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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

MY PRETTY FACE HAS DONE MAGIC FOR ME – AMAKA OGUCHI (MISS COMMONWEALTH AFRICA)


Amaka Oguchi is Miss Commonwealth Nigeria, Miss Commonwealth Africa and Miss Commonwealth Cultural Queen. Fondly referred to as Amypee, this elegant damsel and first daughter of a pharmacist no doubt deserves these three crowns and has chosen sports as a tool to help grow and unite African youths.
Just a few weeks after nabbing the much-coveted crowns, she took Daily Independent GBENGA BADA into the journey of her life, her engagement with sports, her dreams and her regrets among other things.

What was the experience like for you at the Miss Commonwealth World?

Before I left, I always had this belief that when I get there, I would not only do my best but also bring back home the crown. When I got there, it was a different ball game entirely because there were so many beautiful girls and it was so intimidating. But we also had the fun parts, we also got to know one another, share different ideas, talk about what we have been doing back home and other stuffs but in all, the experience was good for me.

What went through your mind when you were crowned Miss Commonwealth Africa and Most Cultural Contestant?

I was so amazed for being Miss Commonwealth Africa but wasn't too surprised getting the most cultural contestant award. This is because when I was leaving Nigeria, I had so much with me because I wanted to promote the culture, show people good things from the country and project our image in good light. I ensured that I had several fabrics of our country designed specifically for the occasion, these were made by JD7 and we were able to get the award for all the work. But for the Miss Commonwealth Africa, I didn't expect to be crowned because I didn't even see it coming. When I was leaving Nigeria, I was so optimistic of winning but getting there and seeing all the other girls, I didn't know what to expect anymore. All the same, I'm grateful to God almighty.

Your foray into pageantry seems to be a fulfilling one, can you tell us how it really began?

I actually started with modelling, basic modelling, photography, high fashion and then a friend told me to consider going into pageantry and that was how I got to win the Prettiest Girl In Nigeria by 'accident' but I wasn't satisfied because the organisers were not living up to my expectations and then I went for Miss Commonwealth Nigeria, won and proceeded to Miss Commonwealth World, where I was crowned Miss Commonwealth Africa. I think it's a lot of hard work and diligence with extensive personal training that saw me through and gave me an edge.

So, it would be correct to say if not for your friend, you wouldn't have been engaged in pageantry at all?

I don't think I would have been involved but for my friend, who made me go into it. Before then I didn't see myself doing it at all.

If you had to pick one over the other, which would it be?

I would pick pageantry sincerely because in Nigeria, the modelling industry is not something we are all proud of, so I would take pageantry over modelling.

Not many have a detailed background of your personality; can you share some of your memories with us?

I was born in Kaduna and grew up there, my family left in 1997 because of the riot and relocated to Lagos. I attended Army Children School, Kaduna, Federal Government College, Enugu and studied microbiology at the Igbinedion University and graduated a few months before I went for Miss Commonwealth World. My dad is a pharmacist, my mum is deceased and I owe most of my growing up to my aunt, who stood by me like a mother. I'm from Nnewi in Amechi Local Government Area of Anambra State and have four younger brothers.

Not every parent would support an offspring's venture into modelling or beauty pageants for different reasons. What was it like with your father?

Yes, he supported me from the beginning but on my own part, I hid it from him and he found out through some of the pictures he stumbled upon at home and some of my pictures that were displayed in magazines from fashion shows. And when he found out, he asked me about being in the pageantry and I answered him by saying yes. He also queried me for not telling him all the while. He has supported me all the way. I told him when it was like a week before going into camp about the pageant and he still supported me. He has supported me all the way.

How did your father feel as parent to the Prettiest Girl in Nigeria at that time?

He felt so good. But as I said, the Prettiest Girl In Nigeria pageant wasn't fulfilling and wasn't giving me what I deserved and wanted and most especially expected by moving to the next level. All the same, he still encouraged me and I think I owe him a lot for letting me contest after the first one and now he's proud of me and understands what a pageant is, something that should help a young lady grow and help her achieve greatness and move forward in life.

It is quite unusual for beauty queens getting engaged with sports. Where does your interest in sports stem from?

Right from when I was a child, I have always loved sports and I wanted to do something different from what every other person has been doing, everyone is into the less privileged and orphanages and I have not seen these as big challenges because many people have been able to do justice to it. I wanted to do something new that will help the youths in several areas of their lives. That is why I decided to use sports as a tool and how it keeps the youth from being idle. It also helps build youths while helping the society grow.

What have you been able to achieve through sports?

We have gone to schools and we have been able to help students and youths generally in a way of encouraging them to get involved in sports and make good use of their skills and talent. Several schools, which include Army Children Schools, have benefited and we have also done the same in several parts of the country.

How do you intend spreading your tentacles knowing fully well that you are no longer responsible for activities in Nigeria alone but for all other African countries?

I am so happy that my team and I have been able to develop so much in Nigeria and now we can go out and do some tangible things in other parts of Africa. We have been putting together ideas because it is big and would be challenging, so we want to start from five African countries, South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya and Sierra Leone. We also know that the World Cup is coming up in South Africa and we are doing our best to ensure that child abuse, child trafficking and child prostitution are avoided by all means. We know several people will come with several favours and promises just to lure these youths but we are already working to curb and avoid all that to see that the youths embrace sports truly and not the vices while using the opportunity of the biggest sporting event to achieve greatness. We would also be supervising the projects of other queens in Africa to ensure that they promote the Commonwealth aims and objectives. And all the cultural queens would also be reporting their activities to me and we can all make Africa greater.

Would you say your pretty face has been doing the magic for you?

I think so because at the end of the day, they say first impression matters a lot, so partly, yes but it's just a little area because the major thing is how you can sell yourself, how the people perceive you, what ideas you have got to offer and what benefit it is to the people around you and the society at large. When I started initially, I didn't know it was going to be this hard but it is good.

What enhancement do you use for the pretty face?

I eat rice and drink a lot of water and I don't miss my daily exercise.

Is there any possibility of your going back to practicing as a microbiologist after your reign?

No. I'm done with that after I've been able to graduate and what I really want to study now is cosmetology and therapy, making women feel comfortable with themselves.

What is your take on the Nigerian modelling industry?

Terrible, terrible, terrible. The industry is terrible. That is all I can say!

Are you saying this because you are no longer in the industry?

No. Even while I was there, it is that same feeling and notion that I had. People tell you good things but when you are in it, you know better and learn a lot. Some of these modelling agencies just recruit girls and they don't give them basic training and they think it's all about walking on the runway but there is a whole lot like the image building, carriage, how to talk and several areas. There is no governing body for the industry and models are at the mercy of these people. And in terms of pageantry, the major problem is that some of these organisers are not truthful, they promise heaven and earth, at least from my own past experience I could tell, and they don't fulfil their promises and even when you are yearning to help them by moving the crown forward, they are not always interested, all they want is selling the forms and making money out of the forms and that is really bad. I think they also need a regulatory body.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

MO ABUDU OPENS DESIGNER OUTLET


The Inspire Africa foundation was founded by Mo Abudu on the 17 anniversary of her talk show “Moment With Mo”. The designer outlet for charity is income generating model for the Inspire Africa foundation. The flagship project here in Lagos and plans for more charity shows across Lagos which will enable the foundation be certain amount of sustainability and independence for the upkeep of “ Habour”, a place of shelter and learning for the street children which will commence in January 2010. The designer outlet for charity is a one stop shop, located at Chase Mall, Adetokunbo Ademola, Victoria Island, Lagos. The shop has products from a host of designers from the best names in the world such as Fred Eboka, Deola Sagoe, Ituen Basi, Burnor Creations, Amede, Davida Shirt Makers, Lanre Da Silva amongst others.

VIVID IMAGINATION BOSS, GODWIN MEKWUYE OPENS MULTI MILLIONAIRA GYM AND SPA FOR WIFE, LAURA


The name Godwin Mekwuye may not ring a bell. But no one can ever miss out on that of his fashion label, Vivid Imagination, made popular by Sir Shina Peter’s song. His designs are tailored are tailored to the older men and he has a large customer base in the Government circles made up of Senators, Ministers and Members of the National assembly. But this story is not about him or his fashion label. It’s basically about the new multi naira gym and spa that he recently opened for his pretty wife, Laura. Neatly tucked away on the serene Odunsanmi Street, Off Wempco Road, Ogba, Lagos, it promises to be the most exotic health and wellness farm in Nigeria. It is a one stop shop of wellness gym, nail and hair studio, spa and sauna. The gym has modern equipments suitable for all forms of exercise and body building. Inside the gym are equipments for tummy trimming, gymnasium stretch, flat incline bench, dumb bells, thread mills and more while the spa offers unique concept of total body wellness from massage therapy to waxing to make-up programme. Clients will experience all the pampering of luxurious spa with treatment including state of the art skin therapy, waxing and tinting, head to toe treatment skin and many more. The saloon has booming facility for hair, nail beauty and barbing salon. The political science graduate from the University of Ibadan used to work in a bank before venturing into this new life of business.
According to the CEO of the Smart Gym and Spa, it was her personal experience that motivated her to establish the spa. “I was in Banking and the stresses bankers go through require that you constantly have to revitalize. So I usually patronize spas, but I found out that it was impossible to get everything I wanted under one roof. When I spoke to some friends, I discovered that many people had the same problem, and that was how I came about the idea. I am on a familiar terrain because I like looking good.”
She continued: “And because I am so passionate about wellness and beauty, I decided to set up a one-stop shop for wellness, fitness and beauty. With this goal in mind, we took our time to carefully shop around for the best equipment for every service. With all the equipment in place, we also set out to find professionals that are willing to imbibe our philosophy as ultimate in wellness, fitness and beauty”

HAIR STYLIST, BOBBY EKE HIT BY STROKE


Among the crowd of Lagos big babes and society women, Bobby Eke, the celebrity hair stylist and boss of top hair salon, Bobby’s Signature is one of the hair stylist they hold in high esteem. Not only because he is an award winning hair stylist who has managed the hair of thousands of society women and super big babes across the country as well as done the bridal hair of hundreds of celebrities, but also because of how Bobby has developed a relationship with many of them who troop to his saloon located in Bode Thomas, Surulere and Off Allen Avenue, Ikeja. Bobby runs a business that is more than just about hair, as his business place has become a place where many celebrity babes hang out and let their hair down literally. But the news that broke about the good-looking light skinned hair stylist recently, threw many women who heard about it off balance.
Penultimate week, the story about Bobby having suffered stroke filled the air. Sources revealed that shortly before he suffered stroke, Bobby had been spotted at the gym, where he had gone for his work-out routine. The result of the stroke, it was gathered has left him paralyzed on his right side, as well as incapacitating his ability to speak.
What has made the misfortune that befell Bobby had for many of his ardent customers is how Bobby who has diagnosed with Diabetes, and has been managing the condition for years had made serious effort to keep healthy since the beginning of the year 2009.
Firstly, he heeded his doctors’ advice to lose some weight and start eating healthy as a result of which Bobby consciously changed his lifestyle. And the result was amazing, as a few months , he lost quite an appreciable amount of pounds from his weight, as well as looked better that he’d ever been, to the admiration of his female admirers/customers who couldn’t stop paying him compliments for a job well done.
It was gathered that soon after Bobby’s health suffered this major blow, not much of him was seen at his places of business, both in Surulere and Ikeja. But many people just assumed that he may have embarked on one of his trips abroad on business as he is known to often do. But as his absence began to grow longer than usual, those close to him began to wonder what could be amiss, until the news was broken penultimate week that he suffered stroke.
Bobby who is presently been taken care of by one of his long time friends, Tessy, we hear may be flown abroad for better medical care and therapy to help him regain his speech and control of the right side of his body that has been affected.
Right now, friends of Bobby are coming together to render assistance to him, so as to ensure that he gets back on his feet and beat the stroke. While this arrangement is going on, his business has continued to function on account of how Bobby has successfully trained his staff, all of who have stayed on course in rendering efficient service at both his outlets.

WHEN WILL ADEBAYO JONES MARRY ?


This was the question on many lips as celebrated Haute Couture expert received a gong at the recently held Nigerian Fashion Awards.
The UK based designer has dressed some of the most elegant women from across the globe thereby making his bachelor status even more worrisome for some of those who were at the show. Never mind the applause that followed the announcement of his name as the award recipient, quite a number of people gossiped aloud about the designer’s marital status. Though we fall into a category of a very irritated group who can’t help but wonder why majority of people think that a high percentage of fashion industry stars are not straight. But honestly, isn’t Lexy Mojo-Eyes married? And how about Mudi and a handful of others?

MAKIDA MOKA EMERGES FACE OF SLEEK 2009


The search for the Face of Sleek came to a climax last Sunday, when fair skinned Makida Moka beat 14 other contestants in a keenly contested search to emerge as the 1st Face of Sleek Nigeria. Held at the prestigious Oriental Hotels Lekki, the show also tagged 'The Symphony of Style 2-' which had all the trappings of an international catwalk, also heralded Christmas, as the open space of the venue was decorated with Christmas lights creating a roof over the audience. The black dress code for the evening was strictly adhered to by celebrities and fashionnistas who stormed the show in various designs of black dresses, some graceful while others outrightly outlandish.
The 15 contestants, who were named after Sleek range of hair, made about four appearances on stage and were dressed by notable Nigerian designers Amede's designs, Kiki Kamanu, Nancii and Zizi Cardow, with hair and make up handled by Sleek.. It was spiced with a number of musical performances by Omawunmi, DNMT and Style Plus, with a special performance by Sleek models tagged 'Sleek models on Ice' with the girls all dressed in ice kits, on stage in a specially choreographed dance routine.Comperes for the night were Derenle and Kate Henshaw, while Helen Paul who is fast becoming a most sought after female comedian in the country, got the audience cracking with her jokes.
High point of the contest was the interview segment, a section which saw most of the contestants flunking their questions, eliciting jeers and laughter from the audience.
At the end of the competition, judges made up of Helen Prest- Ajayi, Adesuwa Onyenokwe, Yemi Adegbite amongst others, declared Miss European Weave Makida Moka, the winner while, Joy Okoye and Olusola Ogundipe was 1st and 2nd runners up respectively .
Apart from looking for a brand ambassador for Sleek, the makeup and hair company with a UK based parent company, the aim of the contest according to Ebere Ugochukwu MD Sleek make-up and Ify Ugochukwu MD Sleek hair is also to crown a worthy winner; a woman who is beautiful on the outside and inside.
Makida as the new Face of Sleek walks away with a brand new jeep and a modeling contract. She along with her runners -up will also take part in the Top Model of Color contest organized by Mahogany Productions and to be held in the UK sometime in 2010.
The winner's first assignment is already booked; a photo shoot for the skin secrets skincare range by Sleek taking place in the UK early January 2010 and she will be the Face of Sleek skincare on the African continent.

@ BENUE FASHION WEEK 2009


As part of the activities to mark the 3rd edition of ‘’Celebrate Benue Woman’’, the first edition of the Benue Fashion Week was staged at the IBB Square in Makurdi, the Benue state capital. It was an event put together by the Office of Her Excellency, Arc Yemisi Dooshima Suswam, Wife of the Governor of Benue state in collaboration with Legendary Gold Limited.
Benue Fashion Week is packaged and organised due to the genuine desire of Arc Yemisi Suswam to empower the youths in all 23 local government areas of Benue state through fashion designing and modelling with the major goal of promoting decent dressing.
About 9 days before the Benue Fashion Week, Legendary Gold Limited and the Central Planning Committee for the event conducted a screening of intending Models and designers from the state. Over 982 intending models and designers showed up for the screening. At the end of the screening, 23 male, 23 female models and 23 designers where selected to represent each of the 23 local government areas of the state.
3 international consultants were brought in from Milan and New York to work and prepare the participants for the event. They included Aristeo Tengco, CEO of Emmanuel New York Models, Piercarlo Borgogelli, a top fashion consultant from Milan and Giancarla Manusardi, fashion choreographer from Milan.
The Benue Fashion Week was filled with fun, Glitz and razmataz as was to be expected. It was a perfect evening of fashion, Music and comedy. Special Guest of Honour was Her Excellency, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan, Wife of the Vice President. She was supported by Her Excellency, Mrs Abimbola Fashola, Wife of the Governor of Lagos state and Onare Duke. The perfect hosts for the evening were the first couple of the state Gabriel and Yemisi Suswam.
Other dignitaries at the event included the Deputy Governor of the state and wife Chief Mrs Lawani, the speaker of the state house of Assembly Honourable Dooma Egba and other dignitaries from the state and beyond.
The unique thing about the Benue Fashion Week was that participating designers prepared their collection from locally made fabrics from Benue state. The Tiv clothe was widely used by all the designers.
At the end of the Benue Fashion Week, Emmanuel of Da lapel fashion house was declared the best designer. He won a brand new car, represented Benue state in the just concluded Nigeria Fashion Show in Lagos and will early next year get an internship with an Italian designer in Milan.
The best female model was Anita Ochima. She won a cash prize of N500, 000 and got a year modelling contract with Emmanuel New York Models. She also represented Benue state in the just concluded Nigeria Model Awards in Lagos. The best male model was Oteikwu. He won a cash prize of N500, 000 and participated in the just concluded Nigeria Fashion Week in Lagos. All runners –up received consolation cash prizes.

DAKOVA COMMENCES WORK ON NEW HANG-OUT


Gist filtering in from Abuja has it that the A-list fashion designer and owner of upscale fun-spot, Aristotle Champagne Lounge (inside Ceddis Plaza), David Kolawole Vaughan has began work on his new hang-out.
Penciled down to be a fashion lounge on completion, with Ben Bruce’s Abuja Silverbird Galleria as proposed site. Sources disclosed that Dakova, as the talented dressmaker is widely addresses has started shopping for fittings as well as gadgets that would go into the place.
Judging from the master plan of the fun haven, it would be one of the best in the capital city, an insider disclosed.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

BEACH LIVING, A BEACH ACCESSORIES BOUTIQUE OPENS IN LAGOS

A day out at the beach never looked so good! Beach Living, a beachwear and accessories boutique has just opened in Lagos to rave reviews. The shop situated not far from the Lagos Motor Boat Club on Awolowo road in Ikoyi has all the gear you need for that perfect day at the beach.
In the words of the shop manager, Astra Ejaife, “The idea behind Beach Living is to make it a one-stop shop for all beach accessories and to ensure that a day out at the beach feels good. The shop promises to distinguish itself with excellent service and the convenience that will make going to the beach a pleasurable experience. From Bikinis, sarongs, kaftans and beach inspired furnishings and artwork; as well as toys for kids and life jackets, you just cannot have enough.”
She stated further that “The shop caters to all the family’s needs; male or female, young or old. There is a colourful pot pourri of fun items and fashionable clothing on display, designed to suit everyone’s taste and needs. It is fully stocked to give customers a memorable outing at the beach.”
Beach Living is not limited to ‘wear and ware’; the owners promise customers a surprise addition in the form of new stock or novel ideas every month. There are also plans in the works to include pre ordered picnic baskets for those Sunday’s at the beach, beach house rentals and equipment rentals. This is to help give customers the best at all times and ensure constant customer satisfaction. The shop combines unique, quality collections with affordable pricing.

INSIDE MODUPE OZOLUA NEW SPA


Modupe Ozolua is the Chief Executive Officer Body Enhancement’s Limited in Nigeria. She is also the president of the Body Enhancement Annual Reconstructive Surgery (BEARS). After 8 years of pioneering cosmetic surgery and introducing Aesthetic lasers to Nigeria, she decided to take her business to another dimension with the opening of a Beauty Spa, Indulge Spa. It was born out of the need to satisfy the increasing demands from clients. Indulge Spa was created keeping in mind that we live very hectic lives. It is a haven from the frenetic pace of urban life, catering for busy professionals with little time to spare. Here, personalized pampering is taken to another level. She combines ancient rituals and modern day techniques into holistic treatments for all needs. She also got some top beauty therapists from Europe in a bid to give her customers the first class service. She has a whole range of products which include; facials, massage, waxing, laser treatment, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, body treatment, body scrub, body wrap, hand and feet treatment, manicure and pedicure, amongst others. She did not spare anything in ensuring that the place was tastefully done and lives up to the class and standard that Modupe has been known for over the years. Most of the state-of-the-earth equipment were flown in from Europe. The amenities embedded in the spa include; Executive VIP room which has large Jacuzzi, large pedicure spa chair with massage and reclining features, comfortable customized massage bed, large steam shower, romantic dining room for 2, luxurious bathroom, tastefully decorated rooms with candle and flower petals, luxurious waiting room, all treatment room have private bathroom, guest relaxation lounge with heat massage chairs, private steam room, hand and foot treatment room, health cafĂ© amongst others. The new spa located in the Lekki axis of Lagos also offers a variety of membership packages with many benefits to suit their needs. The spa is also available for booking such as bridal, birthday, group and others

ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF

Hey, just decided to enter the blog world.
I was actually inspired by lindaikeji and niyitabiti blogs.
I love their blogs and read them all the time…
I am an ex-supermodel cum fashion writer, designer and event manager.
Anyway, so this blog basically is going to be about me and the things I love…. so there is going be a lot of fashion, entertainment, events, places and gist…lol….
You will get to read most of my published articles in the magazine and other breaking news around the country.
I’ll also feature career and business advice, beauty tips and generally whatever seems interesting
You can email me at bebeakinboade@yahoo.com
You can send me stuff you want me to feature or if you want me to add your website to the links section
I’ll try not to spill too many of my secrets but we’ll see
So invite your friends and don’t forget to bookmark the blog….Ciao