I have to admit, February and March might have been the busiest two months of my life.
I have been working on the Apprentice Africa, and it turned out to be a pretty intensive day-to-day kind of job so planning a Fashion Exhibition, even for charity, was not an easy job oh!
First it started with an idea; let's have a fashion show!
People like fashion, and would love the opportunity to buy clothes. If we made it a fashion show where the designers worked with denim as a medium, then it would be beautifully tied to the cause!
JEANS FOR GENES Fashion Exhibition was born!
We wanted it to be around Easter, and i also selfishly thought of a date with a personal attachment - my dad's birthday.
We had no venue, no money and no media.
But hey, we had God so it would all be fine wouldn't it?
The first thing i did was to make it my status update for a week - TOSYN NEEDS SUPPORT FOR HER FASHION EXHIBITION COMING UP IN MARCH.
The responses were quiet and slow at first, and then they started pouring in!
People offered to model, some asked to show their designs, and others still asked if they could volunteer on the day!
But without a venue, all that planning is gist oh, so imagine how blessed we felt when SWE BAR came on board!
SWE BAR is a lovely, intimate and beautiful looking bar at City Mall which appeals to guys, girls, people looking for a quiet lunch, or people looking to let their hair down and DANCE!
But a Fashion show in a bar?
Err... why not change it to an EXHIBITION then?
The pressure is reduced, and you still get that intimate feeling we wanted to acheive with the fashion show.
The first designer approached was BEAMPEH, who creates wearable art. Then BYGE (run by Obijie), and MY Q run by the beautiful Yeside Mohammed. Their mission? Create a line using denim as a medium!
But we wanted to be able to sell other things so we got in touch with the very talented TONI PAYNE to make specially designed tshirts for THESE GENES. It was enough to see the lovely line she created for 'Gongon Aso'.
She worked out a design, we gave her the inscription and we shook hands on facebook.
We also ordered Wristbands, and tshirts by a design outfit known as ENERGY. We had seen their stuff exhibited at WAPi at the British Council and we simply fell in love.
But what about entertainment?
And this is where we were blown away!
All it took to be honest was to ask politely. Once it was seen that this was for a charitable course, artistes confirmed their attendance and soon, we had a program!
As the weeks wound down and the date got closer, we began to panic a bit. You know how it goes.
Labelle's Touch and Face Factor came on board to help with the models' make up on the day, and the lovely Jibola Olubiyi of AYANA also came on board to help out with accessories.
OUCH! ties then got on board so that there would be more things for the boys as well. But little did he know that the ladies had a plan!
290308 was the passcode and it was strictly by invitation, the invites to be delivered on request.
For the last week leading to the event, the media went to town with the story and this led to more interest.
With that came pressure
You do not invite people to a show, and not have something to show!!! So everything had to be on point!
290308 status updates read
Everyone spoke about the event, and people changed their profile pictures to reflect what was happening on the day.
People began ordering their TONI PAYNE tshirts which were absolutely fabulous, and the stage was set..almost literally!
For more on how the show went, then please read
In the meantime, what can we say?
We need to say THANK YOU to every single person who thought about us, prayed for us, cared about us, or even yapped us.
yes oh, we turn every stumbling block into stepping stones!
But we need to thank some people and so, please bear with us.
- Toyin Adesola has been living with Sickle-Cell for 40 years and she came to share her amazing story with us. Author of 'STILL STANDING', she kicked the show of with a reading from her book.
- Lanre the Comedian
- Toks D Don
- Chiedu Ifeozo (for his simple but poignant poetry)
- Li'l Flow (he is only 11, but if i were a rapper, i would be watching my back at this moment!)
- Bez Idakula
- M.I (we were delighted to have the winner of the Hip Hop World Award for Rap Single of the Year with us)
- Jesse Jags (all the way from JTown!)
- Sage Has.son (the wonderful spoken word maestro blessed our stage with more words that became pictures)
- Jedi ( even though he had a wedding on that day, Jedidiah took time out to come share his unique brand of humour with us)
- Etcetera ( Not only did Etcetera perform and turn the house quiet with his specially delivered slow rock, but he also donated c.d's to the cause so buy Etcetera c.ds people!)
- Aysia (also all the way from JTown!)
- Divine Brothers (acappella baby!)
Our lovely Designers were
- BYGE (08076870383)
- MY Q
- OUCH! ties and a unique female line ( 08023102110)
and our models, hosts and err... some random people who snuck backstage (lol) were glammed up by
- LABELLE'S TOUCH (08027664062)
- FACE FACTOR (08027352560)
We had some professional (read as 'we had to pay' models in the house and we thank them for coming on short notice, but we need to thank those who modelled for us JUST BECAUSE!)
- Jasmine Kofo-Adebayo (she is a nominee for VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR). She came for all meetings, and took time out from work and play, to make the event a success!
- Seun Oyeleye(also a super trooper)
- Akin Michael (a stand up guy totally!)
- Joke Ladoja (pretty and intelligent!)
- Segun (came on board on short notice but all for the cause!)
We also want to say thank you to all the wonderful support we received from kind individuals and companies
- SWE BAR (we feel totally happy to have worked with them)
- Victoria Ola Adigun
- Chocolate City
- Gbagychild Entertainment
- X3M Music
- Events Aloud
- Divine Brothers
- Labelle's Touch
- MY Q
- Face Factor
- Toni Payne
- UNRULY INC
- and ZAPPHAIRE EVENTS / ZAPPHAIRE PR
We also need to give Special Recognition to individuals and who have contributed immensely to this project
- 'Subi Mabogunje (for all our designs and branding, from the invites, to the logo, to the backdrop and programme)
- Bolaji Salami ( for single-handedly coordinating the models and the designers; not an easy feat oh!)
- Osagie Osarenkhoe (she had to coordinate all the performances and direct the program basically. And all this at short notice! Excellent work Osagy!)
- Jibola Olubiyi (for being Jibola)
- Ebuka Obi-Uchendu (a fantastic host. All the girls were swooning, and all the guys were in awe.)
- Shade Ladipo (beautiful hostess, and enjoyed she changed outfits! LOL)
- Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi (for strutting her stuff on the runway)
- Lola Talabi ( for also strutting her stuff on the runway)
- Yele and Kunle Balogun (for becoming impromptu models and also bouncers. Lol!)
- Jokotade (she volunteered to be my P.A for the day. Not easy seeing as i jump up and down A LOT)
- Debola Lewis ( for the stage, back stage, and for being a general good guy!)
- Moments with Mo ( for giving us something invaluable)
- TEE-A (for his presence and support)
- Toni Payne (for the lovely tshirts. All proceeds go into the project and there are still male tshirts on sale!)
- QuikLinx (for the volunteer tshirts, and bulk sms')
- Steve Babaeko (just because we can!)
- UNRULY INC (they should know our p)
and we would of course like to get on our knees and say a special thank you to:
: ALL MEDIA HOUSES FOR GIVING JEANS FOR GENES EXTENSIVE MEDIA COVERAGE PRE- AND POST-EVENT