•Gists From The Classy 70th Birthday Celebration
Mrs Waleola Titilayo Benjamin may not be your everyday society woman, but she is the mother of many celebrities, especially in the movie and entertainment industry today. This very beautiful, agile and very active grandma is the latest septuagenarian in town. She is the mother-in-law of a veteran movie maker, Fidelis Duker.
The event which held on Saturday, August 28, 2021, started at the Methodist Church Iponri, Surulere, Lagos, where Mama, her children, grandchildren, family, friends and loved ones gathered to worship God for the last seventy years and pray for sound health and longevity in the incoming years.
It didn’t end there. There was a very classy party for selected guests. The party held at the G’Denny Marquee, situated at No 6, Edmond Crescent, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos.
City People’s Brands Editor, DAMILARE SALAMI 08155134152 and Head of Photography Unit, Femi Adeleke were at the event. In this report, they bring hot gists.
ABOUT THE CELEBRANT
Mrs Waleola Titilayo Benjamin hails from the Ologbowo, Kutere area of Lagos Island. She is a popular businesswoman Liman who currently resides in the Iponri axis of Surulere in Lagos. Popularly known as Iya Tope, her daughter, Mrs Temitope Duker is happily married to a veteran movie maker, Fidelis Duker and they are blessed with children. While speaking to City People Magazine, Mr Duker revealed that Mrs Benjamin was the mother she lost barely one year into his marriage and Mrs Benjamin has picked up that role for about 25 years now and had played it effectively. Little wonder top Nollywood celebrities made her event and even had special moments with this septuagenarian.
PURPLE AND TOUCH OF GOLD WAS THE COLOUR OF THE DAY
Purple can symbolize many things, but to sum it up in a few words, purple represents strength, transformation, power, and royalty while the gold colour is that of wealth and luxury. These two colours simply expressed Iya Tope’s life as she marked a milestone. Let’s also quickly inform you that many of the celebrities that came around stunned in white. Everyone knows that white goes well with any colour but its combination with purple and gold was a beauty to behold.
THE CELEBRANT’S GLITTERING OUTFITS
Would anyone at the event not notice the celebrant’s stunning outfits? That would be impossible. Mama didn’t look 70 in her attire. She simply looked like she just clocked 50. Mama stunned in army green Iro and Buba and peach colour gele. The quality of the material already told the price, it was a very expensive one. The lace was sparkling while her shoes and bag matched her gele.
MEDIA GURU CUM ACTOR, KOLADE FOLARIN ANCHORS EVENT
Kolade Folarin popularly known as Kadesh Prince is a journalist with Remo TV, a movie director, an actor as well as a compere. He is based in Shagamu, Ogun State and has done well for himself on the job. He was one of the founding students of the FAD Institute owned by Fidelis Duker. He anchored the event and brought out the very best by communicating fluently in the English and Yoruba languages. He carried his audience along so well, such that none was left hanging. His comic relief played a huge part in entertaining the audience; he was indeed a round peg in a round hole for such an event.
WAS IT A WHITE PARTY?
On entering the venue of Iya Tope’s 70th birthday party, one would think that it’s an all-white birthday bash. The reason is not farfetched; virtually all the guests came dressed in white or a touch of white. The auditorium had a heavenly outlook after it was filled to the brim by the guests of the celebrant, her children and even grandchildren.
POPULAR MOVIE DIRECTOR, ALLWELL ADEMOLA ON THE BANDSTAND
Allwell Ademola is a popular name and face in many Nigerian homes. She graces our TV screens with a different appearance in movies both in English and Yoruba and also very popular in soap operas.
However, at Mrs Benjamin’s birthday bash, she played a different role entirely. She was the singer at that event and she came with her full band knowns the Allwell Ademola and Company. The most intriguing part of her performance was that she dances well and could carry herself well despite being on the plus size. Allwell and Company thrilled as many times as possible. She made the celebrant dance several times; she was also joined by her loved ones on the dance floor.
FIDELIS DUKER, WIFE AND KIDS SHINE WITH GRANDMA
Fidelis Duker, his wife, Mrs Temitope Duker and their three children all starred at Grandma’s 70th birthday party. They all shined in their white outfits (the family aso-ebi). Let’s also quickly tell you that the Dukers pulled a huge crowd to Grandma’s birthday reception party. Most of the guests came to show support for either Mr Fidelis Duker, his wife, Mrs Temitope Duker or their three children. This came to the fore when the compere, Kadesh Prince invited this beautiful family to come one after the other with their guests for a photo session with the celebrant. The hall literally became empty by the time their guests joined them on the podium.
It Was A Star-Studded Party
Did we tell you that Grandma’s birthday party was star-studded? Oh you needed to be there to see the calibre of people that graced the occasion. They are not the people you see every day on the streets but you get to meet them daily in your living room and on your TV set. These Nollywood stars graced the occasion and spent quality time with the celebrant, her children, friends and family while they enjoy cool music from the stable of another long-serving colleague, All-Well Ademola and Company.
This list includes veteran actors like Francis Owenche, Ambassador Queen Blessing Ebigese, the national vice president of the Association of Movie Producers of Nigeria, Debby Greg-Odutayo, Mrs Osezuwa Stephen Omobio, Gbenga Andipe, Chief Emeka Osai, Mrs Toyin Egbesai, Pastor Fe ami Bolorunduro, Kemi Adekanmi, Zeb Ejiro and many more.
NOLLYWOOD BIG NAME, PEACE ANYIAM-OSIGWE ALSO CAME THROUGH
Peace Anyiam-Osigwe is a big name in Nollywood. She is a filmmaker and entertainment executive who has been called “the queen of Nollywood films”. She is the founder of the globally acclaimed film ceremony, Africa Movie Academy Awards. The Guardian documents that she pioneered the screening of Nollywood films at international film festivals. She directed the first music video of hip-hop sensation, P-Square. In 2012, she was bestowed a Member of the Federal Republic by the Nigerian government for her contribution to the entertainment industry.
Anyiam-Osigwe founded the Africa Film Academy, a body that governs the film ceremony since 2005. The award ceremony is reputed to be one of the most recognized awards for Africans in film-making. At the 10th edition, she stepped down as CEO of the AMAAs. In 2015, she began the Africa-One initiative to commemorate Africans in the entertainment industry. She was present at the party and received a standing ovation from her colleagues upon entry. She added glamour to the event in a big way.
DJ GENESIS ALSO THRILLED
Before and after Allwell’s band took over the stage, DJ Genesis was behind the wheel of steel to supply the music. His performance was top-notch. He raised the roof and equally restored calmness with his brand of disc jockeying. Simply put, he understood the complexity of his audience owing to the fact that there were different generations at the event to celebrant Grandma. Yes, he was able to satisfy them and many of the guests spoke so highly of him.
ITEM 7, FEB 25 COCKTAILS DID WELL
The best part of the owambe was the food and drink segment. It was well coordinated and everyone at the party had swell time dining and wining. Item 7 and Feb 25 Cocktails served the food and drinks. Their representatives were very professional. There were all kinds of foods from Nigerian dishes to intercontinental. Some guests were even spotted with takeaways. It was a very classy party, Mrs Waleola Benjamin was all smiles and everyone left the party happily.