Tuesday, 8 September 2009

ECOWAS struts for peace

ARRANGEMENTS are in top gears to ensure that this year’s Miss ECOWAS Peace Pageant holds successfully. The pageant is slated for the Garden City, Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Saturday November 14. The Rivers State government supported the last edition, which held on December 20, in the state capital. Last year’s winner was Miss Fatoumata Diallo, the 22-year-old former Miss Senegal. Born in Dakar on October 28,1986, she speaks French and English. The Fulani lady stands at 5’10in. She is a student at the University Cheikh Auta Diop – Ecole Superieure Polytechnique, studying Marketing and International Trading. The current Miss ECOWAS is also a model who has participated in many fashion shows in Dakar and more importantly moved around West-African states to further preach peace agenda and support other ECOWAS Peace initiatives that tends to build the culture of peaceful co-existence. Fatoumata said, ‘’it has been a wonderful experience in the last one year, both as a Senegalese and an ambassador of the commission. We have been able to communicate and preach the message of peace around locality within Senegal and across West-African sector. My community and my country have benefitted from my tenure from the peace question, image building and practical intervention in people’s lives.” She added, “I want to thank my parents, 702 productions, ECOWAS Commission and specially the Rivers State governor, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi and the people of Rivers State for hosting the event and giving us a warm and spectacular reception. I know that this year’s event is going to be bigger and better in terms of quality and participation given the state of preparation.” The objectives of the pageant include building platforms aimed at communicating and building the culture of peace and development in the sub-region, creating brand awareness, brand recognition and ultimately to use it to sell Rivers State’s tourism and business potentials. The Executive Director, Maxine Menson, said, “this year’s theme is Peace and Development in diversity. This is basically to communicate peace and unity in the Niger Delta area, within West Africa and the entire Africa as a whole. This edition will be bigger in terms of more participation from member countries.” This year’s event is expected to have a female American artiste, three other African artistes. The event will be broadcast live to millions of viewers across the world. The event’s director, Chris Ondokor, said, “by hosting the event in the Garden City for a second year in a row, the commission seeks to join the government of Rivers State in sending a clear and unambiguous message to the world that Rivers State is enjoying peace and is a great destination for tourism and investment. This year’s event is expected to have two representatives each from the fifteen African countries and this is being done through an open and transparent process in all the participating countries. The Pageant is beyond beauty… I promise you a swell time.” Last year’s event had in attendance Joe Thomas, the United State R ‘n’ B sensation, Slim Buster & Dancers (Ghana), J’Town, Lady Iby, Mama G, Duncan Mighty and some other artistes from Nigeria. Also present was Dr. Mohamed IBN Chambas, the president of ECOWAS, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Governor, Rivers State with his wife, captains of industries, members of the diplomatic corps and a host of celebrities.

NY week.. steams up for Nigerian creatives
BY OYINDAMOLA LAWAL IN recent times, Nigerian designers and models have been making remarkable statement on the world fashion scene. Designers such as Joan Okorodudu of House of J’ola, Lanre Da Silva of LDA, Zizi Cardow and Frank Osodi of Bruno Creazioni Designs will be unveiling their latest collection at the New York Fashion show, which holds from September 10 to 17. Nigerian models, who will be on the runway, are Best Model of the World, Olubunmi Ademokoya, Isi Atagamen and Bryan Okwara. Speaking on the reason the designers were chosen, Okorodudu says: “You know most of these designers are award winners and; of course, I sent their designs to New York and they accepted them to showcase at the show.” The designers will be flauting the versatility of African fashion. According to Okorodudu, “my designs for the fashion week are going to be for both male and female. The designs will be spiced with aso oke and lots of frills. And for the men, we are showcasing a lot of appliqué for the jackets adding that 2010 fashion will feature lots of colours.” OKORODUDU is not relenting on her next plans as she says, “after New York show, we are doing Nigeria’s Next Super Model in Tinapa, Calabar, Cross Rivers State. And for Isis models, we are on recruiting drive worldwide — Russia, Croatia, America, Brazil and Cape Town among others.” She states, “for House of Jola, you will expect the best. We have now gone into international market and we are looking forward to it. My jackets are now sold overseas and we hope to go into mass production soon.” What inspires her? She says, “I think life inspires me, the quest to excel and the fact that we need to start doing things right. Look at where we have reached after Nigeria’s Next Super Model.

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