On Sunday 23rd September 2018 City People took time out to celebrate some of the most outstanding female entrepreneurs in the country and the event will forever be talked about, as it clearly spelt out what excellence, class, beauty, glamour and brilliance was all about. City People’s Damilare Salami was on the ground and he brings you a blow by blow reportage of the event. Below are excerpts from the classy event.
ABOUT THE VENUE
The Lekki Coliseum situated at the heart of Lekki Phase 1 which played host to the glamorous event has over time been described as a centre for the bigwigs of the Nigerian society. But the 1st City People female entrepreneurs awards has added to the number of stars the event centre has garnered, judging by the class of people it hosted that Sunday. The event centre wore a dazzling new look different from what it used to be as a touch of beauty and professionalism by the event decorator, Rostal Flowers landed every attendee in paradise right inside the Coliseum. On ground was the Queen of decor herself, Funmbi Oduwole.
Words alone cannot describe how captivating the beauty was. The decorators’ brilliance and creativity added more glamour to the well packaged evening of fun. A combination of black which represented the strength of the African culture and gold, a precious metal that is associated with wealth, grandeur, and prosperity, as well as sparkle, glitz, and glamour spelt out the beauty of the African woman which the event represented.
At about 4:00 pm, the Lekki Coliseum came alive with the presence of the crème-de-la-crème of the Nigerian society celebrities who were majestically walking in en masse to have fun, celebrate and expand their business horizons by getting more business contacts.
A RED CARPET OF BIG BABES AND DUDES
When you mention a red carpet that featured the likes of Chief Mrs Sade Okoya, the Deputy Managing Director of Eleganza Nigeria Ltd, Mrs Operal Benson, the Yeye Oge of Lagos, Hajia Abba Folawiyo, Chief Mrs Kofoworola Adebutu, Hon. Adijat Adeleye Oladapo, Mrs Ibironke BabaIta, Mrs Bolatito Obaigbo to mention just a few, you know that such a red carpet is not just for every Tom Dick and Harry. Such was the kind of class the City People’s 1ST female entrepreneurs’ awards commanded. The red carpet was anchored by Kismat Yunus who gave the guests an idea of the kind of fun that awaited them inside the auditorium.
TABLES OF HONOUR
One of the things that stood out the female entrepreneurs awards was not just the Beauty and Glamour displayed, it was the touch of excellence, class and professionalism displayed at every section of the event. The already captivating event centre had a balance of a well-controlled crowd movement and a proper sitting arrangement as all the special guests and everyone who came with them didn’t have to worry about where to sit. Their names had already been customised on each table where they had a good view of all that transpired upstage. Some of the names on the tables of honour are; Her Excellency (Mrs.) Bolanle Ambode, Dr. (Mrs.) Sade Okoya, Chief (Mrs.) Sade Adesoye, Alhaja Morufa Shabi, Chief (Mrs.) Kofoworola Adebutu, Mrs. Gladys N. Ashemuke, Alhaja Bola Ologburo, Mrs. Modupe Ogunlesi, Mrs Morenike Okupe, Alhaja Bola Ologbuwo, Olori Sandra Adeyemi, Princess Toyin Kolade, Mrs Helen Igberuki, Mrs Bimbo Kashamu, Mrs Doyin Akinrinola, Mrs Tade Yeni, Mrs Lolade Koleosho, Mrs Ololade Otuyemi, Alhaja Tuwo Pama, Alhaja Taibat Elemosho, Alhaja Mrs Bunmi Agbeni, Mrs Bunmi Olatunji, Mrs Bolanle Okolie, Trisho Couture, Rostal Flowers, etc.
DJ KULET OPENS FLOOR
It looked like it was going to be a night of all women affair as superstar female disc jockey, DJ Kulet opened floor with beautiful tunes and vibes that matched her audience. Of a truth, she has a deep understanding of audience varieties as she fed this unique audience with tunes that moved them to practically jump off their seats to enjoy vibes from her turntable.
SAIDI BALOGUN ANCHORS EVENT
Evergreen Nollywood movie star, Saidi Balogun appeared on stage in a charming looking Kembe and Danshiki outfit as he eulogised and introduced himself as the compere of the night. As expected, the actor briefly dramatised both in English and Yoruba languages to the pleasure of his unique celebrity audience and the feedback from his introduction convinced everyone in the hall that it was going to be a night of endless fun and pleasure.
ZAINAB SANNI TAKES OPENING PRAYER
The anchor of the night, Saidi Balogun obviously has an eye for beauty as he picked out celebrity woman, Zainab Sanni from among the teeming crowd to say the opening prayer. Her outfits were stunning and her look was breathtaking. She briefly led everyone into the presence of God which marked the beginning of the night of pleasant memories.
DJ KULET LEADS THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
The event officially kick-started with DJ Kulet leading the audience to sing the national anthem from her turntable. Everyone obeyed the clarion call, observed the national anthem and sang with pride.
SAIDI BALOGUN INTRODUCES SPECIAL GUESTS
The list of special guests on the ground was a long one, Saheed Balogun said while he was introducing some special dignitaries but decided that only a few will be mentioned. First on the list was the Chief host, her excellency, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, the Lagos state first lady who was ably represented by Mrs Folashade Onanuga, the Permanent Secretary of Lagos State Pension Board. Others are Chief Mrs Sade Okoya, Mrs Abba Folawiyo, Mrs Opera Benson, the Yeye Oge of Lagos, Mrs Nana Yakub, Chief Mrs Kofoworola Benson, Mrs Sandra Thomas, Hon Adijat Adeleye-Oladapo, etc.
MRS AMBODE’S REP DELIVERS KEYNOTE ADDRESS
The wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode was unavoidably absent because there were other pressing state matters she needed to attend to; however, her representative, Mrs Folasade Onanuga was called upstage by the anchor to deliver a keynote address on behalf of her principal. After duly observing all protocols, Mrs Onanuga delivered the goodwill message of Mrs Ambode and explained why she couldn’t make it. Her keynote address focused on why women need to make giant strides in every sector they have found themselves. She said gone are the days when a woman’s assignment is only limited to the kitchen, citing female entrepreneurs who are being celebrated today as examples. She further encouraged the media to emulate City People Magazine in providing relevant supports for women so as to ensure that they have level playing ground and breed a healthy competition with their male counterparts.
SB LIVE SERENADES AUDIENCE
Popular musician, Seun Bankole also known as SB Live is famous for his special brand of music which combines all genres. He became a toast of the very special guests at the City People 1st female entrepreneurs awards in Lagos where he, with his band, put up a superb display of talent and vocal dexterity as everyone danced to his music. He was supposed to have an introductory performance for just five minutes but his audience would not allow him to stop at the stipulated time. Popular demand required that he served them more and he joyfully did to the pleasure of his audience.
HAJIA ABBA FOLAWIYO AND CHIEF MRS OPRAL BENSON PRESENT 1ST SET OF AWARDS
Saheed Balogun mounted the stage again having stayed away for a long time. He came up to announce the presentation of the first set of awards and two older society celebrities were called up the stage to present the awards to the winners. Hajia Abba Folawiyo a septuagenarian and her longtime friend, Chief Mrs Operal Benson, an octogenarian both majestically walked up for duty calls. The awardees include; Olori Sandra Oluwabunmi Thomas, a skin care manager and beautician. She was honoured for her remarkable contribution to the beauty business. Fashion icon, Mrs Gladys N. Ashemuke, F.HCD also received a special recognition award for her contribution to the fashion business.
Mrs Sandra Abiodun Tokunbo, the CEO Lumininee won No. 1 Designer for Nollywood Stars, Mauvel 21 won the Most Classy Lounge in Oyo State.
MRS SANDRA ABIODUN SLAYS IN BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY GOWN
There were various dinner gowns but the most talked about of the night would definitely be that of Mrs Sandra Abiodun which caught the attention of everyone with its flowing wings like that of a butterfly.
ELEGANZA WINS BIG
Eleganza, a household name for quality products and services manufactured, distributed and retailed locally and internationally. With the recent revamp of its industries named “Eleganza Industrial City”, the company has increased its capacity and further improved its quality to meet the growing demands for its products. The company’s hard work and improvement didn’t go unnoticed and coupled with the fact that it is being run by a woman, City People deemed it fit to honour her with the Most Friendly Female Brand Award. The award was received by one of the company’s managers who came along with the Executive Director, Dr Mrs Sade Okoya.
FEMALE JUJU SINGER EMPRESS, SEUN ARANSIOLA SHINES
She’s not just a star, she’s a talented genius at what she does and proved bookmakers very correct. Seun Aransiola and her live band were on the standby as each recipient walked up the stage to get their plaque. Her music and performance was an icing on the already fascinating evening. Her music was the reason many people accompanied winners to the stage, just to have a deeper feel of her performance, a source revealed.
MRS FOLASADE ONANUGA PRESENTS SECOND SET OF AWARDS
The Permanent Secretary of Lagos State Pension Board, Mrs Folashade Onanuga, who represented the first lady, Mrs Bolanle Ambode was invited by the anchor of the event, Saheed Balogun to present plaques to the set of winners which included; a special award to Alhaja Bolanle Oloburo, an A-list Ibadan fabric merchant, Mrs Teniola Adelegan who bagged the award for the No. 1 Make-Over Artist In Ibadan; her brand Otenera, is popular in Ibadan. Alhaja Tuwo Pama who started food business by selling African dishes with her mum in 2007 won the award for No. 1 Amala Food Vendor In Lagos. February 25th Cocktail, a cocktail service provider for all ranges of events, owned by Mrs Oyenike Adebiyi Aliu won the Outstanding Cocktail Brand of the Year. The Deputy Managing Director, Eleganza Ltd, Dr. (Mrs.) Sade Okoya won the award for the Most Outstanding Female CEO In Manufacturing. Mrs Bolanle Okolie, the CEO of Bonix Drinks won the Most Sought After Drink Butler In Nigeria for her brand.
Other awardees who got their plaques from the first lady’s representatives are Mrs Morenike Okupe. CEO Malas food, her brand was named the No. 1 Food Vendor In Nigeria, Mrs Jokotade Adeusi who was ably supported by Hon. Adijat Adeleye Oladapo; she was recognised for her outstanding success in the plus size fashion business. And Alhaja Bola Ologburo who was honoured for her contribution to the development of fabrics business in Nigeria.
K1’S WIFE TITI MARSHAL SENDS REPRESENTATIVE
The wife of popular Fuji icon, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal, K1, Mrs Titi Marshal was one of the awardees who was billed to pick up a recognition award for her remarkable success in fabrics business. She was however represented by her best friend, Ms Temitope Gorge-Taylor.
MRS DOYIN AKINRIONLA COMES ON STAGE WITH HER CHILDREN
The fun for the night was not strictly for adults. This was what inspired one of the awardees of the night, Mrs Doyin Akinrinola who came on stage with her gorgeously dressed children and the husband who came to show her love and support. She was honoured for her undeniable success in fabrics business.
ALHAJA TAIBAT ELEMOSHO DISPLAYS GLAMOUR
Dressed in a beautiful black and gold dinner gown, Alhaja Taibat came up the stage with a full squad to receive her award. She definitely knows how to look good and how to appreciate good music as she did justice to the music of Emperor Seun Aransiola. Alhaja Taibat who had once won the City People Female Achievers Award in 2011 is an importer of Gucci and Prada shoes. She won the Outstanding Shoe Merchant of the Year award.
MUSIC INTERLUDE: SEUN ARANSIOLA HITS FULL GEAR
The audience had been feeling her vibes as she accompanied Saheed Balogun while the awardees were being called to receive their plaques but this time around she had the floor as a musical interlude was observed. She pulled down the roof with her juju vibes but the high point part of her performance was her skilful dance steps. She reminded many of the older generations of the youthful King Sunny Ade, she simply passed as his female version.
MC 90S THRILLS AUDIENCE
The night was not just about music, food, dance and glamour alone, it was complemented by comedy to ease the atmosphere. A popular voice on Eko FM, MC 90s whose real name is Martins Profit mounted the stage after the energetic performance from Emperor Seun Aransiola to calm the nerves of the audience with jokes. He got the people laughing and the fun became unlimited.
ELEGANZA GIVES PRIZES TO BEST DRESSED GUESTS
Many of the gorgeously dressed guests did not go unnoticed and without rewards for the efforts put into their various stunning looks. It looked like an Eleganza beauty pageant parade as many well-dressed guests who got gifts paraded the stage with their gifts. Some of the people who got rewards for being named among best-dressed guests are Mrs Bisola Muiz, Mrs Oyenike Adebiyi, Mrs Teniola Adelegan, Hon. Adijat Adeleye Oladapo, Mrs Gladys N. Ashemuke, Ms Tosin Ajibade who let out a loud scream after being announced unexpectedly, Bisola Tebitel, Bunmi Fagbemi, Mustapha Sade, Sola Onadipe, Chinasa Ezikwe, Chief Dsunmu Akinsinku, the Akinsinku of Lagos and the only male recipient. They all won Eleganza medium size travel boxes.
The gifts looked to be more than expected as the following people won 40 by 20 sized food warmers; Aisha Keshinro, Banke Oluwalenmu, Aljaha Tuwo Pama, Sade Adesanya, Otunba Folasade Adesoye, Hajia Abba Folawiyo, Chief Mrs Operal Benson, Chief Mrs Kofo Adebutu, Alhaja Morufa Shabi, Alhaja Nina, Olori Riskat Adam Trisha, Ayisat Keshiro, Oyenike Adebiyi, Bisola Munis, Laide Adeniji and many others.
CSP DOLAPO BADMOS DAZZLES IN DINNER OUTFIT
The event anchor, Saheed Balogun had sighted her from afar and invited her to come up the stage, everyone wondered whose praise he was singing and lo and behold when she finally mounted the stage, she wore the look of an angel. CSP Dolapo Badmos came to the event looking all radiant and beautiful in a well flowered white dinner gown with faint sky blue designs.
Alhaji Tunde Oloburo and Prophetess Olubori Present Next Awards
Popular Ibadan socialite and politician, Alhaji Tunde Oloburo and UK based Prophetess Damilola Mary Olubori were invited upstage by the anchor as they were saddled with the responsibility of presenting the next sets of awards. They were indeed a perfect blend because they added charm to the night. The presented awards to the following winners in a fascinating manner; Chief (Mrs.) Sade Adesoye who won the Celebrity Diamond Merchant of the Year Award, Sayaveth Interior & Company Ltd which won the Best Furniture Company of the Year, Dr. (Mrs.) Victoria Omobolanle Oginni the CEO of the pioneer sachet water company in Nigeria, Blessed water, she won the No. 1 Female Producer of Table Water In Lagos; Ms Temitope George Taylor won the Celebrity Beader of the Year Award.
MUSIC INTERLUDE: DJ KULET TAKES OVER
DJ Kulet who obviously had been on break because of the active presence of SB Live and Emperor Seun Aransiola who had only just performed for a long time, was called back into action for another musical interlude. She sure knows how to play her game. She filled the music space with a blend of the oldies and new school to ensure that there was no generational void. That depth of audience understanding has been the edge she has over many of her peers. Everyone kept dancing until the anchor mounted the stage again for the next item on the agenda. Despite the fact that it was getting dark outside, the atmosphere inside the Lekki Coliseum on that night would make you believe it was just noon.
AKINSIKU OF LAGOS PRESENTS NEXT SET OF AWARDS
Chief Adebola Dosunmu, the Akinsiku of Lagos is one of the popular super big boys in Lagos. He is the custodian of Eyo in Lagos known as Alaworo Eyo. He was saddled with the responsibility of presenting award plaques to winners at the 1st City People Female Entrepreneurs award, a gesture he pleasurably received. The first recipient of the night from the high chief was Mrs Bimbo Ipaye Aso-Oke Designer of the Year (Bridal). Others are Alhaja Morufa Shabi, the CEO Morkal Fabrics, her brand was honoured with the Lace Fabrics Dealer of the Year Award, Alhaja (Mrs.) Bunmi Agbeni (Bismid) who brand won the Most Popular Cream Brand in Nigeria, Lolade Koleosho who won the Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year award.
NGOZI NKOLOENYI PRESENTS NEXT SET OF AWARDS
Another popular Lagos socialite, Mrs Ngozi Nkoloenyi was invited upstage by the anchor, Saidi Balogun and she took up the responsibility of presenting the next set of awards to the winners. The first on her list was Ms Bunmi Olatunji who won the Creative Fashion Designer of the Year award. Up next was Mrs Ololade Otuyemi who won the No. 1 Desert Maker In Lagos. Deservedly, Rostal Flowers won the Event Decor of the Year (Corporate) and what the brand turned the event centre to was enough reason to let them have it. However, their landmark achievements spoke volumes in the industry. Ms Bimbo Kashamu Her majesty’s brand won the Most Outstanding Body Cream Brand In Lagos, while Mrs Adebola Jumoke Raji won the Queen of Fabric Embellishment award.
BADMOS PRESENTS NEXT SET OF AWARDS
Celebrity policewoman, CSP Dolapo Badmos presented the next set of awards to winners. The following people got their plaques from her; Mrs Lara Adunwo and Princess Toyin Kolade who was named the Female Outstanding Freight Forwarder In Nigeria.
SERVICE PROVIDERS ON GROUND
The event had everything in excess from food, to drinks, to entertainment, fun and glamour. It will be a night that will be forever talked about by everyone in attendance as the class and glamour displayed is second to none in the history of events in Lagos. You can imagine the best service providers gathered in one auditorium to attend to the same audience.
SMALL CHOPS, CHICKEN, CHIPS AND FISH
Sumptuously Yours small chops was on the ground as well as Phatties’ Kitchen, Tebitel small chops and Sola Eleja who provided small chops, chicken, chips and fish for the guests. The guests had more than enough.
The smart looking and attentive ushers on the ground came from one of the very best in Nigeria, Global Events Hostesses.
Tuwo Pama International was on the ground with Amala and Gbegiri with Ewedu while Malas Food served jollof rice, fried rice and Ofada. Emohjay Cuisines equally served jollof rice, fried rice and chicken. OS Celebrations served jollof rice, fried rice, portage and curry sauce, while February 25th welcomed guests right from the red carpet with cocktails.
What kind of luxury drink can you imagine that will be absent at this kind of huge event? Bonix Drinks did the magic by providing different kinds of wines, spirits and beers. Soft drinks and malt drinks were in excess. At some point, when waiters went to take orders, guests were joyfully saying they had enough. That was the kind of standard City People’s 1st female entrepreneurs’ award brought to event hosting in Nigeria.
The party cannot be completely talked about without making mention of the effective service rendered by Dynamix Cooling Services who provided drinks coolers that chilled drinks at every table. Guests didn’t have to bother themselves looking for waiters to bring drinks for them because they already had it at their fingertips.