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Omowumi Akinifesi Although, former MBGN 2005, Omowunmi Akinifesi completed her reign as beauty queen over five years ago, she has continued to enjoy public scrutiny. She has maintained a clean record, even as her style profile increased. Beautiful and elegant, Omonwumi puts her red carpet look together so effortlessly, that she is the cynosure of all eyes. Omowunmi is careful about relationships, which is why she is still very single. Today, in the capricious world of glamour and celebrity, she has become one of the pillars of high society. Stephanie Okereke Stephanie Okereke is a superstar with an infectious personality. As the sixth child in a family of eight, Stephanie has been entertaining her family from birth. Now, she is entertaining the world. Ms Okereke sprung onto the Nollywood scene in 1997 with “Compromise II” and then featured in “Waterloo”. A year later, she was accepted into the English and Literary Studies programme at the University of Calabar. She decided to pursue academics while she put acting on hold. A year later, Nollywood came calling again and Stephanie could not resist; she fed her desire to act in Teco Benson’s “Terror”. Stephanie has big dreams and she let the world in on her modeling talent with her second place finish in the 2002 “Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria” beauty pageant. Despite her hectic schedules, Stephanie graduated with a degree from the University of Calabar and started to stake her claim to stardom in the movie world. “Emotional Crack” put Stephanie on the map and she was nominated for eight awards! She was delighted to have her efforts blessed with two awards ‘Best Actress English’ and ‘Reel Awards Best Actress of the Year 2003′. Stephanie has also starred in quite a few films including ‘Private Sin’, ‘Final Solution’, ‘Pretender’ and ‘Adora’ (shot in South Africa). Lisa Folawiyo is a successful designer, who has gone from lawyer/stay at home mum to internationally recognized designer in a few short years. Her label, Jewel by Lisa is a fast expanding brand! She recently launched a couple of new lines soon: ‘Pretty Precious’ a children’s line, ‘J by Lisa’ a lower priced diffusion line and ‘Jewel by Lisa Privé’ Exclusive and luxe line. Jewel by Lisa will remain their flagship brand. Adenike ‘Nike’ Oshinowo-Soleye is a businesswoman, socialite, and pageant director. Oshinowo was raised in Ibadan and England, where she attended boarding school. Although she had intended to become an air hostess or a doctor, she studied Politics at the University of Essex.[1] Shortly after obtaining her degree, Oshinowo, who was mentored by former Miss Nigeria Helen Prest-Davies, represented Rivers at the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant and emerged winner (she was crowned in December 1990, but reigned in 1991). [2][3] After her reign which saw her compete at Miss World, Oshinowo featured in a commercial for Venus cosmetics [4] and hosted a fashion and beauty show on Nigerian television. Her business ventures included an African restaurant and Skin Deep, a health and beauty spa which ran for seven years before it was sold after she decided to create her own range of beauty products for the Nigerian market.[5] On January 17, 2010, she released the workout video Nike Oshinowo: Fit, Forty and Fabulous – the first celebrity fitness DVD produced in the country – and is currently working on the beauty products which will include fragrance, skincare, and haircare.[6][7][8] Genevieve Nnaji started her acting career as a child actress in the then popular television soap opera’ Ripples at the age of 8. She also featured in several commercials some of which include Pronto beverage and Omo detergent. In 1998 at the age of 19 she was introduced into the growing Nigerian film industry with the movie ‘Most Wanted As an upcoming actress, trying to create a niche for herself, she went through various minor roles seeking for that opportunity for a break through. Her subsequent movies Last Party’ Mark of the Beast; and Ijele (still considered to be one of her best epic performance to date) brought forth an icon to be loved and adored by many. Her name became a household name. In 2002 she featured in the movie Sharon Stone and her fame shot beyond the shores of Nigeria to Africa and several European countries. One can say tGenevieve reinvented the Nigerian Film Industry, introducing Nollywood. Eunice Efole is a business woman and property developer. In her 40s, Eunice has managed to sustain a presence as a high flier for over a decade, during which she formed lasting friendship with those that matter in the society. Combining business and pleasure, Efole made good her decision to erect a building in Lagos. Years after, she got the Lekki, Lagos project off the ground, and invited friends to witness the inauguration of the multi-million naira apartment, which is reflective of the high standards she is noted for. Nkechi Okocha is the leggy wife of football star, Jay Jay Okocha. Okocha met his wife, Nkechi, in 1994 and they have two children Danielle and A-Jay. She is reputed to be very sociable, which may have influenced the setting up their night club, Club 10 in Victoria Island, Lagos. Shade Okoya The delectable wife of business mogul, Chief Razak Okoya (CON), has been a regular feature in several publications. She is always stylishly turned out at events. She comports herself elegantly as befits the wife of a billionaire. One needs no seer to know that the fair-complexioned woman is indeed the apple of her husband’s eyes and in charge of affairs. Ugonna Omeruo is the creative head of House of Nwaocha, a clothing line that caters for today’s ultra-feminine woman. Officially debuted in 2006 with her first fashion show, the young designer already has a celebrity contingent on her clientele list, with a craving for her form-fitting dresses. As colourful and eclectic as the designer herself, her designs appeal to women who love glamorous, classic styles; women with an eye for workmanship and affordability. The idea, she says, is to make everyone look pretty however they tend to perceive themselves. Abiola Alabi, MD MNet Africa, is an exemplar of the young, smart and successful woman other women are yearning to be. She even packs more punch with her naturally appealing mien. Coming from a background of extensive research and experience garnered from working in some top-of-the-grade corporations in the US and Asia, ‘Biola never loses focus of that single principle that has shaped her life. Her words, “My life philosophy is live your life with no regrets and make sure you always learn something from every experience.” With the confidence and self-assurance of a university professor, she intermittently lightens the atmosphere with her signature smile. From a distance, sitting atop a giant media octopus like MNet Africa might instantly trigger a mental image of a flustered corporate manager with tight schedules and endless paperwork; not so when the boss providing the leadership and strategic direction for the company fits into her role so naturally because it’s in sync with her passion and experience. Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo (popularly known as D’banj). Born June 9, 1980, he is a singer, song writer and harmonica player. He has won several music awards, including the awards for ‘Best African Act’ at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007 and ‘Artiste of the Year’ at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009. He adopted the stage name D’banj, a combination of his first name Dapo and his surname Oyebanjo. D’banj was born in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria to a military officer who commanded an artillery regiment and a church dignitary mother who hails from Sagamu in Ogun State. Due to his father’s profession, he moved several times within Nigeria and also moved to India. D’banj was expected to follow his father’s military career and was enrolled in the Nigerian Military School at age eleven. D’banj resisted the system and dis-enrolled from the school after three years. Anthony Kojo Williams Former NFA Chairman, Anthony Kojo Williams, was head of Nigeria’s football governing body for a few months. Within that period, it was crystal clear where he wanted football in the country to be. He had lofty ideas, great plans for professional football and the domestic league which if implemented would have seen Nigeria’s football standards rise indeed. Korede Roberts is the Chief Buyer at Fusion Concepts, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi. He describes his sense of style as modern and classic. “My style has always been a bit old school; ’60s inspired if you will. My body structure also plays a big role in my style choice. His style icon, he says, is Tom Ford. “He is an extremely dapper dresser who does the whole classic, clean and unfussy thing. Only person I know who can make an un-tucked shirt, well-cut slacks and aviators looks so stylish. Augustine Azuka “Jay-Jay” Okocha is a Nigerian former footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. He is known for his step overs, skill, technique, and being ‘so good that they named him twice’. Jay Jay Okocha was born in Enugu to Mr. & Mrs. Okocha of Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State, Nigeria. In an interview with BBC Sports, he said “As far as I can remember, we used to play with anything, with any round thing we could find. And, whenever we managed to get hold of a ball, that was a bonus! I mean it was amazing!” Olubankole Wellington, known under the stage name Banky W, is an American Nigerian R&B artiste. Wellington was born in the United States to Nigerian parents but the family moved back to Lagos, Nigeria when he was five years old, where he began singing in his church choir at the age of 8. After completing secondary school, he moved to New York to attend college on scholarship; earning a degree in Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. While still in college, he won the ‘Albany Idol’ competition, which catapulted him into the spotlight. Banky W overcame many personal trials and obstacles to become an in-demand artiste on the local music scene, performing alongside major acts on tour. Ohimai Atafo is a leading fashion designer and stylist. He is, in every respect, a force to reckon with in Nigeria’s design industry. Adeola Bali started out her career as an audit trainee with PriceWaterhouseCoopers in London and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in December 1989. She then spent several years in Financial Services Regulation, working with the Financial Services Authority and was responsible for the regulation of LIFFE and LME firms. Before joining Virgin Nigeria in October 2005, Adeola Bali was Head, Human Capital Management at Oando Plc. Prior to assuming that role, she was responsible for the management change programme following the Unipetrol and Agip merger. Adeola holds a B. Sc. in Economics and Accounting from the University of Southampton. She is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. Adeola is happily married with children and her interests include travelling, organizing charity events and mentoring. Saheed Suleiman Saheed Suleiman is the head honcho at bespoke interior company, Studio Suleiman. Married to former Vanessa Nwokoye, the lady behind one of the biggest and most elaborate weddings of 2010 the Jameel and Bella Disu’s wedding extravaganza, which lasted a whole month. Saheed used to work at the world-famous Yves Saint Laurent office in London. Abubakar Tafawa-Balewa is the Editor-in-Chief of MODE Men, the only men’s lifestyle magazine in Nigeria at the moment. He also is CEO of MODE, a luxury goods outlet which caters to men exclusively. He had his primary school education in England, attended the Nigerian military school in Zaria, passed out and went to Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria where he read Law. After a year and a half working at a firm, he realized he wasn’t cut out for Law, so he mined the vacancy in the market for a men’s lifestyle magazine. Now, the brand has been expanded to include a well-attended award ceremony, recently held in Abuja. Noble Chibuzor Igwe is a regular face at almost all the major shindigs in Nigeria. With photographs of him adorning the pages of our favourite newspapers and magazines, it wouldn’t be out of place to describe him as a party animal. The 30-year old advertising practitioner and events wizard (as he chooses to describe himself) says there is a lot more to him than most people know. The 2003 Urban and Regional Planning graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and self professed Coca-Cola and Facebook addict, is currently an Assistant Brand Manager at 141 Worldwide (an advertising agency). Prior to this, he worked in Virgin Nigeria’s events and sponsorship department. He also owns Noble Koncept (concept, strategy and artiste development) and Chibuz Consult (events management firm).
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