Category Archives: Diva Culture & Heritage

We explore and celebrate all things related to black heritage & culture and embrace & celebrate others too.

Have You Heard?

A new pilot stands up to modern slavery in the Nigerian community

A new pilot campaign launched today will help tackle modern slavery within the Nigerian community in the UK. It will focus on helping those trapped in domestic  slavery, where victims are typically kept against their will, mistreated and forced to work long hours with no pay.

Leading local charities, community and faith groups including Celestial Church of Christ Manchester, Redeemed Christian Church of God – The Pathfinder and Nigerian Community in Manchester are working together to raise awareness and increase reporting within at-risk communities.

A short film, developed in partnership with the Salvation Army and child protection charity AFRUCA, is being launched to highlight how incidents of domestic slavery are happening under the radar in Nigerian communities across the UK, and to empower communities to report concerns confidentially and anonymously to the Modern Slavery helpline.

Slavery is a problem in every country which has tried to measure it.  There are an estimated 10,000-13,000 victims of Modern Slavery in the UK today.   No community is immune; we have encountered modern day slavery in nail bars, car washes, on fishing boats and farms and in people’s homes.   Nigeria remains one of the UK’s major source countries for victims of Modern Slavery, including human trafficking.

The ‘Have you Heard?’ film, produced by award-winning Nigerian film maker Ogo Okpue, demonstrates the devastating impact of being held as a domestic slave (also known as illegal househelp), underlines the potential consequences for perpetrators and the specialist support available to victims.

Young Nigerian women are particularly at risk – one such victim is Glory*. Thirteen year old Glory was trafficked to the UK from Nigeria by a woman who told her mother she could have a better life in London. In reality she was forced to work between 6am-9pm, and often beyond. Glory was shouted at and beaten for incidents as minor as not realising her Madame had finished her cup of tea, with the frequency of the beatings increasing as time went on. Sometimes her Madame’s husband would visit Glory in the night and sexually assault heri.

Anne Read, Director of Anti Trafficking and Modern Slavery at The Salvation Army said: 

“Have you Heard? brings a very hidden crime to the surface and drives the message home that it’s the responsibility of all of us to spot the signs that someone is being kept in unfair conditions and report it. It may be a crime that happens behind closed doors but the signs are out there – we just need to look for them and do something about it. People should feel confident that anything suspicious they report will be acted on and anyone rescued from this kind of exploitation will receive the specialist support they need from The Salvation Army and our partners.”

Debbie Ariyo, Chief Executive of AFRUCA said: 

“There are many indicators which point to someone being kept in forced domestic servitude. If you have a suspicion, ask yourself does the person seem afraid and anxious? Do they seem to stand out from other family members? What conditions is the person living in? We’re hoping Have you Heard? will encourage people to report suspicions so victims can be get the crucial support they need.”

The Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism Sarah Newton said:

“Domestic slavery devastates the lives of victims and strips them of their basic human rights. We are proud to support the Nigerian community in bringing this terrible crime into the spotlight.”

“The Government is driving world-leading action to tackle modern slavery but we cannot do it alone.  Professionals, charities and the wider community all have a vital part to play as we work together to end this.”

To report concerns, seek advice or get help call the confidential UK Modern Slavery Helpline 08000 121 700 or visit the website www.modernslaveryhelpline.org

The Have you Heard? film is available at http://bit.ly/2nhxL0i

 

Meet The Fashion Designer Who Escaped A Civil War In Sierra Leone To Launch A Contemporary Fashion Label In The UK That Is Set To Change The World


Born in the Eastern town of Kono, Sierra Leone Isatu Harrison was raised by her entrepreneurial single mother with her 3 siblings. Whilst living in Kono, civil war broke out which put her community in danger. Her entire family had to escape from the civil war in Kono and moved to the capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown.


Despite being uprooted from her family home, Isatu had a happy upbringing and knew that there was much more to Sierra Leone than the war which seemed to define it at the time. She grew up watching her mother design outfits for herself and others using traditional West African tie-dyed prints. In a country with no welfare system, Isatu’s mother worked hard to ensure that her family did not have to struggle and Isatu hails her mother as her biggest inspiration and influence. Despite there being very few opportunities, particularly within the fashion industry in Sierra Leone, Isatu was encouraged to pursue her purpose and developed her gifts as a fashion designer.
Although her passion for fashion was still at the forefront of her mind, when Isatu arrived in The UK in 2001 she studied a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at South Bank University and subsequently an MBA.  The corporate world overshadowed the creative world and Isatu undertook a number of management roles in HR within the private and public sectors – including Transport for London.


After starting a family with her husband, and having a daughter who now has a budding career in modelling, Isatu could no longer ignore her true calling; fashion. She invested her savings and started her own fashion label, Izelia which interweaves the two cultural landscapes of Britain and Sierra Leone.


Isatu officially launched Izelia at Africa Fashion Week in August 2014 and London Fashion Week in the same year. By drawing from her Sierra Leonean heritage Isatu has created a modern and sophisticated range of ready to wear pieces. Izelia is a brand for those who want to make an impression in stylish and colourful outfits with high quality fabrics and structured tailoring. Each piece features a new twist on African-inspired fashion and Isatu’s own signature style of design.
By combining colourful African tie-dye and prints, Izelia brings a taste of Sierra Leone to the British high street. Having seen the impact that civil war can make on communities, Isatu wants to be at the forefront of a new generation of ‘AfriCapitalists’ – African entrepreneurs driving growth, awareness and development in Africa, through marketing and selling the best that Africa has to offer.

Isatu opened a boutique last Winter (2016)  in East London where she organises training programmes and apprenticeships opportunities for immigrants / first generation citizens in fashion design.


“I intend to inspire and assist women in rural Sierra Leone, be a voice for these women and young creatives. Whilst the brand is becoming well entrenched in the UK, as an African, I feel I have a role to play in the economic development of my continent. Through Izelia, I wish to invest long-term in Sierra Leone’s private sector and I am interested in developing manufacturing, as well as production factories and establishing additional outlets in Africa. I am proud to be among a growing crop of entrepreneurs who are creating employment opportunities and bringing economic growth to our countries across Africa” – Isatu Harrison

Isatu is set to take the fashion industry by storm in the UK, Sierra Leone and across the world.

 

By: Ronke Lawal

Fashion Cities Africa

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Brighton, UK

30 April 2016 to 8 January 2017

The first major UK exhibition dedicated to contemporary African fashion will open at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery in April 2016.

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Exploring fashion and style in four cities at the compass points of the African continent – Casablanca in Morocco, Lagos in Nigeria, Nairobi in Kenya and Johannesburg in South Africa – Fashion Cities Africa will consider recent and contemporary fashion practices in these distinctive metropoles, from couture to street style.

Designs by Marianne Fassler,  photographed by-Simon Deiner SDR
Designs by Marianne Fassler, photographed by-Simon Deiner SDR

The exhibition will focus on the style choices of individual ‘fashion agents’ from each city; from designers and stylists to photographers and bloggers. Helen Mears, the Museum’s Keeper of World Art, Martin Pel, its Curator of Fashion & Textiles, Africa fashion specialists Hannah Azieb Pool and Helen Jennings and researcher Harriet Hughes visited the cities in summer 2015* to explore their fashion scenes and identify key players.

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Helen Mears says: “There’s been a surge of interest in contemporary African art and design in Europe and the US in recent years, but this is the first major UK exhibition dedicated to contemporary African fashion.  We want to reveal the diversity that exists across the continent – and within single cities – and show that wax print is only part of the story of African fashion.

“Each of the cities featured has its own fashion scene: in some cases emergent, in others more established. Some African designers are now major players in international fashion, while others are experimenting creatively in the interface between global fashion and local identities.

“The exhibition aims to provide a snapshot of fashion practices in four specific cities and an introduction to some of the stories behind the style, whether it’s the widespread practice of tailoring or the impact of the huge market for second-hand European clothes.”

The exhibition will occupy three large galleries and include diverse apparel from couture to street style, alongside images, film, sound and even a reconstructed tailor’s workshop evoking the drama, creativity and dynamism of the distinctive cities.  Highlights will include:

New commissions, including by Nairobi-based brother and sister duo 2Many Siblings  

(http://2manysiblings.tumblr.com/)

Controversial high-fashion outfits worn by one of Kenya’s hottest bands, Sauti Sol (MTV Europe’s Best African Act 2014)

Garments and accessories associated with The Sartists, a Johannesburg-based creative collective documenting their lives and style in post-apartheid South Africa (https://instagram.com/thesartists)

Exquisite hand-crafted ‘caftan couture’ pieces by Casablanca-based designer Zhor Raïs

Apparel by Maki Oh (TBC), the internationally acclaimed Lagos-based label worn by figures including Michele Obama

A parallel project, undertaken by members of some of Brighton & Hove’s African diaspora communities, will explore the relationship between fashion, identity and the African continent from a local perspective. Powerful images from the project, which will be co-ordinated by Sarah Naomi Lee, will accompany the exhibition.

Fashion Cities Africa is part of the wider project Fashioning Africa, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Collecting Cultures programme – which supports strategic collecting projects for museums, libraries and archives.

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery already holds an important collection of historical African textiles, mostly gathered 1880-1940.  Thanks to National Lottery players,Fashioning Africa will research recent developments and establish an African textile and fashion collection representing 1960-2000.  Running until 2017, the project has appointed a collecting panel from BAME and fashion communities, and will be delivered in partnership with the University of Brighton and the Sussex Africa Centre at the University of Sussex.

Fashion Cities Africa will also be accompanied by a book of the same name, edited by Hannah Azieb Pool with contributions by Helen Jennings (Intellect, 2016, £20).  This will showcase street styles in the four cities through images of their fashion agents by high-profile fashion photographers (Sarah Waiswa, Victor Dlamini, Deborah Benzaquen and Lakin Ogunbanwo), accompanied by profiles and essays.

By Ronke Lawal

Bringing The Ancient Past To Life. A Review of ONAEDO: the Blacksmith’s Daughter: a Novel by Ngozi Achebe

Onaedo_front_cover

The most interesting aspect of this historical novel for me is the way in which the freshness and simplicity of its style enhances the credibility of what is in some ways an incredible tale. It is narrated with such veracity and ease that the reader will be easily persuaded that the impact of slavery on the pristine African communities of the past was exactly as portrayed here. Ngozi Achebe has crafted a story that fills several gaps not merely in world literature but also in the perception of African history as both a discipline and an emotional concern for all those whose ancestry is eternally touched by that tragic industry. Her depiction of the beginnings of slavery and the inter-phase between Portuguese slave dealers and African society is a remarkable example of the restoration of a lost era to contemporary relevance through literature. She has achieved in her first novel the remarkable feat of creating what might very well come to be regarded as a unique masterpiece.

ngozi achebe (oneado the blacksmith's daughter) II

The tale has the epic sweep of a narrative recollection of events based on irrefutable evidence. The characters devised by the author leap off the page with dramatic intensity, and none more so than the central protagonist Onaedo. This central character could be considered a beacon of modernity even by the standards of our own times and yet the setting and the social milieu described by the author is impeccably traditional and befitting to the era of antiquity in which it is located. The alliance of brilliant writing and impressive research has made the story a classic both in its content and in its moral tone. The descriptive power of her writing strengthens the accuracy of her recreation of 16th century life in olu Ndigbo, the nation of the Igbo peoples, before the intervention of Western culture. At the same time it also serves to suspend belief in the common assumption that the first and most important intercourse between these territories and the outside world were as a result of British colonial intervention.

Onaedo

Ngozi Achebe has actually moved our perception of ancient African history, especially of the intercourse between traditional societies like that of Ndigbo and the Western world, onto a new plane. Coming from the pen of the niece of Chinua Achebe, the great chronicler of the confrontation between Ndigbo society and the British colonisers, this book is one of the seminal literary events of new African writing for the 21st century. It is unique in its adventurous conceit of seeking to open up a chapter of the past that has been shrouded for centuries in both mystery and myth. Portuguese explorers who were the first recorded visitors from Europe to the West African coast have largely taken a back seat in scholarly chronicles of the intercourse between Europe and Africa. This novel moves the era and the extraordinary events recorded in it to the forefront of contemporary concern.

These events include the commencement of the slave trade, the first stirrings of Christian conversion of the communities of the West African coast, and trade in spices, palm oil, gold, hides and ivory. However she also examines the nature of the culture and occupations of the traditional society in depth and posits that the invasion from the West served to destroy a deep-seated philosophical commitment to a fundamentally pastoral way of life. In outlining and then building the tale around romantic disenchantment and rustic violence she establishes the core of the narrative in the disastrous demise of a family. The head of this family is Eneda the blacksmith whose provenance may very well be allied to the discovery of the fabled Igbo-Ukwu bronzes. Indeed the way in which she has integrated reflections on historical events and iconic memories into exciting parameters of storytelling serves as proof of her extraordinary talent.

Ms. Achebe has said in interviews that her inspiration came from many sources one of which is the story of those fabled artefacts. In addition to this although she was not one of the “Biafran children” evacuated to Sao Tome for safety during the Nigerian civil war her curiousity about the history of that island community also became a major inspiration. This provides the background for the latter half of the novel and elevates it beyond a simple tale of romance and adventure into a profound commentary on the relevance and character of an African society that ended up contributing to its own violation. Although this is a serious novel it remains a most exciting and entertaining narrative to read because its intellectual depth does not detract from the elements of drama, intrigue and romance that serve to carry the story forward.

One of the most remarkable abilities displayed by the author in this work is that of establishing the personality traits and defining peculiarities of both major and minor characters with extraordinary depth in a few short sentences. She deploys incidents and characters with uncanny realism even while displaying a penchant for poetic phrasing in her descriptions of places and reflections on the importance of traditional laws and morals. Her depiction of such seminal characters as Onaedo’s aunt Aku whose extraordinary gifts of telepathy and psychic foresight allied to knowledge of traditional medicine make her a formidable ally as well as foe, and Oguebie the jealous prince and traitor to the community who becomes one of the pioneers of local collaboration with foreign slave traders, reveals that she has particular strengths of observation as well as of imagination. Her characterisations gain veracity through her effective use of modern psychological evaluation even while consolidating the relevance of their place in the narrative of the past. She is also noticeably even-handed in depicting both African and European characters in terms of their universal humanity.

Onaedo is a complex but highly readable work. The prologue and the epilogue provide signposts to the contemporary relevance of the body of the work. Maxine the discoverer/editor of the manuscript in these technically slight but profoundly exploratory chapters is herself a victim of loss brought about by historical upheaval. Having seen her beloved father disappear to Nigeria during the civil war, she is confronted by a crisis as he has written to her that he is coming to visit her three decades later. Faced with this dilemma she tries to find balance in reading through a box of old diaries apparently written by an extraordinary African slave from Brazil. It would be tantamount to giving away the author’s most precious secrets for me to relate how this formula is resolved in the end but the most unexpected revelations follow with seamless regularity. The main narrative is based on Maxine’s lightly edited version of the diary. The effective power with which Ms. Achebe deploys this complex literary device is that of an accomplished author. Although she is a practicing medical doctor her work does not appear to be that of a one-volume writer. Her first book, which has now been shortlisted for the LNG Literary Prize for 2011, is no amateur’s essay. It is the powerful outpouring of an accomplished storyteller. Her famous uncle must be as proud of her as all Nigerians who read this remarkable story should be.

Publisher AfricAgenda Publications, Abuja: Reviewer: Lindsay Barrett

London’s Diverse Creative Landscape To Be Celebrated In New Exhibition In Greenwich Peninsula

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NOW Gallery announces that it will celebrate London’s diverse creative landscape in a new cross-cultural installation, Home Affairs, running 20th August – 4 September 2015.

The exhibition is a collaboration between furniture designer Yinka Ilori, fashion designer Christine Mhando of London-based CHiCHiA and creative consultant Arieta Mujay. Together they will create four theatrical, visually compelling conceptual spaces, brought to life with curated film, archival footage and performance. Framed by the language of traditional Nigerian & Swahili parables, the spaces will be filled with thought-provoking furniture, indigenous plants, designed objects, garments and wallpapers inspired by bespoke Khanga textiles, with visitors encouraged to navigate and explore.

The installation will be further enlivened with illustrations by Lulu Kitololo and spoken word performances by Project Tribe’s Bazaar •{Bohemian}•

More On The Creatives…

Yinka Ilori is a London based designer. He specialises in up-cycling vintage furniture, inspired by the traditional Nigerian parables and African fabrics that surrounded him as child. He has exhibited internationally in solo shows: This Is Where It Started, The Whitespace Gallery, Lagos, October, 2014; Yinka Ilori, Just Africa, Stockholm March 2014 and It Started With a Parable, Jaguar Shoes, London in collaboration with London Design Week, December, 2013. And group exhibitions: Making Africa, Vitra Design Museum, Basel, March, 2015 touring to Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Autumn 2015; Africa Calling, Africa Utopia, Southbank Centre, September 2014; Creative Britain feature stand, British European Design Group, International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), New York May 2012. Yinka Ilori’s pieces are available for purchase here, at lifestyle stores in London and at Temple Muse, Nigeria and can be viewed by appointment at his East London studio.

Yinka Ilori2
Yinka Ilori

 

Yinka Ilori
Yinka Ilori

Christine Mhando is a Tanzanian-born, London-based designer. Mhando launched the label that bears her childhood nickname, CHiCHiA, in 2007, an amalgamation of both continents and cultures from which the designer was born and raised. The label’s signature transpires from the artful application of the ‘Khanga’, a traditional East African cotton-printed fabric used by local women as wraps. With Beyonce as a fan, Chichia goes from strength to strength as an international African brand that modernises and transforms traditional East African textiles into stylish, contemporary and considered fashionable attire.

Christine Mhando
Christine Mhando

Arieta Mujay is a fashion creative who has been working in fashion at various capacities for 15 years across the UK and Africa. Arieta has styled and worked a host of celebrities including Rihanna, Kelis, Amber Le Bon, Kelly Rowland, Alesha Dixon, Pixie Lott and Lily Allen. Mujay is a reviewer and contributor for Cosmopolitan Magazine’s online platform, a mentor to young businesses and an avid supporter of female empowerment.

Arieta Mujay
Arieta Mujay
Arieta Mujay
Arieta Mujay

Bazaar •{Bohemian}• (Vanessa Coore) is originally from California and is currently based out of Atlanta. Coore, one half of Afropolitan blog duo Project Tribe, uses her social media platforms to provide creative nourishment, spread #PositiveLoveEnergy, and highlight new and developed brands from all over the world. Through her social media platforms she’s been able to offer distinct and creative visuals that tell stories through a bohemian inspired lifestyle. Her goal when featuring brands is to highlight them in a unique, and aspirational way.

 

Bazaar •{Bohemian}• Vanessa Coore
Bazaar •{Bohemian}• Vanessa Coore
Bazaar •{Bohemian}• Vanessa Coore
Bazaar •{Bohemian}• Vanessa Coore

NOW Gallery, conceived as part of the on-going regeneration of Greenwich Peninsula, sits within a hub designed by architects Marks Barfield moments from the O2 and North Greenwich station. The hub, formed of two curved glass pavilions linked by a patinated brass-edged canopy – longer than the wing span of an Airbus A380 – contains NOW Gallery, a cafe, restaurant, sky bar and charcuterie. As visitors emerge from North Greenwich tube station and look to the right they will see the pavilions, the art installations within and also through them to the Emirates cable car along a line of latitude.

Tina Lobondi Showcases At We Are Africa Fashion Extravaganza

DESIGNER: TINA LOBONDI
DESIGNER: TINA LOBONDI
Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi

The Department of Arts & Culture, as part of its Africa Month Festival, hosted  the We Are Africa Fashion Extravaganza on 27 May 2015. Appointing African Fashion International (AFI), the leading fashion promotions company in Africa, to coordinate the Fashion Extravaganza. The event, held at the Museum of African Design in the fashionable and culturally diverse Maboneng area in Johannesburg, featured fashion designers from across the continent.

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Tina Lobondi
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Tina Lobondi

The evening celebrated the style, design and heritage of the African continent. Showcasing designers include Taibo Bacar (Mozambique), ARAPAPA at Santa Anzo (Uganda), Sindiso Khumalo (South Africa), Alphadi (Niger), Sophie Zinga (Senegal), Tina Lobondi (DRC), Kiko Romeo (Kenya) and MaXhosa by Laduma Ngxokolo (South Africa). Garments, rooted in African heritage and re-imagined in a global context, were showcased on a runway, worn by models from South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and the DRC.

Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi

Fashion and clothing is a central aspect of cultural identity. In further celebrating this, guests were be given the unique opportunity to view a fashion exhibition of garments created by The Carnival Company – in conjunction with the Department of Arts and Culture – as part of We Are Africa Month celebrations. These garments are inspired by the diverse African heritage, particularly African masquerade and carnival attire.

Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi

The evening’s event was held together by Master of Ceremonies Gaetano Kagwa, a Ugandan media personality. Alongside the fashion showcase, Xhosa songstress Simphiwe Dana and spoken-word by poet Naima McClean, known as the First Lady of Urban Cool, performed, bringing together the evening’s celebration of African culture. Adding to the cultural experience of the night, Sanza Sandile (a Swaziland-born chef known as the ‘king of Yeoville’) served a “journey through African cuisine”, his take on Afro-fusion cooking with a modern twist.

Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi

The We Are Africa Fashion Extravaganza was part of the exciting programme for Africa Month that took place throughout the month of May. Africa Month is a festival of ideas and cultural exchange, organized by the Department of Arts & Culture. It provided a platform and network for conversations about the African continent. These will go beyond the challenges to successes experienced and a recommitment to work for the continued development and integration of the continent. The theme for this inaugural Africa Month, launched by the Minister of Arts & Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa at Freedom Park (Pretoria) on 1 April 2015, is We Are Africa – ‘Opening the doors of learning and culture to promote peace and friendship from Cape to Cairo’.

By Marica Quarsingh

UNTIL Partners with Spoken Word Poet to Break Silence of HIV/AIDS

Spoken word poet, Jasmine Waiters, speaks directly to African American women living with HIV/AIDS in her newest poem, Dear Black Woman. She encourages them to speak out against the stigmas attached to HIV/AIDS and share their stories on her blog.
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Dear Black Woman is more than a poem; it is a call to action for those living within the African American community, as well as those who wish to improve it. The hope is that everyone who views the video is inspired to spark discussions around raising awareness and finding a cure. Most importantly, the poem is meant to comfort African American women who are often judged and misunderstood.

Until There’s A Cure has partnered with many artists from various industries. However, partnering with spoken word poet, Jasmine Waiters to empower women living with HIV/AIDS has brought a new experience to the organization.

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Although many feel as if they are aware of how serious HIV/AIDS is, few actually realize that African Americans represent 44% of new cases of HIV while only representing 12% of the American population.

Waiters expresses that the value of African American women does not depreciate because of the virus, but instead, provides the opportunity to tell them, “Ms. Black Woman, you are still a Black Queen; still the center of our community.” Being an African American herself, Jasmine understands the importance of reassuring women who face such adversity.
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UNTIL and Jasmine Waiters will continue to support, uplift, and empower these women and we welcome anyone who wants to be involved.To learn more about what you can do to support this cause visit: www.until.org

By JASMINE WAITERS

Nollywood Takes Over London! Mercy Johnson, Ramsey Nouah and Mary Njoku Hit the Red Carpet for Thy Will Be Done Premiere, London

Some of Nollywood’s biggest stars made cinema history at the BFI IMAX, London, last night as they attended the star-studded world premiere of Thy Will Be Done, a ROK Studios film directed by the award-winning Obi Emelonye. This is the first time an independent movie has premiered at the 500 seat BFI IMAX and Nollywood fans turned out in their hundreds to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars and to watch the very first screening, which was sold out.
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The crowds went wild for a glimpse of Mercy Johnson, Ramsey Nouah and Mary Njoku and were thrilled that a Nollywood movie was given such a fitting platform. They were also joined on the night by His Excellency Chief Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin City.

Nollywood (Nigerian Hollywood) is the world’s second largest film industry in the world, in terms of output and is the African Diaspora’s most popular form of entertainment. On the popular Internet platform iROKOtv, more people log in from London than the whole of Nigeria, hence the decision to screen the movie at the BFI IMAX.
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Jason Njoku of Rok Studios says: ‘Rok Studios has huge ambitions in terms of re-energising Nollywood and producing international-standard cinema from Nigeria. Thy Will Be Done, for us, is the blueprint, the gold standard, if you will, in terms of quality and awesome storytelling that we hope will now define Nollywood’
Mercy Johnson and Obi Emelonye
Director Obi Emelonye says: ‘Thy Will Be Done is an eloquent example of what I call aspirational Nollywood or indeed aspirational African cinema- excellent African story with bold pretensions of grandeur, which has squeezed every ounce of commercial value from a budget that cannot shoot a short in other territories.’

Thy Will Be Done is the story of Pius (Ramsey Nouah), a happily married pastor in charge of a large church in Lagos, Nigeria. But when his first wife (Mary Njoku) that he buried 7 years ago suddenly shows up, his world is thrown into turmoil. His present wife (Mercy Johnson-Okojie) tries to fight her corner but Pius has a choice to make…between his calling and his wives; between old sins and new loyalties; between taking firm action and surrendering to God’s will. Weakened by guilt and overwhelmed by sensational revelations, nothing would have prepared Pius for how rapidly things would descend into violent chaos…for hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Thy Will Be Done will be screened in cinemas across Nigeria from March 2015.

Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is set to wow brides-to-be at this month’s Bluewater Bridal Fair.

Jamaica is one of the world’s favourite and most unique wedding and honeymoon destination. From 17 – 19 October 2014, the JTB in partnership with Jewel Resorts will be at Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent, for one of the UK’s largest wedding fairs. Jamaica has the reputation for being a great place to ‘tie the knot’, and JTB officers will be available at the Fair to discuss wedding options with prospective brides and grooms on getting married in the Caribbean’s most appealing wedding destination. The team will also offer exclusive wedding packages to attendees. There will also be information on must-do honeymoon experiences, from climbing Dunn’s River Falls to cycling through the breathtaking Blue Mountains as well as options on romantic resorts or locations where children can come along and be part of the big day.

Couples can marry just 24 hours after arriving on the island, with hotels like Jewel Resorts providing their guests with all-inclusive wedding packages for a stress-free occasion. At Bluewater, Jewel Resorts will share information about their celebrated wedding packages, available at each of their three Jamaican resorts. Whether it’s an intimate ceremony or a larger celebration, brides at Jewel Resorts can pick from wedding packages ranging from ‘Precious Gem’ to ‘Diamond’ which allows them to combine their dream-honeymoon with their nuptials. In addition to the beautiful ambience and luxurious accommodation, Jewel Resorts also offer complimentary Honeymoon Registry, and allow friends and family of the wedding party to treat newly-weds to special wedding gifts, such as upgrading to a honeymoon suite or a couple’s massage.

VLISCO Lures With New Campaign Collection ‘SPLENDEUR’

This is a beautiful one from VLISCO – for the afro-centric diva who is sophisticated, feminine and loves to show the multi-faceted sides of her personality through her fashion choices.

With a splash of the grandiose and a pinch of drama, VLISCO lures us in again with their gorgeous wax print design and a divaliciously splendid fashion collabo* with Nigerian fashion designer Lanre da Silva. Lanre’s eponymous style oozes great artistry and a creative craftsmanship with her use and execution of embellishments.

Why we write this…We read the words WIN & FREE below. Read on and share  X.

 Splendeur

Take to the stage and shine

                                 

Welcome to Vlisco’s new collection ‘Splendeur’ – layer after layer of opulence, grandeur and feminine drama. With Vlisco’s new season’s fabric collection, women can become a vision of sophistication and pure splendour.

 The Splendeur Campaign. This season Vlisco speaks to every woman who wants to dress like a glamorous movie star. Whether she’s going to a ball, a party or just a romantic dinner, she will dazzle in the limelight. ‘Splendeur’ gives women the freedom to create an outfit that says so much about their glamorous spirit – encouraging them to make a dramatic entrance.

Embellished fashion inspiration. Extravagant embellishment is the spark for so many of Vlisco’s sartorial fashion inspirations this season. There are little sequins, pearlescent beads and hand-sculpted jewellery, created by cutting out the ornamental forms in their fabrics – all of which enhance, empower and compliment the fabrics.

Colour couture. The rich colours and bohemian nature of the Art Deco era was a key inspiration for Vlisco’s colour house this season, together with the fascinating properties of velvet and opulent jewels. The richness, confidence and beauty of each have been skilfully distilled into every design.

Collaboration with Lanre da Silva. As a famous fashion designer in Nigeria and beyond, Lanre’s style is rich in femininity and she uses a multitude of embellishments –the perfect match for this season’s ’Splendeur’ concept. It’s why Vlisco invited her to craft a glamorous garment for the campaign from their shimmering gold Limited Edition fabric. She also designed an unforgettable festive dress that people can win.

Designer Lanre da Silva at MTN Lagos Fashion and Design WQeek

Vlisco embellishments for free. With two fabrics of six yards, one of Limited Edition, clients will receive two Vlisco embellishments for free. Each one is beautifully hand-crafted by Vlisco and is an interpretation of the ornaments found in their fabrics – these embellishments can be used on a garment for added ‘Splendeur’ and grace. But that’s not all, the lucky woman with the winning scratch card (exclusively in Vlisco Boutiques, on www.vlisco.com/shop and participating points of sale from 18th November) will win the dress designed by Lanre da Silva and have it tailor-made for a perfect fit.

 

2 and 4 yard fabrics. These shorter lengths make it really easy for women to mix and match fabrics to create truly individual fashion statements. They’re available in 2 yards, 4 yards and pre-packs and can only be purchased from Vlisco Boutiques and at www.vlisco.com/shop.

 

A history worthy of remembrance. Since 1846, Vlisco has created striking textiles influencing the fashion landscape in West and Central Africa. These fabrics reflect true Dutch craftsmanship and are still known as ‘Hollandais’, from the French word for ‘Dutch’. In fact, Vlisco is the only brand creating authentic Dutch Wax fabrics recognised by their eye-catching design, vibrant colours and unique wax craquelé.

Vlisco, the true original, since 1846.