compensation.
What I don't feel is fair is that a model will walk in a show be there morning till night learning the choreography, fitting, hair make up, waiting around, all those things, do the show and then you say Networking Time?!...As dedicated as I am I can only count a handful of times I've been able to come from backstage to talk to people in the audience since all I'm thinking about is how I'm gonna get home...I haven't been paid so I better catch that last train home!
I also agree that British models need to get up to par...A lot of models are claiming to be the best when their books don't really say much. I don't believe in al that Diva hype if you're great you're great, you don't have to tell anyone...They'll know it. But I still think the UK is bringing out some great girls.
I do work but I find that I miss out on a lot of opportunities because I can give my modelling career my full efforts. Unlike other professions, Modelling has an expiry date. younger models enter the industry and you get moved on without ever having the chance to really become one of the greats. Not everyone can be an Iman or Naomi Campbell but there are plenty of opportunities for black models to become successful.
I think we should all start to appreciate each others efforts and support new talent in anyway we can. it's hard enough being a model but to be a black model is even harder. Being paid isn't just about the money in your pocket, it means you can keep on doing what you love an reaching higher heights without having to worry about what you are going to do financially. You can fully focus on achieving your goals and actually achieve them..That just me...
Do you have a fashion page or are a business involved in the fashion industry please send me a link and I will add it to my blog...
WATCH THE MAHOGANY PROMOTIONAL VIDEO
I am not sure how many of you bothered to watch the OSCARS and being honest I was not one of them, gone are the days for me when it use to be the event that you just had to watch. But there are still some people that take it very seriously, as someone I know had an OSCARS party and they invited friends to get all dressed up and then come over to their house where they were going to drink champagne, eat pop corn and watch the OSCARS – I don’t think so, to me that sounds so sad. I was too embarrassed to ask her how many people actually got dressed and showed up (by the way the dressed up was that you had to wear your OSCAR type outfit, so the full McCoy).
Anyway it was a pleasant surprise to wake up in the morning and find out that Monique (a former stand up comedienne, talk show host and now acclaimed actress), won an OSCAR for her portrayal of Mary in the film PRECIOUS.
I have watched (half of the film - yes I did say half), for some reason I just cannot get my head round it even though everyone says it is a good film, seriously abusive though. But from the half i did watch it seemed to be a very intense film and Monique really pushed the boundaries in her role as Mary. So I believe she deserved the OSAR and it sure is going to look good alongside her Golden Globe award she received earlier also for best supporting actress for the same film.
So we are not doing too badly as this is another OSCAR for a black actor. We are starting to go places – but being honest we were always there but people just refused to give us our props.
It would disgraceful if I did not say congratulations to Kathryn Bigelow for being the first woman to ever win an OSCAR for Best Director, for the film THE HURT LOCKER - Girl Power all the way.. just in case you have not watched it, it is a very good film and by the way I did watch it all the way to the end.
Nigeria’s 50th Anniversary????????????
I know you are wondering why I put the question marks after the heading – well how many of you know that the SLEEPING Giant of Africa - (Nigeria is so asleep that we are actually in a permanent state of comatose) , Nigeria is celebrating its 50th year of independence (this year 2010 on October 1st) – EXACTLY, not that many of you knew, even a number of Nigerians are not really that aware of the fact.
I have to give credit to my Ghanaian brothers and sisters as they were on point when it was there 50th anniversary 3 years ago. A whole year in advance they were publicising it, partying and doing events – the whole world knew about it.
Nigeria and Nigerians wake up and start to let the world know that it is our 50th, if nothing else it is could be a great PR exercise and we sure do need it. This last minute dot com thing really is not cool!
And before any of my lovely critics start emailing me to say what are you doing (as in I sola or Mahogany), I can say that Mahogany Productions has been working with the government of Nigeria and with other leading individuals and companies (around the world) to put on some spectacular events throughout the year, but due to confidentiality clauses I cannot discuss them openly - YET.
News in Brief:
I have been told that my blogs are too long so this is a short one – so there is no news in brief – that will teach you. I am joking...
This is a public apology for messing up, I am sorry it was a genuine error. Stop being nosey, Afua knows what I am talking about – I AM SORRY!!!
Apology aside, go and buy your copy of the magazine, there is a great feature by Afua on TMC , the designers that provided us clothes and the winners – you did us proud gal (i am referring to Afua).
Bridal Show Tickets
So if you EMAIL me your name and address (please put MBFS blog tickets in the subject header), I will put a pair of complimentary tickets in the post to you. If you feel you would like to support a struggling company and contribute to my next council tax bill, please feel free to buy a ticket. We are so nice that if you buy them in advance you can get two for the price of one if bought (we know how you love freeness) or £10 per person on the door.
TICKETS CAN BE OBTAINED HERE or by calling 0845 388 7249 - 07971 388687
Lifestyles on Ben TV
I will be on Ben TV tomorrow (12 March @ 10 am) on Sky Channel 184, talking to Pam Joseph
Rhoda Wilson TV Show
I was privileged to be invited to appear on the award winning Rhoda Wilson Show, this will be shown later in the year.
The TV presenter Crystal Rose will be holding a competition FOR MEN, to find the next diamond in the ruff and I will be a judge at the heat on Saturday 13th March. Hey guys there is a cash prize of £1000 so it is worth thinking about entering
Top Model UK (nothing to do with Top Model of Colour)
This will be taking place on the 13 & 14 March @ the Hilton Hotel, Edgware road and Vicky (TMC 08) & Paula (TMC 09), have been invited to be special guests at the event and will also be appearing on stage to do some presenting. TMC will continue to push the boundaries and get more and more models of colour into mainstream modelling and fashion related work. If I get any pictures I will post them on Facebook and a few in my next blog.
Are you brave enough to invite me to your event so that I can review it? If yes, drop me an invite and if I am free I will attend. Than in my next blog I will do an honest review of the event and may even feature you on our Fashions Finest site. I will say it as it is, so if things go bad be prepared to get a bad review but if it goes well than I will sing your praises.
PS: cheap people do not invite me as I only do VIP and must be able to bring a guest (even though most times I go solo).
Ghanaian 53rd Independence Anniversary
I attended a good event at the Troxy on Saturday 6 March and once again Ghanaians have been one of the few groups that were and are able to fill the Troxy – Well Done. They had a great line up including the likes of some of the UK’s top comediennes, KOJO, RICHARD BLACKWOOD & Eddie KADI, they also had top Ghanaian artists come over from Ghana (I apologise that I cannot name them), but they were good.
I must be honest the event was very good and the support was fantastic and it was just not Ghanaians there.
We have changed our company name from Mahogany Group to Mahogany International with immediate effect.
MOAN OF THE DAY...
It has taken me a while to come up with this life changing tag line, many sleepless nights have been had trying to think of this. having finally come up and this is all I could do I really should have slept instead.
MY total readership of 5 (it use to be 2 so I am growing at a rapid rate), will know I always finish my blog with a change the world type article, to try and give valuable life lessons – I know it is not working but I can only try. So I have decided to call it “Moan of the day” and at the end of each blog I I will pick up on a topic and give my views.
So today’s one is about holding black people and businesses to an unfair higher standard than everyone else.
How many times have you heard someone you know or you yourself say, “typical it had to be a black person, I don’t do things with black people, cos you know how they are” and I could go on and on with examples but I think you get my drift.
Now my point is this - be proud of whom you are and support one another. Why hold us to a higher standard than others, for example and I won’t be horrible and name any other shows, but use Mahogany as an example - imagine you come to a Mahogany show and for whatever reason right or wrong (on our part or yours), something goes wrong – instead of speaking to me or someone about it, instead you decide to go round and tell everyone that you had a bad experience at Mahogany and you would never recommend us to anyone again, you bad mouth us everywhere and try and dissuade people from working with us or attending our events – WHY? No one is perfect and as such because you had one bad experience don't be spiteful or is it just envy or jealousy? just asking the question, please don't shoot the messenger.
However when we go to a mainstream shop or event and get treated like S**t , we still go back there the very next day and definitely don’t start a boycotting campaign against that company. To make matters even worst that company or person that is being critical may be even worst than the company they are criticising especially when it comes to their own customer service or event that they do.
Be careful of the pot calling the kettle black.
We can only get better if we support each other, give constructive criticism and stop slagging everything black. Recently I heard someone say that they would never use Nigerian suppliers for their wedding (but they are Nigerian), now Caucasians, Asians and Jewish people know matter how they feel about each other, ALWAYS support their own first. So before you throw stones at each other make sure you don’t live in a glass house.
Together we can climb mountains.
Be good and take care – tomorrows another day!
London Fashion Week (LFW) is upon us again and it started yesterday (Friday 19 February), but I will come back to LFW later.
WATCH THE MAHOGANY PROMOTIONAL VIDEO
Face of Africa (FOA)
Some of you that read my last blog may remember that I said I was off to Nigeria to see if I could sneak my way into the Face of Africa show, which was held on 6th February in Lagos Nigeria, well I managed it. I and Yemi Adegite (CEO Mahogany Africa) were lucky enough to receive VIP invitations to the event (thank you Colette) and I was able to invite a beautiful young lady (my namesake) to attend with me. She was definitely the envy of everyone else that had been harassing me to take them with to FOA. I forgive all of you for the abusive emails and texts I got for not inviting or taking you (green eyed monster that’s all I am going to say).
Got some news hot off the press that Yemi and my namesake have had their pictures featured in a number of magazines including City People, Next Magazine and I can’t remember the 3rd magazine and did they feature me – NO NO NO, now is that wrong or what – you better be saying it is wrong.
FOA is Africa's biggest modelling competition and was an invitation only event that attracted the who’s who of Lagos and South Africa, all of the top Nollywood actors & musicians were in attendance including top celebrities, designers, politicians and fashionista's and me.
The Event itself was fantastic and was filmed for live TV and shown on M Net across Africa and included performances by Naija's D'Banj and SA's Lira.
A number of Nigerian designers were invited to do a one off dress for a particular contestant and these included 3 of my long time friends, Iteun Bassey, Adebayo Jones & Yemi Osunkoya whose dress was worn by the winner Lukando Nalungwe of Zambia.
I must end with a little gripe and that being, on the Friday before the show Lagos state held a Governors ball and all of the FOA representatives and South African designers were invited but for some mysterious reason only known to the organisers or Lagos state all of the Nigerian designers that were being featured at FOA were not invited, to me that is disgraceful especially as it was being held in Nigeria. Don’t let it happen again!
London Fashion Week (LFW)
Ok back to what I started with, LFW started on Friday and goes on to Wednesday, I have been invited to attend a number of on and off schedule events. Once again I was invited to be a guest of the British Fashion Council (organisers of LFW), trust me it sounds important but it doesn’t mean anything, as being a guest of the BFC does not get you into any of the fashion shows, to get into those you must be invited by the designers. I am still not at that VIP level yet where I get invited to the main events and I still have to BEG my good friend Yolande to blag me extra invites when she gets invited to the main events. I am still trying to work my way forward from having to sit on the back row to trying to get close to the front row seats. I am hoping that I will make it before I have to start collecting my pension.
Yolande if you are reading this, by next year I am working on being able to get my own tickets to LFW so you won’t have to beg to get me in anymore. Trying to become a celebrity is such hard work and can you believe that some people aspire this as their lives (lives doesn’t sound right, is it life’s instead?) ambition.
I started the day by being invited to the ESTETHICA LAUNCH which I attended with Maame from Untold. I will say no more on this (the launch not Maame). Later in the evening I attended A La Mode International LFW Catwalk Show which featured outstanding international independent designers looking to make their mark during LFW.
It featured designers such as Mila Miyahara (Germany), Hanako Narahira (London), Dilly Daisy (Canada), Estelle Annabel (Australia), niOka (Slovenia), Chrystal Sloane (New Zealand) & Borris Powell (Chicago).
The “it” crowd were in attendance, including top designer Nkwo, rising superstar designer Lanyero (who is also a Mahogany Model and she has another title which under the pain of death I have been warned not to make public), Eric Manu (Fashion Fusion) and the “it man” himself Ola were all in attendance. Hey by the way I sat in the front row, sorry but these things do not happen often so I have to make it public when it does.
Review: lovely venue, good host, well organised however some of the models did not cut it and in my humble opinion I felt it had an overall impact on the overall feel of the catwalk. By the way this was also commented upon by others around me. So only on this issue they need to look for a better range of models, but I must be fair and say there were about 3 really great models in the show.
Untold Season VI is back at the Battersea arts centre on Monday 22nd February and as always I am expecting good things from Maame and her team – will let you know how it went later.
Nico Didonna will be unveiling their Autumn/Winter collection on Monday evening.
HELP: I have a dilemma (well sort of because it’s a no brainer really when you think about it). On Wednesday 24th February, I have been invited to two shows that are taking place at exactly the same time. Now under normal circumstances that should not really be a problem but my beautiful cousin (Ms Divalicious) Mary Bello, is hosting one of the shows but I am hearing the other one I am invited to is a higher profile show. So which one should I go to? Yeah right as if I really need to ask, I have to go to where my cousin is hosting the LFW event as if I don’t support her she will kill me and more importantly I really do not want my aunty calling me – now those of you that are of African heritage (in particular Nigerian heritage) you know how that conversation will go “sola how could you not go and support your little cousin, I expected better from you and you should always put family first” and that can go on and on for a while. So I will be at Jalouse International LFW Closing Catwalk Show supporting my cousin.
I will let you know how she did, if she does not do well I will fire her as the host of the Mahogany Bridal Fashion Show, which she is doing on the 21st March. Sorry to everyone else that asked to host the bridal show, but I had to put family first – my life depended on it and I like my life.
NEWS IN BRIEF:
My point is this, I think people that live in the west are very hypocritical (don’t get me wrong I am not saying that it is right that he was “doing” every blue eyed, blonde woman he met), but why and how does what he does in his private life become the business of the entire world and what’s it got to do with his profession? He is a man and as much as I hate to say this men generally are “dogs” (and I say this in the nicest of ways). If he had been an African and what he did became public, he would have been given a medal of honour.
He is not the first man to do this and will not be the last, I am sure we all remember President Bill Clinton, the only difference with my boy Tiger is that he admitted to having “sexual relations”. People get a life and move on what he does privately should not have to be for public consumption just because he is a golfer, the way the press is carry on you would think he killed somebody.
PS: Tiger, if you allegedly married your wife as a business decision that is not good, but I understand as you can get better endorsements and sponsorship as a “brother” if you have the right type of hand luggage – so sad if true.
The way things are looking it looks like Paula (the current TMC) is looking to become our most successful TMC ever. She recently had a great feature in O Yes Magazine and she has also been heavily featured in the current issue of Black Hair Magazine and did a photo shoot for Arise Magazine and it does not stop there as there are a number of other magazine spreads she has coming up. She has also been invited to Nigeria to talk on what it is like being a top model and she will be doing some promotional work for TMC whilst in Nigeria – so it’s good times ahead for her.
The date has been set for TMC Holland grand finale, which will be taking place on Saturday 27thMarch in Amsterdam. It feels so strange as I am not involved in producing the show and will only be attending as a judge alongside the likes of Hilmar Mulder (Grazia Magazine), Mariane Verkerk (Catwalk Coach BNTM), Tessy Van Eerdewijk (L’oreal). I feel like I have a daughter that is about to get married, seeing someone else do TMC without me is going to be hard but at the same time I am going to be so proud (a small teardrop runs down my cheek).
The Future Nigeria Awards
Ibikun (Male TMC 08) was nominated for an award, for Nigerian supermodels in the world and he made the top 3 and I thought that it would be good to attend the awards as I would be in Nigeria for FOA and the awards was the following night. So I emailed them to ask if I could be sent two VIP tickets and I get an email back saying they could give me one vip and one standard ticket. I am sure you can see where I am going with this one. Now how can you invite me to an event and say I can bring a guest and then put me in one area and my guest in another area. Let me break it down further – imagine if I was going to take a fine babe to the event with me and I get there and tell the babe, sorry “hun” but you have to sit at the back and I am at the front and I will come and get you at the end of the show. Does anyone really think that will go down well with the babe? So do one or the other, invite me and give me two proper vip tickets where 2 people can sit together or its not by force, just say you have no tickets. It can’t be that hard!
We All Make Mistakes
To those of you who have nothing to do but go through my blog line by line looking for spelling and grammatical errors, have fun. Please feel free to email and let me know how many errors you found – now that was a joke – GET A LIFE!
I will end with this – blackberry users you are all killing off the art of conversation and becoming the most unsociable human beings on earth, as all you ever do wherever you are, is use blackberry instant messenger. How can you go to the movies watch a 2 hour movie but spend 1hour 45 minutes on your BB instant messenger. When you are not a doctor or a solicitor on call or doing anything of importance, is there nothing that cannot wait until after the movie. Trust me that is just one example, I could go on and on. People stop being cheap and pick up the phone and talk to each other and know when not to use it.
Be good, have fun and have a great fashion week.
On one hand life is good and on another, life can be challenging and very sad.
Starting with the sad news – HAITI, what a sad human catastrophe, I am not trying to be funny or cruel but isn’t life wicked, if it is not bad enough living in one of the poorest countries in the world and then you have this happen – WHY? I ask everyone to put Haiti in their prayers and where possible make a donation whether it be clothes or money, you can make a donation at UNICEFeven if it is just a few pounds as it all helps.
Moving on to things of a lighter mood
Can you believe that Simon Cowell is leaving American Idol and looking to set up American X Factor. Now it would be interesting to see if that would work because for me X Factor is not really a talent competition unlike American Idol which to me is a proper singing competition. So the question is will the American public see X Factor in the same way they see American Idol and would it have the same appeal? But more importantly what would happen to American Idol would it die a slow death with out HRH Mr Cowell and will American X Factor be the new king of the hill? For me the jury is out – any views?
Fashions Finest – “Creativity in Colour”
The long awaited Fashions Finest website is still being long awaited. I hope that after the longest of waits that people would like it. But I do think that when it does eventually go live it would be a great site for all fashion creative’s, models, designers and a great place for fashion news and gossip.
We have some great feature editors and writers lined up including the likes of Samata Angel (top socialite, author & designer), Eryca Freemantle (international celebrity makeup artist), Mary Bello (socialite & journalist) and Tope Owolabi (model & fashionista) and many other surprises.
The site aims to let you know everything you need to know about what is happening within the fashion industry as well as a place to be seen, so you can either ensure you are listed on the site or can catch up on all of the latest fashion news.
Must say a big thank you to Zazel of Kaiz Agency & Danny Barnett for all of their hard work on the website.
Top Model of Colour (TMC)
Even I am finding it hard to keep up with the expansion of TMC. The franchise has expanded and in 2010 finals will be held in the UK, the Netherlands (final in March 2010), Nigeria, the Gambia and also Ghana. In addition we have had enquiries from Kenya, New York, Columbia, Uganda, Bermuda and South Africa. With the additions of all of these franchises there comes with it an air of expectation, so we have to step up our game and I think we have done so by introducing different new elements to the competition to keep it fresh.
For the first time we have given the UK contestants the chance to increase their chances of making the regional heats by being able to get people to vote for them and thus guaranteeing their place in the regional heats and taking away that element from the expert industry judges, however this would only be for the top 30 female and top 10 male models with the highest amount of votes received by 29th April.
We had some great meetings in South Africa and in 2011 we hope to launch the TMC reality TV show. So watch out as a lot is happening. O yea before I get myself into trouble I better update you on the latest appointments for tmc – Francis Litti Mboge is the new CEO for TMC Gambia and we have 5 beautiful TMC elite’s that are running TMC UK, Melanie, Tope, Amina, Pamela &Nenna, who are doing a great job with TMC UK and of course to Yemi Adegite (CEO Mahogany Africa), who is doing a great job expanding the franchise over in Africa.
As for the person saying they are doing TMC Australia, we are coming for you as you are illegally using our brand name, so people do not get involved as it is not a sanctioned TMC franchise. People are brazen or what, she actually took the exact words from our press release and used it on her illegal TMC profile.
TMC Nigeria - +234 807416 3355
TMC Gambia - +2207761911
TMC Holland - + 316 1122 7192
TMC GHANA – Info coming soon
London Fashion Week 19th to 23rd February is around the corner and are you getting ready for it? I am not sure if I am attending as I have so much to do. But then again maybe that is me posing as I suppose I really have to be there and check out what is happening. Yes I work in fashion but the funny thing is that, I am not actually into fashion or clothes. I tend to go because I like to see the production of the shows and how everything works.
How times have changed a few years back I could not get an invite for love nor money, but now I have become a miniature VIP (even if I am not I have to believe I am), now I get the odd occasional invite as I have friends like the BFC & Yolande of La Geneve North who sneeks me into the odd fashion show here and there.
British Fashion Council
We have had a number of meetings with the BFC about the lack of people of colour within the British fashion industry, this includes not just models but also designers and other creative’s.
A working group was setup by the BFC to look into the issues I raised and the current working group includes the likes of Baroness Lola Young (Freelance Arts and Heritage Consultant and Cross-bench Life Peer), Carole White (Founder, Premier Models), Caryn Franklin (Journalist, broadcaster and co-founder of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk), Helen Jennings (Editor, Arise magazine), John Walford (Show Producer and co-Director, Vauxhall Fashion Scout), Maame Baryeh (Director, Untold), Simon Chambers (Director, Storm Model Management), Yolande Letshou (Founder, La Geneve) and of course yours truly.
I think we are making inroads and it is hoped that within the next couple of months a smaller working group would be set up to get down to the specifics on how we tackle the issues head on, find funding and how to change the perceptions of mainstream fashion towards people of colour and I will be actively involved and will keep you updated on progress.
Africa’s biggest modelling competition will be taking place on the 6th February in Lagos Nigeria. This is an invitation only event and I hope to be there. The only problem is I DON’T HAVE AN INVITE, so my intention is that I will dress as a waiter and sneek into the show.
The good thing is that a number of the key movers and shakers within the fashion industry from across the world will be there and I know a few of them, like Yemi Osunkoya of Koshiba Creations and Koketso Chiepe who are each making a dress for a finalist and Helen Jennings the editor of Arise Magazine who is going to be a judge (she was a judge at TMC UK in the Gambia), along with Iman. So you can see I have a few people that I can share a seat with. If I do get in I will let you know how the show was, otherwise it sure is a long way to go for nothing.
Before I go, I have to talk about twitter (twittering) or whatever you want to call it. Can someone please tell me what this is all about and why people are so hooked on it? Ok, yes I have to admit that I have 3 twitter pages but I only tweet (can you see I know the lingo) when I have something worthwhile to say. I occasionally log on to see what is going on in the twittering world and I am amazed at the RUBBISH some people twitter about and the conversations that take place.
Some people seriously need to get a life – go out more, talk to people and stop hiding behind anonymity to talk rubbish. Finally be careful what you tweet about and putting your business out on the streets for everyone to read, especially those of you involved in catfights or are fighting your boyfriends in public.
I am copying some of these tweets and keeping them so that if you become famous or are running for office or something great I am going to sell them to every newspaper or magazine that will buy them – this is my pension plan. Be careful what you put out in the public domain as it may come back to bite you.
It’s a New Year, it’s a new decade and doesn’t time fly. I just want to throw out a series of questions for you to think about or answer.
For the next section I need you to write in your own answers and post them on Facebook somewhere.
These questions are based on the past decade (2000 to 2009)
· What is your most memorable event over the past decade?
· Who is the person that has left the most memorable impression on you?
· Who is the best singer?
· Who is the worst singer
· Who is the best actor?
· Who is the worst actor?
· Who is the best realty star?
· Who is the worst realty star?
· Who do you think has made the most amount of money over the past decade?
· Best TV series?
· Worst TV series?
· The most disgraceful politician?
· The best politician?
· Your greatest achievement?
· Your biggest failure?
· The best sex you had and with whom (you can keep that to yourself if you wish)?
· Anything else you can make up?
It’s all about having some fun – may you have a credit crunch free new year and may all your hearts desires come true and may you achieve more than you have ever achieve more than you have ever achieved in your life.
O My, O My, O My what a year it has been and I have no real idea as to where to start, most people will say at the beginning but that is not me – so I will start at wherever I can remember.
Just to remind you the Mr Mahogany blog says it as it is, so I know some people will be upset with me but we all have to step up our game in whatever we are doing within the fashion and entertainment industry.
Obama – enough said.
“Black” Miss England?
Now was I pleased that Rachel Christie won Miss England and I felt proud that the first ever Black woman (I do not want to hear any rubbish about the light skin/black skin debate – she black, she black END OF), won Miss England and then it happened.
Whilst working with Face of Sleek in Nigeria I got a text from my good reporter friend (who remains nameless, cos he does not like publicity) informing me that Ms Christie had been removed as Miss England. Now forget roaming charges and all, I had no choice but to get the low down and was I disappointed when I heard the alleged reasons as to why she was removed.
I found out that she was “stripped of her crown after a blowup in which she was accused of clocking Sara Jones, the reigning Miss Manchester, at a porn-themed party”.
Read more I do not know if it is true or not but I must say that she has made history as having one of the shortest reigns as a Miss England ever (and she is black) – WHAT CAN I SAY?
Power List 2010
For those of you that do not know or are in the know for the past three years a magazine is published which lists Britain’s 100 most influential black people. I am pleased to say (hold on before you start thinking they listed me – read on) yours truly was featured (page 108) in an article entitled “the man who sold-out black vogue”. I am truly blessed to be featured in a magazine that features such prominent black people.
By the way I will be taking it up with the editors of the Power List as to why I did not make the top 100. I am not proud so I have no qualms in asking people to nominate me for the 2011 list.
However my question to you is besides ME, who else that is not featured should have made the list? Information on the Power List
EVENTS IN THE UK - we need to step up our game
Now this is where I start to get the hate mail, but I have to say what everyone (I hope is thinking). Why, O why, O why are there so many crap and badly organised events within the black fashion and entertainment community (I apologise to those of you that do good events).
In my job I am invited and have to attend so many events and on many occasions I do wonder why I bother to leave my house – besides the usual not starting on time and being badly organised, it seems that a lot of people are organising events for all the wrong reasons.
Over the past year I attended some events that I thought were high profile and I was highly disappointed (and I think it is best that I just leave you the public to give your own reviews) but following enormous amount of feedback that I received I have to say that the Zaffa Awards, the Beffta Awards and Miss Black Britain (I really hate the bad reviews I am seeing about this competition as it is a great concept) were among the most disappointing, mainly because they had the finances to ensure that they were of the highest quality.
For all three of these events they had the who’s who attend from the likes of American actress Nia Long to top Nigerian Nollywood actors such as Osita iheme,bobmanuel Udokwu, kenneth Okonkwo,Chinedu Ikedieze, Kanayo O Kanayo, Nkiru Sylivernus, Tony One week, Victoria Nyama, Dolly Unachukwu, Lancelot Imaseun, Andy Amenechi, Emeka Ike, Chinyere Winfred and at the Beffta’s the who’s who (including myself – yes I know I am bragging but nobody else considers me a who’s who so I might as well lobby to get the status - myself) attended.
I am not saying that we at Mahogany are perfect and I am sure there are lots of people that will say I am a fine one to talk and they may be right, but at the same time even at our event there are some basic things that always work, like starting on time and being organised. Mahogany may not have the greatest line ups in the world or attract celebrities etc but we are good at what we do which is producing shows.
The important thing here, is to do what you are good at and I have seen with some of the above shows that they are great at getting stars and celebrities to come and marketing their events but the most important thing they fall down on, which is making sure that people leave their show feeling that they got value for money and watched a good show. If you can’t do it yourself get someone else to do it for you – it’s not rocket science.
MAHOGANY PRODUCTIONS was set up for that primary reason which was to take away the strain of organising a show by leaving it to the experts. I am crap at getting celebrities to our shows or getting cash sponsorship but my track record shows that I can produce shows both for Mahogany and other clients that we have had around the world.
Before I finish on this topic I have one more gripe – WHY ARE THERE SO MANY BEAUTY PAGEANTS – seriously everyone s doing a pageant and like some of them are half empty, badly organised and have people contest in them that should not even be allowed to look in a mirror as it would crack at the lack of beauty they possess. My advice to some of the organisers of these different pageants is that they should come together and unite and pull resources and skills to organise one great pageant. Seriously how are you surviving, as there is no real money in pageants and very little cash sponsorship available.
I will however still judge at them if asked and still have the bored expression I normally have on my face due to the lack of talent. However I must say well done to Miss Uganda and Miss Ghana they both know how to put on a pageant – people look and learn, some of you think you are bigger than you really are.
Yes I am being a coward by not mentioning names of the bad pageants.
So What’s Up with Mahogany?
I won’t go over all what I said in previous newsletters and blogs but I will say that I am pleased to welcome Yemi Adegite on board as the CEO of Mahogany Productions (Africa) and in his short reign to date as CEO, we have already done shows in Nigeria and the Gambia, including the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Nigeria (ICAN) gala evening in Abuja as well as the Face of Sleek Nigeria and Top Model of Colour grand finale in the Gambia.
He is also in the process of setting up Mahogany Models in the Gambia, the Africa Bridal Week in South Africa, Uganda Fashion Week, TMC in Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Nigeria and I am informed that he has many more shows that we will be producing for clients from fashion to TV shows – so he does all the easy bits and then brings me in to do all of the hard work.
WHAT A LIFE!
You can contact yemi on +234 8074163355 or by EMAIL
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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