To celebrate its 4th anniversary lifestyle publication, TW Magazine published by renowned media mogul Adesuwa Onyenokwe and the magazine’s managing editor Kemi Ogunleye came up with a novel concept, tagged “The Phoenix Gala: Celebrating Matriarchs & Proteges” to honour great Nigerian women who have made tremendous contributions to shaping our society (Matriarchs), and to motivate the next generation of women who keep those legacies alive by continuing to explore, build, grow and expand in their respective fields (Proteges).
This unprecedented event was conceptualised as a two day affair, starting with a champagne brunch hosted by Veuve Clicquot on Thursday September 29th and capped off with an elegant black-tie gala on Friday, September 30th. The honourees were drawn from 10 categories, including social activism, performing arts, fashion, education, business/entrepreneurship and broadcast media (please see below for a full list of categories and honourees).
The sumptuous brunch, which was held at the elegant Medici restaurant in Victoria Island, was an intimate get-together to celebrate the honourees; guests included Olu Jacobs, Ndidi Nwuneli, Kadaria Ahmed, Jumoke Adenowo and Tara Fela-Durotoye. The highlights of this memorable morning included a heartfelt poetry recitation by Jumi Fola-Alade, poet and orator par excellence, as well as the looks of surprise and sheer joy on the faces of the honourees when they were presented with gifts of timeless pearl sets and beautiful diamond drop earrings, courtesy of Los Angeles-based jeweller to the stars, Nehita.
By the end of the morning, everyone was excitedly looking forward to the gala the following day, and they were not disappointed. The Phoenix Gala was undoubtedly a grand affair, with 350 guests in attendance. The evening kicked off at about 8.00pm with an emotional rendition of the national anthem by West African Idols finalist, Jodie. The event was hosted by the fabulous and engaging pair of Ireti Doyle and Ifeoma Williams, who expertly handled the presentation of the awards. Guests were also shown clips from a special documentary produced and directed by intrepid filmmaker,
Bola Balogun, who succeeded in capturing and showcasing the essence of the TW Phoenix Gala. All the honourees expressed with heartfelt words, their joy at being selected to be part of what was clearly an outstanding class of women.
There was also an exciting fashion show featuring a VLISCO collection by Lanre Da-Silva Ajayi and legendary fashion designer, Sade Thomas-Fahm and stellar performances by Omawunmi, Tiwa Savage and Weird MC. To crown all the excitement, guests took home goody bags stuffed with fantastic gifts from VLISCO, Zaron, Casa Bella, Knorr and Scented Memories. Other sponsors and event partners include Virgin Atlantic, Dangote and Merciport. It was an inspirational and unforgettable evening that left a great impact on the minds of all who attended.
Meet the Matriarchs & Proteges
Social Activism: Late Alhaja Kudirat Abiola & Hafsat Abiola-Costello
Education: Prof. Grace Alele-Williams & Tosin Otitoju
Fashion: Mrs. Sade Thomas Fahm & Lanre Da Silva Ajayi
Music: Late Christy Essien-Igbokwe & Asa
Performing Arts: Ms. Joke Silva & Genevieve Nnaji
Business Entrepreneurship: Hajiya Farida Dankaka & Uche Eze
Corporate Nigeria: Otunba Bola Kuforiji-Olubi & Joyce Uredi
Print Media: Mrs. Mosun Gin-Dozier & Kemi Ogunleye
Broadcast Media: Mrs. Bimbo Oloyede & Marian Anazodo
Events Management: Mrs. Yewande Zaccheus & Funke Bucknor-Obruthe