by Akintomiwa Agbaje
All roads led to Studio Tinapa, Africa’s first and only purpose-built and world-class film studios based in Calabar, Cross River State, on Sunday July 20, 2014, where EbonyLife TV, Africa’s first Global Black Entertainment and Lifestyle network celebrated its first anniversary with a brand new African first – a live Pop-Up activation titled “The Studio Experience”, designed to showcase the making of some of its favorite programmes in an interactive, captivating and entertaining way.
The well attended celebratory extravaganza presented guests with the opportunity of interacting with the entire studio facility, meeting with the EbonyLife TV On-Air Personalities, as well as individuals who make things happen behind the scenes.
The evening, which would eventually be one of casual but spectacular excitement, began with the energetic, passionate and bubbly Etighi dancers defying the rainy and gingerly frosty evening to welcome highly enthusiastic guests into the warmth of their frenzied, mesmerizing and rhythmically rhapsodic dance steps.
Those happy, cheery traditional steps led to guests, including the Chief Hosts, His Excellency, Senator Liyel Imoke, the Executive Governor of Cross River State, and his adorable wife, MObioma Imoke, the executive team, guests, reporters and bloggers, being taken on a guided tour of the Tinapa Studios facility by no other than the Executive Chairman and CEO of EbonyLife TV, the Executive Management of the channel and some of the staff.
The live and interactive Pop-Up Studio experience activations began with EL Now – daily Entertainment Magazine Show featuring exclusive entertainment and celebrity news from around the world. The show blazed the trail on the night with Emma O’Ma God and Chigul in the highest of spirits as the Masters of Ceremonies, with sonorous and effervescent live music seeping in from the background as Ekeng serenades guests with his mellifluous voice, with Ade Laoye and Cynthia Kamalu thrilling everyone with their wit and charm.
The Spot came alive with Zainab Balogun, Lamide Akintobi, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Noble Igwe, Oreka Godis, Lala Akindoju and Cynthia Nbanefo chating up everyone into ecstasy, bliss and rapturous applause.
Moments with Mo showed why it is Africa’s first syndicated talk show as the Queen of Talk and chief celebrant of the day, Mo Abudu, was joined by two new … nope!!! Not Marcy Dolapo Oni and Bolanle Olukanni this time. She was joined on her hallowed couch by the first couple of the Paradise City, to make the live show, again, three times better! Guests could not stop laughing as the First Family demonstrated their witty, interactive, humorous and electrifying side. They shared many revealing snapshots of their love, life, struggles and happiness, including some of the secrets of their 22-year old marriage!
EL Reports came alive with Arit Opko showing why she is one of the new, upcoming On Air Personalities to watch out for on the continent. The svelte, global black, Africana cool producer and presenter demystified her award winning show by doing what she loves to do best – presenting the latest African headlines, with positive, progressive, upbeat and up to-date news from around the continent and the globe.
The Fattening Room, a key reference point in homegrown, original and premium African programming, revealed just why six beautiful young, modern and single women from Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Kenya converged in the picturesque paradise city of Calabar to embark on the journey of self-discovery via the age-old Efik tradition given a modern twist. The Live activation of this show was the joy of joys to behold and cheer as the re-enactment of this amazing culture captivated guests and enraptured to no end!
Imagine the first couple of a state stepping up to the late night show mic to share valuable and intimate Love and relationship secrets gathered over 22 whopping years of rough tides and romance! So you have watched love doctors like Lanre Olusola, Jerome Yaovi-Onipede, Praise Fowowe and Funlola Awofiyebi-Raimi do their stuff over the last year on Love Lounge, but guests were in absolute cloud nine to hear from experts from the school of life as the Executive Governor of Cross River State, His Excellency, Senator Liyel Imoke and his beautiful wife, Mrs. Obioma Liyel Imoke turned executive experts on the unique late night Radio/TV simulcast talk show about Love, Sex & Relationships, with the beautiful and lively Oreka Godis.
The night progressed with cocktails and dinner, leading into fervent interactions and networking amongst all present – presenters, producers, the first family of Cross Rivers State, the EbonyLife TV and all invitees, with an after-party that gave a pleasant closure to the much anticipated first anniversary celebrations but which opened a new vista
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