ByÂ AzukaÂ Ogujiuba
It will not be wrong to describe Mo Abudu as a blessed woman. It might sound like an exaggeration, especially if you were not at the premiere of her new movie flick, â€œThe Royal Hibiscus Hotelâ€. Every movie Abudu has produced has turned out to be a blockbuster, earning her the sobriquet, the â€˜Iyalode of Nollywoodâ€™ day by day. Judging from quality productions, she is becoming an enigma in African entertainment industry.
If you are a romantic and live by the â€˜Tingily love feelingsâ€™ or the â€˜Paulina Paulina love vibesâ€™, you will watch this movie over and over again. It reminds you so much of a â€˜Mills n Boonsâ€™ romance series.
Mo Abudu is the CEO of EbonyLife Films, producers of Fifty, The Wedding Party and The Wedding Party 2, and has now debuted its new romantic comedy, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel (RHH), on Sunday 4th February 2018 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. It was the grand premiere of the film to a large Nigerian audience and was a sophisticated and charming affair.
The stars of Nollywood came out to play in their gorgeous, Valentine-inspired outfits. They were joined by other notable individuals in business, the arts and politics, including Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Femi Otedola, Mr. Jim Ovia, former Governor Adams Oshiomole, Mr. & Mrs. Jimi Agbaje,Â Mr. Hebert Wigwe, Ms. Peace Anyiam-Osigwe,Â Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Ebi,Â Mrs. Onari Duke, Mrs. Obioma Imoke, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa,Â Mr Nmandi Okonkwo, Mr Kennedy Uzoka, Mr Ayo Subair, Mr. Alex Okosi, Mrs Omolewa Ahmed, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, Hon. Asuquo Ekpenyong, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, Mrs. Bola Adesola, Dr. Omobola Johnson, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, and Don Jazzy. Stars of the film were all present, including standouts Zainab Balogun, Kenneth Okolie, Rachel Oniga, Jide Kosoko, Deyemi Okanlawon, O.C. Ukeje and Kemi â€˜Lalaâ€™ Akindoju.
The Civic Centre was transformed into a Valentine wonderland, decorated with flowers and giant prints depicting scenes from the film, beautiful photographs of the cast and clever quotes about the pleasures of food and love. Master interior designers DO.II and Interior Specifics created exquisite â€˜love loungesâ€™ on all three levels of the venue, allowing guests to relax in both comfort and considerable style. The festivities began with captivating performances by brilliant artistes such as Tolani, Veentage Band, Kaline, Falana and Cobhams Asuquo; and Johnny Drille, Reekado Banks and Tiwa Savage from Mavin Records.
Guests browsed through the waterside food court, sampling a range of mouthwatering delights from some of Nigeriaâ€™s top chefs and culinary artists, such as Chefs Fregz, Eros and Imoteda, alongside Food Fashion Fusion, Saheeto, The AJâ€™s and Kots. Upstairs in the Love & Desserts Lounge, SALT Lagos, Hans & RenÃ© and Loshes Chocolate served beautifully presented sweet treats. Some of the worldâ€™s finest wines, spirits and liqueurs were available at five different bars – Johnnie Walker, Ciroc, Baileys, Bollinger and B&G Wines â€“ to accompany the mesmerising food options.
Abudu was grateful and elated. â€œThank you all so much for showing upÂ tonight, it is an honour to host you. We are very grateful to our partners and sponsors, such as Fidelity Bank, Guinness Nigeria and Indomie, for helping us to put together this amazing occasion. This film has been a special project, weâ€™ve enjoyed making it and we hope Nigerians will enjoy watching it,â€ she said.
Love was in the air throughout the night; from the sound of love songs, to the beautiful, romantic dÃ©cor. And, of course, the climax of the evening was the screening of The Royal Hibiscus Hotel; punctuated by gales of laughter during the hilarious moments, sighs at the most emotional points and a thunderous round of applause for a very satisfying ending. After the film, delighted guests enjoyed the remaining desserts, wine and cocktails, while discussing their favourite parts of the movie, before disappearing into the night.Â