Monday, October 27, 2008
For the first time in the last couple of months, an opportunity to escape from Lagos finally came last weekend and folks; I grabbed it with two hands! It was the 2nd Coronation Anniversary and Thanksgiving of HIS ROYAL MAJESTY, OBA (DR) EBENEZER AKINTUNDE AKINYEMI, THE ESELU of ISELU KINGDOM, AKAOSU 1. I met the respected monarch through another influential Oba about this time last year and since then we have maintained a cordial relationship. At 30-something, he is probably the youngest king in Ogun state today. Thus when the anniversary was approaching, Kabiyesi sent a personal invite to me requesting my presence at the event, so I had no choice other than to honour the royal invitation, though I had two other celebrity events to attend almost at the same time in Lagos.
Now, Iselu is a typical Nigeria rural settlement located very close to the Nigeria-Benin border after a town called Oja-Odan off Ilaro (The Polytechnic town) in Yewa South Local government of Ogun State. At Oja-Odan, there is a large and very busy market tagged “OJA-ODAN INTERNATIONAL MARKET”. I was surprised at the level and pace of activities in this market but my findings later show that, being very close to the border, the market serves as a transits point for cross-border smugglers who get their stuff into Nigeria after “settling” the Customs officials at thier numerous checkpoints along the roads. .
One major thing that caught my attention at the market as I took a walk through the market was the entrepreneurship of the rural women. Virtually everyone was busy with her “market”: from the ones selling pepper to the plantain sellers and the one waiting for customers to buy her charcoal. I was told that the history of the market dates back to over 100 years. As I was busy observing the market activities and trying to study the mentality of the people there, a fleet of glittering vehicles zoomed pass *viaam..viaaam..viaaaam*..there was a Hummer, one Infinity, a Benz ML450 FORMATIC and others. They were heading towards the event. This scenario reminded me once again of the wide gulf between the rich and the poor in Nigeria. Im mot sure whether the total annual income of all these market women put together could buy a side mirror of one of the ‘jeeps’ that just whizzed pass, yet in their own way, they work as hard as anyone but there is hardly anything to show for it. No thanks to our lopsided social system. It’s a sad irony!
From the market I moved to the venue of the event proper where a large number of guests were already seated under a giant canopy.(while I was doing my ‘market survey’ the event was already underway). Among the guests were high-ranking functionaries of Ogun state government, dignitaries from Lagos, Abuja and other places. It was quite an interesting occasion. Some of those who bagged chieftaincy include Chief (Mrs) Tokunbo Balogun, UNILEVER PLC’s Field Sales Manager, who was honoured with the title “YEYEMESHO OF ISELU KINGDOM”, Chief Olanrewaju Saheed Baba, THE AROLE OF ISELU..and a host of others .
below are some of the pictures from the countryside as recorded by Sola Folowosele
MC OLUOMO AS A STAR ATTRACTION
Of all the guests, the one that caught my attention was this guy called Musiliu Olusanya a.k.a MC OLUOMO. He is the 'Lord Mayor' of all the Motor Parks in ever-busy Oshodi axis of Lagos and he’s also the Treasurer of the Lagos State chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). The guy drove into the venue in an eye-popping Hummer SUV in company with a large number of hangers-on. He came with his newest wife, Sikiratu Sindodo,(A Yoruba actress)..Most of the village youth were seen posing for pictures with his HUMMER..the guy became stupendously wealthy just collecting motor park fees.na wa o!
the entrance of the market(below)
market women displaying their wares(below)
A Charcoal seller waiting for customer(below)..in Nigeria Charcoal is now more expensive than Kerosine as a result of the upswing in demand for it when kerosine became a scarce commodity
Mrs Balogun receiving her certificate from Kabiyesi(below) Mrs Balogun and her Big sister(below)
Sikiratu Sindodo and her husband, MC OLUOMO(below)
MC OLUOMO's Hummer SUV(below)
the musician, Musiliu Haruna Ishola(below) Princess Adejoke spotting a beautiful hairstyle at the event(below)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
ABOUT THE DECEASED
The late old man, Pa Bankole Runsewe, was a retired civil servant and an accomplished businessman during his life time. He’s the father of OTUNBA SEGUN RUNSEWE, the indefatigable DIRTECTOR-GENERAL of NIGERIA TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (NTDC), Abuja. He died at the age of 80.
WHY THE ARTISTES WERE THERE
It is not everyday you get to see Nigerian artistes attending Owambe parties of this nature but in this particular one, they were there in large numbers. As expected, not a few people were pleasantly surprised. Well, let me quickly tell you that the NTDC, led by Otunba Runsewe recognizes Nollywood as a potentially huge tourist attraction in the country. The Corporation therefore has a working relationship with the movie practitioners. And of course, many of them have benefited generously from the NTDC largesse as a result of this working relationship. This explains their impressive turnout at the event.
Below are the pictures as captured by Sola Folowosele.
Otunba Segun Runsewe and his wife(below)
Larry KoldSweat and Bob-Manuel Udokwu(below)
Ali Baba and Sir Shina Peter(below)
Femi Adesina(Editor, Sun Newspaper) & Dr. Reuben Abati(Guardian)(below)
Otunba Segun Runsewe(middle) with Isaac& Nneka Moses of Goge Africa(below)
KOK,Nneka, Bimbo, &Franca Brown(below)
Ayo Adesanya and hubby, Gori Hassan(below)
AGE BECKONS ON SHAN GEORGE
Shan George was supposed to be the coordinator-in-chief of her fellow artistes attending the event. She played the role for a while but after welcoming a few artistes she quietly arranged with one of the usherettes to stand-in for her while she took the backside to sneak out to God-knows-where. She didn’t return until the tail end of the event when everything was almost over. Anyway, that is not even the main gist here, what caught my attention was the fact that the beautiful Shan George of old is now aging rapidly. Though she still maintains her smart physique but you could see signs of old age telling easily on her face. I hope all is well with this ‘serial lover’ of Nollywood, because by my reckoning Shan is supposed to be around 40. PIX: Shan George before she disappeared
ALI BABA TURNS PAPARRAZZI
Nigeria’s undisputed king of comedy, Ali Baba, was all over the place with his digital SLR camera snapping anything on sight. The way he operated you would think he’s covering the event for Ovation Magazine. He sat in the midst of other artistes and treated them to several rounds of ‘free’ jokes. After the event, he drove away in his sleek red DODGE RAM 1500SLT Buick. PIX: Ali & his camera, (2) Ali & his ride
BOB-MANUEL UDOKWU, THE MASTER ENTERTAINER
This suave actor is one guy after the heart of many. This is because Bob knows his art! During the party, SIR SHINA PETERS (SSP), the Afro-Juju singer who was performing on stage called Bob-Manuel to the podium to and come sing (probably with the intention of making a joke out of his voice). When Bob got to the rostrum and collected the mic from SSP, he did not only sing well, he actually sang better than SSP the owner, commanding the band just like SSP himself. This attracted a loud round of applause from the crowd. Infact, so good was Bob-Manuel on the mic that he forced SSP to commit another grammatical gaffe as SSP said “Haha! You want to overtake me?” instead of “…overthrow….”. Na wa for SSP oh! 18 years after his first stray bullet “…soonest recovery”. PIX: Bob-Manuel & SSP trading dancing tackles
FRANCA BROWN BATTLES OVERWEIGHT
Believe me, veteran actress Franca Brown is now ‘50cl OROBO’. ( 50cl is the parlance for excess fat in Nigeria, it was adapted from the size of the biggest Pepsi drink which is 50cl a.k.a Orobo). When I saw her at the party, I had to take a second glance to actually ascertain that she’s the one. She’s now robust and fleshy like a typical “Iya Monsura”. I overheard her asking for 'diet coke' from one of the service boys. But in fairness to her, she looks fresher and beautiful. May God answer that her “prayer”. Amen!
AYO ADESANYA, HUBBY FLAUNTS WICKED TATTOO
“I-am-happily-married” actress, Ayo Adesanya-Hassan and funky hubby, Goriola Hassan got quite some attention at the event. This was on account of the wicked tattoos etched on their upper left arms. It read “NO FEAR”, whatever that means?
The couple displayed so much affection openly like a newly-wed that on-lookers couldnt help but marvel. But I just hope it’s not fake. PIX: husband and wife flaunting their tattoos
ON BIMBO AKINTOLA’S SMOKING HABIT
The cigarette-smoking habit of this talented actress Bimbo Akintola is now assuming an alarming proportion and I think the babe needs urgent help. During the party, Bimbo sneaked out to the car-park to smoke Benson & Hedges inside Ali Baba’s car (Ali gave her his keys). I saw her with my ‘korokoro’ eyes. This is inspite of the Health Ministries' warning that “SMOKERS WILL DIE YOUNG”. I even heard that Bimbo smokes the “elder brother” of cigarette. When it was time for her to leave, she left in a rickety yellow taxi negotiated for her by her PA and hordes of areaboys who trailed her from the party gate to the main road on Bode Thomas st. Na wa for Bimbo. PIX: (above-up)Bimbo at the party,(above-down),Bimbo(see red arrow) being escorted to the yellow Taxi by area boys
K.O.K, WHICH ‘HOLY GHOST’ WAS THAT?
The man who died was a Yorubaman and the gathering was predominantly Yoruba as expected. Though there was also the presence of a few Igbo group led by Igwe(Dr) Martin Ezeh, The Idu 2 of Igbo-Ukwu, Anambra state. When all Nollywood stars were invited to the rostrum for recognition by Bisi Olatilo the anchorman, Kanayo O Kanayo was given the mic to speak on their behalf after Larry Koldsweat had spoken. To the surprise of many, KOK made his speech in Igbo, claiming that the ‘Holy Ghost’ instructed him to speak Igbo. I was surprised but when I took a look at the table where KOK stood up from, I saw 31/2 bottles of Gulder and a half-empty bottle of Moet. I now perceived that it must have been ‘Gulder Ghost’ that actually instructed him.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Chief Emma Nwude, the Owelle of Abagana is back to life! i hope you remember him? well, in case u dont, let me quickly remind you. Nwude and some of his 'partners' were convicted and sentenced to prison in 2005 by the EFCC (the Nigerian anti-corruption agency) for perpetrating the biggest bank heist in history. They were found guilty of defrauding a Brazilian bank known as SAKAGUCHI BANC to the tune of $ 242million. Some of their choice properties in Nigeria and abroad were also forfeited to the government. However, as a result of the usual "Nigerian factor", Nwude & co were released after few months behind the bar. Now the guy is back with full force to enjoy the remaining fruit of his "hard labour". metrogist-nigeria ran into him in company with his pals at a party in Lagos recently lookin fresh and cool in the midst of exotic wines and choice food. Of course, you can see it written all over him that " the storm is over". Pix: Chief Emma Nwude, recently
COMEDIAN SHEDDI BABA SET TO BECOME A FATHER
Self-acclaimed "Confluence Comedian Of the Order of the Niger" (CCOON), Sheddi Baba, is about to become a father! Are you trying to remember when he got married? well he hasn't, but his pretty girlfriend, Blessing is pregant and they are expecting their first baby very soon. Metrogist-Nigeria's findings revealed that, the mother-to-be, Blessing Eyamanesa from Warri Delta state is a student of Igbinedion University. Their path crossed not too long ago at a social function and since then they have remained inseperable. Right now Sheddi Baba, who just returned from a tour of about six states of Nigeria where he anchored the ECOBANK SHARE OFFER'S CUSTOMERS FORUM, is quite happy and fully excited about the coming baby. He is one of the wavemaking comedians in Nigeria. Pix: Sheddi Baba
Monday, October 6, 2008
AHIZE is the President-General of OBIGBO ( a pan- IGBO organization), he is also the CEO of ATLANTIC AUTOMOBILES (Abuja & Lagos).
The well-attended shindig attracted a lot of who-is-who in the society..Kokomaster D’Banj and his MO' HIT guys like DR SID, WANDE COAL, IKECHUKWU, BIG were on stage to perform live while JULIUS AGWU and BASKET MOUTH acted as comperes.Also in the house to honour the Ahizes were Nollywood stars like KANAYO O KANAYO, RITA DOMINIC, UCHE IWUJI, BIMBO AKINTOLA and others. Sengemenge duo, KC PRESH were also around to catch their fun. Apart from the entertainers other dignitaries in attendance include former Senate President Pius Anyim Pius, Senator Ita Giwa, BGL securities MD, Albert Okumagba, Lagos Police Commissioner Akpoyibo& wife, Evan (Dr) Myke Ikoku & Oby his wife, Phemmy Careena, Eunice Efole, Emma Nwude and a host of others..The GOD BLESS BAND also entertained guests with their assorted music before and after D’Banj..
Below are the pictures as captured by Sola Folowosele
THE CELEBRANTS, CHIEF & MRS CHARLES AHIZE(below)
THE CHURCH VENUE OF THE DEDICATION (below) THE AHIZE COUPLE ARRIVING THE CHURCH WITH POLICE ESCORTS (Below)
STILL ON THE ARRIVAL(below)
(L-R) AHIZE, ZEST MAG PUBLISHER & SEN. PIUS ANYIM PIUS(below)
JULIUS AGWU & BASKET-MOUTH at the reception (below)
BLING-MASTERS, KC-PRESH with MOET (below)
KC-PRESH'S LINCOLN NAVIGATOR(below)
ISLAND BIG GIRL, STEPHANIE NNADI (smiling right) with friends(below)
Still on STEPHANIE,she has an impressive masculine gait(below).She works as an EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT with ALLILONE LTD, LEKKI
EVANG (DR) MYKE IKOKU ( CEO, ALL SEASONS HOTEL, OWERRI ) & WIFE, OBY arriving ..(below)
D'BANJ doing his thing....(below)
WANDE COAL giving D'Banj "Ogbona Feli-Feli" back up..(below)
D'BANJ with ALBERT OKUMAGBA of BGL LTD(below)
and the KOKOLETS....(below)
KOK arriving with his danghter...( below)
CHARLES AHIZE(in glasses) welcoming SEN. ITA GIWA(below)
NOW, THE GIST
JULIUS AGWU THE CARING HUSBAND
We just have to commend Julius ‘De Genius’ Agwu for this! Within a very few months of quitting our bachelors’ club, the guy has not only learnt how to be a good husband, he is actually playing th
e role very well. At the event’s reception yesterday, Julius came down first from the driver’s seat to open the door of his PRADO ‘JEEP’ for his wife on the passenger’s side. Again when they both strolled stylishly into the venue, Julius picked a seat, cleaned it very well, positioned it properly and ushered his lovely wife to seat down in a very polite and courteous manner. He also cleaned her shoes. What a husband. PIX: Julius& wife(above-up): His PRADO(above)IS KOK ASHAME OF HIS WIFE“Different strokes for different folks” is the saying that aptly captured this scenario yesterday. Top-rate actor KANAYO O KANAYO (KOK) stormed the party with all his family garbed in Ankara uniform and they sat together. When it was time to take photographs, yours sincerely politely beckoned on KOK to move closer to his to bridge the gulf between them so that the pix could be cute. To my surprise KOK refused and looked the other way. I hope all is well between KOK and madam, but from what I saw, something was surely amiss! PIX: KOK with madam & new baby
RITA DOMINIC BECOMES “MTN”
There is no doubting the fact that pretty star actress is very outgoing. And of course, she loves to catch her fun in various ways. That explains why she’s a regular face at most events on the Island. But I heard some of her fans whispering yesterday that Rita is now like the popular MTN pay off.. ”everywhere you go”..infact they say she’s now ‘meta epinni’, that is ‘3 for ten kobo’ on the island. Maybe she needs to cut down her partying rate a little. Or what do you think? Pix: Rita(right) & friend arriving..
WHO WILL TELL UCHE IWUJI NOW?I think those very close to actress Uche Iwuji need to tell her watch her weight. The trim and trendy Uche of those days has now become rotund and fleshy. Infact going by the rate at which she’s adding flesh front and back right now, she might soon turn herself to a Michelin Tyre Mascot. I think you know the Mascot im talking about? PIX: Uche flashing a seductive smile
HAS BIMBO AKINTOLA’S STATUS CHANGED?
Sultry actress Bimbo Akintola was a pleasant site to behold at the Ahize’s party. First noticeable was the green and white wristlet on her right hand signifying her sense of patriotism (see red arrow 1). The second one that got our attention was the ring on the 2nd finger of her left hand ( see red arrow 2). Im still trying to find out whether the ring is just for fashion or she has finally……
D’BANJ OUTSMARTS AREA BOYSKokomaster D’Banj is one guy with a lot of street sense. After rounding up his performance and it was time for him to take his leave. The ubiquitous Lagos miscreants popularly known as “area boys”, besieged his sleek Mercedes Benz SL500 Coupe and practically made it impossible for him to move without dropping their usual “owo-ile” (royalty). D’Banj cleverly roll down his side window a little and threw some crisp Naira notes at them, while they scrambled for the peanut, D’Banj zoomed off in his posh coupe with number plate LAGOS D' KOKO..smart guy.
TUFACE IDIBIA'S MISTRESS, PERO ADENIYI REGAINS HER GROOVEPero, the mother of TUFACE IDIBIA'S 2 kids, is back to the party circuit. and after successfully giving birth to another kid for TU BABA, she's back to her usual trim and sexy figure . Hope you now understand why TU has been finding her irresistible..PIX: Pero Adeniyi (above 1& 2, yesterday Sun Oct 5th, 2008)..MORE GIST SOON. STAY TUNED