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SUNDAY CLASSIC: Agbani Darego (Beauty Queen)

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Agbani Darego, MFR (born 22 December 1982) is a Nigerian model and beauty queen who was crowned Miss World in 2001. She was the first indigenous African to win Miss World.

Early life

Abonnema, Rivers State-native Darego was born in Lagos to a family as the sixth of eight children. At age two, her family relocated to Port Harcourt where she was raised in D-Line.

Darego attended Bereton Montessori Nursery and Primary School, and at ten was sent to boarding school in a bid to shield her from her mother who battled breast cancer. Her mother, Inaewo, owned a rice trading business and a clothing boutique, but died two years after her daughter’s move to boarding school. Darego has spoken of how the loss prepared her for tough challenges in the future.

As a teenager, Darego longed to be a model, and auditioned for the M-Net Face of Africa modelling competition despite her conservative father’s wishes, but was not chosen as a finalist. Darego attended Federal Government Girls’ College, Abuloma. Upon completing her secondary education she attended University of Port Harcourt where she studied Computer Science and Mathematics.

Pageantry

In 2001, Darego was crowned Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria. Contrary to popular belief, Darego did not replace Valerie Peterside after the latter was dethroned; Peterside had competed in rival pageant Miss Nigeria. A few months later she was a contestant at Miss Universe, and became the first Nigerian to place among the top 10 semi-finalists, finishing seventh overall. She was the only top ten contestant to wear a modest maillot as opposed to a revealing bikini during the swimsuit competition.

In November that year, she became the first indigenous African to claim the Miss World title (Past winners Penelope Coelen and Anneline Kriel, both of South Africa, are of European descent, and Antigone Costanda, who represented Egypt in 1954 is of Greek heritage). Darego’s victory was widely welcomed in her home country, and her one-year tenure included goodwill trips and scheduled appearances on behalf of the pageant, and an MFR.

Modelling

Prior to winning MBGN, Darego featured in print commercials for boutique chain Collectables. After Miss Universe she was invited by Naomi Campbell to participate in Frock ‘n’ Roll, a charity fashion show in Barcelona, and soon negotiated a modelling deal with Trump Model Management in America. Shortly after her reign as Miss World she was represented by London and Paris branches of Next Model Management and landed a three-year contract with L’Oréal, becoming only the second Black model to accomplish this feat after Vanessa Williams, and was photographed by Annie Leibovitz, a big name in Americans portrait photograph sphere for Vogue.

Other brands she has modelled for include Avon, Christian Dior, Sephora, Target, and Macy’s. Darego has also appeared in Elle, Marie Claire, Allure, Trace, Stitch, Cosmopolitan, and Essence magazines, working with numerous designers including Oscar de la Renta, Marc Bouwer, Tommy Hillfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Gianfranco Ferre.

In her homeland Darego has appeared in advertising campaigns for hair care brand Gentle Touch with model Oluchi, and served as the face of Arik Air. She has also graced the covers of Complete Fashion, Mania, ThisDay Style, Genevieve, True Love, and TW Magazine.

Other work

Darego has judged numerous pageant, fashion and modelling competitions including Miss World 2014, Miss England 2002, Mr. Scotland 2002, and Elite Model Look Nigeria 2012 and 2014. In 2010, she launched a style and fashion reality show Stylogenic on Nigerian television, and three years later announced her denim range, AD by Agbani Darego, which includes jeans, dresses, sunglasses and bags.

Personal life

In the aftermath of her win in 2001, Darego was awarded an honorary chieftaincy by the Council of Chiefs of Lagos. At the time of her investiture, she was one of the youngest chiefs in the country.

Due to her busy work schedule, Darego left the University of Port Harcourt, but after moving to New York where she was signed to Next Model Management, Ford Models, and Trump Models, she enrolled with New York University to study Psychology, graduating in May 2012.

In April 2017, Darego married her long-time partner Ishaya Danjuma, son of billionaire General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, in a ceremony held in Marrakesh. Together they have a son who was born in September 2018, and welcomed another child in December 2020.

Source: Wikipedia

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56-YR-OLD EVANGELIST EUCHARIA ANUNOBI CRIES OUT, SAYS SHE NEEDS A MAN TO MARRY HER

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Eucharia Anunobi

Legendary Nollywood actress turned Evangelist Eucharia Anunobi, has affirmed that she is urgently in need of a man to settle down with.

In an interview with BBC Igbo, the 56-year-old Eucharia reveals her utmost concern about settling down. In 2006, It was gathered that the actress’s marriage to her ex-husband, Mr Charles Edwu, ended after six years of marriage.

Eucharia’s marriage to Charles birthed Raymond who was an only child but sadly died from complications linked with sickle cell anaemia at age 15.

“Please, I use this opportunity and tell the world that I want to marry urgently. A great man should show himself and put a ring on this finger of mine.

My specification is a man who is God-fearing and handsome. He must be up to the task, having everything that makes a man male. You must be complete, that’s all I can say.”

Eucharia who recently reacted to the news making rounds on social media platforms about her alleged affair with a 27-years old colleague named Lucky Oparah.

In the opinion to information that went viral, the lovely actress holds an English Language degree, is apparently in love with Lucky and might likely end up walking down the aisle with him.

The soft-spoken veteran screen diva didn’t debunk nor take part in the allegations of her lover boy, however, she said it was a disgusting report.

“Sorry! This is the height of witchcraft!

How demonic and absolutely disgusting. It is well. It’s really well,” she said.

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AMVCA FALLOUT: DRAMA AFTER, SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS

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Erica-Nlewedim

Fans of Nollywood actors and content creators have continued to bask in the euphoria of their favorites’ winnings at the last Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while keeping tab on social media trends, however, observed that the AMVCA was followed by drama as regards some celebrities’ outfits to the awards.

On May 15, former Big Brother Naija housemate, Ifu Enada’s outfit to the AMVCA was the topic as some fans were dazzled while some condemned the outfit which was designed by popular designer, Toyin Lawani (Tiannah Empire).

In response to those condemning her outfit, Ifu Enada, in a long post on her Instagram page, said, “My entire look is worth over 100k USD. Yes you read that right. So if you don’t have a minimum of 10k USD in a domiciliary account, you have no right to speak on my look. Basically, stay away from criticising my outfit if you’re broke.”

Within seconds, “$100,000” started to trend on Twitter, with fans asking if her clothes truly worth the amount.

The aftermath of the AMVCA drama continued on Monday ,when a stylist called out actress Dorcas Shola-Faison over debt on the clothes she wore to the AMVCA.

The actress, however, refused to respond to the allegation but later posted a picture on her Instagram page where she made a sign of the curse word with her middle finger and captioned it “your opinion”.

On the same day, popular British-Nigerian singer, Azeez Fashola, known as Naira Marley announced that his new album titled “God’s Timing’s The Best” , is to be released on May 30.

Nollywod also mourned the death of actor Leo Mezie, who reportedly died after a long battle with kidney disease.

On Tuesday, Nigerian flutist with cross-cultural Itsekiri and Swiss roots, TeeMac, celebrated his birthday as fans and colleagues poured encomiums on him.

American rapper, Jonathan Kirk, popularly known as Dababy, also trended after he shared a video of himself buying popcorn for $100 in Lagos traffic.

NAN reports that Dababy was in Nigeria to shoot a music video with  popular Nigerian singer, Davido.

Nigerian comedian and content creator, Josh Alfred, known as Josh2funny, was also celebrated on Tuesday after he welcomed a baby boy with his wife, Bina Alfred.

On Wednesday, popular Nigerian singer, Olamide Adedeji, led  the trend on social media after he posted a video of himself dancing to a song by Zazu crooner, Habeeb Okikiola, popularly known as Portable.

On Thursday, American rapper DaBaby’s Lagos trip also caused a friction between Nigerian rapper, MI Abaga and journalist Joey Akan. Both traded words on social media after the journalist allegedly accused MI and other rappers of feeling entitled.

On the same day, reports leaked that Barbadian singer, Rihanna and American rapper, A$AP Rocky had welcomed their first child, a baby boy. Although there were reports that the baby arrived on Friday, May 13. The couple are however yet to announce the news.

On Friday, Nollywood actor, Blossom Chukwujekwu, tied the knot with his bride, Ehinome Akhuemokhan in Edo. Chukwujekwu, who recently divorced his ex-wife flaunted the picture of his new bride on his Instagram page.

Also, Ayinla, a movie on the story of late Nigerian Apala musician, Ayinla Omowura, directed by veteran filmmaker, Tunde Kelani, trended as soon as it started showing on Netflix.

On Saturday, award winning Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele trended in the early hours of the day, when her step son, Benito, made some allegations against her.

Benito on his Instagram page alleged that the actress doesn’t treat her workers well to the point of calling them names. He also alleged that the actress and her husband, his dad, had both cheated on themselves.

A Twitter user, OMOTAYO of Lagos@Tee_Classiquem1, however,  wrote, “But why is everyone accusing Funke Akindele of treating her workers badly? I mean I’ve seen her use her platform to bring people like Toyo baby, Kiki, James, Adaku, Timini and others to limelight, is this a form of gang up against her or is there something we really don’t know?”

Funke Akindele, however, appeared unbothered as she posted a video on her Instagram page where she showed off her awards with her crew members. (NAN)

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YOUNG JONN…REBIRTH OF THE WICKED PRODUCER

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Music Producer-Young Jonn

At the turn of the 2010s, one name began to gain massive prominence across every dance floor in the Nigerian music industry – “Young Jonn the wicked producer.”

With chart-topping hits blaring through our stereos, in the songs from Olamide (Story For The Gods), Kizz Daniel (Mama), Lil Kesh (Shoki), among others, this young maverick hacked the template to become an ear candy, with his music production wits. However, with Young Jonn the surprises never really end. With the same enigmatic radicalism that coloured his productions, the 27-year-old musical whiz is now making a massive wave as a singer and songwriter. And his rebirth is not just a laudable addition to the league of producers-cum-singers; with his just-released debut EP – a 5-track sound piece dubbed, Love Is Not Enough (LINE), the musician morphs into one of the most vibrant hitmakers of this generation.

With the lead single off the EP – a mid-tempo groove dubbed Dada – dominating the airwaves, Young Jonn’s new musical baptism sets the pace for other singer-producers. Again, as the remix of the fan-favourite Dada, with Davido, begins to take Young Jonn’s popularity as a singer to the next level, it is clear that Young Jonn is back and he is here to stay, convincing every ear that listens to his love-themed melodies on the prowess of his talent.

The Chocolate City music producer and singer speaks to Guardian Life, delving into his inspiration behind his transition, his creative process, as well as his new life as a musician.

Congratulations on your transition. How does it feel?

So far, the energy has been great; it’s been wonderful.

Since when did you know you wanted to sing?

Well, I’ve always been recording. I just never really focused on it like that, you know. Overtime, I just found my way back to it. So, yeah, that’s the way I am.

When did you start?

I’ve always been recording right from time – my vocals… sound recordings and all are on my phone. I’ve always been doing that. I’ve just never really shared my music with anyone. But now, I think I’m ready to.

But did you tell anyone?

I can’t really say that I knew I’d ever get to this point at all. I’ve always loved music and all of that, but at the time, my head was totally in a different space. You get what I mean?

I just never put in the effort, or the ginger. I didn’t focus on all of that, like I didn’t really share my music with people. So, it was just I and a couple of my friends, those people that knew I sing. Everybody listens to my music; we just didn’t really put it out.

So, what drew you to music in the first place and how did you start this journey?

Music has always been a major part of me. Growing up, my mum used to play the saxophone; she used to play the guitar too. She was a chorister, you know. I’ve always been embedded in that, like musical foundation and all of that. My dad is a pastor, so I grew up in church playing the keyboard, drums- basically like that. That was how music got into my bloodstream. One way or the other, I’ve always been on this path.

You’ve always had that musical background, but did you have other ambitions?

I wanted to be a footballer.

Why didn’t you pursue that dream?

Funny enough, I dey try o; I still play very well. Just that the way life directs you… life has a plan for everybody. But yeah, initially, I wanted to be a footballer and I was really working towards it, but somehow, it didn’t work.

What do you want your sound to be like? What’s the direction?

Well, the direction I can say is, my music is a basic expression of what is going on in my mind; different moments define different things. So, hopefully, my music is headed to the greatest phase – let me just put it like that.

All we can do is hope for the best. So, yeah, regarding work, I’m working so hard on these things to know that I can go as far as I can imagine it to be.

What inspired the new EP?

LINE is the short form of ‘Love is not Enough.’ By saying love is not enough, I’m not trying to be an advocate for no love or hard guy; that’s not even the point of ‘Love is not Enough.’ In my own context, I feel like love is not sufficient for all the things we thought it was.

When I’m talking about love, I’m not just talking about the romantic side of love, because I’m big on love. I am big on family love, love between friends, you know. I realised that as good as love feels, it’s not really as sufficient as we thought. Love is never enough for anything. So, that was the space I was in when I was creating the project.

Let’s talk about the EP’s lead single. The remix with Davido is making a lot of rounds. Why did you pick him for it?

Davido supported the original song. He has always been supportive of me and I thought it would only be right for me to have him on the remix. I reached out to him and he said he would love to jump on it and that was it. If I’m being honest, he was a great choice because I couldn’t have thought of anyone else to complement my track in a good way. I mean, listen to that verse and see how hard He went on it, it’s lovely.

How do you feel about the current reception you have received for the record?

I’m truly blessed to have everyone supporting me like this. Big shout out to me and my team Chocolate City for putting in the work to get this done. The results have been far amazing cause I wouldn’t say I never expected this, but yeah I’m happy things are going as we planned.

Tell us about your creative process?

My creative process is very stress free. I love creating music whether as a producer or as an artist and thanks to God it’s something I’m really good at. So I just always make sure I enjoy myself while doing what I love basically .

As someone behind the sounds for a long time, what aspect do you think we are still lagging behind in the industry?

To be honest, I’ve always been involved with everything. So I just really think as an industry we are doing well and crossing boundaries and that’s growth.

Do you think Afrobeats can dominate the global music industry?

Yes, anything is possible with music. There are no boundaries with music and Afrobeats is definitely taking over the world very soon, we are already taking over in fact.

What’s your favourite sound to make? What do you see yourself doing now, in terms of genres?

Honesty, I won’t really say that I have a favourite genre like that. As long as it’s sweet, as long as it makes me feel good, you know what I mean. I am more attached to the fitting than the tag; you understand?!

So, does it feel intimidating knowing you are going to have to walk your way up as a singer?

Funny enough, it doesn’t. I mean, I love a good challenge; that’s me. Anybody that knows me would tell you these are the kind of things I like. I love looking forward to something. You know, working on something and looking forward to it. I like a profitable job. So, yeah, I am glad to go all the way through.

Finally, tell us one thing people don’t really know about you?

Alright, I don’t always feel comfortable when I am on water- like I easily get sea sick.

THE GUARDIAN

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