The ELFIKE Film Collective, a partnership between EbonyLife Films, FilmOne Distribution, Inkblot Productions and Koga Studios, organised a one-of-a-kind premiere of The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai at the weekend in Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
They upped the ante with the 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 Nigeria’s vice-president, Mrs. Yemi Osinbajo; Mrs Toyin Saraki, wife of the Senate President; Senator Florence Ita-Giwa; former governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke and Mrs. Imoke; Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, Chairman/Editor-in-Chief, THISDAY Newspapers and ARISE News Channel; Mr. Tony Elumelu, Chairman, United Bank for Africa; Mr. Herbert Wigwe, CEO, Access Bank; and Mrs. Maiden Ibru, Publisher, Guardian Newspaper.
Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. 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 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 U.S., 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 with crowd-pleasing performances by an array of top artistes, 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 flight tickets to Dubai on Emirates Airlines, with 5-star accommodation at the 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 winners from the star-studded audience.
Runners-up were amply consoled with brand-new Nokia 5 smartphones.
Thanks to a live broadcast from the red carpet on EbonyLife TV and social media, fans at home were not left out of the excitement. #TWP2Premiere was trending for hours, with comments such as: “These celebrities showed up and showed out for this premiere” and “look at the way Nigerians are slaying the Arabian-themed #TWP2Premiere.”
Following the screening was a lit after-party, hosted by media partner MTV Base and DJs Obi and Cuppy who shut the house down.
A spectacular belly dance performance by Korra & the Sirens and a spontaneous electric-slide dance from guests added to the fun, party atmosphere.
When the night was finally over, attendees left with gifts in an exclusive goodie bag, thanks to event sponsors Dubai Tourism, Nokia and other partners.