From Lagos to London – we give you our top events of 2011

by Yemi Olowu

2011 has been a huge year and with a couple of weeks left in our calendar we look back at some big events that shaped this year. There were some pretty good moments from Broadway to runways, Music awards and model competitions, the frequency of events seemed endless and we followed every single red, green and gold carpet.

These events are in order of date, not importance.  

The 1st ever Arise Magazine Fashion Week and Awards

After three successful seasons of ARISE African Fashion Collective at the 2009 and 2010 New York Fashion Weeks, and the sponsorship of Africa Fashion Week in Johannesburg (2009), ARISE founder, Nduka Obaigbena, felt it was time to go it alone.

This was probably the mother of all events in 2011, the first-ever ARISE Magazine Fashion Week showcased about 50 top African designers, including Tiffany Amber, Jewel By Lisa, Klûk CGDT, Christie Brown and Xuly Bët, with their autumn/winter 2011 collections from 10 – 13 March. This prestigious event took place at the Federal Palace Hotel culminating in the ARISE Magazine Fashion Awards. The winning designers went on to attend the ARISE Magazine Fashion Gala in New York on 14 September during New York Fashion Week.


Fela resurrects on Broadway

The award-winning Broadway musical which is about the life and music of Nigerian legendary performer and political activist, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti premiered in April in Lagos, it was the first Broadway show to be performed in Sub-Saharan Africa and it was a sold out act even though Nigerians had never seen anything like it before.

Wizkid’s ‘Superstar’ Album launch party/ concert

This was probably the biggest debut album launch ever in Nigerian entertainment industry history. On 12 June, the Expo Hall, Eko Hotel & Suites, VI, Lagos was the place to be as the sensational, fast rising star Wizkid, released “SUPERST*R“ to a massive audience.

 The launch party was hosted by comedian, Basket Mouth, the event featured performances from some of the best artists in Nigeria like Skales, Wande Coal, D’Prince, Samklef, MI, Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, Lynxx, Olamide eLDee, Muna, Yung 6ix, Dbanj, Brymo, 9ice, BankyW and of course WizKid himself.

Music meets Runway

At a point we weren’t sure if it was Music Meets Confusion with all the cancellations and the controversy, but the Music Meets Runway event took place on Saturday 9 July 2011 at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos. If we had to choose a single word to sum up the style statements at the event, it would be short and simple, no seriously; the crème da la creme came out in the tiniest of clothes.

Overall it was a fabulous event for the VIPs of Lagos. We are looking forward to the next edition.

When PSquare invaded Lagos

There is always a buzz surrounding the twin brothers, Peter and Paul and now we know that what ever they touch, gyrates. It was an explosion at their 30 July ‘Invasion’ album launch as guest got more than they bargained for. The energy was off the roof and people literally staggered home after the event. We couldn’t get over the amazing stunts performed on stage.

The MoHit’s crew takes London by storm with the Koko Concert

The Mo’ Hits crew took it out of the country to give our London brothers and sisters what they’ve been missing from home. The event took place at the Hammersmith Apollo with special appearance by Kanye West. It is one of the most anticipated events of the season and a perfect way to celebrate London’s July Bank holiday.

Elite Model Look Nigeria

Fashion industry fans followed the build up to the Elite Model Look competition, it wrapped our attention from casting to the grand finale. Both male and female contestants alike battled it out to win while trying hard to remain poised and calm. The red carpet event was just as entertaining to watch as the main show.

HipHop World Awards 2011 (The Headies)

Most people were upset when the date for the Hip Hop World awards was moved twice, but it paid off in the end because when the event finally took place on 22 October, it rocked Lagos. Hiphop World Awards, which was re-christened, as the Headies months before summer, showed us the colourful side of the music industry.

Ogun State wins Miss Nigeria

In November, the Miss Nigeria pageant was an upscale event with a parade of socialites. Everyone was rooting for their own states to emerge queen and the suspense at the various stages were nerve-racking. This event was to fashion lovers what football was to sports fans. They all came to watch who the next beauty queen would be. 21-year-old Feyijimi Sodipo was crowned the new beauty queen and ambassador.

The Future Awards

This was the first  major event of the year as usual and oh it rocked! The red carpet rocked for days, the live music from Banky W through Sound Sultan won our hearts, the fiery speech by The Future Awards founder hit the ball out of the park, and it was a roll call of Nigeria’s young who’s who -Genevieve Nnaji, Don Jazzy, Nneka, Ndidi Nwuneli, MI, Naeto C, Bridget Awosika, Eku Edewor, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu. But as always what makes The Future

Awards stand out is how far it goes beyond entertainment and fashion – and it was gratifying to see agriculture innovator Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu take the crown for Young Person of the Year.

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