At The Queen’s Birthday Party 2018 In Lagos

It was an evening of fun, laughter and networking as the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Party (QBP) was hosted at the British Deputy Commissioner’s residence in Ikoyi, Lagos. British citizens and guests were personally welcomed by Mr. Paul Arkwright, British High Commissioner and Ms Laura Beaufils, Deputy High Commissioner at the event.
This year, the party was held under the theme “GREAT Friends” and celebrated the close relationship between United Kingdom and Nigeria. The event showcased UK excellence in the areas of innovation, culture, literature and sport.
Mr. Paul Arkwright addressed the audience and spoke about the great friendship between Nigeria and the UK, about shared values and objectives between the two countries, and about British excellence in the four areas. He then rounded off “I want to thank all of our close partners who are here this evening for your support, friendship and co-operation over the past year”
Later, the High Commissioner assisted by his Deputy and two children cut a special cake and they raised a toast to the health of Her Majesty the Queen.

Ovation Publisher Bashorun Dele Momodu Launches 3 Books With Fanfare In Lagos

Chairman, Ovation Media Group, Bashorun Dele Momodu brought his years of experience, clout and connection to fore at the public presentation of three books in Lagos: “Pendulum 1 The Writings of Dele Momodu”, “Pendulum 2: The Writings of Dele Momodu”,  and “Fighting Lions: The Untold Story of Dele Momodu’s Presidential Campaign” authored by his campaign manager in 2011, Ohimai Godwin Amaize.

The A Star event saw the venue, Main Hall of Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) filled to its capacity with quality guests from all walks of life. The event which was very emotional and intellectually-stimulating, began with an opening prayer by good friend of the author, Pastor Dotun Ojelabi. This set the stage for the Master of Ceremonies, top Comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka 1st to invite the Keynote Speaker, the Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare to make his presentation.

According to the straight-talking man of God “Over the centuries, the phrase ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ has come to define the power of the written word in statecraft. Those words have since stepped out of the pages of Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s The Conspiracy, a play written in 1839, to become words on marble.

“At the heart of this notion of the might of the pen is the idea that the course of a nation or people can be determined at the stroke of a pen.

“Nations can be built, and nations can be ruined; generations can be made great, and generations can be rendered wasted; civilizations can be birthed, and civilizations can be buried-at the stroke of a pen! At the stroke of a pen, millions of Africans were “legally” transported across the Atlantic and Mediterranean and became the property of slave owners. At the stroke of a pen, the slave trade was abolished centuries later and emancipation was proclaimed to former slaves, thus formally criminalising an immoral enterprise. At the stroke of a pen, the kingdoms and city states of Africa were partitioned and transformed into the estates of European monarchs. At the stroke of a pen, cultures were dismembered, nations were balkanised, and territories were amalgamated into colonies and protectorates. Decades later, colonies and protectorates became independent states-at the stroke of a pen.

“The likes of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Kwame Nkrumah, and Chief Obafemi Awolowo, armed with no other weapon, mobilised the Queen’s language in the struggle for independence from the Queen. They fought their battles through such media as West African Pilot, Accra Evening News and The Tribune. Decades after independence, when free, fair and credible elections were annulled, and a tyrannical dictatorship held sway, the Nigerian press took up the baton and contended against the sword of oppression by deploying the armoury of vocabulary. I am so glad that the labours of these pen warriors and all others who fought for the democracy we enjoy today have not been in vain after all.

“From now on, any time the name Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola GCFR-Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic -is mentioned with full honours, it is an honour first to the man who paid the supreme price to pave the way for Nigeria’s democracy, and then to the heroes and heroines who stood up behind him, including those in the Fourth Estate of the Realm who marshalled the written and spoken word against tyranny. Indeed, the members of the press who fought for the June 12 mandate were fighting not just for democracy but in defence of one their own, for, amongst his many endeavours, Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola was a media entrepreneur and founder of the African Concord, where Dele Momodu, the man at whose behest we are gathered here today, cut his teeth as a journalist. I totally agree with Ralph Waldo Emerson that “talent alone cannot make a writer: there must be a man behind the book.”

Bashorun Dele Momodu and his ilk have proved themselves over the years to be real men. In addition, by deploying their skill against tyranny, the members of the press have aligned themselves with a biblical truth that recognises authorship as an instrument of battle, because the same God who is militarily presented in Psalm 18:2 as “the horn of salvation” is revealed in Hebrews 5:9 as the “author of salvation.”

Pastor Bakare maintained that “the writings of Dele Momodu has over the years addressed the fundamental issues facing our nation, stating that he was confident that the likes of Momodu will intensify efforts to ensure that the welfare and security of the people as well as the overall development of our people becomes the main discourse at this pivotal moments. He went on to refer to Bashorun Momodu as Pen Prophet.”

Bakare’s pwerful paper gave way to a short interview with the man of the moment, Dele Momodu, conducted by veteran broadcaster and founder of WFM, Nigeria’s first Women Station, Mrs Toun Okewale- Sonaiya.

Bashorun Momodu took time to explain the person behind MKO Abiola, his vision for the Nigerian people and everything he stood for, thanking the many that stood behind the enigma as the June 12 crisis lasted.

Afterwards, seasoned journalists were then invited to review the books before they were publicly presented. Taking his turn first was the Chairman, Editorial Board, ThisDay Newspapers, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, who went down memory lane, bringing to fore the life and times of Dele Momodu. He was followed by Mr. Simon Kolawole, Publisher, TheCable, who reviewed the second book, Pendulum: The Writings of Dele Momodu 2 while the Managing Director, Arise News Channel, Ms Ijeoma Nwaogwugwu did a thorough job in the deconstructing the third book, Fighting Lions: The Untold Story of Dele Momodu’s Presidential Campaign. Nwaogwugwu revealed the frustrations, Momodu suffered while attempting to become the President of Nigeria in 2011. One painful one being the part played by his primary constituency, the media, which wrote him out of contention.

The highlight of the event was the short speech presentation by the Chairman of Forte Oil, Mr. Femi Otedola, where he highlighted the sure steady steps that brought Dele Momodu to his present status. The billionaire business also used this rare speaking moment to make some revelations about his encounters with the late Pillar of Sports.

“I have studied Chief Abiola’s life in politics, philanthropy and most importantly building people and his doggedness, fairness, wisdom and good heart are traits that should be emulated. He was a man for all seasons” “As a young entrepreneur I had a taste of Abiola’s magnanimity and kindness. I developed the idea for an Papa Awolowo Memorial Concert which I shared with my good friend and papa Awolowo’s grandson, Segun who went to see Chief Abiola on our intention to have him as the chairman of the event and despite his political difference with Pa Awolowo in his lifetime, he not only showed up but arrived with his late wife, Alhaja Simbiat Abiola and they danced to the various artistes especially Sir Shina Peters. The highlight for Segun and I was the NGN100,000 cheque he gave us at the event. A huge amount back then and we admired it all the way to the bank.

“In 1991, I sold the idea to run for the governorship of Lagos state to my late father, Sir Michael Otedola and he dismissed it saying politics is not for Omoluabis and he also made a reference to the travails of Chief Abiola with the NPN leading to his much-publicized retirement from politics. After much persistence, I succeeded in getting him to run and the rest is history. He also revealed how he tried to get MKO released.

“A sad reminder of his arrest in 1994 was the picture of him alighting from a Black Maria. Upon seeing this, I called Ibrahim Abacha ( who later died in a plane crash) and requested to see him and we met at the South-West Ikoyi residence of Mr. Peter Igbinedion, the then MD of FAAN. I told Ibrahim to tell his dad to release MKO as it was not fair for a man who has been denied his mandate to be so humiliated by being put in a Black Maria to which our host, Peter, interjected by saying who is this and he swiftly walked me out of his residence.

“I later ran into Mr. Igbinedion at Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s London residence in 2013 and he was begging for my number. How the tables have turned! He then revealed another encounter with the Great MKO “After my father’s victory at the polls and seeing the need to rest, the then governor of Lagos State, Brig. Gen. Raji Rasaki Rtd, advised him to rest for two weeks and restricted visits and provided the LASG Guest House by Joel Ogunnaike Road Ikeja for the purpose.

“After a week there, I went to see my late father to around 7.30am and lo and behold, I met Chief Abiola and Alhaja Simbiat waiting to see him in the living room and when he saw me, he said Great man, where is your daddy?A great man referring to me as a great man struck a chord in me.”

He also used the occasion to pour encomiums on Ovation Publisher, Dele Momodu. The book launch proper was another exercise in professionalism as personality after personality stepped out boldly, made a short speech and launched the books.

The book launch was attended by the cream of Nigerian Society such as Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Pastor Tunde Bakare and wife, Alhaji Rasak Okoya, Mr Peter Obi, Former Governor of Anambra State, Hajia Bola Shagaya, Mrs. Modupe Oguntade (wife of NIgeria’s High Commissioner to Great Britain), Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi, Mr Fola Adeola, Mr Jimi Agbaje, Engr Rotimi Fasakin, Dr Dakuku Peterside, Rev. Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi, Oba Adedokun Abolarin, Olori Ladun Sijuwade,Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, Chief Dayo Adeneye (representative of Ogun State Governor), Hon. Kehinde Bamgbetan (Representative of Lagos State Governor), Mr Andrew Okeleke and Arinze Anapugars (Representatives of Globacom Chairman, Dr Mike Adenuga Jnr.), Sir Tony Chiejina (Representative of Alhaji Aliko Dangote), Mr Idowu Ajanaku, Habib Aruna, Pastor Dotun Ojelabi, Mrs. Betty Irabor, Dr Kayode Are and wife, Ngozi, Amb. Toye Okanlawon, Prince Damola Aderemi, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Siji Ogundele (Sujimoto), Princess Toyin Kolade, Mrs. Oyinkan Badejo-Okusanya, Mrs. Toyin Seriki, AIG Tunji Alapini (rtd), Mr. Kunle Bakare, Sir Gbenga Badejo, Ohimai Godwin-Amaize, Femi Akintunde-Johnson,Mr Abisoye Fagade, Mr Dayo Adedayo, Ms Joke Sogunro, Dr Reuben Abati, Simon Kolawole, Segun Adeniyi, Chief DonatusMs Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, Azuh Arinze, Biodun Oshinibosi, Omolara Wood, Mrs Toun Okewale-Sonaiya, Wale Oluwaleimu, Mr. Mayor Akinpelu, Mr. Tito Okpaise, Mr. Gboyega Okegbenro, Mr. Mr. Gbenga Olunloyo, Biodun Ponle, Messrs Lanre and Kayode Alfred, Ms Kemi Akinyemi, Chris Kehinde Nwandu, Ms Azuka Ogujuiba, Mr Adewale Jafojo and members of the Abiola family.

The Colourful Wedding Ceremony Of Xerona Duke And Derin Phillips

The joy of every parent is to see your children get married and start their own families and that was the kind of happiness and pride felt by famous Nigerian couple, Donald and Onari Duke when their beautiful daughter, Xerona wedded Derin Phillips also known as DJ Caise.
It was in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State that the first leg of their wedding ceremonies began and the venue was the picturesque Duke Family home nestled in the heart of the city. The beautiful Efik culture was in full display as the couple came out decked in splendid attires.
From the mandatory prayers of the parents, the couple was also showered with royal blessings by two first-rate monarchs, Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V and Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II. The groom’s mother, Chief (Mrs.) Teju Phillips who is also the daughter of late billionaire, Chief Dehinde Fernandez was filled with so much glee throughout.
It was obvious that she had developed a good bond with Xerona, her new daughter. The celebration of love between the two close friends dubbed XD2018 soon moved to Lagos, the Centre of Excellence.

The Lively Wedding Of Dr. Barth Ufoegbunam And Ijeoma Ezike In Lagos

There is nothing as sweet and lovely as spending the rest of your life with your friend with whom you share a special bond and this was the case when Medical Director of Gracevalley Medical Centre, Dr. Barth Ufoegbunam wedded Ijeoma Ezike at a lively ceremony in Lagos. The wonderful couple began their special day in the presence of the Lord when they had their solemnization at the St Peter Claver Catholic Church, Ajao Estate, Lagos.
It was a very fun-filled service with loads of songs and prayers before the couple took their vows, they said “I DO” promising to live together as one forever and then rounding off the session with exchange of rings.
When that session ended, there was great applause from friends and family who had come from far and near to witness the occasion. Later, the couple hosted guests to a sumptuous reception at the PEFTI Hall. There, everyone savoured good music, nice lunch and assorted drinks.
The couple also played a wonderful game that elicited laughter, cut their cake, fed each other and danced. This was certainly a memorable occasion that will linger on many hearts for years.

Mother Of The Serving Overseer Of Latter Rain Assembly Madam Eebudola Bakare Goes Home In Grandeur

Most funerals are embodiment of sighs, regrets and loud wailings. But not that of Madam Abigail Eebudola Bakare, mother of the serving Overseer, The Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, as she passed on at the ripe age of 108.

Consequently, the crème de la crème of the society converged at Victory Life Bible Church, Ajebo Road, Abeokuta Ogun State to celebrate her life and thank God for showering her with blessings. Prior to the service of songs was a night of tributes held in her honour at the Latter Rain Assembly, Ogba, Lagos.

Having spent over a century on earth, the family led by the vocal preacher, heaped encomiums on her for a life well lived, and for affecting their lives positively. It was an atmosphere of wholesome joy and thanksgiving.

Dignitaries at the night of tributes included Rtd. General Alani Akinrinade, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Mr. Biodun Shobanjo, Bishop Mike Okonkwo, Rev. Wilson Badejo, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) Chika Uwazie among others. The service of songs which took place at The Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, Ogun State also had notable personalities in attendance such as former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Dr. Wale Babalakin SAN, Senator Femi Okurounmu, Pastor & Mrs. Chinedu Ezekwesili, Mr. Dapo Adelegan, Otunba Gbenga Daniel among others.

The service of songs was followed the next day by the funeral service at the Victory Life Bible Church and was officiated by notable gospel preachers including Apostle Lawrence Achudume, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Rev. Wilson Badejo and Rev. Yomi Kasali.

At the church service, which saw the General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church, Rev Wilson Badejo, praying wholeheartedly for the family of the deceased, the choir held the worshippers spellbound as it dished out one soul lifting song after another to the dancing pleasure of all present. Afterwards, everyone moved to DLK Event Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State for a grand reception where guests were thrilled by the ageless Evangelist Ebenezer Obey, and rising star, Korede Bello, with first class comedian, Tee A as master of ceremonies. Their performances were superlative.

In attendance at the glamorous event were the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and wife, Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola , Ogun State Chief of Staff, Chief Tolu Odebiyi, Mr. Segun Awolowo, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Mr. Tunde Ayeni, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Hon. Bimbo Ashiru, Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Former Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi, Former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, Mr. Tunde Lemo among others.

Madam Abigail Eebudola was born on the 28th of October, 1909 to Chief Kilani Afuwape and Madam Banjoko Afuwape in Oba Village, Abeokuta, Egba Kingdom. Her father was a successful produce farmer who owned vast cocoa and kolanut plantations. He also owned a forest of palm trees and founded a successful palm oil manufacturing business. Her mother was a trader involved in marketing the produce from her husband’s farm. The family relocated to Balufe compound, Ago Oba , Abeokuta, when her father became the Balogun of Oba just before Mama Eebudola’s 18th birthday. She was one of the eight children by her mother for her father and the first daughter, with five brothers preceding her and a sister and brother born after her.

Mama spent her early life assisting her mother with her trade. While her brothers were enrolled in school, the long, daily trek was a deterrent to Mama who concluded that what those who went to school earned as wages was not worth the trouble. At About twenty-one, the very year the centenary Hall was opened in Abeokuta, Mama Eebudola switched gear from selling farm produce to selling imported chinaware-awo tanganran-which she sourced from Lagos. According to her, the journey to Lagos took her and fellow traders three days by foot, but , upon returning, her turnover made the arduous journey worth her while.

She made sufficient money from her trade to eventually acquire two mammy wagons to transport her wares. Mama was so successful in her business that men her age were too intimidated to approach her with a marriage proposition. However, she eventually settled for a man popularly called Baba Ajura. Mama acquired several plots through him and built her first house. This first marriage did not last very long because Mama was barren; she eventually opted out of the marriage when her husband and his family alleged that she had sacrificed her “eggs” in exchange for wealth. In agony , she left the house for Baba Ajura, sold some of her land , gave some to her friends, and returned to her father’s house as the reproach of barreness caused her significant grief and sorrow as well as subsequent business setbacks.

In 1994, during one of the Muslim festivals, Chief Sanni Adekunle Bakare, the Anibi Juwon and Otun of Iporo Sodeke Muslims, and the first son of the first Chief Imam of Iporo Sodeke mosque, visited his friend , the Balogun of Oba , Chief Kilani Afuwapa – Mama’s father. Chief Sanni was served a sumptuous meal cooked by mama for the guests at the occasion. In the course of their discussion, Chief Sanni expressed his interest in marrying Eeebudola whose father had told him of the circumstances surrounding her failed marriage .

Marriage rites were concluded within that year and Mama was given a new name, Wulaimot, amidst an outpouring of prayers and hope that her barrenness would be reversed. Mama was well-received in her new home and she became the “official chef” to a wealthy farmer with vast cocoa and kolanut plantations in the South as well as a large farm in Sokoto, Northern Nigeria, which earned hin the nickname Sanni Arewa.

In spite of the turn of the tide in her favour, the reproach of barrenness remained for another eight years, after which she gave birth to her first child who passed away shorthly after delivery. She contemplated returning to her father’s house once again due to the excessive sorrow and humiliation, but she had nowhere to go because her father died around the same time. This was a particularly difficult period because her father was her formidable pillar of strength.

However, like Hannah of old, God had mercy on Mama, turned her sorrow into joy and her mourning into dancing by opening her womb again and blessing her with a son, Gbolahan Babatunde Bakare, the 22nd and last child of Chief Sanni Adekunle Bakare, born on the 11th of November, 1954.

The 6th Edition of the Wines Of South Africa at Sheraton Lagos

It was fun all the way at the 6th Edition of the Wines Of South Africa (WOSA) Grand tasting event held at the Prestigious Four Points By Sheraton, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The Grand Tasting event which showcased the diversity, innovation and the uniqueness of South African wines, attracted connoisseurs, captains of industry, consumers, distributors and wine produces was also attended by South Africa’s First Lady, H.E. Bongi-NgemaZuma and South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr LL Mnguni.

According to Matome Mbatha, Marketing Manager Africa, Wines of South Africa, the Grand Tasting event is geared towards ultimately creating Ambassadors for South African wines. “It is designed to showcase quality wines from Wine Producers and exhibit over 200 wine brands from different regions in the Cape Wine land of South Africa”.


He noted that South Africa is currently the world’s seventh largest wine producer and have more fair trade wineries than any other country.

In her speech, Mrs Zuma expressed joy at the continued patronage of South African wines by Nigerians, noting that intra-African trade was one of the best ways of improving the economic fortunes of the continent.The 6th Edition of the Wines Of South Africa at Sheraton Lagos

She stated that in the past decade there’s been a renaissance in the wine industry, with new plantings, new knowledge and a new generation of enthusiastic wine makers, which means that South Africans are constantly improving to appeal to consumers with different taste.


As soft music was wafting in the background, and guests tasting and networking, it was a truly entertaining evening where guests were expected to taste and trade.

The very next day, the Grand Tasting event moved to Accra, Ghana and the venue this time was the 5-star, Movenpick Ambassador Hotel. Again the event organisers, Jon Williams Limited laid out a spectacular setting that was cosy and convivial.

Olabisi Abike Folawiyo Weds Prince Aderemilekun Sijuwade

Scintillating! That is how the traditional and white weddings that united two powerful Yoruba families-the Sijuwade and Folawiyo families, would have been described, but it was more than that. It was something in the neighbourhood of utopia and of course, Eldorado.


The ceremonies which took place over two weekends, required painstaking preparations and were in every sense a celebration of love at its best between Prince Aderemilekun Sijuwade, the bearded handsome son of the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade and Princess Olabisi Abike Folawiyo, the delectable daughter of late successful businessman and former Baba Adinni of Nigeria, Chief Iyanda Folawiyo.


Consequently, sequel to the biblical injunction that he that finds a wife has found a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord, the couple, with magnificent support from their families, friends and well-wishers, set out to formalize and solemnize their relationship at the Balmoral Convention Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, where the first of the events-the traditional ceremony -took place.


At various centres, events kicked off on the beautiful day in preparation for the high society union. At the prestigious Eko Hotel and Suites where the groom and his men were lodged, an exclusive OVATION photoshoot held to capture the finer moments of the groom’s last hours as a bachelor. There was a beehive of activities at the home of the bride as well, who with a retinue of friends, effortlessly slid into her royal traditional apparel.


A highlight of that morning was Prince Aderemi demonstrating what a helpless romantic he is by surprising his beautiful bride in the early hours of that morning with a brand new white Mercedes Benz car gift which he had delivered to her hotel. Labisi, who owns the popular makeup studio, Facesbylabisi, was as ecstatic as she was astonished by this breath-taking romantic gesture from her Prince Charming-her mouth agape as she saw the wonder-on-wheels for the first time and sat in the driver’s seat for selfies.


This is not forgetting the gathering of the groom’s family at the lobby of the Federal Palace Hotel, where special guests made a royal stopover with pleasantries, clicking of cameras for selfies and the expression of goodwill before proceeding to the banquet hall.Olabisi Abike Folawiyo Weds Prince Aderemilekun Sijuwade


The event itself was everything but low key right from the lobby of the hotel where the Arike Ade Cultural Group from Ile Ife, which came to honour a Prince of their town, kept the atmosphere lively with rhythmic beats of their drums renting the air, complemented by scintillating dance rhythms by a group of three professional female dancers; Temitope Onitiju, Aminat Eluguaju and Yetunde Olaleye.


The drumming and the dancing heralded the arrival of the esteemed guests, ferried into the hotel premises and available parking spaces in their state-of-the-art automobiles. Among such dignitaries were the founder of First City Monument Bank, Otunba Subomi Balogun, former Editor of the defunct Concord Newspaper, Chief Doyin Abiola, amongst others.


It was not long before the call for the business of the day was made, and like a royal carnival, the special guests marched majestically to the magnificently decorated Balmoral Convention Centre, accompanied by deafening sounds of traditional music popping off the well-crafted drums and gongs among many other instruments of various traditional groups that filled the arena. It was a combination of colours ranging from blue to white


The presence of Kunle Komolafe’s Ksquared Security Services ensured that only invited guests gained entrance into the venue.


The arrival of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, caused a positive stir, completely revving up the pace of the atmosphere. His presence intensified the drumming and singing as the reverred monarch waited for the right time to alight from his sparkling-white Rolls Royce Phantom which had come to a halt at the entrance. Once out, he made his way through a path lined up by dancers, drummers and palace guards.


Inside the Balmoral was a distinct fountain which reflected purified colours and more exquisite sight of green and white with each table decorated like the traditional cap of the Ooni resting on a stool. The bride and groom’s corner was another splash of green and white with a sporadic show of lights.


With the Ooni and his entourage seated, the event proper commenced as the compere, Abimbola Akinwunmi, started with ushering in the parents of the couple, who danced in in glory with music befitting of the Yoruba tradition.


This was followed by the entrance of the groom’s family who entered in a blaze of glory, momentarily turning the environment to blue, and then the traditional rites began with communication carried on in both Yoruba and English languages.


The compere welcomed guests and thanked everyone for coming before proceeding to order a minute silence in honour of the couple’s deceased fathers – Alhaji Iyanda Folawiyo and Oba Okunade Sijuwade. The honours were performed according to both Islamic and Christian injunctions. With attendant eulogies rendered to the memories of the great men, the mothers of the couple were obliged five minutes to exhibit their dance steps, and boy did they impress! At that point, it was proved that the ‘old woman is never too old for the dance she knows very well’.

The ceremony moved ahead to the presentation of the proposal letter by the groom’s family, which the Ooni blessed before it was handed over to the parents of the bride. The letter was then read by the bride’s younger sister, Aisha Folawiyo, who afterwards was treated to a dance.


The bride’s family followed up with their own acceptance letter, which paved the way for the triumphant entry of the man of the moment, the hunk-like handsome son of the 50th Ooni of Ife, in the person of Prince Aderemi Sijuwade. His entrance came with pomp and circumstance accompanied by his friends.


At the stage, the compere mandated the removal of caps by the groom and his companions, and at the count of two, all of them were face down on the floor, prostrating in total obeisance to the parents of the bride and respect for the undying Yoruba culture.

With classic music interlude provided by two live bands-Excellent Band and Queen Ayo Balogun and the Heritage Voices Band, as well as cultural groups, the stage was set for the beautiful prize that Prince Aderemi had been longing for Olabisi Abike Folawiyo.


Then, she enetered, clad in shiny baby pink coloured lace attire with a velvety veil over her face, which traditionally symbolises her purity and innocence before her husband to be. She was surrounded by a bevy of gorgeous ladies, dressed in matching colours and attires. At the centre, with emotion running high, she wrapped herself round her mother, and both shed tears of joy and love, as an eventual departure from home for a new life of marriage beckoned.

(Rtd) General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida’s Daughter Weds

Apart from their famed humility, one thing that members of the Babangida family knows how to do better than most is hosting colourful and classy parties-and at the wedding of Halima, the second daughter of Nigeria’s Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (Rtd) and Auwal Abdullahi, they went a notch higher.

(Rtd)General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida's Daughter WedsFrom the Wedding Dinner which was held at the El-Amin International School, (established by the late matriarch of the family, Mrs Maryam Babangida) to the wedding fatiha and reception, held at the Babangida’s Hilltop Residence,both located in Minna, Niger State, the décor was simply amazing.

As with all Muslim weddings, the high point of the celebration of love is usually the wedding fatiha which unfolded at the Babangida Family Mosque located at the General’s Hilltop residence in Minna Niger State. The short ceremony which ended with prayers was conducted by the Chief Imam of Niger State in the presence of the elders of both families.


Hours before this ceremony, the venue was a beehive of activities as Nigeria’s who is who arrived for the occasion. Though the venue is just a few hours from Nigeria’s capital Abuja, many of the guests came in private jets!


Halima, the second daughter of General Babangida and Auwal, a businessman who holds the traditional title of Sarkin Sudan Gombe were introduced to the whole world at the reception which was exquisitely decorated by the team from Elizabeth R with the keen supervision of the bride’s elder sister, Aisha Babangida.

That reception had in attendance former President Goodluck Jonathan and wife, Patience, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and wife, Justice Fati, former First Lady, Mrs Turai Yar Adua, Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogora and so many other important personalities.


What can be termed the highest point of the occasion was when the couple was invited to cut their cake, they fed each other and then took pictures with the invited guests and family members.


There was so much merrymaking at this event. Guests were served special local cocktails like Kunu, Tangerine Juice, Zobo etc by well-clad waiters while food was at every one’s beck and call. The Babangida family members were at their hospitable best, little wonder that many guests went home with huge smiles on their faces.

The Regal Wedding Of Sidikka Sanusi And Abubakar Kurfi In Kano, Nigeria

It was classy and cultural, it was religious and wondrous, indeed, it was four-days of romance, elegance and glamour fitting for a member of the royal household when Princess Hafsat Siddika Sanusi, daughter of the Emir of Kano, HRM Muhammed Sanusi II wedded Mallam Abubakar Umar Kurfi

The Emir of Kano’s Palace in Kofar Kudu area of the ancient city hosted many of the activities starting from the Kunshi ceremony.
The adorable bride was quartered in the home of her mum, the Emir’s first wife, HajiaSadiyya, who was obviously filled with joy. The ceremony itself was held at her fore court at the Giwa Wing.
Traditionally, the Kunshi is like the bridal shower, where the bride is specially prepared indoors for matrimony. It also an occasion where she dances and generally has fun with friends and members of the family. We were told that though other wives of the Emir could attend, the mother of the bride could not savour this occasion.
Thus, Siddika was heralded with royal trumpets and drummers as she arrived the venue, every step she took was met with cheers. When she settled into her specially-crafted seat, the short ceremony began. There were a few speeches before the ceremony dovetailed into a session of eating and dancing.
The following day, it was another important ceremony known as the Kamun Amariya, this literarily means catching the bride. It was at this ceremony that many of the guests caught a first glimpse of the handsome groom, his friends and family members.
According to Hajiya Zainab Sanusi, the bride’s aunt, Kamu Amariya is one of the important events of the wedding ceremony. “Kamu Amariya” literarily means “catch the bride”. The groom’s family comes and negotiates with the bride’s friends for her release to them. It is usually a fun-filled night. This was no different.
At night, Hajiya Sadiyya Sanusi treated guests to a royal feast at the Mother’s Night inside the upscale Meena Hall, which was attended by mostly women of both families. The couple made an appearance, and because they were not officially married, one could see that they tried hard not to be too intimate in the open.
The Walima or Wedding Fatiha was the official nuptials of Siddika and Abubakar. This was the ceremony where in the presence of Islamic clerics, the two families will agree on a bride price, exchange pleasantries and become one.
This all important ceremony was held at a special area within the Emir’s Palace. The Emir himself was not there. In fact, the invitation to this event read “Alhaji Nasir Ado Bayero, Chiroman Kano invites….”
Elders of both families were there and the ceremony took less that ten minutes before the Clerics declared the marriage sealed and cheers emanated from all corners of the venue. This was a male-only ceremony.

The pomp and pageantry of the royal household soon unfolded within the Palace immediately after the fatiha.
This was when His Majesty stepped out from his inner chambers into public glare in a sumptuously decorated horse. It was such a spectacular sight to behold as indigenes and guests stood in awe while he gingerly galloped along.

The Emir, soon dismounted and spent time receiving guests who had come from far and near to felicitate with his family. The show of obeisance and his open door policy of receiving. All poor was quite instructive.
Emir Sanusi later hosted some of his select guests to a private lunch in an inner part of the palace. The guest list was so scrutinized that all those who partook of this royal gourmet feast, including this reporter, were less than 15!

Those at the table with the Emir included Mr. Wale Edun, Chief SOB Babalola, NBA President, A.B. Mahmoud, SAN and businesswoman, Hajia Bola Shagaya.
Later that evening, the couple and their families treated guests to a first-rate Wedding Dinner at the popular Afficent Centre.
This was when the Siddika and Abubakar were at their sparkling best. The bride was resplendent in her lovely gown, and her make-up was flawless, it had to be because it was handled by no one but BMpro boss, Banke Meshida-Lawal. They therefore arrived the venue in smiles heralded by their friends who had danced into the arena earlier.
The décor was top notch. Everywhere glittered as exotic chandeliers and candles glowed. Fresh flowers and lovely centre pieces combined to ensure that the venue was welcoming and cosy.

The Special Guest at the occasion was First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari who was represented by  First Lady of Sokoto State, Hajiya Miriam Aminu Tambuwal.

In her welcome address, Hajia Bilikisu Bello, an aunt of the bride described the event as the wedding of the year. She noted that it was great that the families were ending the year with such a joyous occasion. She thanked God for bringing the families together and prayed that the couple will enjoy marital bliss.

Hajia Bola Shagaya in her own speech, also prayed for the success of the marriage. According to her “May Almighty Allah bless their marriage with wonderful children, and my only word of advice is patience, patience and patience all the time, you understand where she is coming from and she will live up to expectation”
For Hajiya Hadisa Galadanshi Adehi, she stated  “I wish the couple very happy married life, My advice to them is to understand that marriage is a journey; to handle all their differences without any third party, be patient, be peaceful, become great friends  and always wear a smiling face. Most especially, put God first in everything, always be prayerful. When there is a problem, pray first, don’t discuss it with anybody, even your mother, talk to God, pray to him and Insha Allah, it would be solved”
Friends of the couple also took their turn to speak: The Maid of Honour, Aisha Madugu was full of praise for the beautiful bride “You are everything I ever asked for in a best friend.  There are really not enough words to describe the kind of best friend you have been to me, and there are really not enough words to describe how happy I am for you tonight. We have laughed, we have also cried together. All I can wish you is to be a wonderful wife and in the future a great mother. I know that you have found a good man. I love you so much and May Allah bless your marriage abundantly.
Groom’s friend, Abba Garko was next to take centre stage. “Congratulations my friend; let me say that Siddika is lucky to marry a man who is the epitome of devotion and decency. You are great guy and I know from all you have said, you truly love this lady and so we are all so happy for you both. Congratulations my friend”
The session of speeches were rounded off by the Special Guest of honour, HajiaTambuwwal who was very brief “I wish this newly wedded couple, happy married life and more blessings from above”
Thereafter, the hilarious Master of ceremonies invited the couple for their very first dance. Later, they cut their cake and guests were entertainment by a rising musician.
The groom later thanked all guests on behalf of the two familes. He was so full of thanks for the Sanusi Family for allowing him all the way from Katsina take their daughter’s hand in marriage. “I will love and cherish her forever”, he rounded off -everyone cheered.

He thanked his parents and members of their family for the immense support and then rounded off that he will love and cherish Saddika forever-and everyone cheered!
From then on, the event took a life of its own, guests had a full course meal, assorted drinks and then danced till well into the night.