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Wines of South Africa (WOSA) a non-profit  organization, aimed at promoting South African wines has again wowed connoisseurs, captains of industry, sellers, stockists and enthusiasts at the 2019 Grand Wine Tasting Tour in Lagos and Accra.

Following the immense success of the last two years, the event packaged by Jon Williams Events Company kicked from Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital at the Raddisson Blu Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

As it is the norm with the show, which provides an avenue to showcase and savour the diversity and innovation of the South African Wine Industry, proceedings began with an intellectually-stimulating session for hospitality and tourism industry practitioners who were taken through the gamut of the wines and why it is has an edge over other competitors.

In the evening, the glitz, the music, the canapés and the tasting event proper took centre stage with the Africa Market Manager, Wines of South Africa, Mr Mathome Mbatha delivering the opening remarks.

Mr Mathome stated that the Grand Wine Tasting events are aimed at not just increasing the market share of South African Wines but to show that in terms of quality and packaging, they can compete with the very best.

He noted that the wine producers are excited to visit Lagos and would like to make new friends and contacts, while also stressing that one of the goals of WOSA is to create new ambassadors of South African Wines

“Those of you who are tasting South African wines for the first time, I can assure you will not try wines from any other region after tonight because there is no need to settle for the rest, when you have tested the best” he added jocularly.

In the course of our interaction with the wines producers, we were informed that Red Wine planting now constitute 45.45% of the national vineyard with white wine varieties accounting for 54.6%. The rapid and dramatic increase in red wine production in South Africa has been due to international demand.

We were  also told that in the past  decade there has been a renaissance in the wine industry, with new plantings, new knowledge and new generation of enthusiastic wine makers producing wines which are winning international accolades.

South Africa, which has a wine making tradition and history dating back over three and half centuries blends the elegance of the old world with the accessible fruit-driven style of the new world, making for varied and exciting wines which eloquently express the extraordinary diversity and fascinating people of the country’s wine-making region, aptly called: The Cape.

One of the wine producers described The Cape Winelands as being among the most breathtaking, beautiful, scenic and spectacular landcapes in the world.

In the course of the jolly evening which had Ovation International as its Media Partner, a lot of networking ensued, and guests were served loads of canapés, chocolates, cheese-and of course assorted red, white and sparkling wines.

The Accra event was held at the prestigious Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, and the producers such as Accolades Wines, Bayede!, Distell, DGB, KWV, La Ricmal, Overhex, Vinimax and Women In Wine were there to showcase their products and also spent time chatting with guests and giving out vital information such as the fact that South Africa boasts the highest number of Fairtrade certified wineries in the world, it is the only wine region in the world that has its own auditing body, the Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trading Association (WIETA) and produces the most elegant wines in the world.

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Society Lady, Chioma Ugochukwu, Celebrates Grand 50th Birthday (Photos)




By Eric Elezuo

Society lady and amiable technocrat, Mrs. Chioma Ugochukwu, rolled out the drums to host a souree in celebration of her ascension to the fifth floor. The shindig was held in the presence of friends, colleagues and well wishers did at Artisan Lounge, Victoria Island Lagos.

The grand 50th birthday dinner was characterised by a parade of class, pomp and pageantry as attendees were treated to high level of entertainment, cuisines and beverages.

The high point of the event was well penned tributes from close friends, followed by the cutting of the cake, which elicitated thunderous applause from a retinue of guests.

Among the guests who attended the event were Chairman, PWAN Group, Dr Augustine onwumere; Dr Jayne Onwumere and Chairman, Ovation Media Group, Aare Dr Dele Momodu.

Mrs. Ugochukwu is married and blessed with wonderful children.

Photos by Tunde Bolarinwa…

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Glamour, Glitz As Esama of Benin, Gabriel Igbinedion Celebrates 89th Birthday




By Eric Elezuo                    Photos: Ken Ehimen

The Esama of Benin an pioneer of the Okada Dynasty, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion CFR, CON, KSJI, has always been a censure of many eyes wherever the journey of life takes him, and his 89th birthday celebration was another opportunity for another razzmatazz.

carnival as people gather from all parts of the world to celebrate the great Esama of Benin Kingdom.

A philanthropist of no mean repute, business mogul, and politician, Chief Igbinedion left no stone unturned to ensure that this year’s celebration tagged “His Grace is sufficient for me”, sustains the carnival-like identity it has always been known for, while reflecting testimonies of his numerous achievements in life.

With wholesome lineup of activities, the birthday celebrations held in various locations including his Benin palatial home and the prestigious Archangel Gabriel Catholic Church, along Sapele Road, where the thanksgiving mass was held.

The celebrant Chief Sir Dr Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, accompanied by his wife, Lady Cherry Igbinedion, his son and former governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbinedion his siblings among other dignitaries arrived the Archangel Gabriel Catholic Church, to a warm reception by the members of Archangel Gabriel Catholic Church community with band parade.

The Mass was celebrated by the Catholic Archbishop of Benin Archdiocese, Most Rev Dr Augustine Akubueze, represented by the Vicar General of the Archdiocese, Very Rev Fr Dr Augustine Ehigie.

Because of it’s a unique nature, the Parish Priest, Rev Fr Jerome Idegbe took time to introduce the essence of the day, after which he invited all to be part of the thanksgiving Mass.

Speaking during the homily titled Uncommon Path to Peace, the Parish Priest, St Francis Catholic Church, Benin City, Rev Fr Dr Andrew Obiyan, paid glowing tribute to the Esama, with emphasis on how he built peace and empowered his community.

According to Fr Obiyan, Chief Igbinedion was a man with intimidating kind heart, whose greatness is not in the riches and wealth he has acquired, but in his unrelenting act of generosity.

Dignitaries that attended the Mass were the Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shuaibu, Senator Matthew Uroide, High Commissioners and Representatives of High Commissions so from over 15 countries including, Jamaica, South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Mauritania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, bostwana, Cameroon among others.

There was also a large turnout of traditional rulers within and outside of Nigeria led by the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, who was represented by over 20 notable traditional rulers from the south west of Nigeria.

Also the traditional rulers and title holders from the Benin Kingdom were fully represented, led by the highly revered Ilawure of Usen Kingdom, HRM Oluide II and a host of Benin Chiefs and traditional title holders.

The highpoint of the event was the thanksgiving procession by Chief Igbinedion and his immediate family members, amid soulful renditions from the Archangel Gabriel Parish choir.

Dwelling further on the theme of the day, “His Grace is sufficient for me”, the Chancellor, Catholic Archdiocese of Benin, Rev Fr Dr Mike Oyanoafoh also extolled God’s goodness on the celebrant just as the Vicar General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Benin, Very Rev Fr Dr Augustine Ehigie led in rendering a happy birthday song.

Responding on behalf of the House of Igbinedion, a former Governor of Edo State and son of the celebrant, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, expressed joy at the love showered on their patriarch on his birthday.

He prayed for journey mercies for all those who have come to celebrate their father

Speaking on behalf of some of the dignitaries that graced the occasion the representative of the Mauritanian High Commission in Nigeria, Mrs Stella Arhewo, and the APC governorship candidate in next year’s Edo State governorship election Hon. E.J Agbonayiwa described the celebrant as a Man who has added value to the lives of many.

Guests at the birthday thanksgiving Mass were later hosted to a lavish reception at tastefully decorated country home of the Esama of Benin Kingdom where music was supplied by a host of upcoming artists, live band, cultural troupes among others.

The colorful event was rounded off with the cutting of the 89th birthday cake of the Esama of Benin Kingdom His Excellency Chief Sir Dr Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion , done his behalf by his son, Lucky Igbinedion, his siblings and selected dignitaries.

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Sights and Sounds As Esther Ajayi’s Love of Christ Celebrates 16th Anniversary




By Eric Elezuo

The Love of Christ Generation Church (C&S) located in the highbrow Victoria Island,  was a beehive of activities penultimate Sunday as members led by their leader, Reverend Esther Abimbola Ajayi, in company of well wishers and the general public, trooped out enmasse to celebrate the church’s 16th year anniversary.

Hosted by a wholesome colour of white, faith adherents and special invitees had a swell time giving God glory for 16 unbroken Yeats of His goodness, provision and protection.

From far and wide, and all walks of life, dignitaries trooped in, in solidarity with the woman popularly called Iya Adura, to sing, worship, praise and dance before the Almighty, who made all things perfect for the church.

Among notable personalities that graced the occasion were former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke; Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Chairman, Ovation Media Group, Chief Dele Momodu, Sir Shina Peters and a host other very important persons.

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