Mr. Mahogany

Friday, 25 February 2011 18:13

Dark Skin Beyonce

Once again my girl Beyonce attracts controversy with her latest photoshoot for the French Magazine L'Officiel to celebrate their 90th anniversary issue.

beyonce black faceI am not sure why it is controversial, as all she has done is gone from a light skin woman to a dark skinned woman wearing African inspired outfits. To me it is only controversial because it is Beyonce and due to the fact that people are concerned that more and more she is trying to come across as a European woman as nowadays she seems to have blonde hair and her skin seems lighter.

For me in this shoot she looks beautiful and portrays black women in a strong positive way and is also promoting Africa, so on this one I am cool with it.

What are your views?
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During my life I have been fortunate in that I have seen many firsts, segregation coming to an end in the United States, Nelson Mandela being released from prison in South Africa, the Berlin Wall coming down between West & East Germany, the 
first ever football World Cup being held in Africa, the election of the first ever black man, Barack Obama as the president of the United States and on Thursday 24th February 2010 saw the THE MIRROR BOY, the first ever Nollywood film premiere to be held at a major West End cinema.


@ Mirror Boy Premiere With Fatima Jabbe & Genevieve Nnaji
What a premiere it was, very rarely I am lost for words and if I were not writing now I would be speechless. Everybody who is anybody (I am sure I got this round the wrong way) was at the premiere, (including me), Rachel & Rebecca Williams (We Girls Rock), Eddie Kadi (Comedienne), Arnold Oceng (Adulthood), Adebayo Jones (Designer), Nana Afua (Top Model of Colour), Henry Bonsu (TV Personality), Alexander Amosu, Ellen Thomas (Eastenders), Helen Jennings (Arise Magazine), Yolanda Brown (MOBO award winning saxophonist), anyway sorry I have to stop here otherwise the whole blog would just be a list of who attended.

Let's get down to the nitty gritty cos this is not about who attended but about "the journey" of The Mirror Boy, besides Africa United there has never to my knowledge been an African film premiere in the West End and this one I am sure of, there has never been a Nollywood p
remiere held in the West End before.
Forget Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and Libya there were more people on the streets of the West End then people that have been protesting in all of those countries combined, ok a little bit of exaggeration, well quite a bit of exaggeration but my point is that at the premiere itself there were over 1000 in the cinema and another 500 people stuck outside that could not get in.

Once you managed to get in, you had to fight your way through the media scrum, numerous photographers and film crews from all over interviewing the celebrities and stars in attendance. Beautiful hostesses provided by Mahogany Models who were well managed by Chantelle Hall.

Up until now I thought ok a little bit hectic and then it happened, the room became electric and if were not in London we would have had a power outage due to the surge of energy that entered the room as soon as Genevieve Nnaji, Osita Iheme & Fatima Jabbe arrived, even I was overwhelmed by how manic it became for a minute I thought that Oprah Winfrey, Eddie Murphy and Will Smith had arrived.

Hey if you were at the event and I am telling you what you already know, tough – this is for those that were not there or did not get to see some of the inner workings or what was going on.

The story continues – we got into the hall and I sat with Genevieve, Osita, Fatima and the young child actor Edward Kagutuzi (well he is not that young, about 20 really), right at the front. By the way sitting at the front at a major cinema is not cool, it's like the screen is about to eat you up and everyone in the movie looks like giants. A question and answer session took place and the film started.
The Movie: I have decided not to do a critic of the film as for me The Mirror Boy was about the history it was making more than how good or bad the film was, but in short it is a good movie, great sound 
track, cinematography and well produced and directed. I am aware that some people weren't sure what the message in the film was about and got a bit lost towards the end but to me it was just a movie and watch it for what it is. If you really do need an explanation leave some comments on my blog and I will explain.

The length of the movie was just right and as soon as it finished there was plenty of back slapping and hi fives and lots of quick networking – "call me let's talk" networking and those of us that had some energy left and went off to the after party to shake a leg or two, still aching now I am really too old for this shake a leg thing.

I am proud that I, Mahogany Models and Fashions Finest were actively involved in this historic occasion but the real Kudos must go to Obi Emelonye (Director), Patrick Campbell (Producer), Charles Thompson (Consulting Producer) & DJ Abass who worked their magic to not only make this movie but also to have the foresight, the vision and the balls to do a premiere in the West End and trust me it takes cahooneys to do such a thing.

It feels a bit like the ending of apartheid, the West End is no longer just for mainstream movie premieres.

For those of you that want to read about the more serious stuff of the premiere watch out for the reports on Fashions Finest by our reporter Olakumbi Akiwumi & red carpet pictures by Fashions Finest Photographers Kenneth Asia & Trevor Fogah-Griffiths.
Tuesday, 22 February 2011 17:03

Nollywood Finally Hits London's West End

The World Premiere of 'THE MIRROR BOY' on Thursday 24th February 2011.
Monday, 07 February 2011 01:17

You Must Give America its Props

America has always been accused of having its racial problems and that people from the African American community don’t do so wellblack_eyed_peas_superbowl in the states, but I think that even though it may still have issues compared to many other western countries America has come a long way (Obama for instance), but this is not what this piece is about.

Being that I am a night bird, I am at my computer working watching Super Bowl 45 (not sure if I understand it, as I can never understand why when they have not even scored a touchdown, every time they move a few inches they celebrate like they have won the whole Super Bowl), anyway its half time and they bring on the entertainment and for a number of years now it has been top black artiste that have been headlining the half time entertainment.

                        WATCH THIS FANTASTIC VIDEO


It is estimated that over 95 million people watch Super Bowl.

This year it was Black Eyed Peas and Usher that took centre stage and this is bearing in mind that more white people watch Super Bowl than any other race, but America seems to be more integrated and accepting of the different cultures and genres of music that it has in its rich country.

Not sure if we would ever see JLS and Leona Lewis as the sole or main headline acts of a similar type of event held in the UK.

Friday, 07 January 2011 04:21

A Good Read...

If you are anything like me every time the post drops through the letterbox there is a feeling of dread as most of the time the mail just includes demands for money. So it is always a pleasant surprise when I get a nice package as opposed to a bill and this happened just the other day when I was sent a complimentary book in the post. Not only that but the author signed it and wrote a nice message in the book " To Sola Oyebade with gratitude for all you are doing". Even though I don't feel I do anything, it is nice to be appreciated.

The book is entitled "ALMOST BRITISH" by Olivea M. Ebanks, it is a deep read and is over 420 pages long and has been endorsed by Doreen Lawrence OBE (The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust).





The book is about Olivea's rare story of victory. " This can't be happening! Not racism. Not in the 21st Century in England. and not in Her Majesty's Prison Service! But it was happening and Olivea had two options: she could either take the constant abuse , ignore the racial comments, and differential treatment in the hope that it would go away or she could stand up to her bullies. In 2008, Olivea chose bravely, and took the Prison Service and her colleagues to court for direct racial discrimination, harrassment and victimisation. She stood alone to represent herself in a 15 day hearing and won!"

It is a great read and I think Doreen Lawrence OBE surmises the book eloquently "I believe this book will bring attention to the racism and suffering of individuals and it will help to bring about change for the institution as a whole"

Another great read is a book that has been donated to TMC 2010 winner Nana Afua by Alison Husbands entitled "THE AFRO HAIR & BEAUTY BIBLE". The must have beauty book for women of colour. Ever wondered how some women of colour can grow long thick healthy hair down to their waist; when your hair seems to stop growing at shoulder length? Yes...then this book is for you.

In this book you would discover the secrets of how to achieve and maintain beautiful healthy Afro hair and learn the proper techniques and methods to make you look and feel your best.

Learn what skin care and make-up brands work best with black skin as well as discovering natural alternatives for everyday beauty regimes. So natural or relaxed, grab a copy of this book and find out how to get the long hair you have always wanted.
Friday, 31 December 2010 20:18

2010 Reviewed... HAPPY NEW YEAR!

It would be very bad manners of me if I did not start by saying Happy New Year to you and I pray that it is an Austerity Free year for you and all of your hearts desires may be fulfilled, whether it be seeking financial reward, love or marriage, a new job or the success of your business or career, you will achieve them – that is my prayer for you.

It is amazing that the besides people going to church for christenings, weddings and funerals the one other time that most people seem to attend church is on New Year's Eve, it is as if people feel that if they go to church on New Year's Eve good luck will follow them for the whole year (before you asked I was one of them that made it to church last night) and I must be honest that I have not attended church as much as I should have, so I may just be in the group of people I talk about above. I do however pray daily but as I have been told I should go to church more regularly.

At this time of the year I like to do a quick review of what has happened throughout the year and also briefly talk about what Mr Mahogany has been up to.

President Obamafoto-barack-obama-presiden-as
We still have the most powerful man in the world being a black man, but 2011 will be a tough year for him as he prepares to bid for a second term. Mr President we got your back because the world would be in serious trouble if Sarah Palin gets elected as president.


Afghanistan
The war still goes on, enough already.

Wikileaks
This website has changed the way spies work and how governments will communicate with each other. It would be interesting to see what the long term effects will be on freedom of information, but more importantly will the Americans get their man the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange. You know they will not rest until they get their man dead or alive – I wonder!

Is the World Coming to an end?

Haiti - One of the poorest countries in the world faced further devastation with an earthquake that killed at least 150,000 people. Sadly the international response was very slowly and may have been the cause for many people dying.

Pakistan – record flooding in northwest Pakistan led to tens of millions of people being made homeless or having to leave their homes.

Iceland – the volcano eruptions in Iceland led to worldwide disruption of air travel for many across the world.

UK and USA – unusual heavy snowfall led to the closure of two of the world's largest airports, JFK and Heathrow and a lot of angry people.

Chilean Miners
One of the happiest stories of the year was the rescue of 33 Chilean miners that were trapped underground for over two months. Well done to the Chileans that were able to complete a fete that many western countries would struggle to do. Can't wait for the film.
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Africa is the New Fashion and Entertainment Capital of the World
If you have not been to Africa then you better get on the band wagon as Africa is the new fashion and entertainment capital of the world. Nollywood is officially rated as the second largest film industry in the world and with films like, Aje, The Figurine and Mirror Boy getting rave reviews across the world. The quality of films produced by Nollywood has improved and some of them are on par with Hollywood films. An aside, watch out as I am expecting the Ghanaian movie industry to do some great things having already produced great films like Sinking Sands featuring Ama K and the likes of Rachael Williams (Miss Black Britain) hoping to make her mark within the Ghanaian film industry, things are looking good.

Nigeria – this has been a good year for Nigeria, in February they hosted the Face of Africa Finale and in December they hosted the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA's) which was hosted by Eve.

South Africa – hosted the first ever World Cup in Africa which in my view was an outstanding success and Ghana was the only African team that did us proud, I am still an adopted Ghanaian. Well done to Spain for winning the World Cup for the first time in their history and shame on Holland for trying to kick their way to winning the World Cup.

Shows that got it Wrong:

Africa Music Awards – it has all been said in a previous blog but we look forward to them getting it right in 2011 and if they don't invite me cos they have black listed me I will still sneak my way in cos I have to support our own.
Beffta's – as above.
Australia's Next Top Model – get the result right in 2011.
X Factor – Gamu, Wagner, Cheryl Cole – enough said. However I am looking forward to X Factor America and wondering if I would like American Idol now that Simon Cowell has left.

Mr EnglandMr England – congratulations to Vaughan Bailey for being the first black man to win the coveted MR England pageant lets hope he will not go down the line of Ms Rachael Christie the first ever black winer of Miss England.


Sour Grapes – one of the most disappointing events of 2010 was the attitude of the English football establishment at not being awarded the 2018 World Cup finals. Guys you lost, live with it and get on with life, you have no God given right to host it and like how you put South Africa down when they won, you did the same with Russia. Russia will host a good World Cup, not sure I want to go there though as it is far.

Mahogany Review...

It has been a good year for Mahogany with our events growing from strength to strength and Mr Mahogany himself (by the way that is me) producing and event managing more shows abroad and in the UK, doing more presenting and judging work. I am eagerly looking forward to 2011 as I seek to become an actor (excuse me stop laughing, I am sure I could be a good actor) and we will be doing a lot more shows that aim to assist people get started or promote themselves within the fashion and entertainment industry. I have included some brief details below.

TMC Holland – the first ever winner of TMC Holland Adut Mawien was crowned in March 2010 and TMC Holland 2011 is expected to be even bigger.

TMC UK – celebrated its fifth year and Nana Afua Antwi and Jason Daniel Best won and to commemorate our 5th year all of our previous winners were presented with a special award.

Fashions Finest Magazine – is one of our biggest projects to date. We have been working on it for the past 6 months and it will go live in the middle of January 2011 and is an online fashion magazine that aims to promote people that either mainstream or the big players in the fashion and entertainment are not eager to promote or anyone locally or international that has something interesting to say or promote. The magazine is for EVERYONE of all nationalities, fashion and entertainment genres.

Fashions Finest Renaissance – fashions shows will be taking place every month throughout the year with the primary aim to promote new, aspiring and established designers, creatives, photographers etc to achieve maximum exposure within their communities as well as within mainstream fashion. The shows confirmed so far are on the 16th and 30th January and the 19th and 20th February (taking place during London Fashion Week).

FF_renaissance_short_version
Fashions Finest Awards – this is the event that everyone has been asking for and looking forward too. Fashions Finest Awards aims to redress the imbalance of small or medium size individuals or companies not being recognised by mainstream fashion either because they are different or not considered big enough or prestigious enough to be considered for a British Fashion Award. Through Fashions Finest Awards, designers, creatives and models that work within the culturally diverse fashion industry will be acknowledged and recognised for their talent. These awards are open to EVERYONE, of all nationalities, ethnic backgrounds, all genres of fashion, small and large. July 2011 will host the first ever annual Fashions Finest Awards, which will be a prestigious awards ceremony that would be truly appreciated by its invited guests, nominees, recipients and would be recognised generally within the British fashion industry and internationally as a sign of true talent and professionalism.

People I feel should be recognised (I am not giving a reason as if you know them I think what they do or have done speaks for themselves – if you don't then go and find out about them)...

Charles Thompson, Sherry Dixon, Alexander Amosu, JLS, Rachael Williams, Yemi Oshunkoya, Eryca Freemantle, Deborah St Louis, Natalie Barrett, Naomi Campbell and the Sleek Sisters (based in Nigeria – ok on this one I will explain – they run the biggest Sleek franchise in the world and are such nice as people), My TMC Team (Tope, Amina, Claudia, Redz, Eva and Gregory).

Obituaries

Finally I must end by paying tribute to all of those that have left us in 2010 including family and friends of people I know, but whom as much as I would want to mention them by name I am unable to, but our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has lost someone dear to them. Here are a few of the celebrities that left us in 2010.



Alexander McQueen – British Fashion Designer
Dennis Hooper – Actor
Gary Coleman - Actor
James MacArthur – Actor (Dan O in Hawaii five O)
Lena Horne – Legendary Singer
Teddy Pendergrass – Singer
Tony Curtis - Actor
Teena Marie - Singer

It's now time that I stopped as I know some of you are recovering from a hangover, lack of sleep from hard core partying or just want to spend some time with the family, so reading a long blog is far from being on your mind.

MAY 2011 BE YOUR BEST YEAR EVER!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010 09:03

African Music Awards – What Really Happened?

People read my blog and expect Mr Mahogany to be truthful and to the point. So this is one story that has really made me struggle as to whether I should do a review on the AMA’s or not. I know you are thinking “that what is the big deal, just say it as it is” and in a way you are right but before I do I feel it is only fair that I explain why I am feeling this way.

 

The organiser of Ama is a young man that has put a lot of effort into trying to make the AMA’s a top international awards show and he is someone that I know and it hurts me to have to do this review, but I think it is only fair to him and also a way of ensuring that people hear what is fact from fiction.

 

So here goes (it’s a long one)... The African Music Awards was due to take place at Wembley Arena on the 15th October and trust me when I heard it was being done at Wembley Arena and was being sponsored by O2, I was thinking my boy has made it and I was very proud of him. Then on the Thursday the day before the show was meant to take place rumours started circulating that the event had been cancelled and I checked the Ticket Master website and yes it was confirmed as being cancelled. So being the person I am I felt that I had to find out what was going on and if I could help out or confirm that it was truly not going to take place. I made some phone calls to the powers to be who were in the know and I was told that a new venue was been sourced and a new venue hopefully would be found by late that evening. Anyway later that evening I got a phone call to say that a new venue had been found and that the event was still going ahead.

 

I have been doing events for many years and I knew that this would be a major problem as to try and inform everyone that the event was still going ahead would be hard especially at such short notice, also people would not really want to buy another ticket when they had already purchased one and of course most people would be very sceptical and possibly not take it seriously. So the organisers were in a catch 22 situation, should they cancel it and lose an even bigger fortune or try and do it at another venue in an attempt to try and keep the AMA’s keep some credibility.

 

So moving swiftly on... I won’t bore you with all the bits in between as I know you must be asking why did it not take place at the Arena? I have my ideas and thoughts as to why but truth is, it is only speculation and as such I can’t give my views as I would be adding to the speculation (but trust me I know the truth). So what happened to the sponsorship money and how much did they get? once gain I can’t give specifics but I am sure if the organisers could do it again they would do it all differently including using Max Clifford as the PR company for the event.

 

The event itself... now this one I can comment on as I was there and am not relying on hearsay or rumours. As much as I would love to gloss it up I can’t. As much as some key figures within the black entertainment industry did their best to try and make it work and attended to give their full support it just did not work. It was poorly organised from front of house to backstage. They had some great presenters lined up including myself, Kanya King (CEO MOBO’s who unfortunately had gone to Wembley Arena as no one had told her it was no longer taking place there), Alexander Amosu, Fatima Jabbe and Jermaine Jackson to name but a few. But can you believe it after spending about 2 hours at the venue we were eventually told that we were not needed as they would not be presenting the winners with any awards. In fact they just read out all of the winners names in one go from a piece of paper.

 

When we were eventually shown to some seats in the hall, can you believe it some of the hostesses came and asked us to move to some rows behind because they wanted some beauty queens to sit where we were sitting. Trust me in no uncertain terms I politely said I am not moving.

 

Organisers that is so not cool when we give up our time, not being paid, no food or drink and no VIP seating to then be told to move for some beauty queens , you definitely got that one wrong. (PS before I am bombarded with emails from present and former beauty queens I have nothing against beauty queens but a number of us at this event actually put the events together to make you the queens that you were/are so in terms of the pecking order we sort of should be a bit more important than you).

 

The show ended very suddenly with no warning after about an hour and a half and a some people even started shouting that they wanted their money back especially as some of them had paid for VIP seating and were not provided with appropriate seating.

 

Most of the advertised acts such as D’Banj did not show up and same with the hosts Simon Webb and Genevieve Nnaji who gives her reasons as to why on her tweet page “I agreed to host the show, signed a contract and even publicly announced my participation on a tv program in the uk last time I was thr.. mostly because I wanted an opportunity to meet some of u 1on1 at the show. Unfortunately the organizers wr unable to fulfill any of. ..their obligations even to the last minute which is this morning. (Eg; no ticket arrangements). At this point I feel partially used.. ..to publicize the show and I owe it to u guys to explain my absence”.

 

Even though the venue had a capacity of 2000 people it had just over 700 people if that in attendance.

 

To be fair though the acts that were there were really good such as JJC, Big Brothaz with ‘We Are Africans, and a Fela Anikulapo Kuti tribute band.

 

In Conclusion... this is a great event that must continue and despite all of the mishaps and problems it is an event that we must continue to support and now I am being unashamedly tartest here and would say to the AMA’s if you need an event run and managed properly you need to hire me to produce it for you or act as your consultant and I can assure you this would never happen again and you would have a great event.

 

To all of you that have been kicking a man whilst he is down, shame on you. This could happen to anyone and I can assure you that the AMA’s will be back bigger, stronger and better next year.

 

TMC Press Launch...

TMC Finalist Press Launch took place on Sunday 17th October at the Jewel in Covent Garden. The finalist were dressed to kill in a variety of purple outfits and entertained the audience by doing a variety of poses on the podium. Press and celebrities attended and everyone had a great time.

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The evening was hosted by Jordine Bartlett and was beautifully organised by Sassi PR. If you would like to do a review of the event or require pictures and further information please EMAIL

 

Limited tickets are still available for the TMC finale taking place on the 27th November at the Porchester Hall. Tickets can be purchased ONLINE or by calling 0845 388 7249.

 

Uti Wins Big Brother All Stars (African Version)


Uti Nwachukwu out fought all of the other Big Brother contestants to win Big Brother All Stars and pick up a lovely sum of $200,000 (I wish I was his best friend).
uti big brother
The final two left in the house were Uti and Zimbabwe's Munya Chidzonga. Uti being a proud Nigerian did the most patriotic thing when he won and that was to sing the Nigerian national anthem.

 

Yes I know it is only Big Brother but he is still a Nigerian and we are proud of him. 

Moan and Groan

 

Nigerians Why?

 

As a true green blooded Nigerian it hurts me to have to once again say that we have made the news for the wrong reasons. I have no problems with such programs as Louis Theroux documentary entitled “law and Disorder in Lagos” as it is well known that western reporters tend to only show Africa in a negative light, so I can live with that

 

BUT it pees me off no end when we put ourselves into a position that we confirm that we are nothing but a corrupt nation. Why is it that once we get into a position of authority we will use and abuse that position to try and make as much money as possible.

 

A number of countries are currently bidding to host the 2018 World Cup including the England and representatives from the FIFA committee will be voting on the 2nd December as to which country would host the 2018 World Cup. The Sunday Times did an undercover sting and allegedly exposed corruption in the voting process. When I first heard this I immediately prayed to God and said please let their not be a Nigerian involved and low and behold a Mr Amos Adamu who is a Nigerian and the West African executive committee member on the FIFA bid panel and he was allegedly willing to sell his support for £500,000. To make it worst he was caught on video doing this.

 

In Nigeria we understand that to get things done you grease peoples palms and as far as I am concerned that is the way things are done and that is cool, it is done in the west but it is called corporate hospitality in the UK or contributing to an election fund in the USA and appropriately entitled lobbying.

 

However if you are a Nigerian sitting on a foreign committee of any kind you are prime material for a sting operation and you are the most stupid human being in the world to think that you can allegedly ask for a bribe and not get caught. This once again has just shown that Nigerians are allegedly corrupt or open to corruption and you just make it harder for the rest of us to be viewed as being honest in anyway shape or form.

 

Nigerians enough is enough, if you really need to make money and cannot resist temptations and feel you will be open to bribery and corruption then do not take a job abroad, just stay in Nigeria and that way we won’t have a bad reputation abroad.

 

I am so peeved off by this aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010 22:03

Talent Converges on Nigeria

Fashion & Entertainment giants in Nigeria for major Talent Seminar.
Wednesday, 07 July 2010 21:41

The Beauty of East Africa

Mr & Miss East Africa UK storms London
Friday, 10 September 2010 19:47

The Life After - Film Screening

Soho hosts new film directors
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