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Youth corps member Chidinma Aaron crowned 42nd Miss Nigeria

Chidinma Leilani  Aaron, a youth corps member and  professional chef  was crowned Sunday night as the 42nd Miss Nigeria.

Chidinma, who emerged from the South East Zone  beat 17 other girls to emerge the new queen at the Eko Convention Centre of Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Eighteen contestants made it to the grand finale before the selection of the final 12.

They were made up of Ntan Nton, Egede Lagele, Thomas Mseve, Ameh Munirah, Otunba Ifunaya, and Shitta Remilekun.

Others are Tizhe Usa Miriam, Okudili Odinaka Doris, Agida Stephanie, Ugwu Ijeoma, Aaron Chidinma Leilani, and Dunu Chisom Olivia.

The contestants were later reduced to five from where Aaron emerged.

The final five were Dunu Chisom, Ntan Sharon Nton, Ameh Munirah, Agida Stephanie and Aaron Chidinma Leilani.

Dunu, from the south east zone like Chidinma,  picked the prize for the first runner-up, while Ameh, from the South South was named the second runner-up.

Aaron, winner of the pageant, took home N3 million, a luxury apartment and an automobile.

She succeeded Mildred Ehiguese who won the 2017 edition.

There was no registration fee for the 2018 edition of the pageant in a bid to be all-inclusive and “to prevent financial restraints on the part of young ladies who are truly deserving of the ultimate title”.

Soyinka emerges winner of UK pageant

By Fashion Desk,

Nigeria’s Temi Soyinka has emerged winner of the 5th annual ceremony of the prestigious Miss Nigeria UK cultural beauty pageant.

Mr and Miss Nigeria UK is organised annually to expose the cultural values of Nigeria in the diaspora.

The confirmation was made on the Bellanaijaonline Instagram handle on Thursday.

The event is not celebrated just for entertainment but also to inculcate Nigerian cultures on Nigerians born and brought up in the UK.

NAN reports that 14 finalist from around UK competed for the coveted position of the Queen for the 2018/2019 session.

This year’s grand finale was held in St Mary’s Venue Marylebone, London.

Soyinka would work with many organisations that supports and enrichs the Nigerian culture as well as work with organisations in Nigeria.

The Royal Air Maroc has also provided prize flight tickets for the queen.

Similarly, Adedoyin George and Olamide Oni emerged the 1st and 2nd runners-up.

Soyinka, a graduate of Architecture, is working on a project that would get young people internship and work experience in different fields of endeavours.

Soyinka has also created her own make-up line which would be released soon.

Dbanj walks runway in South Africa’s Tlale designs

By News Desk,

Nigerian singer Oladapo Oyebanjo, a.k.a D’banj, walked the runway at the African Fashion International Johannesburg Fashion Week.

The musician, singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, television personality and rapper, teamed up with South African designer David Tlale, as he showcased a suit while strutting comfortably down the runway recently in Johannesburg.

He has won several music awards, including the awards for Best African Act at the MTV Europe Muisci Award 2007, Artist of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009.

Best International Act: Africa at the 2011 BET Awards, and Best-selling African Artist 2014 World Music Awards, Evolution award at the 2015 MTV Africa Music awards.

In 2016, D’banj was ranked to be the richest solo musician in Nigeria according to T.I.N Magazine. (NAN0
D’Banj is vastly immersed in the information technology, particularly in the areas of value added services and Content digital distribution.

He owns MCOMM Ltd (Median Mobile Communications Limited, A Value Added Service Content Provider) and D’ Kings Men Media Limited (a 360 Media Company), which are responsible for his major digital moves in recent times.

D’banj’s D’Kings Men Media partnered with MTN Nigeria and the Bank of Industry (BoI) to launch THE CREAM PLATFORM, a creative talent platform to help discover young creative minds across Nigeria by just dialing a USSD code on a mobile phone.

It is reported that the platform, as at December 2016, had over two million paying subscribers and has discovered hundreds of talents from the music category alone, with tens of music videos and millions of Naira given out to winners.

19-year-old Nigerian shines at New York Fashion week

By Entertainment Desk,

Taofeek Abijako, a 19-year-old Nigerian designer, has become the youngest ever designer to present a full collection at the New York Fashion Week.

Abijako made history at the 2018 international fashion runway event tagged ‘New York Fashion Week: Men’s this year’, which ran a few days ago.

According to the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), his label “pays homage to his past by celebrating his West African culture through a contemporary perspective.

He described his collection ‘Genesis’ as a ‘minimalist street wear approach with social and political commentary.’

In Abijako’s words, the CFDA wrote, “My dad was a trained fashion designer while living in Nigeria and dealt mostly with local traditional garments.

“Growing up in an environment like that sparked my curiosity in design,” he said.

When asked about his inspiration for his collection, he stated that it will portray “the vibrancy of West African youth culture in the ‘70s and Fela Kuti.

“The new collection is guaranteed to be groundbreaking in design and social impact,” he said.

Abijako who started working from his bedroom, started the brand just two years ago with the intent to generate impactful statements through his work.

His previous collections entitled, “Cruel Hands” and “Hooligans,” consisted of apparel with these thought-provoking statements: “Disorder: In Mutiny We Trust” and “Palaver Child.”

GTBank fashion weekend kicks off

By Olukemi Adeboye

All road lead to Guaranty Trust Bank 2017 edition of fashion weekend event, slated 11 and 12 of November, which kicked off on Saturday, with free access for expected attendees.

However, the event which is holding on Victoria Island in Lagos, would be rounded off on Sunday, at completion of list of programs including runways, exhibitions, masterclasses, discussion sessions among others

The fashion weekend is meant for fashion designers and fashion lovers across the country. The event tend to tilt towards consumer focused fashion exhibition and capacity building in order to promote the fashion industry in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the event 2nd edition of GTB’s fashion weekend and it has created a friendly environment for stakeholders in the fashion industry to meet and interact while showcasing and promoting latest fashion styles to the Nigeria community.

London to host 7th Africa Fashion Week

By Ada Dike

Organizer of Africa Fashion Week has hinted about London readiness to host over 100 African fashion designers and exhibitors who would be  featuring at 7th edition of the event slated between August 11 and 12, 2017 at Grand hall of Freemasons in the Queen city.

Founder, Africa Fashion Week Nigeria/London (AFWNL), Ronke Ademiluyi, said that the event would be an exhibition of the African fashion whose creations had become unique designs and brands.

Speaking yesterday in Lagos, Ademiluyi added that designers and exhibitors would be coming from Ghana, Togo, Kenya, South Africa, Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique, Senegal, Uganda and Cameroon.

“Some Nigerian designers that will also be participating include: Signature Secret, Neopele, Lady Biba, Step Up, Sheila Black Style, House of Bo and Joela Bags,” she said.

Ademiluyi also said that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), would lead a delegation of Nigeria’s best emerging designers that would also be accompanied by the Council’s  catwalk show.

She further said that no fewer than 10,000 guests were expected to grace the two-day show at the Freemasons Hall in London and that they would be entertained by 60 catwalk shows with daily exhibitions.

“This year’s show will hold in two days; with five shows, that will have 60 designers on the catwalk, along 40 exhibitors,’’ she added.

“Africa Fashion Week London, a sister event to the just concluded Africa Fashion Week Nigeria, is a celebration of African designs, talents and diverse ethnic fashions in the United Kingdom (UK).

The 2017 Africa Fashion Week Nigeria, organised in conjunction with the Lagos State Government in April and June showcased the nation’s iconic pride with the theme: “ Celebrating the vibrant Pulse of Africa’’.

Ademiluyi said that the African show would be part of activities to promote African fashion before the international community.

“It is going to be a celebration of African designs, talents and the diverse ethnic influences that contribute to the development of fashion industry in the UK.

“Samson Soboye, an established London-based fashion stylist and a creative director behind the brand `Afro chic’ who has worked as a freelance stylist for publications will be our head stylist for AFWL 2017 ,” she said.

According to her, since the debut of the programme in 2011, it had been identifying and promoting new and emerging designers inspired by the rich culture of Africa and contemporary designs.

Ademiluyi hinted that AFWL had become Europe’s largest event for African and African inspired fashion, adding that the show was conceived at promoting new and emerging designers that were inspired by the rich African culture incorporated into contemporary designs.

She said that AFWL had become the platform through which designers boost their creativity in African fashion at international markets, as well as the nation’s tourism industry.

Founder of Africa Fashion Week London/Nigeria, urged Africans to appreciate what they had, and promote them to the rest of the world.


Miss Nigeria pageant organiser celebrates 60 years of national unity

By Ada Dike

The organiser of Miss Nigeria pageant has flagged-off preparations for the celebration of 60th anniversary of Miss Nigeria scheduled to hold in November aimed at show casing attributes of Nigerian women and fostering unity among Nigerians.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos, Tuesday, to intimate the media on the event, which started in January this year, the Executive Director of Miss Nigeria Organisation, Dr. May Ikeora, said that all arrangements have reached advanced stage to achieve a successful multi-faceted celebration. 

Miss Nigeria is 60 years today. Founded in 1957, when we were trying to secure Nigeria’s independence, it was a more symbolic pageant specifically formed to promote peace and unity in Nigeria, which it has continued to achieve,” she said.

 “Today, we celebrate Miss Nigeria at 60. We have come a long way. It is another chance to refresh and search for what we can do better for Nigeria. How do we change with Nigeria and how do we make contributions to make Nigeria better?” former Miss West Africa added.

In continuing, she however, emphasised that the only way the pageant can be improved upon was for them to achieve the goals they had set.

“We have been working so hard from last year, especially, trying to make sure that Miss Nigeria as an organisation is clear with its objectives,” she stressed.

She mentioned the key elements of Miss Nigeria pageant, which include; the pageant itself, the women empowerment element as its vision today is empowering women beyond beauty, sustainable and long term project such as Green-Girl project, which is reviewed every five years, and the culture and heritage.

“Every Miss Nigeria surpasses what her predecessor did. It brings value to our community and the sponsors. Every year from last year, Miss Nigeria takes a state or two and promotes their culture and heritage. Last year, the girls wore Benin attire on stage thereby promoting Benin culture.

 “We want a strong Miss Nigeria. We want to bring back pageantry better than what it used to be. It is unfortunate that we have too many pageants today that diluted pageantry, we don’t want that anymore”, she said.

She revealed that they would continue to use Miss Nigeria as a platform to showcase who a beauty queen should be. According to her, Miss Nigeria is not a perfect girl but the everyday girl that represents the entirety of Nigeria and implored Nigerians to support her.

“Miss Nigeria embodies an intelligent and beautiful woman that understands her identity as a Nigerian. It is not about beauty or whether a girl is from East, West North or South. Last year, we had more girls from the Northern part of Nigeria that contested for the pageant. We don’t want a girl from a particular ethnic group but, a Moslem or a Christian from any state that will represent who we are as human beings,” she explained.

Miss Nigeria 1957, Grace Atinuke Oyelude

She summed up her statement by saying that the 60th anniversary is an avenue for them to tell Nigerians and the world that the pageant is bigger, stronger and better.

“This is Miss Nigeria, well structured to promote peace, unity and our rich cultural heritage,” Ikeora added.

In the same vein, Special Project Expert, Edi Lawani, said that Miss Nigeria has a lot of history comprising visual and spectacle that goes through stages of selection, training, boot camp and the grand finale.

He maintained that the need to ensure that the event is recorded and stored for generations yet unborn to watch is by storing it in a recorded form.

“From the technical point of view, moving forward, we shouldn’t make a mistake like in the past. To capture it properly, that is where we come in to ensure the technical requirement is put together,” he said.

“This year, we will ensure Miss Nigeria is presented in a way it can be termed world class that will make it engaging for people to want to watch after that day,” he said

Also speaking, the 40th Miss Nigeria, Chioma Obiadi, the current queen, said she has used the platform to orientate girls and women through Green-Girl project she inherited from her successor.

“While growing up, I wanted to be Miss Nigeria because it is ambassadorial. I would like young people looking up to Miss Nigeria to know that it is not about beauty but, for projection of peace and unity in Nigeria,” she explained.

The 22-year-old 200 level student of Geography and Meteorology, Namdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, reiterated that the 60 years old pageant has a lot of weight on her shoulders.

“It has been amazing. I have built my intellectual strength from being the queen,” she revealed.

It would be recalled that the winner of the maiden edition of the Miss Nigeria, Mrs Grace Oyelude, clocked on December 19, 2016, the day the 40th Miss Nigeria, Chioma Obiadi, was crowned.

The organisers of Miss Nigeria, in one accord stated that they would do all they could to sustain the pageant and ensure it continues to serve its purpose of bringing peace, unity and progress to Nigeria.

They revealed that they had written letters to the American President, Donald Trump, individuals, organisations and some multinational companies, intimating them about the world class event that has interesting programmes that would thrilled Nigerians and the world.

Established in 1957, the pageant which holds every year aims to showcase the positive attributes of Nigerian women and also serves as a platform used in uniting Nigeria.

Monarch urges govt to end recession through fashion industry growth

By Newsdesk

In a bid to end economic recession in Nigeria, a traditional ruler in Lagos State, Oba Saheed Elegushi, has urged government at all levels to support growth of fashion industry to create employment and increase government revenue.

The monarch, represented by Lagos State acting Commissioner for Transportation, Anofiu Elegushi, during Africa Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN) 2017 held at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos over the weekend, stated that it would be advantageous to jump start the economy currently in recession, if three tiers of government partner fashion promoters to support growth in the industry.

According to him, when government and the public supported fashion industry, indirectly ensure growth of entertainment industry, employment opportunities would be created and revenue generation would be increased.

He noted that most developed countries earn their major revenues from patronage of their fashion industry by internationally acclaimed superstars, royal families and distinguished personalities.

“I can say that Africa Fashion Week Nigeria 2017 is a great advocate in launching creativity of African and Nigerian fashions,” he added.

Also, Ronke Ademiluyi; founder of AFWN said that the event, fourth in Nigeria, was used to promote and project African culture and heritage to a global audience, by displaying African and Nigerian fabrics in various designs and styles.

Ademiluyi stated that adoption of African fabric and designers globally was a testament to the sector’s untapped potentials as a catalyst for economic development.

In her words, “After three successful years of having the show at Eko Hotels and Suites, we decided to host this year’s show at National Theatre, in Iganmu, Lagos.

“The National Theatre, inaugurated 40 years ago, when Nigeria hosted second Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC 77), remains true icon of our African heritage,” she continued.

Ademiluyi expressed that long-term growth of fashion industry was grounded in developing initiatives that would ensure that it remained at forefront of creativity, centre of fashion, style and innovation.

“This year’s AFWN is unique as we have 56 designers and 40 exhibitors selected from various parts of Nigeria and  African continent, displaying their talents and brands in the two-day catwalk show”.

Meanwhile, 2016 Best Model Nigeria winner in Istanbul, Turkey and also one of the models in the catwalk, Joy Ejiro, stated that Nigerian fabrics were getting international acceptance and required support and promotion by government.

It is noted that some fashion designers at the event includes Reverse, (handmade bags, suits), Zainab Bridals, Lamzie from Owerri, Simply Sleek and Women in Nigeria designs, also known as “Oleku’’, Modella, Kola Kuddus, Maufechi, Regalia by FAL, Blingshiki, Zizi Cardow, Marobuk, Tash by Tasha, Linda Ngwi (Cameroun) Sally Bawa and Alex Akande (Cameroon).


Nigerians mourn Nollywood actor,Moji Olaiya

By Newsdesk

Nollywood family who were terribly shock at the death of one of their rear gem, Moji Olaiya, have been expressing their heart felt grief over the death of the actor.

Olaiya, 42, died on Thursday in Canada of cardiac arrest. She was said to have given birth in Canada two months ago.

Those close to her said before her death, Olaiya made some comments on her Instagram wall.

Just two days ago, she wrote on her Instagram page: “Allhamdulilahi to you Allah. I give all the glory for all you have done. I will forever praise and worship you. It’s not by power but the Grace of Allah. Thank you for the gift of life. Thanks also to all my friends and family my fans for your supports and prayers. Love you all.”

In another post, she made after, she announced to her fans that OkikiApp is now available on all App Store, read watch she posts; “watch movies from me and other great actors for free.”

When her Instagram account page–@mojisolaabikeade, with 240,000 followers, was searched, the page turned out to be full of lamentations and condolences, from her fans

Veteran actor, Yinka Quadri, reeked that her death has robbed Nollywood family and the entire entertainment industry of a talented actor and expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased.

For Director of Public Relations and Media Affairs of the Theatre Arts and Motion Picture Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN), Yomi Fash-Lanso confirming the death of Olaiya in a statement said:

“It is with a heavy heart and sad disposition to hear about the sudden death of our colleague; friend and sister, Moji Olaiya, whose death occurred few hours ago in Canada, few days after giving birth. According to reports that we gathered, we learnt she had heart seizure and couldn’t make it,’’ he prayed.

“We pray, that her soul finds eternal rest with her creator and pray to Almighty Allah to comfort the family she left behind and give them the fortitude to bear this great irreparable loss’’.

He charged all members of TAMPAN and friends to be calm as the association awaits further reports.

President of Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Emeka Ibeh, was among the earlier mourners who expressed their condolences. Ibeh prayed God to grant the family that Moji Olaiya left behind and begged God to give them the fortitude to bear the loss.

Ibeh said that the artiste would continue to live in the memories of her fans because of her contributions to the development of Nollywood.

“In her little way, she contributed to the development of Nollywood and she will be greatly missed by her fans. I pray that God grants her family members the strength to bear this loss at a time like this,’’ he said.

Ibeh urged other actors in the country to continue to impact positively on the entertainment industry saying that their good works would definitely live-on after them.

Also, the founder, Different Aesthetics, Arts and Culture Management based at the National Theatre, Lagos State, Tope Babayemi condoled with the family of the deceased.

Babayemi said that the entertainment industry has lost another bright talent that had contributed greatly to the popularity of the local movies.

Actor Femi Branch said: “We were just mere colleagues until the day we had a certain discussion in Sagamu with Aunty `Fali Werepe` and you rose in my defence.

“I have recounted this tale to more people than I can recall and in every instance, the mention of your sincere intervention was the highlight of my tale. That day, I knew the good hearted Moji Olaiya and for as long as I have the gift of memory, Mojisola Olaiya will remain embedded in my heart,” he added.

“Sleep well `Mj’. May God erect a canopy of protection over your children and the family you left behind. Lord, please take away this hand of death moving over our industry and please open our eyes to know that life belongs to you and only you can give it in abundance”.

To Funke Adesiyan, it’s still a tale-tale story. Here her. “Days like today should not exist. I refuse to believe the news of your untimely demise. I still don’t get why good people don’t last. You were a true soul”, she lamented.

“Beautiful in and out with absolutely no space in your heart to hate or pretend to love. You were so genuine. May Allah rest your soul and give your family the fortitude to bear this loss. It’s a sad day,’’ she said.

Ask Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Okiki Films Sunday Esan, how he feels, he would tell you that he is in shock.

“I’m currently in a state of grief and shock. Is it true that Moji Olaiya is gone? My good friend is no more; I will miss her personality, talent and humility.’’

The late queen of the screen, Moji Olaiya was said to be the daughter of a popular highlife musician, Victor Olaiya.

Her journey to Nollywood began her with Wale Adenuga Production (WAP), starring in the popular family TV drama series of Super Story, where she played the role of Ireti in “No Pains, No Gains”.

She also featured in other movies such as: “Agunbaniro”, “Sade Blade”, “and Nkan Adun ’’and“Omo Iya meta leyi”.

Moji received awards for her diligence in Nigeria and abroad. She was nominated as the Best Supporting Actor of the Year 2003 for the Reel Award.

She also won the Best New Actress award and she said then that such awards were always motivating her to put in her best in any roles assigned her during movie productions.

Nigerian movies win award in France

By Newsdesk

The Wedding Party and 76  two films from the shelves of Nollywood  have jointly won the 2017 NollywoodWeek Public Choice Award in Paris, France, as this year’s NollywoodWeek Film Festival ends.

According to the organisers, eleven films were shown during the four days of the festival, including five films in competition.

NollywoodWeek Film Festival, Tuesday announced that ‘The Wedding Party and 76’ have jointly received the 2017 NollywoodWeek Public Choice Award.

The festival trophy was given to Izu Ojukwu, the Director of 76 and Moses Babatope who represented the film in the absence of the film Director, Kemi Adetiba in a closing ceremony that was followed by World Premiere screening of Ctach dot er; by the Director Walter Taylaur.

“I was not expecting this award. It’s an honour for me and for everybody who worked on the film”, said Izu Ojukwu.

Moses Babatope expressed his joy at winning this year’s award and declared that it was a good omen as the production of The Wedding Party 2 had just begun in Lagos and Dubai.

The high quality of the selected films for the 5th edition has been praised by journalists and film critics.

Eleven films in total were shown during the four days of the festival, including five films in competition: Dinner, Gidi Blues, Green White Green, The Wedding Party and 76.

“The festival has really cemented its place in the Parisian cultural calendar. Each year, we try to offer the very best of Nollywood to the Parisian public by bringing the newest developments in the industry”, he added.

“This year we screened a web-series from REDTV and for the first time, an animated short film from Anthill Studios called Play-Thing,”Director of Communication and co-founder of the festival, Nadira Shakur, said.

According to the organisers, the selection of the 2017 edition of NollywoodWeek was rich and eclectic. The Public Choice Award ultimately went to two very different films but both have left an indelible mark on the Nigerian cinema landscape over the past year.