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Thursday, June 30, 2011

CHRISTY ESSIEN -IGBOKWE IS DEAD!!!


Nigeria's entertainment sector has again lost one of its stars with the death of The Lady of Songs, Christy Essien-Igbokwe. . The first female PMAN president died today at the age of 50 after a brief illness.
The late singer known for the popular song ‘Seun Rere’ had her first album (Freedom) in 1976 at aged 16 and wedded Edwin Igbokwe three years later. She followed up with other albums ; ‘Patience’, ‘Time Waits for No One’(both 1978), ‘One Understanding’ (1979), ‘Give Me A Chance’ (1980), however her 1981 hit album, ‘Ever Liked My Person’ remains her best LP till date.
Family members have confirmed reports of her death. Cause of death is not yet known but the singer was diagnosed with hole-in-heart during her first pregnancy which she was quoted to have said miraculously got healed. Interestingly, she was said to have predicted her death earlier this year. She is survived by her husband and four children including Kaka, an artiste.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

“I RELOCATED FROM THE U.S TO PURSUE MUSIC”; AFRO-POP/R & B SINGER, CHIDYNMA


Chidinma Okebalama, also referred to as Chidynma D’Voice first made her presence known on the music scene in Nigeria in 2008 where she performed alongside multiple award- winning hip hop artiste, Banky W during the Nigerian Reunion in Maryland, USA. She was born in America but raised in Port Harcourt. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston, where she studied Electrical Engineering. She relocated to Nigeria last year to continue her music career registering herself as one of the female voices to watch out for in the industry. Since her return, she has been hard at work recording with the likes of Don Jazzy, Sam Klef, Hakym ‘The Dream’ and Duncan Daniels. Her new song, ‘Woozy Woozy’ produced by Hakym is the first single off her anticipated album. It is a fun dance record with a very catchy hook. Her profile has also been on the rise lately. In this interview with BOLA AKINBOADE, she opens up on her life, music and passion.

How did you get into music?
I started singing at about age 5 in the Children’s choir of my Church, Assemblies of God in Rumuomasi, Port Harcourt. After that I joined several other choirs and singing groups as I got older. I did some studio work too, and solo effort while in the University in America. I love performing; I love standing in front of many people and just singing my heart out. The feeling it gives me is priceless. I have the most fun on stage, but sometimes it doesn’t always go smoothly, you just have to swing it. My father told me at a young age that I could go professional if I wanted to, so with that in mind, it was just a matter of realizing I wanted to take it up as a career.

How hard was it to move from the U.S back to Nigeria to pursue music?
Yes, I moved back about a year ago from Boston to pursue music big time. It had always been something I knew I would do, but the fear of failure usually makes us think twice when making life changing decisions. In 2008, I first thought about pursuing music seriously in Nigeria, when I saw how the likes of D’banj and Banky W were progressing after being away from Nigeria for a while. That gave me hope and I entertained the idea some more in 2009 when I came for Christmas and met a few artistes in the industry. In March 2010 I made the move, and I would say it was an easy decision, but not an easy execution. Change is always weird, but I’m glad I did it.

Your profile has been on the rise within a short period of time, how were you able to achieve this?
It definitely is God’s favor to start with, because sometimes I find my tremendous rise shocking. Also building the fan base has helped a lot, because they help publicize and spread your music to their friends etc. I would also say meeting the right people, and my attitude towards music and entertainment as a whole. Don’t forget the talent, which is at the core of it all.

Who are/were your biggest influences currently and while growing up artistically?
I love Da’dra Crawford, from the gospel duo ‘Anointed’ she has an amazing voice, she’s probably my greatest influence vocally. I listened to a lot of Onyeka, Mariah Carey, Whitney and Celine as a teenager. But I love Beyonce, as an all-rounder artiste, performer and entrepreneur. She’s fantastic. She is a hard-worker and it’s definitely paying massive dividends. I also love Chris Brown; his voice is out of this world, in my opinion top 5 I’ve ever heard. He is very creative with his voice, and that’s something I emulate from him.
Your 2 Singles, “Obimo” and “Woozy Woozy” have become the favorite of many. What is the inspiration behind the songs?
Thank you very much. Obimmo I wrote at a Starbucks Coffee shop in Boston on one of my numerous trips to get my favorite coffee. I would say it was a planned song. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with that song. I wanted to show my range and sing about love, which is the greatest gift you can give someone. I didn’t have a chorus at that time, but one day the inspiration for the chorus came, then I immediately went to the studio to record it, and the rest is history.
Woozy is a just a fun song. I was trying to tell people to be straight forward and go for it. If you like someone, no need to pretend, or give false signals, just go for it. The worst you can hear is ‘No’.

What kind of music do you sing and why this style?
I would classify my music as Afro Pop and RnB. I love pop music, because it allows me to move my body as I perform. I love dancing too, so I usually have dancers and do a bit of a routine while I perform. I love RnB because it gives me more opportunity to express myself and also showcase my vocals and range.

How was growing up like for you. Can you take us down the memory lane?
Growing up was a whole lot of things. I grew up in a very religious home. Both grandfathers were pastors, so at any early age, I learnt that God is author and finisher of everything that concerns me. I remember it was a lot of fun at home. My family is quite energetic and affectionate, so there was almost never a dull moment. My dad was very playful, but I still got flogged when I misbehaved. I remember having a lot of dogs in our compound, and I got bitten once by one of them, so till this day it takes me a whole lot of courage to be around dogs or even touch them. I come from a very sport- loving family. My dad loved tennis more than any sport, so my two brothers and I learnt how to play, and I even played for my University in Boston. Now I’m a hardcore Rafael Nadal fan, and for football, I support Barcelona FC and Manchester United all day.

A lot of people found out about you after you performed at Bella Adenuga’s wedding. How did you land that gig? Cos after all the Beyonce speculations, everyone was curious as to who would perform at the wedding?
Well, Bella is a very good friend of mine, she’s very supportive of my music career and she loved Obimmo once she heard it. She asked me if I would perform the song on her wedding day, and that was the greatest honor I could do for her. I had previously performed at her pre-wedding dinner and the church service, but the performance at the reception was the icing on the cake. Its funny people were expecting Beyonce, even till the wedding ended they thought she would just appear as a surprise. I’m sure they were a bit confused when they saw me, because that was like my first major performance after moving back to Nigeria, but nonetheless, it was a good platform, and I really had a lot of fun doing it.

There is another Chidinma who is also making waves currently on the music, don’t you think there might be a clash of personalities. And how have been able to handle the clash in the stage name?
There might be a clash in our stage names, though spelt differently, but pronounced the same, but there won’t be a clash in personality. Although I started first, she has a huge fan base because of the competition, she is light skinned as well, so some people mistake us for each other, she’s talented too and I admire her, but we are two different artistes. She’s Chidinma Project fame; I’m ChiDynma D’Voice, as a lot of people have started referring to me as. Hopefully with my video for Obimmo dropping soon, people would be able to associate my voice with my face, and it would further clarify things.

Let’s talk about your love life, who is the lucky man in your life now and when is the wedding bell ringing?
There is currently no lucky man in my life now. Although I wish that would change, but I guess when the right guy comes along, you’ll hear about it.

What are the qualities you admired in your Mr Right?
There is no Mr Right in my life at the moment, but I love a man that can pray, a guy that would be supportive of my music career, regardless of how rich and famous I become, someone that cares about his family and would love mine too because they are a very big part of my life. I would really like someone with a great sense of humor because I love to laugh, so that one is kind of like a ‘must have’

If you weren’t into music, what other things would you be doing career-wise?
I studied Electrical Engineering in University, and I worked as a System Test Engineer for about 4 years. I would probably have still been working as an Engineer. But I mean, I really don’t know, because I love engineering but it got a little routine for me. I love the spontaneity being a musician brings. I think I would have found my way back to entertainment. I always considered being a face model, and that’s something I still want to do in the future.

What are your future plans?
I recently just ended a 5 state tour, now I’m in the process of dropping a video. Also expect another single to drop very soon. I am working on my album at the moment, still in the recording phase, but I’m making really good progress with that.

JEWEL BY LISA LAUNCHES AFFORDABLE LUXURY LINE: J LABEL






Jewel by Lisa is by far one of the freshest, most fun and feminine fashion houses in the Nigerian fashion industry. Its fame and fabulousness has spread beyond the shores of Africa receiving international acclaim and being a favorite of international superstar and fashion goddess, Kelis. Jewel by Lisa has consistently delivered quality and style collection after collection and left us wanting more! Lisa Folawiyo, the brain behind this thriving brand recently introduces a new line called “The J Label”.
The J Label was birthed out of Lisa Folawiyo’s endless love affair with fashion. A desire to create, a completely new and unique brand for the youthful, fashion conscious, everyday girl, a true dictator of style with an unbreakable loyalty to the Jewel by Lisa brand. The J Label is a strong combination of urban cool, afro-pop, and cutting edge beautifully crafted clothes.
It is affordable luxury at its best. The pieces are high-fashion-completely-relevant to youth life; hand embellished treasures, to be admired, hung nicely in wardrobes the world over, then easily incorporated with other everyday pieces. The J Label remains about quality, craftsmanship, detail, comfort, and most essential considerable affordability.
The J label is not a cheaper version of Jewel by Lisa. It is not a substitute. They are not alternatives for each other.
The line is not about creating “cheaper” Jewel by Lisa pieces; it is about creating one of a kind pieces that represent a certain youthful, modern funk aesthetic, within a more than an appealing price point. Jewel by Lisa has always been seen as a ‘youthful’ brand, but with the last few seasons, the brand has matured, the pieces are more ‘grown up’.
Regardless of age, Lisa designs what she thinks is cool, and that’s the bottom line. Jewel by Lisa will continue to evolve with its custom made luxurious fabrics, intricate beading techniques, and fashion forward silhouettes. In addition to Ankara, good quality chiffon, jersey, and cotton were used to also create a sophisticated effect.

SERENA WILLIAMS SPARKLES IN A TIARA AS PROM QUEEN




Serena Williams has recovered from her Wimbledon knock-out by playing a prom queen instead. The Olympian traded in her regular court attire for a pink silk gown, tiara and long white gloves.With her world ranking likely to slip following Monday's performance, the tennis ace could always switch to a career in comedy.
Serena takes centre stage in a new video to promote an upcoming sports awards show, by fluttering her eyelashes and serenading comedian Seth Meyers.
The 29-year-old stands in front of an audience to show off her vocal chords to prom chaperone Seth, a head writer for US show Saturday Night Live.
She also pretends to play the clarinet, as Seth calls out to her: 'You'll always be my queen!'
The footage is to promote this year's Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards, which Seth will host.
Serena was knocked out of Wimbledon at the beginning of the week, on the same day as her sister Venus.
The girls suffered embarrassing fourth round defeats, signaling the first time they had both been knocked out of The Championships before the quarter-finals.
Serena was beaten by Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli following a straight sets loss of 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), while Venus lost to Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova with a score of 6-2, 6-3.

INTRODUCING: EIGHT-INCH PAIR OF STILETTOS BY CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTINS


You can't turn the page of a magazine without seeing the likes of Victoria Beckham or Coleen Rooney teetering around in a pair of sky-high Christian Louboutins.
But now the 47-year-old, French shoe designer has taken height to the next level producing a pair of eight-inch, red-soled stilettos.
Based on the ballet shoe, the towering silk and Swarovski-encrusted heels are being auctioned off along with a number of other fashion wares to raise funds for the English National Ballet (ENB).
These are one of a number of unique lot items which have been specifically created by some of the leading names in fashion.
Designers including Erdem, Giles Deacon, Moschino, Roksanda Ilincic and Julien Macdonald have donated ballet-inspired pieces, modeled by professional dancers.
The current sale - which is hoped to raise over £50,000 for the ENB - comes following the Arts Council's decision to cut its grant by around £2 million.
Louboutin said: 'I could not help being inspired by English National Ballet... after all... isn’t the classical dancing ballet slipper the ultimate heel?
'The heel which makes dancers closer than any other women to the sky, closer to heaven!'
Without raising necessary funds the world famous ballet company will be forced to cutback performances and touring.
Founded in 1950 by Dame Alicia Markova and Sir Anton Dolin, the English National Ballet employs 65 dancers and a symphony orchestra. There has traditionally been collaboration between ballet and fashion dating back to Coco Chanel and dance director Sergei Diaghilev in the 1920s.

IBIDUN AJAYI - IGHODALO EXPANDS BUSINESS


Ibidun Ajayi- Ighodalo is one of the most sought after event planners in Nigeria. She is reputed for ability to ‘think outside the box’ and deliver creative event ideas. Former beauty queen and the wife of Pastor Ituah Ighodalo of Trinity House recently added new set of businesses to her fast growing company. The first is the upgrading of her services in bouquet to cater for events management. The second is a free-of-charge mentoring support service for up-and-coming event planners tagged, Betty Assist.
Her bouquets provides various classified offerings including world expertise, tools and techniques sourced from the world’s most expensive innovative event experts. The bouquets also feature the most reputable masters of ceremonies, exciting hall decorations, aesthetics, ushers, entertainers, refreshments, security and coverage. Each bouquet applies its own negotiable price tag including customized demands and specifications.
The Graded Event Bouquets are not for sales promotion but rather a revolutionary service to empower Nigerians and delight them across their socio-economic strata. They are called ER Classic, ER Chic and ER Avant-garde Bouquets.
The free mentoring support service is as a result of yearnings of ever growing event planners. Her aim is to demonstrate her professional and social responsibility to them, mentoring them one-on-one basis, guiding, equipping and assisting them to acquire at no cost world class expertise that they may ever need on any major project or assignment to delight their clients at their convenience.
With these two innovations, average and high income earners can now afford the deluxe services of this international trained certified and experienced planner.

FOLORUNSHO ALAKIJA PLANS BIRTHDAY BASH


Folorunsho Alakija is one of the major forces to reckon with in the fashion industry in Nigeria. Her name rings bell in the industry not just because of her romance with fashion designing but also because of her dress sense, you cannot catch her unawares when it comes to fashion. She attracts attention at every occasion by her gorgeous dressing.
This philanthropist and fashion icon will be celebrating her 60th birthday in Lagos. It promises to be grand in all ramifications. The shiding is a 3-in-1: affair Folorunsho Alakija 60th, 35th wedding anniversary and the 3rd birthday of Miss Femi Sayo Alakija(their granddaughter). Cathedral Church of Christ will host a thanksgiving service, while reception is at Expo Hall of Eko Hotel & Suites.
Those who have seen the invitation card are convinced that an A-list shindig will be staged on Saturday, July 16, 2011. The cream and gold invitation card is one of the most beautiful we have seen. Boxlike, it has a floral decoration with stones and a red rose, and the words The Alakijas celebrates sixtieth. Once you open it, on the left are some instructions about the colored cards (on the right of the box).The words of the invite (gold letters on red velvet) are in the middle of the box. There’s a silver brooch (of a rose on top). Already, plans are in top gear to give Folorunsho Alakija a befitting celebration.

Monday, June 27, 2011

INSIDE THE NEW HOUSE OF TARA MAKEOVER OUTFIT, LEKKI


Last month, Make-up Queen, Tara- Fela Durotoye, added another feather to her cap when she opened another branch at Onikepo Akande Street, Lekki, Lagos. The one-storey orange edifice which is a beauty to behold comprises of a make-up school, conference room, make-up studio, lounge and a staff area.
Its an edgy, modern and new makeup studio offering everything you need to change your feel and looks for the better.
It is dedicated to serving individuals and corporate clients who desire to enhance their unique looks, or that of their client, using make-up products and techniques.
It is also involved in raising young entrepreneurs in the beauty industry otherwise referred to as beauty care representatives.
Services include; Makeover studio, Gele tying studio, Eyebrow grooming, Home service makeup, Bridal Makeup, Engagement Makeup and others.
So, visit the Lekki outfit today and start your transformation to change, remember change is a good thing.

Contact details:
Plot 13a, Onike Akande Street, Opposite Avalon House, Off Admiralty way, Lekki Phase 1,Lagos.
Tel no:08022922922
Website: www.houseoftara.com

Sunday, June 26, 2011

WOULD YOU HAVE A BREAST JOB WHILE WIDE AWAKE?



On the operating table lies a pretty blonde-haired woman with her eyes closed. A large blue fabric drape separates her head from her body and her breasts are exposed.
Each has a small incision along the base as though a fine red line has been drawn on with a felt-tip pen. The surgeon begins his work, carefully pushing a large, jelly-like implant into each breast. The girl's eyes open, she smiles up at me and says: 'Does my hair look OK?'
Is this a surreal nightmare? No. Welcome to the future of surgery.
Consultant plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon Fazel Fatah, and his fellow consultant Hiroshi Nishikawa, have honed a new operating technique at the Westbourne Clinic in Birmingham, where they perform elective cosmetic surgery using a combination of local anaesthetic and sedation. The patient is conscious, but woozy, and feels no pain. Most extraordinarily, they are able to hold a conversation throughout and can go home an hour after surgery - hence the procedure being dubbed 'the lunchtime boob job'.
'A general anaesthetic involves a combination of drugs to induce a state of complete unconsciousness, but this carries certain risks,' says Fatah.
'The drugs work by blocking nerve signals from the brain to the body. This means no pain can be felt, but as the muscles are paralyzed patients can breathe only with the help of a machine, via a tube pushed down the throat. This can cause bruising, cuts to the lips and tongue and, in rare cases, tooth damage.'
General anaesthetic side effects include nausea and vomiting after surgery in 30 per cent of cases. This usually happens straight away but some may feel sick for up to a day.
More serious complications are rare, occurring in less than one case for every 10,000 anaesthetics given, but include permanent nerve damage causing paralysis or numbness, a serious allergic reaction to the anaesthetic (anaphylaxis) and death (one for every 100,000 general anaesthetics given). The chances of similar complications after local anaesthetic are extremely low.
Fatah has performed abdominoplasty (tummy tucks), liposuction, fat grafting (where the patient's fat is removed by liposuction and then grafted on to the breasts) and even facelifts, using this technique.
'To my knowledge, no one else routinely performs this kind of surgery,' Fatah says. He suggests that general anesthetic is still used in many operations only because of tradition and lack of training.
'When breast augmentations first came in, we didn't have such sophisticated local-anesthetic techniques and drugs. Now we do, there is no reason why we can't perform many more operations under local.'
They perform the same health checks as they would for an operation under a general anesthetic, with a pre-operation assessment.
'Patient care is crucial and preparation is the same high standard as under a general,' says Fatah.
I was invited to watch office worker Nuala McEwan, 31, have a breast augmentation, a procedure that 10,000 British women undergo each year, with numbers rising.
Nuala says: 'With a 34C bust, I wasn't under-endowed, but I wanted them to look fuller. I had looked into having a breast enhancement but had been put off by the idea of a general anesthetic. I was unhappy about my bust, but I wasn't prepared to risk my life changing it.
'When I heard that surgeons could perform the operation with a local anesthetic, not dissimilar to one used by a dentist, I knew it was what I had been looking for.'
On the day of her operation, Nuala arrives at 8am. She changes for surgery into a backless fabric gown.
'I thought I'd be nervous, but I feel quite relaxed,' she says.
In the operating theatre a cannula (fine tube) is inserted into Nuala's hand and the initial sedation is administered intravenously. This relaxes the patient and means she remembers little or nothing about events after the operation. Propofol and Remifenanil - two drugs that have analgesic (painkilling) and sedative qualities - are used. They leave the body within half an hour of the operation finishing.
Local anesthetic, which cuts off nerve signals only to the area in which the drug is administered, is injected into the breasts. This is carried out after sedation so the patient does not feel a thing. Her arms are strapped down so she can't move them and interrupt the surgeon.
'I feel as though I've had one too many glasses of cava,' says Nuala after a few minutes, looking drowsy with her face partially obscured by an oxygen mask.
Fatah administers local an anesthetic to her breasts. A thick implement - the size of a knitting needle - is jabbed repeatedly into each breast. It looks brutal, but it's controlled trauma in the hands of a highly trained expert and Nuala seems unconcerned.
'Can you feel anything?' I ask. 'Not at all,' she smiles.
The breast consists of skin, tissue and fat, which lie on top of muscle. In a breast augmentation, a cavity is created between the muscle and breast and the implant inserted.
A diathermy (heated) needle is used to make the 2in incisions into each breast. This cuts through fat and simultaneously seals blood vessels to minimize bleeding.
On the other side of the screen, Nuala is still cheery. A couple of minutes later she complains of an itchy eyebrow and is more concerned about that than the events below her neck. One of the theatre nurses kindly scratches it for her.
Before the implants are inserted, the breasts are covered with a thin film of plastic so the implants don't touch any skin and remain sterile. Once positioned, Fatah sews up the incisions, using dissolving stitches that will disappear after a month, when the wound has healed.
Fatah anticipates elective surgery under local anesthetic will become increasingly popular, due to the fewer risks.
'It is the way forward for many procedures,' he says. ‘Operations on the knee or other joints, nose jobs and even hernia repairs could be carried out under a local.'
The operation was on a Wednesday and Nuala's bandages were removed after a week, leaving her two cup sizes bigger.
'I don't know why anyone would have a general if it's possible to have a local. It all feels like a dream, but I've got amazing new breasts to prove that it wasn't.'
Breast enhancement costs from £3,880.

FREE GIVEAWAY ON MY BLOG ENDS THIS WEEK; SO COMMENT AND WIN



Hello Peeps, free Giveaway on my Blog ends this week, so comment and win. Who knows, you might be the lucky winner.
And I want to say a big thank you to those who have entered for the raffle draw. Love you all!!!

Here it goes: I'm giving out Bronzer, Mascara and Lipstick from the House of Tara ' Jubilee Collection' inspired by TY Bello. The Jubilee Collection is the first collaborative collection in celebration of ‎‎renowned female photographer/musician, TY Bello.
By working closely with her over the years, House of Tara has been privy to her makeup preferences. This collection is a reflection of TY's favorite colors.
The collection consists of three striking products: fibre fuse mascara, nude lipstick and the bronzer which is a perfect blend of lightweight pigments that enhances the cheekbones and creates a glow in a most natural way.
The House of Tara /Ty Bello Jubilee Collection is presented in a picture-embossed box along with a copy of “The Future”, Ty Bello’s new single while stocks last. And all you have to do is to leave a comment!

Please read the rules of the Giveaway carefully before you enter in it:
- The Giveaway is open to all readers. One entry per person please
- Make sure you provide a valid email (in the email field) and telephone number when you are leaving the comment. This will only be used for contacting the winner of the giveaway
- The Giveaway closes Thursday 30. The winner will be selected through a raffle draw and announced on Saturday July 2.

Good luck to you all!

SEGUN AGBAJE, A MAN OF DESTINY



The passing away of Tayo Aderinokun marks the beginning of another era in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. Since 1990, when the bank first opened its doors to customers, this would be the third change of guard, albeit the latest is different, being due to providence
For an institution founded on sound corporate governance, the issue of succession was never contentious. Fola Adeola and Tayo Aderinokun founded the 21-year-old institution, growing it into one of the most respected banks in the industry. The institution upheld high standards of governance and was a model in financial reporting and compliance.
Mr Adeola, the pioneer chief executive, stepped down in 2002 after 12 years and was succeeded, predictably, by Mr Aderinokun. The succession was seamless as the bank continued on its growth trajectory.
Mr Aderinokun steered the bank through a successful consolidation exercise in 2005, emerging stronger after the storm generated in the sector at the time. The bank continued on its impressive growth, making history in July 2007 as the very first sub-Saharan bank and first Nigerian company to be listed on the London Stock Exchange, raising $750 million in the process.
With Mr Aderinokun's passage, the mantle naturally falls on Segun Agbaje, a pioneer member of staff and son of one of the initial financiers of the bank. Mr Agbaje is the deputy managing director and has been the acting managing director since Mr Aderinokun took ill in April and was flown to a London hospital.
And even if death had spared Tayo Aderinokun, and he lived till 2012, he would have honorably retired from GTBank after having completed his tenure as Managing Director. And Segun Agbaje would have stepped into his shoes.
But death changed the equation, and a new Managing Director has to be appointed now. And Segun Agbaje has a bright chance.
What everyone agrees on is that Agbaje is a brilliant banker whose gift of discerning viable project is enviable. As a pioneer member of staff, Mr Agbaje has worked in almost all groups in the bank; as deputy managing director, he was directly responsible for the Institutional Banking Division which comprises Energy, Telecommunications, Treasury, and Corporate Finance Groups.
He holds a BSc Accountancy degree from the University of San Francisco California (1986) and a Masters degree in Business Administration from the same University (1988).
Prior to joining Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Mr Agbaje worked for Ernst & Young, San Francisco, USA (1988 -1990) as a staff auditor. He was appointed an executive director of GTB in January in 2000 and deputy managing director in 2002.
He is happily married to Derin Olakunri and the union is blessed with a son.

MEET THE EXTRAORDINARY AIMEE MULLINS, THE MODEL, ACTRESS & OLYMPIC ATHLETE






Aimee Mullins was born without fibula bones and had her legs amputated below the knee when she was a baby. But far from slowing her down, her ‘difference’ has spurred her on to fulfil her dreams as an actress, model and Olympic athlete
Earlier this year, Aimee was appointed global ambassador to L’Oréal Paris, joining a formidable line-up that embraces Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Eva Longoria and Cheryl Cole. All are highly accomplished, but none has quite the credentials of Aimee.
A former world-class athlete-turned-actress who started her adult life as an intern at the Pentagon, she has packed a phenomenally diverse range of roles into her stellar CV. So much so that you might think modeling is almost beneath her. She begs to differ.
More than 12 years ago, Aimee became a muse for Alexander McQueen. The late designer had spotted her unique difference and proposed an innovative way of celebrating it. Aimee was born without fibula bones in her shins and her legs were amputated just below the knee when she was a year old. McQueen’s idea was to replace her prosthetics with a pair of intricately carved wooden boots. As she strode the catwalk at London Fashion Week, observers assumed that she was simply an intriguing new face. But when news leaked out afterwards, there was a backlash. McQueen was accused of turning his fashion show into a freak show, and Aimee was hailed as ‘the new disabled supermodel’ – a label she loathed. Ever since, her ambition has been to shed the disabled tag. ‘And now it has happened,’ she says. ‘With L’Oréal, I get to be Aimee Mullins, model. No qualifier. And that means everything to me.’
Peachy-skinned, hazel-eyed and blonde, Aimee possesses the natural requisites for promoting beauty products. Visually, she argues, her foreshortened legs are an irrelevance. But she has been hired as much for her personality, and that, she happily concedes, owes much to the silicone limbs that are currently encased in knee-high biker boots and propped on the coffee table before us. ‘It takes some women till their 30s or even 40s to realize that what makes them beautiful is not what makes them the same as everyone else, but what sets them apart,’ she says. ‘I got there earlier. First I had to accept that I wasn’t normal, and then I learned that what I had been told would be a weakness wasn’t. So by my 20s I was able to think, “Thank God I am not normal, because I get to be extraordinary instead.”’
Now 35, Aimee grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the daughter of a factory-worker father and a mother who worked as a hospital receptionist. At birth, no one could explain why Aimee’s legs had not developed properly (the idea was mooted that it could be connected to her mother taking antibiotics before she knew she was pregnant) and doctors told her parents that it was unlikely she would ever walk. Her only hope, they said, was amputating her shins so that she might learn to use prosthetics at the same time that able-bodied children learn to walk normally. The gamble paid off and by the age of two, Aimee was independently mobile, although bone-growth complications meant that she spent the next six years undergoing successive operations.
One of her earliest memories is having to go back into a wheelchair aged five after surgery because her legs were temporarily too swollen for the prosthetics. ‘I was desperate to return to school, but my kindergarten teacher didn’t want me there. She said it was inappropriate and that I would be a distraction for the other pupils.’ Such attitudes are unthinkable today – ‘but, you know, that was only in the 1980s,’ says Aimee.
Spurred on by her two younger brothers, Aimee was a gung-ho girl who swam, rode a bike, climbed trees and skied. She attended a mainstream school and her parents did not seek special treatment for her. ‘To be honest, they had bigger issues on their plate – jobs to do, bills to pay. We were all raised to be self-reliant. I had a paper round and every night I would put the dinner on before Mum came home from work. I was capable because I had to be.’
Inevitably, as a teenager, Aimee was occasionally bullied, but she believes she had no harder a time than her peers: ‘Whether it is your height, your weight or your skin, someone is going to pick on something and make fun of it. My legs were just a more obvious target.’ She remembers lots of outright stares on summer days at the beach. ‘There were times when I would ignore them and times when I would think, “What are you looking at?” But then you realize that if someone is looking down at you, at some point they are also going to look up and engage. I like it now when kids stare at me, because it is a way of starting a dialogue. And it is far better than them not looking at you at all. Nothing is worse than not being seen.’
One of Aimee’s mantras is that she is as much a product of her failures as her accomplishments. ‘We all bullet point our triumphs, but I am who I am because of everything you don’t see on my CV. The stuff that doesn’t work out teaches you how to trust your instincts and adapt.’
It was Aimee’s ‘failure’ to make it as intern that triggered her sporting career. She had always been a team player at school – playing volleyball, football and softball. At Georgetown, she switched her focus to athletics and set her sights on making the US team for the Olympic Games. In 1996 in Atlanta, wearing carbon-fibre prosthetics that were modelled on the hind legs of a cheetah, she set world records for the 100m and 200m sprints, and she still holds the Paralympic amputee record for the long jump. ‘A lot of my life is about will – having the will to prove what my body can do,’ she says. ‘It is such an incredible thing to be able to test yourself to those limits. Being an athlete is something very private that you do in a public way – and acting is similar.’
Aimee wanted to be an actress ‘for as long as I can remember’. She has had some marked successes, most notably in Cremaster 3, an art-house film directed by Matthew Barney, partner of Icelandic singer Björk. But she still does not consider her acting career fully fledged. ‘I’ve started it – I remember flying to London to appear in a Poirot film and thinking, “OK, I am officially getting paid to be an actor, so I can call myself an actor now.” It is such a loaded thing – especially if you go to Los Angeles, where everyone from the person doing your nails to the garage attendant is an actor.’ Aimee lives in New York and I get the impression that LA is not her favourite place. ‘New York and London are much more me. They are places where you are allowed to be who you are.’
She credits Alexander McQueen with helping her to appreciate British eccentricity. Inevitably, she was deeply saddened by his death last year: ‘I got him completely and he got me.’ Many years ago, she also met Heather Mills, who, as a fellow amputee, introduced her to her Bournemouth-based prosthetist Bob Watts, who has also been prosthetist to the British Paralympic team. He was able to replace Aimee’s plastic legs with the silicone limbs that come complete with hair follicles and freckles. ‘He’s the best in the world. My prosthetics are so lifelike no one can believe they’re not real.’ She has five pairs, built at different heel heights. ‘Like anyone, I am more comfortable in flats – but sometimes, we all need a heel, right? The highest ones are an inch longer in the leg, because why not have some fun with them?’
Aimee’s contract with L’Oréal has enabled her to realize a dream, but she doesn’t anticipate extending her modeling career. ‘I can’t do that clothes-hanger thing. But then the reason I’m here is because I haven’t played by the rules. We need the clothes-hanger models, but they are not the ones that you remember.’
The ambassadorial role does mean her life will become more peripatetic than ever, with publicity and speaking engagements around the world. I wonder where this leaves her personal life, but she doesn’t want to discuss her relationship status, so I assume the answer is inconclusive.

MEET THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN NIGERIA 2011, SYLVIA NDUKA





It’s no news that the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria is Sylvia Nduka. Thirty-Four contestants were selected for the final competition stages and the University of Lagos undergraduate, who represented Taraba State, was the best of the pack displaying beauty, talents and brains.
Sylvia’s official title is Miss MBGN World 2011 and she will represent Nigeria in the 2011 Miss World competition which is being held in London later this year. Her prize includes a brand new Hyundai car and a 3 million Naira cash prize. Sylvia also won the MBGN 2011 Best Traditional Costume prize.
The event was held at the New Convention Centre, Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, the traditional home of Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria Beauty contest.
The contestants were judged based on their look, their carriage, their lifestyle in camp, votes from the public and judgment of the panel of judges. Their swim suit and evening gown segment brought a lot of people to their edge of their seats as they hailed contestants of their choice ceaselessly

Other winners include;
MBGN Universe 2011 – Sophie Gemal (Miss Bayelsa)
MBGN Tourism 2011 – Obioma Isiwu (Miss Enugu)
MBGN ECOWAS 2011 – Grace Ndam (Miss Lagos)
MBGN 2011/BellaNaija Miss Photogenic - Tobi Banjoko (Miss Ondo)
MBGN 2011 Miss Amity – Delphine Okobah (Miss Ebonyi)
MBGN 2011 Miss La Casera – Nwando Ebeledike (Miss Adamawa)
MBGN 2011 Model - Oluchi Okafor (Miss Kogi)
MBGN 2011 Face of Select Pro - Gabriella Ndu (Miss Abia)

‘I DID A DISCO FOR BILL GATES. HIS DANCE STYLE IS SURREAL’; SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR




Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s solo career is now entering its second decade, after she first emerged as a chart-topping singer in the Noughties. Since then she has gone from pop star to 32-year-old mother of two with a rock-star husband. But it hasn’t always been an easy ride.
‘I tasted huge success with my first album, and when it’s happening it feels like a roller coaster you can’t get off,’ she says. ‘You should be very careful about wishing for success on that scale.’
The daughter of Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis, she started out with indie band Theaudience in the late Nineties aged 18, before hitting the big time with the single Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love), a collaboration with Italian DJ Spiller. It was released in 2000 and became a huge summer anthem.
Her debut album Read My Lips followed a year later, and sold two million copies worldwide. In addition to singing, Ellis-Bextor is also a model and DJs regularly with husband Richard Jones, bassist with The Feeling.
The couple live in London and have two sons, Sonny, seven, and Kit, two.

THE IPOD WOULDN’T HAVE EXISTED WITHOUT ME.
I’ve heard from reliable Apple sources that my first single with Spiller was used to demo the iPod. It’s quite cool imagining Steve Jobs listening to it and thinking, ‘This white box will work – it sounds great!’ No one’s ever recognized my contribution to it in any way over at Apple. In fact, it’s only ever cost me money, because the whole house is full of Apple gear as a result. A musician can’t live without it now.

BILL GATE’S DANCE STYLE IS VERY SURREAL.
I have a nice sideline with my husband, as we DJ as Mr and Mrs Jones. It was a bit of fun that blossomed into a business. We get asked to do some very flash gigs, too. Perhaps the best we’ve ever done was a private gig at a mansion in Antibes for a Russian oligarch. It was hugely lavish affair that included Bill Gates on the guest list. His dancing is unique. He does a kind of clap to the front and a clap to the back, and a shuffle. We were taking golf-buggy rides in the grounds later on when we crashed one into the manicured flower beds. About six plain-clothes security men appeared from nowhere. We thought we were going to be thrown out, but they just took the buggy away and brought us another one.

THE ROYAL WEDDING MADE ME VERY PROUD TO BE BRITISH.
I hired a pub in east London with the boys from The Feeling. We made a real effort. We all had to wear wedding gear – nice dresses, big hats, buttonholes – and the music was classic wedding cover tunes. I wouldn’t say I’m a staunch royalist, but to turn my nose up at the big day would have been ridiculous. In fact, as a toddler I was at a street party for Charles and Diana’s. There’s a picture of me holding a balloon and a little Union Jack in our street. I think that a bit of pomp and circumstance is no bad thing, and who doesn’t like a good wedding?

I’M BIG IN RUSSIA, BUT NO ONE’S QUITE SURE WHY.
The theory I keep hearing is that apparently I look rather Russian. Whatever the reason, I love going there. Richard and I took an overnight train last year from Moscow to St Petersburg, which felt really exotic and romantic in a very old-fashioned way. We spent most of the journey getting drunk in the dining car on vodka and looking out of the window. Later on, I fell out of the top bunk as I was trying to get into bed and gave myself a huge bruise on my leg.

MY WORK TAKES ME ALL OVER THE WORLD.
I did one gig in Beirut that involved a six-hour flight. I had a shower at the hotel, changed, spent six minutes on stage, turned round and came back. It was a blur. I did another in Vladivostok that involved a 15-hour flight. I jumped on stage for a couple of numbers, turned around and came back. There was another in Azerbaijan when I had no one to go with, two tickets and a hotel room, so I took my eldest son. He went into school on the Monday and they asked, ‘What did you do at the weekend?’ He said, ‘I went to Baku for the day.’

MY ADDICTION TO EBAY SCARES ME.
I used to trawl round charity shops and vintage stores, but eBay changed all that. I’m an addict. I’ll sit there with a glass of wine and my laptop while the TV’s on in the evening and surf away. The possibilities are endless. There’s always something that catches your eye.

I HAVE A ONE-ARMED BANDIT AND A PINBALL MACHINE IN MY KITCHEN.
I use them when I’m waiting for pans to boil – they give me genuine pleasure to look at each day. Our house is full of retro stuff. I collect a lot of vintage bric-a-brac from the Fifties and Sixties; jigsaw puzzles of the Royal Family, holiday-camp postcards, that sort of thing. The house could pass for a film set. My husband and I are big kids really, but you have to ask yourself if your obsession is going too far when your seven-year-old is given a nice toy for his birthday and says, ‘Is it OK to open it, Mum, or shall we keep it for display?’

THE NHS SAVED MY SON’S LIFE.
When Sonny was four months old he contracted meningitis. It was incredibly worrying and so dangerous for him. It was horrible, but the doctors spotted it straight away and the transformation when he was treated was incredible. The NHS is a bit iffy when you sprain an ankle, but when it’s a high-priority issue, it’s fantastic. They don’t mess about. They’re incredibly efficient when things go wrong. I feel really distressed that it might not always be there.

EVERYONE DESERVES A SECOND CHANCE.
I toured with Take That and ended up doing over 35 dates with them – they’d come and watch me sound check and we’d chat all the time. You could see how much they appreciated a second chance. They put on a fantastic show with lasers, set changes and dancers.

I’M KNOWN FOR BEING GLAMOROUS.
I love the idea of a bit of glamor, but I’m not obsessed with my image. You should make an effort on stage because it’s a performance. The stage should be glittery and camp, but I don’t go down the shops in full stage gear.

SUNKANMI OMOBOLANLE WEDS IN STYLE





On Saturday, June 18, 2011, Sunkanmi Omobolanle, son of the veteran comic actor Sunday Omobolanle(Papa Aluwe) and his long time heartthrob, Kudirat Bakare were joined as husband and wife at a star studded ceremony in Lagos. The event which took place at Ziggies Event Centre, Bashiru Shittu Street, Magodo Lagos attracted dignitaries from all walks of life including entertainers and politicians.
The couple met 11 years ago in secondary school, but lost contact after the completion of their O’levels. They met again about 2 years ago through the social network, Facebook and renewed their relationship.
The bride arrived the venue in the company of the groom’s father in a black Land Rover Jeep V8 SE. She was in a blue lace Iro and Buba. She spent sometime inside the jeep waiting for her husband’s arrival and the commencement of the traditional wedding.
While the groom arrived 30 minutes later with some of his Nollywood friends in an ash Toyota Camry LE. He wore a blue lace with black Aso-Oke. His friends wore pink Ankara aso-ebi.
It was a 3-in-1 wedding affair. The solemnization kicked off with a traditional engagement. The Nikkai followed, after which the guests were treated to a grand reception, at the same venue.
The event was compered by the King of comedy, Ali Baba. And had Juju queen, Ayo Balogun; gospel artiste, Atorise and Akin Ajayi on band stand. They performed to the admiration of all.

SIR SHINA PETERS STAGES SUPERLATIVE WEDDING FOR DAUGHTER






Afro Juju star, Sir Shina Peters gave out his beautiful daughter, Olushola Adenike in marriage to Abiodun Adebayo, the son of Engineer Abiodun Oni on Saturday June 18, 2011.
The solemnization of holy matrimony took place at Rhema Chapel Int’l Churches while the reception was at The Event Place, all in Ikeja, Lagos. Popular comedian, Teju Babyface was the MC, while Mr Niyi Adewunmi was the chairman.
The colors of the day were green, pink and lemon.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

FREE GIVEAWAY ON MY BLOG!!!



Here it goes: I'm giving out Bronzer, Mascara and Lipstick from the House of Tara ' Jubilee Collection' inspired by TY Bello. The Jubilee Collection is the first collaborative collection in celebration of ‎‎renowned female photographer/musician, TY Bello.
By working closely with her over the years, House of Tara has been privy to her makeup preferences. This collection is a reflection of TY's favorite colors.
The collection consists of three striking products: fibre fuse mascara, nude lipstick and the bronzer which is a perfect blend of lightweight pigments that enhances the cheekbones and creates a glow in a most natural way.
The House of Tara /Ty Bello Jubilee Collection is presented in a picture-embossed box along with a copy of “The Future”, Ty Bello’s new single while stocks last. And all you have to do is to leave a comment!

Please read the rules of the Giveaway carefully before you enter in it:
- The Giveaway is open to all readers. One entry per person please
- Make sure you provide a valid email (in the email field) and telephone number when you are leaving the comment. This will only be used for contacting the winner of the giveaway
- The Giveaway closes Thursday 30. The winner will be selected through a raffle draw and announced on Saturday July 2.

Good luck to you all!

A 3 – DAY INTENSIVE MAKE-UP WORKSHOP




CHANTERELLE CONCEPTS & MBF ACADEMY

PRESENT

A 3 – DAY INTENSIVE MAKE-UP WORKSHOP

Take the first step to gaining a professional qualification and perfect your skill in make-up with this 3-day make-up course. Learn the basics of make-up application from a highly trained and experienced professional. The course covers: color correction, highlighting/shading, foundation application, face shapes, eye shadow application, eyebrow definition, blush and lip color choices, skin types and lots more.
This is an ideal way for individuals to learn how to apply their own make-up like a professional or for those who want a refresher on basic make-up application.

Course Content:
- Bridal Makeup
- High Fashion
- Airbrush Makeup
- Smoky Eye Makeup
- Flawless Natural
- Era Makeup
- Avant-garde
-Celebrity makeover- learn how to deal with celebrities on set
-The Business Side of Makeup

Career Opportunities:
This course will enable the learner to carry out practical application of day and evening make-up. Advance treatment skills within the industry and increase customer base. Also the opportunity to advance onto media make-up skills.

Special Appearance:
There will also be special appearance of 3 makeup gurus; Tara Durotoye, Bayo Hastrup and Modela. They will be taking you through the nitty gritty of makeup, plus how to build a successful brand

Free Gift:
The first 10 participants to register will get free “12 H.I.P Eye shadow pallet” from House of Tara

Media Partners:
Our Media Partners include: Galaxy TV, Linda Ikeji, Maestro Media & Fabmimi

Date: Friday September 2 – Sunday September 4, 2011
For more enquiries, please call: 08030622601, 08033779948

HALIMA ABUBAKAR’S LAVISHES N.5M ON MOTHERLESS CHILDREN



Halima has just added a year. As part of her social responsibility of giving back to the society that has made her, she celebrated the birthday soiree last Sunday at different homes with the motherless, Heart of Gold Hospice Almajiriai Centre, Ketu and Agege and gave out money and other gift items in large quantity even to the admiration of the managements of the homes.
She was there with N500, 000 worth of food and other items. This delectable actress in Nollywood, Halima Abubaka’s name will mean different things to different people but one fact is that, Halima has contributed, to a very large extent, to the growth of Nollywood in Nigeria and beyond and she remains most versatile and beautiful actress Nollywood has ever produced today. Halima, ever since she has taking it upon herself to do what she loves how to do best, has simply perfected her skills and gives it all it takes to be on top of the game.
Though, Halima may not rub shoulder with the like of Genevieve Nnaji, Stella Damasus etc, however, as their colleague, her artistic prowess which is distinct by choice has been tested and thumbed up. All thanks to her sense of humility, articulate mien and believe in God almighty. Having spent at least three hours each at the centres, she cut the birthday cake and was well appreciated by these less-privileged in the society.
Her twitter team and five television stations covered the event.

BANANA REPUBLIC TO LAUNCH MAD MEN CAPSULE LINE





Mad Men may not be returning to our television screens until next year, but thanks to Banana Republic, fans of the hit show can at least get their retro fix in fashion form.
This August will see the launch of a 65-piece capsule collection created for the retailer by the series' award-winning costume designer, Janie Bryant.
Unapologetically Sixties in style, it features fitted shift dresses perfect for Joan. Holloway-like curves and full skirts that are just the thing for would-be Bettys. Houndstooth and floral prints pay tribute to the era without looking too fancy dress, while high, nipped-in waists are designed to flatter any woman at the slimmest part of her body.
And for aspiring Don Drapers, there is a full menswear offering, featuring everything from eveningwear to cardigans.
But though the line takes its lead from Sixties cuts and tailoring, every piece is truly wearable, so you don't need to be a Sterling Cooper staffer to pull off the designs at work.
Fashionistas know the retro look isn't going anywhere, though, so if you do feel inclined to reference the show's Sixties styling, there are plenty of accessories to play with.
Clusters of pearls, leather gloves and classic courts complete the womenswear, while the men's accessories feature trilby hats and skinny striped ties complete with clips.
It is due to hit stores on August 11, but Banana Republic's Facebook fans will be able to order the collection online from August 10.
For those that still aspire to wear Ms Bryant's costumes for real, the store plans to repeat its Casting Call competition, giving two lucky shoppers the chance to appear on Mad Men.
This is not the first time Mad Men has been involved in a commercial collaboration - the show's marketing executives have certainly been keeping Ms Bryant busy between series.
She created a budget fashion line for QVC earlier this year, and also collaborated with Brooks Brothers on a suit inspired by the series. And last autumn she created a line of nail polishes for Nailtini in colors that echoed the Mad Men palette.