Bolanle Austen Peter’s “The Bling Lagosians” depicts the life of the 1% of the 1%

Lagos! The city that will make or mar you. The city of unrivalled splendor and lofty ambition! Where dreams come true one day and nightmares can become your reality overnight. In this town, your network is truly your net worth because who you know is often just as important as what you know. There’s been a lot of talk recently about the one percent of the one percent. Who they are, what they do, how they live and what make them so revered. I hear many of you asking, “Who are the 1%?” but if you even have to ask then you certainly don’t belong to the club. You see, there’s a belief that Nigeria’s wealth is controlled by 1% of the population but the social scene is run by yet an even smaller fraction of that. Everything about them is news. What they wear, who they date, where they holiday, who they marry, what she got as a push gift, what her ring looked like, who made her wedding dress…we are obsessed with their lives and thanks to social media platforms like Instagram, everyone gets a front row seat to witness it all.

I was born in Lagos and have lived in this city all my life save a six year stint at boarding school. I’ve travelled across Nigeria and visited over 15 states but I know in my heart that I will always call this city home. One of my earliest recollections of the Bling Lagosian lifestyle was in the early 90s on a visit to an aunt’s house with my mum and sister. Aunty Mimi was one of the Lagos elite married to a handsome playboy and had a gorgeous home. Everything was white, gold and resplendent, the house temperature was a controlled coolness. Everywhere was immaculate and quiet, a real ajebutter residence. Lunchtime was announced with a bell and we proceeded to the dining room where the table was set. We took our seats and I wondered why there was no food in our plates because you see in our own house, you went into the kitchen, picked up your plate of food and filed out to eat whatever had been dished. No mede-mede variety, no selection or complaints otherwise you were automatically forfeiting your food till the next mealtime. My thoughts were cut short by my aunt’s voice “Chef, you may commence with the serving of the okro’. Hey God! I turned my neck to see what was happening… an army of stewards were upon us, offering different types of swallow, soups, meats and other delicacies with the precision of an elite fighting squad. I’d never seen anything like it but I had the good sense to keep my mouth shut and wait till I got home to ask my mum why aunty Chidinma our nanny could not dress up in such a fine white uniform and bring out our food from the kitchen when it was ready. I’m sure any 80s kid here would know exactly how that conversation turned out, a beating galore (Why mummy, why?). I would grow up to understand that there is nothing wrong in enjoy slivers of the good life when it is presented before you but comparison of one’s life to point of resentment and ingratitude would lead to self-destruction eventually. By all means, want more for yourself but be ready to work hard and make even harder sacrifices but most of all accept responsibility for your actions on your way to the top. Oh, I would also later discover that Aunt Mimi’s husband was a reckless man who did drugs, beat her, put his whole family at risk and eventually went broke. How’s that for the rich also cry?

You see there’s something about the pecking order in Lagos that forces you to level up and reach for more. Back in university of Lagos there were two sets of guys, those in the exclusive clubs (fraternities) RHO, FOADS, EXCEL and ABC and the rest of them. These club boys were the toast of campus…handsome, stylish, cool, bad, bougie, influential, popular and connected. They dated the prettiest girls and drove the nicest cars in school too and they threw legendary parties. I remember someone telling me one day how she pitied one particular classmate of hers because he was broke and need to buy fuel in his Honda Skirach because he needed to have his windows up when driving up school, apparently if he was caught by a club official or senior member with his window down, he would be fined and 3 infractions would land him a suspension thereby demoting him from a godlike campus status to mere mortal. His club’s unspoken motto was beg, borrow or steal plus he had already driven around campus twice without the AC on and the window up but it was hot and he was beginning to feel lightheaded. My friend told me she was sick of lending him money because he was in heavy debt to her and the possibility of getting her money back was nonexistent! I howled with laughter because in that moment I totally understood my mother’s words about self-destruction.

The Bling Lagosian culture calls for faking it till you make it, keeping up with the Joneses (and the Kardashians), incurring debts to fund holidays, weddings and international births, rolling out in Range Rovers and an empty fuel tank while clad in white native, Cartier rimless glasses, Rolex watches and assaulting our senses with the strongest Arabian Oud. Why? Because it’s what the people want! It’s far more fascinating to watch the flash and be dazzled by the razzmatazz than accept a mundane life devoid of excitement. Because you see, we are all guilty- the 1 and the 99 percent in this Eko. You may not be into the fake life but you’ll sure as heck accept an invitation from one and show up too, dressed to the nines because on some level these things are important, after all if you cannot wow them, let them at least not see us finish. These days, going by Instagram it would seem we are all successful, happy, fabulous, living our best lives without a single hair out of place and just winning! And it is indeed okay to project all that positivity but like all things in life, moderation is necessary to steer us to reality and away from fantasyland. I’m reminded of the Instafamous blogger who recently went as far as posing in front of a new completed building, claiming it was hers and coming up with the standard faux deep captions that we’ve come to accept when these fantastical posts are made. We watched with twisted fascination how the whole story crumbled away like a packet of expired shortbreads and the disgrace that ensued as the true owner of the house flew back from China to claim his property and set the record straight. The depths to which this debacle sunk needed just two more feet before it would have struck crude. Last month in New York, a 28 year old lady by the name Anna Delvey (real name Anna Sorokin) was convicted for fraud and sentenced to 4-12 years. For years, she had pretended to be a German heiress with a trust fund, lived in expensive hotels, partied with the rich and famous of Manhattan and even dated sons of the elite class! Truth is she was a Russian immigrant who had conned a bank out of a $100,000 loan which she never paid back and was first arrested in July 2017 for absconding from two luxury hotels, leaving behind bills in thousands of dollars as well as a lunch bill of under $200 dollars at a fancy restaurant.

Were there lessons to be learned here? Definitely. Were those lessons learned though? Highly unlikely because you see the true 1% of the one the 1% are unrepentant in their pursuits and undaunted in the face of disaster or disgrace. Don’t believe me? Then you will want to watch the Bling Lagosians, Bolanle Austen Peters’ directing debut that chronicles the lives ofThe Holloways, one of Lagos’ most prestigious families. They holiday in Europe, dress like royalty, hobnob with the political class and own the city’s most luxurious high-rise, St. Ives Towers. Their family name is a synonym for class and poise. When MOPELOLA HOLLOWAY (50), the sophisticated matriarch of the family, announces that she’s throwing a flamboyant party for her fifty-first birthday – to top the headline-making shindig she threw the year before for her fiftieth – she unwittingly sets a series of events into motion that will have repercussions far from pleasant for the Holloway household. The movie stars Elvina Ibru, Gbenga Titiloye, Osas Ighodaro Ajibade, Sharon Ooja, Alex Ekubo, Monalisa Chinda, Toyin Abraham, Denola Grey and many more. It starts showing in cinemas nationwide on June 28th. Avoid the “Sold Out” news and book ahead.

The Star Studded Bling Lagosians Premiere

And the Winners Are……..Here Are Your Best Dressed At The Star Studded Bling Lagosians Premiere.

The grand premier of the highly anticipated movie “The Bling Lagosians” was held Sunday, 16th of June 2019 at the Film House Cinema, Lekki, Lagos.

The red carpet had stars glammed up to the nines, with a variety of looks; as anticipated, the premiere was littered with show stoppers. Talk about making an entrance, this red carpet would definitely go down as legendary in the fashion circles.

Guests trouped the red carpet with a variety of fiery looks as well as exaggerated and fun fashion pieces.  The dress code for the glamorous night was “Eko for Show”, and as we know if it’s not over the top, its not EKO! With a total prize money of N1 Million naira, for the most quintessential red carpet look.

The individuals who took the prize money went home with N500, 000 ( Daala Oruwari and Teni Oluwo)  while the first and second runner up will get N350, 000 and N150, 000 respectively. Designer

The movie was met with raving reviews, the general consensus was that this is the best Nollywood movie released of (2019), with intricacies that run deep and with a well-paced out story line filled with lessons.  The Director, Bolanle Austen Peters’  generosity to the cast was boundless. Although laced with humour, and some exceptionally funny moments, the movie deals with serious subject matters that will leave viewers thinking twice about Lagos party lifestyle as well as giving a deeper insight into the Lagos elite’s lifestyle.

Director Bolanle Austen Peters Said about the movie

“In telling this story, it was important that we learnt lessons. In doing the Bling Lagosians, I observed certain things in our society and I decided to tell the story, a relatable story, that people would see and recognise this is the real us. This story is like a mirror, so we can look at ourselves in a mirror and see the flaws. This is a story of deceit, lust, love, greed, passion, it’s a story of excess’ but with reedeming qualities”

Celebrities that made striking statements on the red carpet included honourable mentions are Osas Ighodaro Ajibade in Toju Foyeh, Anto Lecky in Bibi Lawrence and Sharon Ooja in a show-stopping look from Somo by Somo  Alex Ekubo, Idia Aisien, Linda Ejiofor, Linda Osifo, Ini Idia Okojie, Taje Prest, Gbenga Titiloye Bam Bam and more.

Delta, Air France and KLM mark tenth anniversary of their trans-Atlantic partnership

Delta Air Lines, Air France and KLM are celebrating 10 years of their successful trans-Atlantic cooperation, a partnership that has continued to lead the industry and set a trend for others to follow.

Over the past decade, together the airlines have soared to new heights as they opened up new routes between Europe and North America and improved customer service. Built around a network of seven hubs – five in the United States and two in Europe – the partnership covers routes between Canada, United States, Mexico and Europe.

“In 10 years, our North-Atlantic JV has become the most advanced example of what an airline partnership can be and what it can bring to the customers,” said Patrick Alexandre, Air France-KLM Group Executive Vice President Commercial, Sales & Alliances. “The success of our JV with Delta comes from our combined and multiple offer which is adapted to all customers, from B2C to trade and corporate. Together with our integrated commercial teams, we aim at delivering the best service to our clients all along their journey. We are very proud of our achievements and look forward to further expanding our JV.”

Some highlights include:

  • Customers have benefited as the partnership has 38 more peak day North America to Europe flights today than 10 years ago bringing the number to more than 270 daily trans-Atlantic flights. 
  • It’s now easier to connect to destinations across North America and Europe thanks to more hub-to-hub flying, such as Detroit-Paris and Atlanta-Amsterdam that offer a wealth of onward flights. The partnership has also opened up new U.S.-Europe city pairs that would not be possible for them to do alone, including service from non-hub cities, including Indianapolis, Raleigh/Durham and Dallas-Fort-Worth, to Paris and Tampa-Amsterdam.
  • Eligible customers can use the largest airport lounge network across North America and Europe.
  • There are opportunities to earn miles and redeem them on a number of benefits, including flight upgrades through each airlines’ frequent flyer programmes.
  • The partners carry 20% more customers today compared to 10 years ago.

“We have a lot to be proud of from the past 10 years. The key to our success has been continuing to innovate and a commitment to constantly improve our customer experience,” said Steve Sear, Delta’s President & Executive Vice President Global Sales. “Customers have benefitted from our award-winning service, and close integration of our systems and teams in the airport, sales, call centres and back office. Most recently, we have expanded our cooperation to include Africa, improving the travel options for new and existing customers.”

The Delta, Air France and KLM partnership has its foundations in a previous agreement between KLM and Northwest Airlines. Following the U.S. and European Union Open Skies agreement in 2007and the merger between Delta and Northwest, the Air France-KLM Group and Delta announced their long-term joint venture on May 20, 2009. Just over one year later, Alitalia joined the partnership, offering new flying opportunities between North America and Italy. Last year, Delta invested €375 million to acquire 10 percent equity in the Air France-KLM Group.

Sheraton Lagos Hotel has A Packed June Planned

Sheraton Lagos Hotel is happy to announce that the month of June will be a packed one that will delight every type of guest that the hotel has.

The General Manager Mr. Barry has said ‘June will be exciting with the variety of things on offer. From food to drinks and even sunglasses.’

Kicking things off, on the 7th of June, we will be celebrating world doughnut day. Throughout the day, a doughnut wall will be set up at the pumpkin leaf with a variety of yummy eclectic doughnuts straight from Chef Helen’s oven. Guests are welcome to try them for free and also take creative pictures that they can upload unto social media with the hashtag #sheratonlagosdoughnutday for a chance to win a Sheraton branded mug.

On the 8th of June, the hotel will be bringing innovation to their cocktails while celebrating world ogogoro (gin) day. There will be a set menu of ogogoro (gin) infused cocktails at the lobby bar, goodies pub and pool bar for N2,000 only. The menu will comprise of recipes suggested by our social media followers and the bar men. It promises to be a fun session with ogororo (gin) lovers enjoying their favorite drink with a unique spin. Guests are welcome to share their cocktails on social media with the hashtag #sheratonlagosginday

The 10th of June is for lovers of iced tea. Everyone’s favorite beverage is coming to Sheraton and it’s going to be delightful to guest’s taste buds. Iced tea will be served on the breakfast buffet for free where guests can try the various iced tea options. There will also be a cocktail menu curated specially for that day at all outlets for N2,000 only.

For music lovers, the 21st of June is just for them. World music day is celebrated on that day and to mark it, we will be giving guests a chance to sing with the band during wazobia night. This will allow guests showcase their musical talent. It will also give them a chance to create memories with their family and friends that will last forever.   

Last but definitely not the least, on the 27th of June, the hotel will be celebrating sunglasses day. Free branded sunglasses will be given to guests who come to the pool side to wear and protect their eyes while they enjoy their tan in the sun.

At Sheraton Lagos, we go beyond and by doing this, the hotel believes that it will be cementing its place as a hotel not just business travelers but also a property that creates experiences leisure seekers too.

With the hotel’s proven success and exceptional reputation in culinary expertise, The Sheraton Lagos Hotel looks forward to celebrating a fun month of June this year.