They upped the ante with this event, courtesy of an Arabian-inspired dress code and matching décor. Throngs of guests, dressed in gorgeous ‘Arabian chic’ outfits, added to the spirit of the occasion.
The premiere had some of Nigeria’s most celebrated and influential individuals in business, entertainment and politics in attendance, including the wife of the Vice-President of Nigeria, Mrs. Yemi Osinbajo; Her Excellency Mrs Toyin Saraki, wife of the Senate President; Senator Florence Ita-Giwa; former governor of Cross River State, Sen. Liyel Imoke and Mrs. Imoke; Mr. Tony Elumelu, Chairman, United Bank for Africa; Mr. Herbert Wigwe, CEO, Access Bank; Lady Maiden Ibru, Publisher, Guardian Newspaper; and Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, Chairman, ThisDay Newspapers.
In her keynote speech, Mrs Osinbajo expressed her enjoyment of the original film and praised the cast and crew for their desire to change the Nigerian narrative positively. “Thank you for showing a different Nigeria to the world – a beautiful and strong Nigeria,” she said.
Minister of Information and Culture, Hon. Lai Mohammed, spoke about how proud he was to be leading an industry that is growing and improving in leaps and bounds, exemplified by films such as The Wedding Party and its sequel. In turn, the honourable minister was lauded by members of the ELFIKE Collective for his exceptional leadership at the federal level and his accessibility, whenever his assistance and intervention are required.
Mo Abudu, CEO, EbonyLife Films, was grateful for the turnout. “Thank you all so much for showing up tonight; it means a lot to us. It is important to keep telling positive stories about Nigeria. You’re in for a treat with this sequel,” she said.
Kene Mkparu, CEO of FilmOne Distribution, spoke about the scope of the international release of The Wedding Party 2. “This film is opening all across Africa, the USA, UK, Middle East and Canada, and will be available in four languages. This shows that we can make movies in Nigeria that appeal to the rest of the world.”
During dinner, guests were entertained.2 with crowd-pleasing performances by an array of top artists, such as the legendary King Sunny Ade, Seyi Shay and Reekado Banks. A highlight of the evening was the screening of the hilarious romantic comedy, The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai. It raised smiles, gales of laughter and excited rounds of applause from guests.
Another high point of the event was the ‘Best Dressed’ competition, with male and female guests vying to win business-class flights to Dubai on Emirates, with 5-star accommodation at various Hyatt hotels and a range of exciting tours included. Those wearing the most authentic Emirati-style outfits were judged onstage by Stella Obinwa, Director Africa, and her colleagues from Dubai Tourism. Eventually, popular actress Shaffy Bello and highly-rated singer Isaac Geralds emerged as winners from the star-studded audience. Runners-up were amply consoled with brand-new Nokia 5 smartphones.