The buzz about Omotola’s 40th birthday had been on for a couple of weeks before the event proper took place. It was a weeklong event that culminated in the incredibly successful Omosexy Grand Ball which was held at the prestigious Landmark Centre, Victoria Island on Sunday, February 11th, 2018.
Judging by the exquisitely designed Access Cards that were given out to only a select number of guests, and by the tremendous publicity and buzz the landmark occasion generated even before it started, everyone knew the Grand ball would indeed be ‘grand.’
But no one imagined it would be as breathtakingly grand as it turned out to be. Anyone who knows Omotola would know she’s somebody with unbelievably high standards, but this time, she simply outdid herself. Everything about the occasion was simply mind blowing and appropriately befitting of an icon, the biggest movie brand to come from this side of the planet.
In this very comprehensive report, City People’s Senior Editor, WALE LAWAL and Head of Photography Desk, FEMI ADELEKE, bring you some of the juiciest gist from the party, and of course, some of the amazing stuffs no one has probably told you about the grand and classy Omosexy 40th birthday party everyone is still talking about.
THE MOVIE EFFECT
If you were driving into Landmark Centre for the first time, you would’ve thought you were driving into a five- Star movie cinema because of the various Omotola billboard pictures that graced the entrance of the venue and most especially, the ‘NOW SHOWING’ sign powered by brightly coloured neon lights that was constantly running at the top of the entrance. Very apt for our biggest movie diva, right?
INSIDE LANDMARK CENTRE
Stepping inside the prestigious Landmark Centre was akin to stepping inside some of the finest entertainment centers in America or Europe. The lightings, the aesthetics inside the venue, the fantastic stage for musical performances, the nice sitting arrangement and the extremely efficient air-conditioners gave the hall a really cozy, five- star feel.
You simply couldn’t fault any of the arrangements put in place by the organizers. With your Access Card in hand, you didn’t need to go searching for a seat yourself, the lovely looking ushers led guests to their tables according to what was indicated on your Invite. City People’s Access Card was marked Blood Sisters, and by the time we were led to our table, it was unoccupied. Even if you had to leave your seat for a long spell, like we had to while covering the event, your seat remained unoccupied and waiting for you, you didn’t have to drag seats with anyone. And of course, on every table was an unopened bottle of creamy and enticing bottle of Amarula, juice drinks and bottled water to choose from. The event planner, Mrs. Itunu Olugbodi of June 5ive Events, in our honest opinion, deserves a standing ovation. She has just pulled off one of the biggest events we’ll probably record this year
AMAZING DJ ON THE WHEELS OF STEEL
The moment you make yourself comfortable, you begin to hear powerful old Skool rhythm and blues serenading guests already, taking everyone down memory lane with unforgettable songs from big successful names such as Alexander O’neal, LL Cool J, The Jets, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Atlantic Stars, etc. The DJ was something else. He knew exactly the kind of songs that the sort of audience present would appreciate and he got virtually everyone singing along and nodding in appreciation to the beautiful memories and nostalgia he was filling them with.
EARLY CALLERS AT THE EVENT
As early as 5.30p.m, guests had begun arriving at the venue. One of such early callers was the magnificent couple, Dr. Eyimofe Atake and his enchanting wife, Dorothy. And as usual, they both looked smashing and younger than their ages. Another early caller was Funke Akindele who came unaccompanied by her husband. She looked really cute in her full, long dark and beautiful gown, but she appeared a bit subdued for reasons no one could comprehend. Unlike the always bubbly and playful Jenifa that we all have come to love and admire, she sat quietly at her table and buried herself inside her phone for most of the night, before she quietly took her leave. Other early callers were Racheal Oniga, Madam Kofo, Dbanj, Desmond Elliot, NFF Chairman, Amaju Pinnick and wife, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Tony Uranta, Tony Elemelu and, wait for this, Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and many others.
ARRIVAL OF OMOSEXY AND HER HUSBAND
When one of the anchors of the night, Tee-A, announced that the birthday girl was about to make her entry into the hall, everyone’s attention was turned to the direction of the entrance leading into the hall. Everyone was eager and curious to see what Omotola would be wearing and how well she’d turn out. And nobody was disappointed. Omosexy’s mind blowing entry in her white stunning gown with her husband by her side, heralded by confetti and bright fireworks coming from both sides of the aisle was simply a beauty to behold. Her long, fitted gown with glittering diamond stones sat on her body like a second skin, bringing out the ‘killer curves’ of Omosexy that has since become one of her trademark. The beautiful gown was designed by Gertjohancoetzee. The celebrant’s make-up was done by Bizlee and everyone agreed it was a perfect job as it nicely enhanced Omo T’s pretty facial features and made look almost ten years younger than her age. And her hair, done by Ferdinand hair? Great job, it glittered even in the dark. Every strand of hair stood in its place. Kudos must be given to Omotola’s stylist, Afolabi Dare of Flostyling, he did a fantastic job. And as Omotola and hubby walked in, everyone in the hall, including Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, rose to their feet to honour and celebrate Nigeria, nay Africa’s biggest movie icon, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, aka Omosexy!
OMOTOLA’S SPECTACULAR LIVE PERFORMANCE
This was one part of the event that took many by surprise. Shortly after her arrival alongside her husband who, by the way, was also looking cute in his white jacket and black pair of trousers, Omotola mounted the stage and gave a spectacular performance, performing perhaps her biggest hit song, ‘Feel Alright’. The idea to have Omotola, who hasn’t been on stage in a long while, to come do a live performance without the aid of the song’s CD playing in the background to back her up, was one huge gamble that paid off. The performance was not only remarkable, it also turned out to be, for many, the high point of the night. Omo T nailed that performance like the pro that she is, along with the incredible LoudNProudLive ‘One Sound’ band who backed her beautifully. She moved and danced with ease on stage, owned the stage and smiled all through her performance even as she sang. Her voice was clear, crisp and pleasing to the ears, she was in absolute sync with the band she performed with and by the time she got the likes of Mo Abudu of Ebony Life TV, Adesuwa Onyenokwe of Today’s Woman and the amazing Ngozi Omambala of the LoudNProudLive ‘One Sound’ Band joining her on stage to sing along with her, she’d gotten the entire hall in a frenzy with many of the guests already on their feet, dancing and singing.
BOVI AND TEE A: MAGNIFICENT ANCHORS
With these two as the emcees of the event, you can be guaranteed of maximum satisfaction in terms of rib cracking jokes and excellent event compere. Bovi and Tee A are two of the funniest and most in demand comedians/anchors in the business today. They took charge of the show and held it down pretty well, making sure everyone had a swell time.
YEMI SAX’S COOL PERFORMANCE
As you can be sure to expect from Yemi Sax anyday, anytime, the always cool, calm and collected Yemi Sax blew everybody away with his deft delivery. He performed a string of popular hit songs and wowed guests with his smooth rendition via his glittering Sax.
AFRICA’S NO.1 ENTERTAINER IN THE BUILDING
Not many in the hall knew when he came in. The Koko master, looking dapper us usual in a fitted suit, seemed even trimmer and fitter. He performed some of his old hits and new hits as well. The high point of his performance was when he asked Omosexy and her dashing husband to step out and do a ‘couple’s dance’ to one of his songs. The couple obliged him and grooved to his songs as they moved slowly to the beats, locked in each other’s arms.
THE KOKOMASTER TAKES ON OAP FREEZE
Daddy Freeze didn’t see it coming. D’banj was doing his thing, serenading guests and moving from table to table, and when he got to the table where Freeze and his girlfriend were seated, D’banj hailed him, they slapped hands, and then Bangalee fired his salvo: “Yes, I know there’s freedom of speech and everyman to his own opinion, but, me, I pay my tithe, and I am proud I pay and I don’t care what they do with it.” This got everyone in the hall applauding and hailing D’banj.
EUCHARIA ANUNOBI FINALLY GETS HER GROOVE BACK
Following the unfortunate passing away of her beloved son who battled sickle cell Anaemia gallantly for years before he finally gave in last year, Eucharia, as expected of any mother who loved her child dearly, had been keeping a pretty low profile as she grieved silently and mourned her dear son in a dignified manner. She stayed away from social activities as she struggled to come to terms with the painful reality that her cherished son was indeed gone. Thankfully, she’s put this unfortunate incident behind her when she stepped out to celebrate with her long time friend and colleague, Omotola, with whom, together, she broke boundaries in Nollywood back in the day. It was clear to see everyone was happy to see her again as they all hugged her, patted her on the back tenderly in a manner that silently said, ‘we are here for you, you’re not alone.’
ONLY EMPTY BARRELS MAKE THE LOUDEST NOISE
If there was one personality that made the quietest of entries on the night, it was the man known and regarded as Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote. From the simple suit he wore, he could’ve passed for any average person. There were no airs around him, not a single bodyguard was standing behind him to protect one of Naija’s most illustrious sons, can you believe that? He was calm all through the period he spent at the party, greeting people warmly and displaying incredible to humility that confounded many who were seeing him at close quarters for the first time. Yet, we have seen how much noise many who do not even have one-tenth of the money his children have in their accounts, make. Indeed, only empty barrels make the loudest noise.
CUTTING OF THE CAKE
The Esama of Benin, Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion joined Omotola and her husband in cutting of the cake. The beautiful cake, ostensibly designed to look like a well endowed curvy lady or perhaps something that’s mean to represent the birthday girl, was rolled out in the open on stage and cut by Omosexy and husband. Before the cake cutting was a short documentary of people, including the celebrant’s husband, who knew her closely, sharing their personal experiences and knowledge of Omotola with the guests present.
SIR SHINA PETERS AND KSA STOLE THE SHOW
When you have just one of these two music legends and master performers on stage, you can be sure you will get the building rocking to its foundation. But to have both of them under one roof and taking turns to perform, no doubt they’re likely to bring the roof down. You’re certainly in for a real treat. And this was exactly what happened. Sir Shina Peters, electrifying as ever, got everyone, including Omotola, grooving to his music. He literally set the house on fire. Same with the King of Juju music, King Sunny Ade, he started on a slow tempo before gradually taking his audience on a high with him and then finally exploded the moment he got up there.
THE TEAM BEHIND THE SUCCESSFUL OMOSEXY GRAND BALL
The incredible success recorded at the Omosexy Grand Ball and even at the other events that preceded the ball (it was a weeklong long event) didn’t just happen by chance, the celebrated screen diva had an amazing team of talented, hardworking and remarkably creative people behind her. At the grand ball, they were all over the place, mostly dressed in black outfits, working their socks off to ensure every tiny detail fell into place. If you attended the ball particularly and you’re reading this, do kindly acknowledge the following people with thumbs up for giving us all a night to remember and cherish for a long time to come: Bizlee-Omotola’s make-up, Ferdinand hair-Omotola’s hair, Nonnistics fashion – designed Omosexy’s 2nd outfit, a custom made dress, Tiannah’s place empire – provided OmoT’s gorgeous performance outfit, Onyx by Valentina – provided her fabulous last outfit. The event also enjoyed corporate support from the likes of Unilever who gave out goodie bags filled with 2 big packs of Knorr cubes while Amarula was also served to all guests.
MEET THE OMOTOLA 4POINT TEAM
Personal Assistant –Rebecca Uchendu, Event Planner – Mrs. Itunu Olugbodi of June5ive Events, Give And Let Give’s Tina Obahiagbo, Mercy Makinde-founder, Amazing Amazon Initiative), Couples Retreat was handled by Mrs. Imose Olanrewaju, Renaissance Trip to Badagry, sponsorship was handled by PR, Media & Music, Ngozi Omambala (NMO Management), Social Media- Dolapo Habeeb and Oyinda Oladimeji, Symposium- Mr. Charles Odii (Founder SME 100), Afolabi Dare of Flostyling, guest list was handled by the delectable Omowunmi Akinnifesi.