Nseobong Okon-Ekong and Vanessa Obioha, were among the cream of the society that witnessed electrifying performances from award-winning singer Aṣa and other artistes, including iconic pieces from notable designers at the inaugural Spice TV Lifestyle Honours
An Aṣa themed event no doubt would pool a wide audience, being that it had been over a year the award-winning artiste hosted a show for her Nigerian fans. So, it was not unlikely to find a large crowd trooping into the Convention Center of Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos recently for the inaugural edition of Spice TV Lifestyle Honours.
A first of its kind, the award which seeks to celebrate and reward African fashion brands and icons is among the list of events organised by XCHANGE, a consortium of event promoters led by Tajudeen Adepetu.
Adepetu's shrewdness in the creative business cannot be overstated. The CEO of Consolidated Media Associates is the brain behind most of the entertainment and lifestyle TV Channels such as Spice TV, SoundCity (both radio and Television), Trybe and ONtv.
The Spice TV Lifestyle Honours was another testament to his ingenious mind. Known for his quest for excellence, he didn't leave any stone unturned to celebrate the launch of his new project.
The venue was aesthetically designed to give the awards a befitting glitter and glamour. From the gold-framed mirrors on the walls of the hallway -- enticing guests to admire their reflections -- to the beautifully decorated hall where the stage is extended to a runway. The glitter and glamour was complemented by the calibre of guests who walked the red carpet in fashionable outfits.
Early birds were however forced to wait for hours before the event finally kicked off. Alternative musician Falana opened the show while designer Kenneth Ize showcased his pieces on the runway.
While the models strut the runway, it was difficult to tear one's eyes away from the soulful performance of the versatile singer and her backup singers who wore helmets. The way she played the percussion, the sultry texture of her voice and her stage presence was overwhelming.
Another designer Orizu who dressed his models in stylish suits with traditional outfits embellished by a colourful sash across the shoulder was a spectacle on the runway. The last designer to walk the runway before Falana took a bow was Red Button who pushed the button with her daring designs: plunging necks, off shoulders, high slits and ball gowns for the bold and fashionable woman.
The rest of the night would take similar patterns while Joselyn Dumas looking dashing in every costume, she wore for the night tried to keep the crowd alive with her wit and charm.
However, it was the musicians that stole the night away. Teni the Entertainer switched things a bit up with her performance, including her rave hit at the moment 'Case', which the audience sang along.
Then Bez came, dressed in blue kimono over a black top and jeans. The audience went wild when he showed off his dexterity with the guitar, creating a kind of alternative rock sounds that earned him a great applause.
Not to be outdone, Adekunle Gold lit up the stage with hi medley. Kicking off with Orente, the artiste who has a magnifying stage presence dazzled with his performances while Ugo Udezue models in different sport gears strut the runway.
The Gold artiste proved once again while his style of music is unique when he rounded off his performance with a groovy freestyle they saw him and his dancers rocking the stage to Bruno Mars' 'Uptown Funk', Big Shaq's 'Man's Not Hot', and the timeless James Brown's 'I Got You (I Feel Good)'.
By the time Vector came on stage, the crowd were anticipating Aṣa's performance. They however gave the rap artiste audience when he sang his popular 2014 hit 'Shiga'. The rapper also seized the moment to do a freestyle that addressed the wave of violence spreading across the country.
As Aṣa made her way to the stage, though by then some of the guests had left, a loud cheer nevertheless greeted her. Keeping a serious face, she opened her set with Fire on the Mountain which the audience lovingly sang along.
Eliciting gasps from the audience as she removed her jacket to reveal a sexy sequined black top worn over pants, Aṣa launched into a medley, performing most of her hit tracks including 'Jailer', 'Bibanke', 'The Way I Feel', and 'Dead Again'. While performing the emotional 'Moving On', Aṣa shared some words of encouragement.
"There will always be angels because God didn't bring you out here to face pain that you can't bear. That's what keeps you moving on."
The singer also displayed her dexterity with the trumpet, fetching more applause from her fans.
Aṣa definitely had fun on stage. At one point she kicked off her shoes after regaling the audience how she did that at a concert in Paris and someone took one of the shoes homes. To forestall a repeat, she asked her team to keep her shoes.
However, the highlight of the night was when a smitten fan took the bold step to propose to the singer on stage. Aṣa while performing her last song for the night 'Bamidele' teased the audience with a freestyle melody 'I like you Aṣa, I want you Aṣa, but you won't marry me'. Taking cue from her lyrics, the young man climbed on stage, went down on one knee and asked Aṣa to marry him.
Unfazed by his boldness, Aṣa held him up and teased him with seductive moves that got the audience screaming wildly. She danced with him, and at a point, bent over as if she was going to twerk for him, all along flashing beautiful smiles to the audience who were wowed by her moves.
The fan may not have been to heaven but on that stage, having Aṣa leaning on his body, he definitely had a taste of heaven. When the singer hugged him, he held her tightly and seemed not in a hurry to let go.
Her brilliant display brought a climactic end to the maiden edition of the awards
which saw the likes of GTB, carting away the prize for Financial Services Brand of the Year, OC Ukeje winning the Male Lead in a Movie of the Year, Dangote Foundation winning the CSR Brand of the Year, while the Award for the Fashion brand stylist of the Year went to Dimeji Alara (SA), and Innovator of the Year went to Art X Lagos.
While receiving this award for the best Luxury Wedding Event Company, Funke Bucknor of Zaphire Events broke down as she dedicated the award to her late sister, Tosyn Bucknor who passed on last month.
There were also runway display by famous designers such as Pepper Row, Orapaleng, David Tlale, Endi Martin and Chulaap.
Other awardees of the night include MasterCard (Lifestyle Product of the Year); Dubai Tourism (Holiday Destination of the Year); One and Only (Hotel of the Year); D'banj (Most Stylish Individual in Entertainment); Universal Music (Music icon of the Year); Malée (Beauty Business Brand of the Year); Ghanaian actress, Zynnel Zuh (Female Lead in a Movie); Vlisco (Fashion Business of the Year); and Saota (Design Company of the Year).