Mary J Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Conor Maynard bring down Finsbury Park on Day 3 of Wireless Festival!

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On Day 3 of this year’s Wireless Festival, Finsbury Park came alive with performancers from big names including pop queen Mary J Blige, American rapper Kendrick Lamar, British crooner Conor Maynard and Tinashe amongst others.

44 year old Blige looked effortlessly stylish in an orange cut out jumpsuit with her signature blonde bob. She looked amazing! And as always gave fans a thrilling time. Festival goers on day 3 amongst them supermodel Jordan Dunn revelled in the glorious sunshine as hit after hit was belted out by the stars who of course brought their A Game.

See more photos below and check out previous photos from this year’s performances including Rita Ora.

Mary J Blige performs at the 2015 Newlook WIreless Festival. Photo: Michael Tubes

Mary J Blige performs at the 2015 Newlook WIreless Festival. Photo: Michael Tubes

Mary J Blige performs at the 2015 Newlook WIreless Festival. Photo: Michael Tubes

Mary J Blige performs at the 2015 Newlook WIreless Festival. Photo: Michael Tubes

Mary J Blige performs at the 2015 Newlook WIreless Festival. Photo: Michael Tubes

Mary J Blige performs at the 2015 Newlook WIreless Festival. Photo: Michael Tubes

Mary J Blige performs at the 2015 Newlook WIreless Festival. Photo: Michael Tubes

Mary J Blige performs at the 2015 Newlook WIreless Festival. Photo: Michael Tubes

Childish Gambino. Photo: Michael Tubes

Childish Gambino. Photo: Michael Tubes

Photo: Michael Tubes

Photo: Michael Tubes

Kendrick Lamar performing at the 2015 Wireless Festival. Photo: Michael Tubes

Kendrick Lamar performing at the 2015 Wireless Festival. Photo: Michael Tubes

Kendrick Lamar-2 (1)

Photo: Michael Tubes

Photo: Michael Tubes

Conor Maynard thrills fans. Photo: Michael Tubes

Conor Maynard thrills fans. Photo: Michael Tubes

Tinashe performing at Wireless Festival. Photo: Michael Tubes

Tinashe performing at Wireless Festival. Photo: Michael Tubes

Photo: Michael Tubes

Photo: Michael Tubes

Photo: Michael Tubes

Photo: Michael Tubes

 

Source: living12

Fashion platform FDC offers multicultural designers opportunity to shine

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The Fashion Designers’ and Craft maker’ Young Designer Awards invites young fashion designers from all over the UK who have excelled creatively and have the potential to be the next big stars of the international fashion stage, to compete for the coveted and very special title of Fashion Designers and Craft makers Young Designer of the Year. The theme of the award  for London based designer is The Great Gatsby and the theme for all other young designers living in other parts of the UK is ‘Fashion Meets Art’ we are looking for the new design geniuses that can produce one innovative, creative, cutting edge or couture garment.

The Young Designer Award rewards exceptional design talent, and identifies those who have the potential to break through the boundaries of creativity and become fashion leaders of the future. The awards is designed to raise awareness of multi-cultural cutting edge UK fashion designers, and is open to young people ages 16-25 years that who have a passion for fashion, and who have an ability to do intensive research and have a natural enthusiasm for the subject. Winners will be put forward for selection to showcase in the FDC Collections Showcase in New York or Vancouver Fashion We are also inviting fashion designers between 21-29 years to take part in the Radical Designer Award; this award is aimed at emerging designers who have a fashion label.

Young Designers have to produce one innovative couture garment, it mush be inspired by the brief, however, must be fresh and creative and encompass technical design skills; Radical designers have to produce a mini collection the winners will be awarded the title of Designer of the year and given the opportunity to début

Photo: Katherine Angelique

Photo: Katherine Angelique

a collection in Vancouver Fashion Week, to an audience of international fashion journalists, photographers and buyers. The FDC Young Designer Awards aims to nurture raw talent, and encourage outstanding young people to follow their dreams by offering the chance of a successful place in the fashion world.

The Awards was founded by London based Knitwear Designer, Joanna Marcella whose aim is to increase the number and visibility of young and exceptionally gifted multi-cultural designers; the awards, encourages designers to reach their true potential and become as high profile as, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen or Vivienne Westwood.

Joanna says, There are some extremely talented young people in our community, who deserve this great opportunity. The Young Designer Award offers award winners a chance to show collection in New York City as well as the opportunity showcase in Vancouver Canada. We are confident our young designers can rise to the challenge and produce the most flamboyant garments”.

Photo: Katherine Angelique

Photo: Katherine Angelique

This platform was founded to nurture raw talent, and encourage outstanding young people to follow their dreams. Joanna continues “This fashion design awards has given several Young British Designers who are still studying for their fashion degrees, an opportunity to showcase in New York Fashion Week, Maryland Fashion Week, Fashion Designers Expo Florida, Caribbean Fashion Week and Caribbean Fashion Week.

There are still a few places left for designers who wish to enter the awards, application forms can be requested from email: youngdesignerawards@hotmail.com.

 

Book your tickets here.

 

Source: living12

Rita Ora flashes major flesh in revealing outfit at Wireless Festival

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Pop star Rita Ora is known for not being afraid to show off some skin and last weekend was no different. The 24 year old singer donned a bondage inspired ensemble, not very far off from what you’d expect to see in ’50 Shades of Grey’, the erotic movie which she appears in.

Photo: Michael Tubes

Photo: Michael Tubes

Photo: Michael Tubes

Photo: Michael Tubes

Ora initially appeared on stage in a leather jacket before ditching it to reveal a strappy bra top paird with hotpants, that seemed a size too small and sheer tights.

Her set warmed up fans who were looking forward to see Drake, the festival’s headlining act and they were not disappointed.

Other acts who wowed on Sunday include Katy B, Kid ink, Chase the Rapper and Public enemy.

Photo: Michael Tubes

Photo: Michael Tubes

Headline act- Drake thrills the crowd at Wireless Festival. Photo: Michael Tubes

Headline act- Drake thrills the crowd at Wireless Festival. Photo: Michael Tubes

Photo: Michael Tubes

Photo: Michael Tubes

Katy B, performing at Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park. Photo: Michael Tubes

Katy B, performing at Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park. Photo: Michael Tubes

Chance The Rapper. Photo: Michael Tubes

Chance The Rapper. Photo: Michael Tubes

Kid Ink. Photo: Michael Tubes

Kid Ink. Photo: Michael Tubes

KID INK-8

 

Source: living12

Nominate your favourite BAME journo now for ‘Diversity Commentator of the Year at ‘The Comment Awards’

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Nominations have opened for The Comment Awards 2015, the annual awards recognising and celebrating the UK’s best print and online commentators and their editors. The awards are the first of their kind in the UK, run by Editorial Intelligence, the knowledge networking business.

Now in their seventh year, the awards will incorporate four new categories this year to reflect a growing and developing media landscape: Comment Piece of the Year for a single piece of excellent writing; Young Commentariat of the Year; Society and Diversity Commentator of the Year; and Technology and Digital Commentator of the Year.

Nominations are open to everyone, from editors to readers, and can be submitted free of charge via the Comment Awards website. All nominees have to write for the UK media and articles need to have been written between 1 August 2014 and 31 July 2015 inclusive. Deadline for submissions is 31 July 2015

The inclusion of the society and diversity commentator of the year award paves the way for black and other ethnic minority journalists like Bim Adewumi, Reni Eddo-Lodge and Samantha Asumadu of Media Diversified to be recognised for their work in Comment Journalism particularly in areas of race and diversity.

Chair of judges Dr Anthony Seldon said: “Against the backdrop of a UK general election, attacks on freedom of expression, and a changing media landscape, the past 12 months have been a challenging time for comment journalism; yet never has the form been more important. With nominations open to editors, writers and readers alike, The Comment Awards 2015 is set once again to turn the spotlight on the best of British comment journalism, celebrating a segment of our media that thoroughly deserves the attention.”

Award categories include Arts, Culture and Entertainment Commentator of the Year, Columnist of the Year, Online Comment Site of the Year and Foreign Commentator of the Year.

 

 

 

 

Source: living12

DJ Cuppy teams up with Wizkid, P Square and more for her second mixtape ‘House of Cuppy II’

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Nigerian superstar DJ ‘Cuppy’ is back with her second mixtape. ‘House of Cuppy II’ consists  of a mix 8 tracks featuring top Afrobeats A Listers including the likes of  Olamide, Wizkid, P Square and many more.

Cuppy’s latest venture  pioneers a new genre of music that fuses house and Afrobeat, coined ‘Neo-Afrobeat’. “I’m so excited to announce the launch of ‘House of Cuppy II’,” said Cuppy. “The compilation has been an opportunity for me to work with some of my country’s most talented musicians, and reinvent the traditional sounds of Africa, mixing them with the global influences that inspire me.”

cuppy

The 22 year old King’s College London graduate has enjoyed a high profile career which has seen her perform at events including the MTV Africa Music Awards last year,  Tatler Magazine and Christie’s Inc. Arts Ball in London and the Diane Von Furstenberg Awards in New York. Most recently, Cuppy headlined the Oil Baron’s Charity Ball in Dubai, where she entertained more than 3,000 guests.

‘House of Cuppy II’ is available for download now. Check it out on Soundcloud.

 

Source: living12

Seyi Slay! Afrobeats star looks dazzling at friend’s wedding to Swansea footballer

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It has been a great week for fast rising Afrobeats and R&B star Seyi Shay.

The ‘Murda‘ singer who announced her record deal with Island Records on Tuesday via her Instagram page was also a special guest at the wedding of her former band mate Daisy Evans to football star Jonjo Shelvey last weekend.

The singer looked ravishing in a bright orange body con dress by Nigerian designer Iconic Invanity, while she kept her locks blonde.

Old friends. Seyi Shay poses with former band mate Daisy Evans at her wedding to Swansea footballer Jonjo Shellvey. Photo: Daniel Sync

Old friends. Seyi Shay poses with former band mate Daisy Evans at her wedding to Swansea footballer Jonjo Shellvey. Photo: Daniel Sync

Seyi who also reunited with members from her former ‘From Above‘ singing group at the exquisite wedding ceremony was also said to have shot the music video for her latest single this week.

 Photo: Daniel Sync

Photo: Daniel Sync

 Photo: Daniel Sync

Photo: Daniel Sync

 Photo: Daniel Sync

Photo: Daniel Sync

Source: living12

Royal bloom: Stephanie Linus Okereke looks stunning as she attends the Queen’s Young Leaders award with hubby Linus

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Our Nollywood stars are really making huge strides in Britain. While many of us were going hard at the daily grind on Monday, Nollywood actress Stephanie Linus Okereke was being fetted at an exclusive reception held by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

The 32 year old was part of guests invited to celebrate the winners of the Queen’s Young Leaders awards, which includes the veteran actress.

Stephanie kept fans updated throughout the day as she made her way towards Buckingham Palace with her hubby Linus Idahosa.

Photo: Daniel Sync

Photo: Daniel Sync

Stephanie who looked beautiful in a floor length navy blue gown was glowing thanks to motherhood. The couple posted photos showing them having a good time at the exclusive event as they bowed and courtesied to Her Majasty while taking advantage of the celeb packed party to take selfies with the likes of David Beckham.

See more photos below.

Photo: Daniel Sync

Photo: Daniel Sync

Photo: Daniel Sync

Photo: Daniel Sync

Stephanie Linus en route Buckingham Palace with her husband Linus Idahosa. Photo: Daniel Sync

Stephanie Linus en route Buckingham Palace with her husband Linus Idahosa. Photo: Daniel Sync

Stephanie Linus and hubby Linus Idahosa outside Buckingham Palace. Photo: Daniel Sync

Stephanie Linus and hubby Linus Idahosa outside Buckingham Palace. Photo: Daniel Sync

Source: living12

Nubian Nights Out’s first photographic exhibition to celebrate the beauty of Black women

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This July Nubian Nights Out will be unveiling a private viewing of their first art exhibition, NNO Presents: Who Taught You? A selection of works in celebration of Black women and the diverse, unique and authentic qualities found within them.

In the form of conceptual photography by the group’s fine artist Kimberley Williams, the evening will also include works by New York based artist, Pass!ons Ink.

Nubian Nights Out began in December 2014 by a collection of young, progressive London-based Black women multi-disciplined within the creative industries including, photography, fashion, music and film. Nubian Nights Out was initially created to connect with and have constructive conversations with other like-minded people within the African/Caribbean diaspora in the UK interested in learning more about Black history and identity. To date, there are 505 members signed up to the international networking site Meetup.com where regular events are organised.

Given this group’s strong passion for the Arts, it is not surprising that it serves as the chosen medium to aid in bringing about togetherness among people of African descent within the UK.  Nubian Nights Out aims to create and produce their own innovative visual content, primarily through photography and film. Thus, creating platforms to channel this content through their own events and exhibitions.

NNO Presents: Who Taught You? is a title which takes inspiration from the late Malcolm X’s infamous speech Who Taught You To Hate Yourself? and is a platform for reclaiming Black beauty. The exhibition will showcase Black women in a light each subject feels she should be represented in. She owns her image. She owns her confidence. She loves and embraces herself on her own terms – not one set for her by a Eurocentric standard of beauty.

Source: living12

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde shows how to rock the cape trend in style as she attends the Africa Union Summit in South Africa

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The hair, the dress, the cape and make up; everything in this look by Nigerian actress Omotola Jalade Ekeinde screams lady boss, and we’re loving it!

The Nollywood darling swung by the AU summit in Soweto where she spoke on the education and rights of the girl child as an ambassador for poverty charity ONE.org. Omotola chose a black knee length body con dress with a bright orange cape by Nigerian designer Iconic Invanity.

Omotola Jalade arrives at the Africa Union Summit in Soweto. Photo: Daniel Sync

Omotola Jalade arrives at the Africa Union Summit in Soweto. Photo: Daniel Sync

Omotola Jalade at the Africa Union Summit in Soweto. Photo: Daniel Sync

Omotola Jalade at the Africa Union Summit in Soweto. Photo: Daniel Sync

She completed the look with a brand new fringe and strappy sandals which gave the look an elegant feel. The actress also performed with fellow ONE ambassadors Yemi Alade, Vanessa Mdee, Selmor Mtukudzi and Blessing Gabriella who joined her for the charity single ‘Strong Girl’ amidst adoring fans.

Omotola Jalade at the Africa Union Summit in Soweto. Photo: Daniel Sync

Omotola Jalade at the Africa Union Summit in Soweto. Photo: Daniel Sync

Omotola performs at the AU Summit in South Africa. Photo: Daniel Sync

Omotola performs at the AU Summit in South Africa. Photo: Daniel Sync

Omotola Jalade at the Africa Union Summit in Soweto. Photo: Daniel Sync

Omotola Jalade at the Africa Union Summit in Soweto. Photo: Daniel Sync

Source: living12

Is your dad worth more than a fiver this Father’s Day?

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Tut, tut. Us Brits have been very naughty towards our fathers.

A new research by parcel delivery service Parcel2Go has revealed the spending habits of people when it comes to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. According to the study of over a 1,500 people, kids tend to spend more on gifts for Mothering Sunday than on Father’s Day.

While this is no surprise, the study also reveals what is perhaps more worrying; that we’re only willing to part with a fiver to buy gifts for our dads on Father’s Day. Everyone knows men are usually impossible beings to buy gifts for. Once you’ve ticked the socks, tie, clothing, wallet or game console out of the equation, there really isn’t an awful lot to choose from after that.

42.7% of people will spend no more than £5 on their Father’s Day gift says the findings. It’s become a long-standing joke that sons and daughters tend to leave things until the very last minute when sourcing a present to mark Father’s Day, and this new research suggests that we’re unwilling to treat our dads to anything more than a cheap supermarket card and a single pint of beer if they’re lucky! 30.9% of respondents spend between £6 and £20 on Mother’s Day, compared to just 24.9% on Father’s Day. Meanwhile, 24.2% said they splashed out a little more on Mother’s Day, spending between £21 and £50, whereas only 21% would spend this amount on their dads.

Fathers Day modern letter

What have our dads done to deserve this injustice we wonder? Even though we tend to spend more on our mums, we’re still not willing to fork out a huge amount for them either it appears. Only a small percentage of those polled said they are willing to spend big on Mothering Sunday or Father’s Day. Just over 5%  said they would spend more than £100 on their mum and dad on these annual milestone days. Whether we’re still counting the cost of the global financial crisis or we just don’t really take these days seriously, it’s clear that most of us operate on a tight budget.

Interestingly, the statistics highlighted a difference in mindset between males and females. Just 29% of sons will spend more than £20 on their dad for Father’s Day, whereas this figure rises to over 35% among daughters.

Robert Mead, Marketing Manager at Parcel2Go.com, believes that people generally leave things too late, and end up panic-buying a card and cheap gift.

“Father’s Day tends to creep up on us, and it’s not uncommon to see people scouring the supermarket shelves on Father’s Day itself in the hope of finding some kind of gift,” he commented.

“It’s obvious that we spend more money and put more effort into Mother’s Day presents, which is fair enough, but the lack of consideration for our dads is a real shame. Rather than making a last-ditch token gesture, it would be nice to see people putting a bit more thought into their Father’s Day gifts. You don’t have to spend a fortune to show you care.”

If you haven’t yet got your dad something nice for tomorrow, this might be a good time to start. Just try to spend more than a fiver OK?

 

Source: living12

Minted baby- Royal Mint commissions gold coin to mark Princess Charlotte’s Christening

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Potential investment opportunity? Probably.

For all our gold loving women out there, here’s an alternative investment to the hoards of gold necklaces and jewellery sitting in the drawers. The Royal Mint has announced a new commemorative coin to mark the Christening of Princess Charlotte, the latest addition to the Royal family.

Following the recent announcement of the arrangements for the christening of George’s cute little sister, the royal household has agreed that The Royal Mint should create a range of official United Kingdom coins to commemorate this historic event.

Charlotte’s christening is scheduled to take place on 5 July at St Mary Magdalene Church at Her Majesty the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

The new coin will be available in silver, in keeping with the long-established tradition of crossing a newborn baby’s palm with silver to confer good health and prosperity, and also in gold to mark the royal celebration.

Prince George Christening gold kilo coin

A gold kilo coin struck by The Royal Mint to celebrate the christening of Prince George of Cambridge. Photo: Royal Mint

The design of the coins will be approved by Kate and William, the Queen and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and revealed by The Royal Mint in the next couple of weeks.

A special limited edition £5 coin was also issued by The Royal Mint to mark the birth of Princess Charlotte on 2nd May 2015.

Shane Bissett, Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint, said: “As a British institution, The Royal Mint has played a central role creating works of art as official commemorations of landmarks in the history of the Royal family for hundreds of years. These coins will be a fitting addition to that long tradition. It is only appropriate that we commemorate this significant occasion with the release of a special coin, just as we celebrated the christening of Prince George.”

Source: living12

Despite the hateful intentions of Dylann Roof, America is actually healing after Charleston shooting

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by Azeezat Fadekemi Sulaiman

 

For months, possibly even years, Dylann Roof harboured hate in his hearts for fellow human beings like him- because their skin colour was different to his. Like many other racists, Roof didn’t agree that black people deserved to be treated like equal folk who were white like him. Unfortunately for him, black people have won their rights to be treated equally (in most cases), thanks to the work of many historic people in the civil rights movement.

For Roof, this was far too much. The sitting President of the United States is black for Christsakes. Surely, he had to do something about the situation, to rectify the current racial imbalance in America and put those black people back in their place.

It’s hard to try to surmise or even rationalise the thinking and motivation that led an individual to commit the heinous crime of killing innocent people in order to ‘start a race war’. Roof deceived God-loving, good people at the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, Carolina on Wednesday night by pretending to be interested in their bible study class, only to open fire on the same people he had only been studying the word of God with for an hour, killing 9 of them.

The sheer horror and depravity of Roof’s actions is proof of the kind of sentiments that run through the minds of some in the US today. The scary thing is that there are many more Roof’s out there, whether in the UK or US and there’s nothing we can do to stop them from carrying out these horrible hate crimes.

Since his arrest on Thursday, questions have been asked about the state of race in America, the treatment given to Roof (note he was led into Police custody in handcuffs, not shot dead like many unharmed black young men who’ve suffered in the hands of American police in the last year), and America’s controversial gun laws.

Roof, a 21-year-old walked into a store to buy a gun after being given birthday money by his parents shortly before he turned 21. Friend’s recount instances where the unemployed youth voiced racist sentiments, telling one he was planning ‘something crazy’ that would start a race war in the US. Other’s say even though he ‘had black friends’, he believed the country should be ‘Whites with whites, and Blacks with Blacks’. A photo posted on Twitter also shows Roof wearing a uniform associated with the Apartheid government in South Africa.

Roof is also said to have had problems with drugs usage and abuse. Put all these together, and anyone in their sane minds would realise that this was a youth with issues. Putting a gun in the hands of such a fellow is basically giving him the power to carry out his deranged thoughts. Americans believe it’s their constitutional right to own a gun, but how many times are they willing to sacrifice this right for the lives of innocent children, men and women who by no fault of theirs have been killed by people with mental issues or simply no motives also bearing that same right to own a gun?

While his family have issued a statement denouncing his actions, surely someone, somewhere knew he possessed a gun. Given his poisonous views about race, and his previous run in with the Police, shouldn’t someone have flagged him up to authorities?

This is not a finger-pointing exercise, but it does mean we as citizens also need to play our part in ending acts of terrorism before they happen, instead of relying on the security agencies to weed out plans or stop terrorists after they’re plans have matured. If you suspect someone of planning or harbouring racist or terrorist intentions, it’s your duty as a citizen to report this to the right authorities. Nine out of ten times, it’s just someone muttering rubbish, but that one time it does happen carries consequences so grave, that we can’t afford to leave it to chance.

Despite Roof’s hopes, America hasn’t crumbled and launched into a race war. Instead Charleston, the town where this crime was committed has pulled together and is trying to make sense of what has happened.

Families, white, black and every other colour have been gathering together to pray for the victims and their family. There have tears of disbelief and despair from all corners of the country and the world as a peaceful community mourns its loss. Here in Britain, we feel their pain as though it were ours. These are our brothers and sisters.

Given how religious our community here is and the amount of time we spend in Church, those victims could also have been any of us in Church participating in Bible studies or praise and worship. As a people, we’ve come too far for anyone or any force to try to take away our fundamental human right to be treated equal and we must continue to  fight racism in all it’s forms, whether overt or covert.

Most striking in this horrible situation is the readiness of the victim’s families to forgive Roof despite the fact that he has deprived them of their loved ones by his singular evil act. Ethel Lance’s daughter, one of those who spoke while the accused appeared via video link at his bond hearing on Friday said, “I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you, and have mercy on your soul. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people but God forgives you, and I forgive you.”

That perhaps was the last thing Roof expected to hear, but this in itself will be his comeuppance even if he doesn’t get the death penalty or spends the rest of his life behind bars.

In memory of those who fell in Charleston’s Shooting

Rev Clementa Pinckney

Tywanda Sanders

Rev Sharonda Singleton

Cynthia Hurd

Reverend DePayne Middleton- Doctor

Ethel Lance

Susie Jackson

Myra Thompson

Rev Daniel Simmons Sr.

 

Source: living12

Michelle Obama’s inspirational message to east London pupils is one every girl needs to believe

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Michelle Obama’s stop in London was very brief, but it left a powerful impression on some of Britain’s teenage girls, particularly students from The Mulberry School for girls in Tower Hamlets.

The First Lady visited the school on Tuesday as part of her ‘Let Girls Learn’ campaign, a project aimed at empowering and encouraging girls to get into education and achieve their full potential. Her choice of school has been debated extensively in the media (as you do), with some criticizing FLOTUS for choosing a school whose students are mainly muslims of Bangladeshi origin rather than a ‘proper British’ school that reflected British society. By this we’re guessing these critics would prefer if the First Lady had visited a school with predominantly white students of course.

Michelle Obama in London. Photo: Guardian.co.uk

Michelle Obama in London. Photo: Guardian.co.uk

In case the essence of the visit was lost on some, let us break it down for you. This school is the perfect school for Michelle’s visit, why? Because it’s exactly the type of school where pupils are likely to face discrimination and low expectation because 1. They’re muslims and as the media has been telling us- all muslims are terrorists. If anyone can tell them not to listen to the negative stereotype associated with their religion or the fact that they wear headscarves, it’s Michelle Obama, because she has first hand knowledge of fighting prejudice and discrimation.

  1. They’re girls. Girls (women) are less likely to hold a senior or boardroom level position in the world we live in right now and the gender pay gap is still way too wide, so we’re sure you’d agree that some much needed inspiration and empowerment is needed in this area.
Michelle Obama in London. Photo: Guardian.co.uk

Michelle Obama in London. Photo: Guardian.co.uk

Obama told the girls that despite what people (the media) were saying about their religion (Islam), they owed it to themselves to plough on and be whomever they wish to be, even if it’s just to rile the haters (she didn’t really say that bit, but you get the picture).

Doubtless that many students from Mulberry School for girls would have gone home on Tuesday having been invigorated by that speech (with the added bonus of copious amounts of hugs, jealous much). They would have looked themselves in the mirror and thought, actually, damn right I can, I can be a lawyer or a doctor or an astronaut if I work hard and give it my best shot no matter what anyone says.

Being a black girl from a working class family trying to find her way in America, The First Lady has a first hand experience of what it means to be a minority and the challenges faced to get your voice heard and achieve the same level of success of people of more privilege or a different race.

Her message is clear; don’t allow yourself to become a victim of circumstance. If society beats you down and tries to tell you that you can’t be successful, laugh in their face, pick yourself up and just go for it. That’s a message we need to keep telling our girls, so they never forget. Every girl matters, you matter, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Source: living12

MICHELLE BELLO TO DIRECT ‘AND THE SPIRIT SLOWLY DIES’

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Michelle Bello the British/Nigerian award winning Director (Flower Girl) is set to go back behind the camera to direct her next film project, a 40 minute Family Drama with strong thriller elements titled ‘And the Spirit Slowly Dies’ written and produced by UK based Writer/Producer Dapo Oshiyemi.

Michelle Bello at the 2014 AMVCA awards. Photo: Michelle Bello/Twitter

Michelle Bello at the 2014 AMVCA awards. Photo: Michelle Bello/Twitter

The film tells the story of the only daughter of one of the richest and most powerful men in the country. Both Father and Daughter love and admire each other dearly but when their dreams clash, they embark upon a monumental psychological, emotional and physical battle as they become the biggest obstacle to each other’s happiness.

The film is scheduled to shoot in the latter part of 2015 with a line-up of top talent from Nigeria, South Africa, USA and UK in front of and behind the camera.

Michelle said of the news “I’m really excited, I never thought my next project would be a short film but when Dapo sent me the script, I was hooked! It is a fantastic script with great characters and I can’t wait to start working with the world class team we’re putting together. I’m thrilled about what we are about to do with this film and for the world to see it.”

In 2007, Michelle produced and directed her first feature film Small Boy set in Lagos Nigeria. The film became an instant success in the US as out of 400 films, it was nominated for two awards at the American Black Film Festival in Los Angeles in 2008 for the Heineken Red Star Award for Innovation in Film and the Target Filmmaker Award for Most Inspirational Film. On home territory, Small Boy went on to win two African Movie Academy Awards for Best Art Direction and Best Young Child Actor in April 2009.

Associate Producer Dipo Abdul said- Over the years I have been working quietly behind the scenes with Dapo on many film projects we have in development and I’m delighted that this will be the first of many great films we have in the pipeline to get to a global audience”.

Dipo Abdul

Dipo Abdul

Talking Drum Entertainment, a media company that handles black film and TV distribution will handle distribution strategy and sales.

Source: living12

Beauty hacks: how to make your own face serum

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by Temitope Beesley- Beauty Editor

 

From recent posts, I have talked about the amazing benefits of using a serum day and night before your moisturiser.

It’s convenient to buy ready-made ones from your favourite brands, but why not experiment by making your own? Here’s a recipe for one that works wonders for me and is really easy to make. As always, please make sure you research the ingredients to make sure you’re not allergic to them

70% aloe vera gel– Aloe Vera is well respected for its application as a moisturizing agent. It contains vitamin B complex, folic acid, Vitamin C and Carotene (a precursor of vitamin A). It’s also full of amino acids .

download

 

20% organic avocado oil– Avocado oil contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, D, E, and Beta Carotene. It is a monosaturated oil making it nourishing and suitable for dehydrated, sun exposed and dry skin. It is also known to have regenerative and rejuvenating properties and it significantly increases the amount of collagen in the skin. It has been known to be effective in helping reduce the itchiness and discomfort associated with some skin conditions.

Avocado_oil

 

8% coconut oil– coconut oil is a superfood. It’s unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health.

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2% chamomile oil– Chamomile has a long tradition in herbal medicine. The flowers were used in many cures including an herbal tea to cure insomnia. It’s very soothing and calming to the skin .

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Source: living12

Revenge star Ashley Madekwe poses nude for Reebok

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Reebok Classic has announced an exclusive partnership with cosmetics brand FACE Stockholm to launch a limited edition collection with a campaign that features actress and blogger Ashley Madekwe.

The British actress models the new line of sneakers mostly in next to nothing.

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Photo: Reebok

The Reebok Classic x FACE Stockholm collection fuses some of Reebok’s most iconic and definitive women’s silhouettes with FACE Stockholm’s bold colour palettes. The Reebok Classic Freestyle Hi, Classic Leather and Princess Spirit have been given an update with shimmering metallic tones, flashes of jet black and colourblock pastel strokes which juxtapose with minimal white uppers.

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Photo: Reebok

 

Madekwe announced her latest lucrative gig on her Instagram profile saying she was excited about the collaboration.

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The collection is available at select retailers worldwide and reebok.com

Source: living12

Photographic exhibition celebrating African Music to take place in London this summer

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Renowned documentary photographer and photojournalist Michael Tubi (Michael Tubes) will be curating a photographic exhibition showcasing the best of African music and artists come this August. The exhibition will feature never before seen images as well as exclusive behind the scenes photos of Afrian artists at home and during performances in London against a backdrop of various genre of African music including Afrobeats, Highlife, Makossa and many more.

Music has always played a major role in the African society. Instruments vary from region to region and common forms of musical expression are used from county to county and from tribe to tribe.

The African continent is the second largest in the world, with about a 10th of the world’s population and one thousand indigenous languages spoken throughout the continent. Music is essential in representing a strong African heritage.

Sounds of Africa
When discovering African music, many notice both similarities and the differences with Western music. There are many shared characteristics such as the rhythm, melody, harmony, musical instruments, meter, and timbre, etc. However, what makes African music unique is its way of expressing and sharing the continent’s rich culture.

This exciting multi-media exhibition was created to promote African music by showcasing the best African artists to greater understand and appreciate their artistry. Genres such as Afrobeat, Hi-life, Fuji, Makossa, Kwaito, Coupe -Decale make African music the intriguing mix that it is today.

Curator Michael Tubi said, “I feel there is a lack of exhibitions or platforms that showcase a range artists representing Africa. This will allow the audience to access numerous talents that have taken the African music scene by storm. Many people have not had the opportunity to see African artists perform when they are in the UK – equally many african audiences are unfamiliar with the music of other genres from across Africa.”

“This exhibition will allow these new audiences to experience the variety ans richness of the contemporary sounds of African music from a range of artists that have helped African music become the phenomenon that it is today.”

To find out more about Sounds of Africa, click here for more information.

 

Source: living12

Paris stands still for Nollywood at third annual NollywoodWeek film festival

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Nollywood A Listers including Lala Akindoju, Kunle Afolayan and Jocelyn Dumas wowed the crowds as the stars stormed Paris to present their movies at the third annual NollywoodWeek Paris.

The event held from the 4th of June in the French capital at Cinema L’Arlequin saw Parisians being treated over 4 days to some of Nollywood’s finest offerings from Nigeria and diaspora including award-winning movie October 1st, Obi Emelonye’s Thy Will Be Done and Love or Something Like That amongst others.

Nigeria’s massive and highly lucrative film industry (popularly called Nollywood) is the third biggest in the world with an output rivalled only by the US movie industry. Although quality has not been great in the past, these days, Nollywood movies are being produced to amazing standards with contemporary story lines that reflect the changing face of the country’s landscape.

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Curator Serge Noukoue told the VOA, that the festival plays a huge part in bringing movies from the African continent to Europe. “Paris is the world’s cinema capital in a way. It’s a really important city for cinema. It’s a city that matters and I believe Nollywood is a cinema that matters. I believe it just makes sense to have a platform here for Nollywood, and especially for Nollywood’s finest films.”

See some photos from the event below.

Tunde Kelani is presented with the public's choice award for his movie 'Dazzling Mirage'. Photo: Nollywoodweek Paris

Tunde Kelani is presented with the public’s choice award for his movie ‘Dazzling Mirage’. Photo: Nollywoodweek Paris

Award winning director Tunde Kelani poses with Lala Akindoju. Photo: Nollywoodweek Paris

Award winning director Tunde Kelani poses with Lala Akindoju. Photo: Nollywoodweek Paris

Nigerian superblogger Linda Ikeji strikes a pose. Photo: Obi Emelonye

Nigerian superblogger Linda Ikeji strikes a pose. Photo: Obi Emelonye

Photo: Nollywoodweek Paris.

Photo: Nollywoodweek Paris.

Jocelyn Dumas and Obi Emelonye. Photo: Obi Emelonye

Jocelyn Dumas and Obi Emelonye. Photo: Obi Emelonye

Nollywood director Obi Emelonye with guest. Photo: Obi Emelonye

Nollywood director Obi Emelonye with guest. Photo: Obi Emelonye

Obi Emelonye, Kunle Afolayan and Tunde Kelani pose with other Nollywood experts at Nollywoodweek Paris. Photo: Obi Emelonye

Obi Emelonye, Kunle Afolayan and Tunde Kelani pose with other Nollywood experts at Nollywoodweek Paris. Photo: Obi Emelonye

Source: living12

Check out Lupita Nyong’o fresh faced at 14!

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Ever wondered what Hollywood actress Lupita Nyong’o looked like as a teenager?

She’s dazzled us on the red carpets at prestigious events and every top designer wants to clothe her, because she’s the girl with skin so smooth and beautiful, she makes everything she wears glow, but has she always been so fly?

Lupita Nyong'o looking stunning at Cannes.

Lupita Nyong’o looking stunning at Cannes.

As celeb throw backs go, we’ve seen OMG ones and WTF! ones, as old school photos reveal that not all of our famous faces always looked as flawless as they do now, but Lupita clearly isn’t one of those as we now have proof that she’s been as beautiful as she is right now, even at the age of 14.

The 12 Years A Slave actress shared an aww inducing photo of herself as a teenager sporting her school uniform.

Photo: Lupita Nyong'o at 14. Photo credit: Lupita Nyong'o

Photo: Lupita Nyong’o at 14. Photo credit: Lupita Nyong’o

 

The only difference between today’s Lupita and Lupita the teenager is her permed long hair, but her infectious smile is unmistakable. We love.

 

Source: living12

Black British beauty brands to host second United Kurls pop up shop event for women of colour

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As more and more British women of colour embrace the natural hair movement, spending hundreds of pounds monthly on beauty and haircare products, British beauty brands are yet to enjoy the amount of success their US counterparts have enjoyed over the years in a market dominated by American beauty brands.

Recently, there’s been a surge in the number of black British beauty brands, particularly haircare, a number of which have proved quite popular and provided a fresh alternative to the big players, but many of these brands are small and have found it challenging taken on more established international brands despite offering products of similar, sometimes even better quality than their US competitors.

Now a group of black beauty brands have come together to draw attention to this anomaly by forming United Kurls– a collective of small but successful black British brands with the aim of drawing attention to the existence and quality of British made beauty products. As a British magazine committed to promoting the interests of Black British women and celebrating our achievements, Naija Living fully supports this initiative and are delighted to support these amazing women who have taken the plunge.

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Made up of nine UK haircare brands including Almocado, Sheabutter Cottage, I Love Afro, Curly by Nature, BEUNIQUE, and Joliette ,United Kurls brings together the finest UK home-grown natural hair care brands to create a platform and spread awareness about truly trusted UK hair care brands.

As a result of hosting a successful pop shop in December 2014, much to our excitement, the United Kurls Collective have now announced ‘The United Kurls Lounge’; a bi-monthly shopping experience held in the centre of Stratford, Westfield overlooking the Olympic park.

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The Lounge will give attendees a chance to shop and converse with each other as well as brand owners in a relaxed atmosphere. Compared to the now popular various natural hair events aimed at women of colour, organisers promise this one will have a ‘personal touch’ and offer UK naturals something a little different.

Well, we certainly can’t wait, so if you’re crazy about natural hair and want to find out more about caring for and nurturing your hair, then this is one event you don’t want to miss!

When? Sunday, 5th July

Where? Holiday Inn, Chestnut Plaza, Stratford.

Tickets: Free! Register here.

 

 

Source: living12

First Mr and Miss Igbo UK to take place in London in July

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This year will see the launch of the first and official Mr and Miss Igbo UK pageant competition. The grand finale will take place in August in London where contestants will take to the stage and runway to win the honorary title.

Contestants will be judged based on their poise, passion and articulacy. They will present themselves to the distinguished judges and they will have the opportunity to share their talents and beauty to the UK and the world. The pageant rounds include eveningwear, swimwear and traditional wear.

Although the pageant is open to both male and females of Igbo origin, the live show is open to all. Mr and Miss Igbo UK is about educating as much people as possible about the Igbo culture and traditions, as well as celebrating the unity of the UK Igbo community.

Superstar Nigerian headline acts are due to perform at the live pageant in addition to UK based Afrobeats sensations Mazi Chukz ‘Ebeano’ and Grimahh aka Mr Bia.

Top model and actress Sarah Okereke is on board and with her experience and achievements, Mr and Miss Igbo UK are pleased to praise her as an Igbo Role Model.

Heels4Africa will also be launching at the Mr and Miss Igbo UK 2015 live event, which is a UK based project where unwanted heels are turned into aid for disadvantaged African children affiliated charities.

 

To apply for this year’s pageant, go to www.mrandmissigbouk.com (Deadline is the 2nd July 2015)

Source: living12

Getting to know- UK Beauty Blogger Gina Knight a.k.a NaturalBelle

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by Temitope Beesley- Beauty Editor

 

She’s the girl with the gorgeous fro and an Instagram profile packed full of envy inducing natural hairstyles and beauty inspiration. This week, we caught up with one of the UK’s most popular black beauty bloggers- the utterly cool Gina Knight a.k.a NaturalBelle to chat about hairspiration, entrepreneurship and the UK beauty industry.
NL: Tell us a bit about yourself.
NB: My name is Gina, I’m 32 and live with my partner and daughter in Reading Berkshire. I work in the salon industry and have done for quite some time. I started my career at Aveda which led me to a more holistic way of life.
NL: What inspired you to start blogging?
NB: I started blogging mainly because of a lack of representation for women of colour in mainstream media, and what was on offer was dated and narrow in regards to hair and beauty. So I decided to start a blog as a visual diary through my natural hair journey and transition to a natural approach to beauty.
NL: How long has the blog been going and what’s been the highlight?
NB: I’ve been blogging since 2008. Highlights have been being featured in Marie Claire and Grazia, getting a chance to write articles for Pride and Lurve Magazine and have a platform that has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people.
Gina Knight (Natural Belle). Photo: Natural Belle

Gina Knight (Natural Belle). Photo: Natural Belle

NL: You recently introduced some new brands you’re working on on Instagram. What’s the inspiration behind Label Neutral?
NB: Label Neutral is a concept that has evolved over the years. I’ve always loved fashion and crafting and Label Neutral is a combination of the two. Label Neutral takes the unwanted and reworks it into something stylish and new, from old tees to old bras anything can have new life breathed into it. It’s Eco friendly and unique.
Gina's daughter Freya modelling an upcycled onesie from Label Neutral. Photo: Label Neutral

Gina’s daughter Freya modelling an upcycled onesie from Label Neutral. Photo: Label Neutral

NL: Your journey with hair loss is very well documented on your blog. A lot of women also go through the same things but are afraid to speak about such conditions. What would your advice be to anyone going through a similar thing?
NB: Seek medical advice to pinpoint underlying issues. Take action as soon as you see thinning areas so don’t continue to braid thinning hair. You should also have patience and do what is right for you.
NL: Do you feel black women are open to sharing their experiences?
NB: In this social media led world I believe so. I’ve never encountered a lack of support from black women personally.
NL: How can we encourage cooperation and cohesiveness within the black British community?
NB: I believe this is already happening with ideas like the United Kurls collective, a collection of black owned female entrepreneurs in the UK. Also, the number of events being held year after year for black hair, beauty, fashion and craft have increased overtime.
NL: What are your thoughts on how British brands can better connect with their target customers here in the UK?
NB: I fully support British brands by buying British and sustaining our community, however one woman can not keep it afloat. Smaller brands needs to work closer together sharing information to grow the UK industry. Being seen on social media and having a good strategy when it comes to PR is key as well as being  active in the community.
NL: What’s the best thing about being a mum for you?
NB: Everything, even the not so great bits like lack of sleep. Just knowing that you are raising a future queen is awesome!
NL: What book are you reading at the moment?
NB: Sweet Hope by Tille Cole. I’m a trashy novel kinda gal.
NL: What are your thoughts on events aimed at women of colour in the UK?
NB: Most are great. some such as Afro Hair & Beauty Live need to move with the times. They need to stop supporting the sale of bleaching creams at the event and making it more cost effective for smaller brands to exhibit.
NL: Favourite food?
NB: Brazilian
NL: Who are your top 10 British hair and beauty brands?
NB: Sheabutter cottage
Anita Grant
Big Hair
Bee Good
Antonia Burrell
Be Unique HC
Naturally Simple HC
I Love Afro
Mahogany Naturals
Nazuri Curls
Find out more about Gina on her blog. You can follow Gina on Instagram @naturalbelle.

Source: living12

See the amazing line up for this year’s Africa Writes festival

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Africa Writes, the Royal African Society’s annual literature and book festival, returns for its fourth year running this summer. The three day festival will bring together over 50 novelists, poets, publishers, translators, critics and other actors in the world of African literature to explore the continent’s rich literary landscape.

This year’s festival highlights include ‘Meditations on Greatness: Ben Okri in Conversation’ in which the Booker prize-winning author will discuss his vast selection of literary work. Hannah Pool will lead a conversation with other writers and personalities as they share and discuss their favourite titles of African literature in ‘African Books to Inspire’.

Curator: Hannah Pool. Photo: Michael Leckie

Curator: Hannah Pool. Photo: Michael Leckie

Other events in the line up include ‘Meet the Publishers’, where aspiring African writers will have an opportunity to meet people in the industry and gather all the information needed for getting a piece or book published. This year’s popular annual translation symposium focuses on Love, inspired by the widely praised multi-lingual Valentine’s Day Anthology by Ankara Press. There will also be an exciting programme of free book launches, readings, talks, panel discussions, performances, children and young people’s workshops and an international book fair.

Below are some of the sessions that will feature in this year’s festival. (The festival will include 13 more sessions which will be on the Africa Writes website soon).

Africa Writes 2014. Photo: Jose Farinha

Africa Writes 2014. Photo: Jose Farinha

Africa in Translation: What’s Love got to do with it?
Friday 3 July

10.00 – 13.00, FREE

Our annual translation symposium this year focuses on Love, taking Ankara Press’ ground-breaking Valentine’s Day Anthology of African Romance as a starting point. Digitally launched by the new romance imprint on the auspicious date of 14th February 2015, all of the short stories in the anthology were translated into languages associated with the African writers, resulting in the text being published in eight different languages. Curated by Wangui wa Goro of SIDENSI, this symposium will dispel myths about Africans and romance and discuss the value and impact of translation in contemporary African literature.

Emergent Discourses on African Literature

Friday 3 July

14.00 – 15.30, FREE

The academic discourse on African literature is characterised by a continuous process of debate, reassessment of theories and redefinition of terms. The very concept of ‘African literature’ is a problematic one because it conveys as certain homogeneity, ignoring the wide diversity of written and oral literature stemming from the continent and the diaspora. This session will feature presentations by PhD students and other researchers who are exploring different areas of this field of study – from the development of post-colonial literature through to present-day African narratives and the changing landscape of the publishing industry.

 Meet the Publishers 
Friday 3 July

16.00 – 17.30, FREE

Are you an unpublished writer of African origin? Would you like the opportunity to present your work to different publishing houses and get professional feedback? Join our panel of experts as they discuss what they look for when considering new work, share the do’s and dont’s of pitching and other insider tips.

African Books To Inspire

Friday 3 July
18.30 – 20.30
£10 /£8/ £5

An evening of books and inspiration, chaired by Hannah Pool. At this special event, a selection of writers and personalities will share their favourite titles of African literature – ranging from classics through to the latest published work.

Meditations on Greatness: Ben Okri in Conversation

Saturday 4 July

18.30 – 20.30

£10 /£8/ £5

 

 

Source: living12

This guy planned an epic, tear jacking proposal for his girlfriend in NYC

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Don’t believe the myth- African men CAN be romantic!

Meet Wale- he’s the Nigerian man of your dreams.Why? Because he’d go to any lengths to get you the wedding proposal that you’ve always dreamed of.

A US based Nigerian man, Wale surprised his girlfriend of one year- Dami after proposing to her in her favourite city in the world- New York City.

The surprise proposal which has already gone viral on social media involved a flash mob and the bride to be’s friends and family. The epic proposal is one of many recent tear jacking proposals by black men who have been hitherto categorised as unromantic when it comes to matters of the heart.

The couple apparently met in 2013 when the groom to be arrived in Nigeria on holiday for the first time in 11 years. After a brief introduction, the pair hit it off and a relationship blossomed after Wale returned to the US.

After months of planning and brainstorming on how best to propose to his incurably romantic girlfriend, Wale decided the best place to pop the question had to be in her favourite city- NYC.

Enlisting the help of her friends and cousin, the unsuspecting Dami stumbled upon a flash mob performing to Wizkid’s ‘On Top Your Matter‘, while shopping in Times Square. As the performance ends, Wale drops on one knee and proposes to Dami as a curious New York City crowd looks on.

The rest as they say is history.

The video was shared so many times, it eventually caught the attention of Wizkid who offered to perform for free at the couple’s wedding! You heard it here folks; if you want a free celeb performance at your wedding, just make sure to propose with the artist’s song as your soundtrack.

Dami and Wale will be tying the knot in Dubai this year.

See their awesome pre wedding photos here.

 

 

 

Source: living12