Yesterday was quite interesting. Well, things don’t always go as planned. That’s life.

16:03hrs – I’m 3 minutes late, but as expected, the show had not started. There’s a reason why they call it ‘African Time’ after all. There are fashionistas everywhere posing for ‘whatever’ looks like a camera. Oh! Of course I posed too, who could resist the lure of photographers jostling to get your picture taken?

 

 

 

18:00hrs – you would think the show would have started by now. No! Guests were still roaming the hotel premises’ looking for comfort, beautiful models walking around looking not prepped for a show, backdrop constructions was still on and press were still setting up. No one was allowed towards the glamorous Grammy-like red carpet yet. As a fashion reporter, this is the best time to go backstage and speak to designers about their collection and how they feel showcasing at Africa’s biggest fashion show. But I wasn’t allowed backstage. No press was allowed.

21:00hrs – 3 hours later of roaming and networking, the show had still not started. What could possibly be the problem? By this time I noticed some of the organizers taking seats from one tent to another tent(supposed venue for the night’s show). What had they been doing all day? Why had this not been done before guests arrived on the red carpet? No one had an answer to these questions and everyone had the tired and ‘what’s going on?’ face.

 

It’s sad how what we watch on TV, or read in magazines about all the major fashion weeks around the globe, and wish these can happen in Nigeria. Finally ARISE MAGAZINE makes this happen in Africa and through this, the Nigerian fashion industry is beginning to get recognition outside Africa. All thanks to the Arise Magazine team.

 

40 minutes later, in between the delays and models protesting, Day 2 of AMFW had been cancelled due to some technical difficulties. Why? The Nigerian factor – the generator couldn’t power the tents. The local models were protesting that international models were getting paid $20,000 for the whole week while they are getting $200 a day. The organizers said reason being they are aspiring models while the international models are known faces that have graced international runways.

 

Should the local models’ representatives and agencies be blamed for not knowing the worth of these models and been unprofessional?

  1. Do we blame our industry for not been forward enough for our local models to be respected in their own base?
  2. Should international models be flown in when we have so many Nigerian models roaming the streets of Lagos?
  3. Are all footballers all over the world from League 1 to Champions league paid the same?
  4. Who do we blame for this mishap? Arise Magazine for not having capable generators or our country Nigeria for not having stable power supply or the local models protesting that they are being paid ‘chicken change’ compared to what international models are earning?

 

If this show was held in Johannesburg or Accra or Nairobi with stable power supply and available ‘international’ models, the show would continue, wouldn’t it? I don’t understand the models misconception or misplaced identity here. Local models shouldn’t compare themselves to international models that have paid their due. If you don’t like the job, don’t take it. It’s the fashion world; sadly that’s how it works.

My one penny;

Dear Models, stay focused on your love for fashion, Small beginnings rise up. And just so you know, the next model protesting with you and distracting you from your show would probably turn around and even do the show for free. Get professional representatives that care about your career more than their pockets.

Dear Arise Magazine, thank you for bringing an event like this to Africa. We appreciate and love you. But just for next time, always consider the Nigerian factor.

 

ARISE MAGAZINE FASHION WEEK, LAGOS 2012 – NEW SCHEDULE

 

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